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Concussion. Ow.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I got hit so hard in the head during sparring class on Monday that I'm operating on the assumption that I have a level 1 concussion.

The punch came straight to the face, by a sixteen year old brown belt six inches taller and fifty pounds heavier than me. Classic. (Obviously, I was wearing a helmet with plastic face guard). I'm a little hazy about what exactly happened, but it was mostly an accident of bad timing, I think. I just stepped in at the exact wrong moment while attempting a blitz. It rocked my head back pretty hard. I yelled and stopped the fight and pulled off the helmet and gasped, starting to cry. But within thirty seconds, I had my helmet back on and stepped back into the ring and finished the fight, at full capacity.

When the class was over and I took off my helmet, I immediately noticed pain where my jaw hinged, and my chin was tender. That was an indication of how the helmet spread the shock wave (the hit came in the center of the face, right over the bridge of the nose). I debated whether I should go to the emergency room. I finally decided not to because 1) I didn't have nausea and 2) my pupils were the same size and 3) I've spent $10,000 on out of pocket medical expenses this year and I couldn't AFFORD an ER visit and an MRI if I didn't have more worrisome symptoms. Judging from our experience with my daughter being mugged in June, (hit in the head, concussion) I judged that all they would do would be to give me an MRI and send me home with drugs. I can't afford it. Of course, if the headache had suddenly gotten worse or if the pupil size changed or if I had suffered numbness, dizziness, memory problems, I would have gone in.

It was just pain. The headache was severe enough to send me home from work the next two days. I'm better today. I have an appointment scheduled with my doctor for Monday, and I'm following her no contact rule (no sparring, no pad strikes) until I see her. I will go to class tonight, since it's a no contact class.

It's frustrating because my next black belt screening is in two weeks. But I'll stick to the cautious approach and hope for the best.
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