staring into the fog

A day without thinking

staring into the fog

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve shared anything here and even longer since I’ve written a newsletter. That’s because I have been suffering from the after effects of a concussion. Yep, I hit my head. And boy did it hurt. But that was nothing compared to the recovery.

At first I carried on just like normal. Well, a sloshy, foggy, sort of normal, but I basically kept up with my regular schedule. But as the weeks wore on I started to realize that I wasn’t getting better. The pain and fatigue I was suffering from was less intense, but it was more constant. Like a dull, and sometimes not so dull, pressure inside my head. It’s really hard to describe. I felt it in my nose, my eyes, even in my teeth, like that discomfort you get when you smell mercury or some other strong chemical smell. Except there wasn’t any smell. It was (and still is) all in my head.

Concussions, it goes without saying, are no fun. And Post Concussion Syndrome (which is what I seem to be suffering from) is icky with toxic sprinkles on top. This weekend is the first stretch where I’ve felt well enough to sit down and read or write for about three weeks. And I may be overdoing it even now so I should probably keep this short.

Lock your brain in a box

The upshot of all this is that I went through a stretch where it basically hurt to think. No writing, no reading, I couldn’t even play board games. (Yuck!) And I realized that pretty much everything I love to do involves a lot of thinking. During one stretch I sat in bed for a week avoiding even watching TV because it required too much concentration and focus. I couldn’t think much at all. And boy was that hard. Seriously, try it. For one minute. Even 30 seconds. It’s really hard not to think. It’s just something we do without, well, without thinking! (did I send your mind into a linguistic wormhole with that one?)

I’m still at only about 70%, but I do have more good stretches than bad now. From what I’ve read and what the doctor said, it could be a long while before I’m out of the woods. The brain can take weeks and sometimes months to fully recover from a concussion.

The good news is that having your dreams taken from you makes you really appreciate what a privilege it is to be able to do what you love. And this has made me more committed than ever to keep working on the projects God has laid upon my heart. I’ve set a goal to finish editing The Last Motley by the end of November. Barring any further health setbacks I really think I will accomplish it. I hope to get a little more feedback from that final draft and then send it off to be proofed starting early 2017.

So there’s your update. A reason for all these crickets around here the last few weeks. Pray for me if you can. For healing, for God’s tender mercy. For an end to these concussion symptoms. For no more days without thinking.

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Comments (17)

  1. Deborah O'Carroll October 24, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Oh, DJ, I’m so sorry to hear about this! D:

    That sounds awful and I can’t imagine not being able to think/write. The closest I can think of was when I had the flu earlier this year and couldn’t read or write or anything, but that was only for a day or two. You’re right, it really makes one appreciate thinking and writing, I guess.

    Definitely sending prayers your way and I SO hope you’ll feel 100% soon! *hugs and blessings*

  2. Erika October 25, 2016 at 9:02 am

    DJ, I understand, this is what happens to me all the time. Blessings!!!

  3. Abbey October 26, 2016 at 12:52 am

    I’m so sorry that you have a concussion! They are so nasty. It must have been frustrating to not be able to do anything with your brain for awhile… but maybe a blessing, too? Sometimes it’s nice not to think. I am praying for your recovery!

    • DJ Edwardson October 26, 2016 at 8:38 am

      Thanks for the comment, Abbey. I do so God’s providence in forcing me to take a break and get perspective. Since I wrote this post I’ve had another relapse so maybe I haven’t completely gotten this message. I may be in for more ups and downs before this storm is all over. I appreciate your prayers!

  4. Jenelle October 27, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Oh my goodness! I am so sorry to hear you got a concussion! I will definitely be praying for swift and complete healing and recovery for you. I have never experienced a full-blown concussion, but have had migraines (and my eyes dilated once) and spent a day or two here and there experiencing what you describe, and it is no fun at all! Hope you feel 100% soon!

    • Jenelle October 27, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      P.S. A concussion is not what I would term a mere “snag.”

      • Jenelle October 27, 2016 at 3:04 pm

        P.P.S. Meaning, a concussion is far more noteworthy and serious.

        • DJ Edwardson October 27, 2016 at 5:46 pm

          He he, yes, it is a bit more than a snag, isn’t it?

          Sorry you’ve had to suffer migraines. Yuck. I’ve heard they are awful. I don’t know if this is in the same realm, but it certainly is not enjoyable. I have good days and bad days, but God is teaching me the value of patience, rest, and dependence on his perfect timing. Thank you for your prayers!

          • Jenelle October 28, 2016 at 11:09 am

            Yes. It is.

            I have only ever experienced one “true” migraine, and cannot imagine how people who deal with them more often even cope with life. It was bad. Headaches I would have termed “near-migraine” or “migraine-adjacent” before that day pale in comparison. Thankfully not something I have had a repeat experience of.

            Learning to depend on God more fully is a wonderful thing…even if the process is often uncomfortable.

  5. Carolyn Carmany October 31, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Our prayers are with you. GOD IS ABLE!!!
    I purchased your book Into The Vast at the ORNL Fall Festival. We had a booth next to yours and I spoke at length with your lovely wife. Please say HI to her and know you ALL are in our daily prayers!

  6. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt November 4, 2016 at 12:44 am

    I value my brain most of anything I possess – and CFS takes it from me most of every day.

    It really makes me value the few hours in which it works, at least several times a week if I’m lucky – because writing it the one thing I can still do, and love desperately.

    I hope you will recover fully. Pray that they figure this stupid thing out (I’ve had it 27 years, and others for longer, so don’t hold your breath). And appreciate every minute when your brain comes home. Because, as you just found out this horrible way, you can’t take it for granted.

  7. DJ Edwardson November 4, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Oh, Alicia, I’m so sorry you’ve had to deal with that for so long. These few weeks I’ve been suffering are a little burden in light of that, but as you said, these failures do help us appreciate the moments of blessing and restoration. I’ll be praying for you as well. Thank you for taking one of your good moments and sharing your thoughts with me.

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