Monday April 03, 2017
ENCORE | How a concussion led Carla Ciccone to value life's fragility
more stories from this episode
- Elon Musk wants to merge human brain with artificial intelligence
- PTSD victims of violent crime find positive self-growth facing trauma: study
- Why Chapman's Ice Cream is desperate to save local school from closure
- How a concussion led Carla Ciccone to value life's fragility
- April 3, 2017 full episode transcript
- Full Episode
Carla Ciccone's life changed when she was out for dinner one night about four years ago. Everyone at the table was waiting for dessert to arrive when, all of a sudden, a stack of plates slammed into the back of her head.
"It felt like someone threw a brick through the restaurant and that it hit the back of my head," Carla recalls.
"There was a guy across the table from me and his eyes just went super-wide because I guess the sound had been so loud. And I was seeing stars actually, like a cartoon character."
Carla was eventually diagnosed with a concussion. And if that wasn't bad enough, the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome led her to develop a major depression.
She says after a concussion, a patient is supposed to rest and do nothing.
"Nothing means you don't read, you don't watch TV. You can't really go outside because the sun hurts your eyes, so it's basically like sitting in a dark room doing nothing."
You can't even sleep, says Carla. "That could be bad for you too."
But one day after waking up from frightening suicidal thoughts, Carla went to seek help from her doctor.
From that day forward, she has been actively working on her own mental health and considers her post-concussion journey a blessing.
"The experience has really made me aware of how fragile ... our lives are," says Carla.
"And how important it is to appreciate what you have, and to work on making the best of what you have."
This segment was produced by The Current's Kristin Nelson.