Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Are you gonna believe your mom? Or Wikipedia?

Talking to my Mom this morning had my stomach in knots. Dad doesn't remember the accident or being in the hospital at all the last three days. He wants to go home, and the hospital is talking about discharging him. She said she'd let me know when she finds out more. She was very frantic and upset (my Mom is pretty melodramatic at times), and she was reluctantly going to pick up my grandmother to take her along to the hospital for the day. (My grandmother, to put it kindly, is EVIL INCARNATE. There is no exaggeration here.)

She got me pretty riled up. I'm thinking, who's going to take care of him when he's discharged, his almost 90 year old mother, whom he fights with daily? He can't even walk yet. I'm thinking, what if this damage is permanent? What if my Dad can't work? What if he has amnesia? When would be the soonest I could move back home if I needed to? Would I have to kill my grandmother before I could move back in, or could it wait until later?

After wandering around the house with my brain buzzing with worst case scenarios for an hour or so, I finally break down and turn to my trusty friend, Wikipedia. If there's ever anything in the world I need to know, I check good ol' Wikipedia.

What different breeds of bees are there?
Personal biography of comic book writer and artist Jhonen Vasquez?
Entire discography of Radiohead, including solo projects by Thom Yorke?

So naturally, I decide to look up concussion on the all knowing site. I've been wanting to do this for days, but I was afraid I'd find some horrible statistics about recovery or symptoms, and I'd work myself into an even bigger worried frenzy. I could easily turn into a hypochondriac on someone elses behalf based on reading up on medical conditions - I've done it to myself plenty of times. Up until know, I figured ignorance was the best course of action for the time being.

So, i broke down and read the article... and was relieved. It seems that even in the worst cases of concussion, the damage is temporary and will resolve itself in a matter of weeks. Needing surgery is very rare, and permanent damage is also pretty uncommon.


Now I'm still worried about who's going to take care of him as he recovers (I can NOT imagine my Mom moving in to be his nursing aid, no matter how good her intentions. They'll murder each other.) But, I realize that my big fear was losing my Dad as I know him. I was afraid he'd change, that he'd forget me or his life, or be permanently confused. I just wasn't ready for that. I don't think anyone ever is, but if he was in his 80's and developing alzheimers, I'd prepare myself. Having permanent brain damage in his 50's? That was scary to me.

So that's the update as of now. Wikipedia is the cure for hysterical and neurotic anxiety, in this case. Thanks, Wikipedia.

1 comment:

Antagonist Jason said...

It's a good heuristic to always be skeptical of a melodramatic person with close ties to the situation.

I'm glad the facts are not as bad as you'd feared.