Head blow that didn't really hurt?

My office was recently switched around quite a bit. I was admiring a new lounging space, turned to go back to my desk, and… BANG! I hit my head on a divider wall frame.

The frame has quite a bit of “give” to it from the way it was set up, and the impact didn’t really hurt; I think the frame is hollow metal rather than solid, from the weight and said give. I was more startled and chagrined than in pain. It’s just the loudness of the bang (from the hollowness?) that gives me a little pause. Such blows usually aren’t really serious, right? I’m not sure I’d be the best person to judge my own mental state, for obvious reasons, but besides the tiniest of (only possible, not sure) discomfort where I hit my head, I don’t really feel anything physically.

Just curious, and probably a little hypochondriatic. :slight_smile: (Not a word, but it should be.)

I got punched in the side of the head once in high school and it didn’t hurt at all.

Since it has “give” to it and sounds hollow, the sound was probably worse than the actual impact. If you don’t feel dizzy or weird you should be fine.

I had an iron fall down and hit me on the head once. It was on a top shelf of a closet and I was cleaning the bottom. Thank goodness it didn’t hit point-first, and doubly thank goodness no one was home. It would have been quite embarrassing since it was I who set the iron there not three hours earlier.

Anyway, although it made a humorous clanging! sound, it didn’t hurt much at all. Twenty-four hours later, I had a headache and couldn’t figure out why for a while…but it was mild and went away with two advils.

The head is pretty tough!

After any blow to the head, even a “painless” one, you needed answer fast even if you didn’t think so. By the time you read this (if you do), you probably didn’t need answer so fast after all.

There are commonly stories of people who suffer blows to the head, and think nothing of it, who then collapse sometime afterward. This has become more widespread knowledge recently, causing (and/or because of) the increased emphasis on head injuries to football players that we’ve all read about in recent months.

‘Minor’ head injuries can turn serious rapidly, experts say” for example, discussing the sudden and unexpected death of actress Natasha Richardson.

(Article discusses the mechanics of what’s going on with cases like this.)

So… I need to see a doctor or go to a hospital every time I hit my head, under any circumstance? That’s gonna put some pressure on my finances. Just wondering, since you said I should’ve asked for an answer fast, but you didn’t actually provide said answer. :slight_smile:

It’s been over 24 hours since it happened to me. Is my brain now a ticking time bomb? As I said, I’m not the best judge of my own mental state, especially when there are other circumstances at play, and the fact that I can be a little paranoid. :slight_smile: (For example, I know it’s my scalp that’s still feeling a little weird, NOT my actual brain, but when I feel the weird, mild tightness in my head, my first thought was that it was my brain, which makes no sense. :P)

When I banged my head (well, okay, my butt) my doctor said to watch carefully for further symptoms for three days.

(I lost my footing and sat down – hard – right on my bum. Passed out and had convulsions. Doc’s diagnosis was brain concussion from the shock-wave of the impact transmitted right up the spine. Either that or I’ve got one of those dinosaur brains in my pelvis…)

Hmm. How “clear” should symptoms be? As I said, I tend to exaggerate these kinds of things in my mind, or at least be skeptical. Should it be relatively clear if something’s wrong (even if it’s not a concussion)?

The fun thing with head injuries is…you can never tell. Some concussions are symptom-free. On the other hand, we’ve evolved to take some pretty hefty hits there; the skull is hard for a reason.

Take the obvious precautions: go easy for a while, don’t re-injure your head, maybe ask a friend to look you over. Anything obvious, like dizziness, pain, unusual eye-pupil response to light, phone a doc. (Usual disclaimers: not a doc, played one in a tv ad once.)

Ask a friend to look me over? For what?

And how would I tell if a pupil had an unusual response to light anyway? It’s not like it would make a difference in my eyesight, would it?

Thanks for the tips, tho’. I’m really not sure how to approach this at the moment, considering my active imagination and such (especially since I’m not sure anymore how much “give” the frame really had - it has some weight to it). I’m not seriously ill, as far as I can tell, but there are some little things that could either be actual or imagination or caused by something else entirely. And if I were asymptomatic, does that mean I could drop dead without a chance of being saved? From walking into a random metal frame? :stuck_out_tongue: It seems absurd to go to a doctor every time I bang my head on a cabinet door (which I’ve done, and which hurt a LOT more than what happened yesterday), but…

Bah. Whatever. :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, you do sound pretty clear and cogent, but I was thinking for signs of slurred speech, difficulty in walking, confusion, etc. Any obvious external signs of harm, which you, yourself, might not be able to observe.

(When I had my incident, my hiking partner shone a flashlight in my eyes to observe the pupil response, and asked me things like “What’s 35 divided by 7” and “What was so great about Alfred the Great?”)

The pupils thing is usually about if one appears bigger than the other, or if someone shines a light in your eyes and it doesn’t respond like you’d expect - getting smaller when the light’s on, getting bigger when the light’s off. Admittedly this is easier to observe in people with light-coloured eyes.

When I’ve had concussions, the nonsensical speech and difficulty walking (it feels like walking on a ship) are the most obvious signs. It’s very similar to being really drunk.

So the way to protect myself from hitting my head and becoming a retard is to wear a helmet around all day and look like one?

I have to think incidents of people bumping their head and dropping dead like Natasha Richardson are pretty rare. Our heads evolved over millions of years to protect our brains from that sort of thing.

We’re pretty damn tough, it’s true. What’s weird, though, is the extreme width of the range of variation. Every so often, someone will get killed by just one sock to the jaw. Meanwhile, others can go on to have long careers as professional boxers, and come out of it mostly okay.

It’s like spinning a roulette wheel…twice… Every so often, some poor bloke will roll the “double zero” twice, and die simply from tripping over the newspaper on the doorstep. Most of the rest of us just get a big egg on the noggin, and vow to walk more carefully next time.

Evolution works on mass numbers, and doesn’t do as well for rare or exceptional cases.

(Who can know how many “better dinosaurs” might have existed, except that their mothers sat too heavily on their eggs in the nest!)

This is the reason I am getting tired of the small risk=get to ER now! meme, for most people it just isn’t possible. So it becomes this bizarre world where the rich go to the ER everytime they fart and it smalls weird and the rest of us don’t.