Yesterday my husband was driving, and I was in the passenger seat. He hit the brakes when an ambulance was coming in the opposite direction (since that's the law), and then an SUV plowed into the back of our car. The impact made my head go forward, and though it didn't hit anything, my entire head hurt. It was a total rush of pain.

The intense pain subsided, but the pain that remained was in the top of my head and behind my eyes. I went to the doctor in case it was the beginning of something more serious, and she told me that my brain was jarred and must've hit my skull. I didn't know a brain could move around like that--I thought it was more secure in there.

The doctor likened it to whiplash, except that it's in the head. Which made me think: I could call it "brainlash." So I went around yesterday telling people and myself that I had a version of brainlash, thinking that I was so clever and funny in the midst of a challenging situation.

Today I did a search to see if anyone else has used this word, and I found a Brainlash site, so the word is quite official:

BRAINLASH: (brain-lash) n., (coined word, 1993, from the brain and whiplash), a condition which may result from whiplash type actions to the brain in which tissue may be bruised or torn by the forces of the brain being whipped around inside the skull, i.e. injuries which result from a sudden stop or blow. This force throws the neck and brain into hyperflexion (forward thrusting) and then hyperextension (pulling or rebounding) and/or lateral rotation. The consequential action translates powerful forces to the brain, skull and skeletal system resulting in unnatural, potentially destructive contact between these structures and the surrounding connective soft tissue. In approximately two thirds of those affected, physical, emotional and thinking skills will return to baseline within an average of two weeks to three months. Many of the other third will take an average of a year to achieve the majority of improvements. However, a smaller proportion will sustain residual deficits which will be permanent. As mild brain injury and many of its symptoms are not readily observable to the lay person, Brainlash has been dubbed "The Unseen Injury."

So not only have I learned a new word, but see even more clearly that SUV's in the city is an insane concept.

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