This is an injury I cannot 100% confirm, but much about what I recall fits the description of what happens to a kid before, during, and after a concussion from a fall.
I was placed in a daytime childcare setting with another one of my siblings, when I was about 4 years old. Both my parents were working to make ends meet, so I was in childcare till I entered kindergarten.
This fall happened in a house that was filled with kids. The big kids went up stairs, and the little ones stayed downstairs where the caretaker could keep an eye on us. I always wanted to be upstairs with the big kids, but I knew I wasn’t allowed up. One day, one of the “big kids” encouraged me to come upstairs and join the fun. I was a small kid for my age, but I had a big heart, and I wanted to be part of the fun. So, I snuck upstairs with the other kid, and I got to play.
The game that day was climbing onto chairs and jumping, as though we could fly. I had always been a climber (I climbed onto the top of our refrigerator when I was 2, and I downed a whole bottle of tasty orange-flavored baby aspirin). So this came naturally to me. Along with the other kids, I climbed up as high as I could go, and I jumped. One time, I landed wrong – maybe my head hit something? And the next thing I knew, one of the big kids was running downstairs calling for our caretaker that I needed help.
I remember a lot of confusion and yelling. I wasn’t supposed to be up there. I dimly remember getting a concerned talking-to, but most of the yelling was at the other kids for inviting me up there. My mother was called, and she came to pick up my sibling and me. There was worried, hushed adult back-and-forth talk, with a lot of apologies from my caretaker. Then I was taken home.
After that, I was determined to go back upstairs and join the big kids again. I couldn’t get it out of my head. My caretaker had to keep an eye on me, or I’d be back upstairs. Nothing they said to me would stop me from wanting that. I wanted to climb. I wanted to jump. I wanted to fly. If it’s possible for a young kid to perseverate (get stuck on one idea and not be able to let it go), I fit the bill. In addition, I was subject to crying fits, where I could not let it go. I just could not. I would cry and cry and cry inconsolably. Nothing could stop me. I would just cry.
This happened at the caregiver’s place where I’d fallen. And it happened in other places and times when I was tired and overwhelmed, too. Once, my mother had to pick me up from childcare and take me home, because I was impossible to calm down and I was being too disruptive.
I didn’t want to be in that house, filled with all those rowdy kids, all that noise, and all that activity. But if I had to be there, I wanted to be upstairs with the big kids — jumping off chairs and getting as close to flying that a 4-year-old can imagine.