Nick....I did the same thing. 3 weeks after my accident i thought i was better and went back to work in the ICU. 12 hour overnight shift. I thought once my bruises were gone, i would be fine. a week later it was determined i was not well enough to work....but i had my 30th birthday party planned in Vegas and i had friends flying in so i was gonna go no matter what. This was only 4 weeks after my accident.
Was I in pain? Absolutely. Was i on a lot of pain medicine to make it through the weekend? Definetly. Was this a smart thing to do? Completely stupid of me. Do i think it made me worse off? I have no idea! I could show you pictures of me as well....and i think i looked like i was having fun in most of my pictures in Vegas. But we all look ok on the outside....thats our biggest problem. Its the inside of our brain that is struggling. I was definetly the first one to say i need to leave every night, i didnt drink alcohol the way i was planning on....had only a few drinks a night. I couldnt tolerate the lights or music of house rooms, i would get dizzy and spacey and need to go outside or to a different area where lights were low and no strobe lights.
Even last summer when i was only a few months into my PCS, i was still trying to be normal and do things i used to....like watch sporting events at a bar, go out and have drinks with friends, go out to eat. All of it brought on the Brain Fog that you write about. My poor friends saw me literally get slow and stupid and not able to speak for a long period. I would just say, "um, um, um, um, um." when they asked what was wrong....and this was after not answering them the first 10 or so times.
I also went to Disneyland with a 2 year old last September....the other stimulation capital of the world. Who knows if doing these things led to a longer recovery time, but if i knew then, what i know now....i probably would have canceled both trips and rested cognitively and physically.
I went back to working the overnight shift 3 months after my accident and lasted for 2 months before i literally could not get out of bed anymore, the fatigue and exhaustion and headaches were so debilitating. I then became a hermit and finally accepted and acknowledged that i truly need to rest! Since i have been resting and staying home and taking very good care of my body, i finally feel better. I am slowly beginning to work again for the past month and taking it easy on my days off, and my symptoms are staying away.
Have you tried reading? Ive been using this time that i have been at home to read a lot of books on spirituality, healing, books on brain injuries, nursing, etc. Ways to make me a better person because of all of this. I believe that the brain injury happened to me for a reason....to open up my awareness and my mind to subjects i wouldnt have considered before. Im trying to use this time the best i can. If it doesnt bother you to read, maybe you can try reading a book on a subject that interests you. Learn a new hobby or interest through reading. Maybe start a thread asking others what books helped them during their recovery?
Suffered a TBI with PCS on April 25th 2011 from multiple blows to the head from falling, unconscious for 12 hours with no memory of event. Hit the back of my head, and above right eye. MRI and CT negative. Symptoms included constant headaches (migraine, pressure, tension, icepicks), dizziness, tinnitus, visual changes, photophobia, fatigue, "spacing out", word finding difficulties, depression, and emotional lability.
Began Healing in November 2011 after starting acupuncture and Healing Touch (a nurturing energy therapy that promotes relaxation and pain relief). I went back to work in February 2012. Ive been symptom free since July 2012. Very happy, positive, energetic and working out every day, doing yoga, and living a normal life again!
I also began taking Healing Touch classes in November 2011 and completed 5 Levels of Healing Touch Certificate Program that included a 1 year mentorship to become a Healing Touch International Practitioner in June 2013. I am so pleased to offer this wonderful healing therapy to my patients, friends, and clients.