Concussions

Water, I need Water

It was a wonderful evening. Michael and I enjoyed a delicious rib dinner at the restaurant. We went for a swim when we returned to the hotel. It was a quiet night. We were the only ones in the pool. We swam laps and enjoyed the warm water soothing our bodies after a long drive. It was perfect. 

I was in the best shape of my life. I felt strong and beautiful. The climax of this perfect evening sent me to bed excited for what tomorrow would hold. A bucket-list dream come true. I would donate my bone marrow. 

With a full and happy stomach, I drifted off into a peaceful sleep. The opportunity came. It was a decent process. My back was tender but nothing unmanageable. Though I was mostly unaware due to a wonderful cocktail of meds. 

I had been warned to eat a full meal that night. But nothing really appealed to me, besides a protein shake, banana, and some cookies. I drank lots of water, so I figured I’d be good until breakfast. That was until I woke up and faceplanted onto the tile floor the next morning. 

Doctors waved off the idea of a concussion considering the height at which I fell. Dehydration must be the main culprit. Three bags or more of I.V., litres of electrolyte enhanced beverages, and lots of water later, I still had symptoms. Finally, the diagnosis of a concussion. 

Firstly, it was the dehydration that caused such an ill-effect to my brain. Eating a rib dinner, swimming, not eating or drinking for 19 hours, and getting 14 vials of blood along with bone marrow extracted from me drained the necessary fluids from cushioning that precious brain of mine. Had I thought  beforehand to   overhydrate, choose a better meal, and not swim might have helped my cause.

If I had eaten a decent meal after surgery, as I had been strictly advised, it would have helped me as well. I don’t fault the medical staff at all. It was ignorant decisions and a mix of my wacky body playing into effect. Though that would all lead to some of the greatest developments of my life. 

One thing I have noticed since then though, is a great need to stay hydrated. Our bodies are made up of 60% of water. When we don’t give ourselves this needed nutrient, we can do lots of damage. 

For starters, a well hydrated body will have a better chance if your noggin gets hit again. There will be more fluid to soften the blow. Here are some other benefits to keeping your water tank full too:

· Keep your temperature normal

· Lubricate and cushion joints

· Protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues

· Get rid of wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements

(List from the CDC )

· Moistens tissues in the eyes, nose and mouth

· Protects body organs and tissues

· Carries nutrients and oxygen to cells

· Lessens burden on kidneys and liver by flushing out waste products

· Helps dissolve minerals and nutrients to make them accessible to your body

(List from the Mayo Clinic)

In other words, it keeps your body functioning. Post-concussion brains need all the nutrients, blood, oxygen, and fluids they can get. They’re working overtime for daily functioning, so we need to be extra diligent in serving our body well. 

Have you been out in the summer and can sense the heat and humidity by how much your brain feels swollen? The longer you’re outside, the more you feel thirsty and in desperate need of shade or air conditioning? Our bodies react faster and stronger than normal ones do. By making sure you intake a good amount of water each day, this will help to lessen the effects of those hot summer days. 

If you don’t, dehydration is waiting to take over. The symptoms of dehydration can be heightened in your bodies. This will leave you feeling thirsty, sluggish, and exhausted. Your cognition can be reduced and your confusion heightened. 

So, as we start to head into these warmer months, make sure you have a water bottle in hand at all times. Look at getting some non-sweetened electrolytes to give you a needed boost too. The more physically active the get, the more water you’ll need. 

If you aren’t one that can handle drinking lots of water, try adding lemon, lime, or some berries to your drink. Add some fruits and veggies that are high in water content as well. Some examples are watermelon, celery, and tomatoes. The more you drink, the better you’ll feel.  

Cheers!

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