April 14, 2021 •
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Concussion Log #4 – Salt & Honey (davidvaisberg.com)

There is so much I could write about today in reflection on last week, and I just don’t have that stamina right now. I’m going to attempt to focus on concussion-related symptoms just to get them down in writing.

I knew, as far as symptoms go, this weekend was going to be rough. The past five days, in fact. That’s ok— professionally, it was fulfilling, it was be being able to do my rabbinic work (mostly). With a few life cycle events, and the horror and trauma of last Wednesday, I needed to be on this weekend. I needed to write, I needed to speak, I needed to be with my community. For a sermon, for prayer, for the comfort of the inspirational and supportive music from Dan Nichols on Saturday night.

So, for the first time in I can’t remember, I wrote on Wednesday and Thursday, Friday I did a funeral and services that evening, Saturday, a Bar Mitzvah in the sanctuary, a zoom Havdalah concert in the evening, a baby-naming on Sunday, a shiva service on Sunday, and parenting in between.
Was it worth it? 100%. I needed to be available and able and present with the people who needed me, and with my community.
Was it challenging? Very.

I was ok at the beginning of the concussion marathon for the funeral— exhausting but doable. Friday night services from the screen were painful. I still cannot interact with other people on a screen without pain.

Interestingly enough, singing and oration actually cause me headaches. A google-search for some reason yields no research on the relationship of singing to concussions. My lay person theory is that all the facial vibrations that happen are hitting my sore head and neck muscle groups, or some nerve areas, or something. I’m waiting to hear back from my medical team… And yet, at times, I can’t help but sing. I forget myself. And then the pain comes. For when I had to be on, for delivering that sermon, it all slipped away. When we’re on, we’re on.

The Bar Mitzvah in person was lovely and meaningful. Being in the sanctuary however, sitting for far more than I typically would, not singing (except for the K’dushah responses when I just couldn’t help it), not being able to find every word or cue in my head that typically come so easily, just being a little off, was quite disorienting. I’m going to have to relearn everything about being on the bimah.
Sunday, I was just out of energy. Especially after an afternoon hike with the kids and friends. But again, it was worth it. I missed that time outside with them, getting exercise, being with old friends (socially distanced, of course). I missed getting to give blessings to little babies, and I got to this weekend. Getting to celebrate these joys is wonderful.
For the first time a month into having a concussion, I woke up this morning dizzy, nauseous, and disoriented. The consequences of this weekend.

Was it worth it? Absolutely.

Temple B’nai Abraham, Socially Distant…Spiritually Close! Stay safe & well!

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