Time went on. Her shoulder healed, but the severe headaches did not go away. School started. She made it through the first school day, but came home in a lot of pain and spent the rest of the night curled up in a little ball. Traditional school was clearly not going to work for her for a while. We enrolled Kid 2 in the district's Home Bound program so that she could keep up on her schooling, but do it at her own rate, depending on how she felt.
I took her back to the doctor who diagnosed her with Post-concussion Syndrome, a fancy term meaning that the original concussion hadn't healed yet. Full healing can take weeks, months or even a year. There is no way to predict. Kid 2's symptoms include the headaches and delayed processing when asked a direct question. It just takes her an extra couple seconds to figure out what you are asking (but thankfully, that seems to be improving!)
The recommended course of treatment is to do something strenuous (reading, math, exercise, etc.) until a headache is triggered, then rest, recover and repeat. They liken this process to how you build a muscle by stressing it and then allowing it to rest.
Interestingly, watching TV or a movie is considered "rest" since your brain apparently shuts mostly down, and is recommended as a distraction.
The doctor also recommended allowing Kid 2 to participate in as many social activities as possible. Head injuries are often accompanied by depression and he was concerned that the isolation of home schooling might increase that risk. Because of this, there have been times when I've had to force myself to let her go out even when my preference would be to wrap her in bubble wrap and stick her in bed.
I got a few smirks from acquaintances who saw Kid 2 at the homecoming game and knew that Kid 2 was Home Bound for schooling. The attitude was that if she was too "sick" to go to school, then she shouldn't be at the game. That's understandable. I might have made the same judgement if I didn't know better.
She's had days where she's had to leave church, because the background noise triggers the headaches. I was concerned about the noise of the football game, but I think the open air versus an enclosed room made it possible for her to deal with it. I suspect she'll have a harder time at a basketball game.
She's excited about participating in the high school musical this fall. I know that there have been times she has had to find a quiet hallway to recover from the noise of rehearsals. Her sisters and friends do a great job of keeping an eye on her so she doesn't overdue it.
The point is though, she doesn't have the flu. She has a concussion. She has good days and she has bad days. I think the good days are finally starting to out number the bad days, but we take each day as it comes. If she's hurting, we encourage her to rest. If she's feeling good, we try to push her as much as possible.
I'm just grateful that she is recovering, albeit slowly. I'm also grateful that she was wearing her helmet.
Check out this video of Courtney King Dye, a former USA Olympic dressage rider.
"On March 3, 2010, a horse Courtney was riding tripped and fell. Courtney was not
wearing a helmet and suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury. She spent 4 weeks in a
coma and 3 months in in-patient rehabilitation re-learning how to walk and talk. She
was the catalyst and is an avid supporter of riders4helmets."
Taken from http://www.ckddressage.com/