Kate: Play number one.
Kate stands center stage.
Kate: When you misjudge the distance between you and a kitchen cabinet and you bang your head into the door handle so hard your teeth rattle, but you don’t loose consciousness, and a few hours later your head still hurts, its hard to read things on a screen and you feel a tiny bit dizzy but you might just be hungry then you eat some food and afterward you feel a tiny bit nauseous from eating so fast and your partner is out of town so you can’t ask him so you start googling the symptoms for mild concussions and it says:
Headache that won’t go away
Eyes that tire easily
Light-headedness, dizziness, loss of balance
Difficulty remembering, making decisions, concentrating
Mood changes (feeling sad or angry for no reason)
Feeling tired all of the time
Changes in sleeping patterns (sleeping too much or having a hard time sleeping)
Increased sensitivity to lights, sounds, and distractions
Kate: But I feel those things at the end of most days, and I don’t think that
Kate stands still for a moment.
Kate: Play number two.
Kate stands center stage. Behind her is a screen. Projected on the screen is the text “The incident.”
Kate: Damn that kitchen cabinet handle came out of nowhere. Owww. Am I doing okay?
Kate’s Body (V.O.): Head hurt. Teeth rattled. But still functioning.
Kate: That’s cool. Let’s go home.
The projection on the screen changes to “On the train.”
Kate: I hit my head pretty hard. It still hurts.
Kate’s Body (V.O.): Everything is very loud. Also, dizziness is definitely here in my head.
Kate: That is less cool. But I’m probably just tired after a long day.
The projection on the screen changes to “At home.”
Kate: I don’t feel good now, but I’ll feel better when I eat some food.
Kate’s Body (V.O.): Ugh. Slightly nauseated.
Kate looks up to the screen which changes to a blank white slide. She turns back to the audience.
Kate: Play number three.
Kate sits on a chair with a laptop on her lap. She types as she talks.
Kate: Signs of mild concussion. Let’s see. [reading] “Brain injuries are extremely common, but diagnosis can be complicated. Today, there is no single, objective measure that can determine if someone has had a concussion.” Oh, okay.
Kate skims over the next bits mumbling to herself “loss of consciousness” “amnesia” “vomiting” etc., shaking her head no at each of the words. She begins reading out loud again.
Kate: “One word of caution: Because a concussion affects the brain, the injured person may lack the clear judgment to make an informed decision regarding whether or not to go to the hospital.”
Kate looks up at the audience and presses her lips together.
Kate: This isn’t going well.