View Full Version : A hard blow to the head

09-16-2008, 01:19 AM
My MC gets whacked in the head with a quarterstaff, and I want to describe the effect from his point of view. Could someone who's taken a bonk to the noggin give me a description? Do the senses go out of whack? Is there an odd sensation, or what?

09-16-2008, 01:41 AM
Search through the Story Research forum. IIRC, Perks created a couple of threads about blows to the head.

09-16-2008, 06:38 AM
Dizziness. Nausea. Strange smells. Double vision. Occasional vomiting. Oh, and it hurts like hell. Anything worse and the damage could be permanent which you probably don't want.

09-16-2008, 05:45 PM
I took one right in the name of the father one night. First, everything stopped, then the room began getting dark from the perifery of my vision. Then the darkness quickly closed in to the center. when it closed up completely, I felt my knees let go, and I started to fall down.
At that point my buddy grabbed me, kept me from falling and I came back to consciousness. It all happened in about 2 seconds.

ETA: later I had a headache, but none of the other symptoms mentioned above.

09-16-2008, 06:47 PM
My story is a bit different. I wasn't hit in the head, but I fainted in a mall parking lot and landed on my head. So I can only help your research as far as the head wound goes.

It felt like someone had slammed a brick against my forehead. I came to in a small pool of blood (head wounds, as you know, bleed profusely) on the pavement. I was extremely dizzy and had to hold onto parked cars to get back to my car where my cell phone was. (The parking lot was deserted so no one came to my rescue.) I found a Wendy's napking and held it to my forehead and called my husband who took me to the ER. (Head wounds get treated lickity-split in the ER ;).) I needed stitches, but the doctor opted to use super-glue (yes, this is true) because I was traveling to Europe in five days and wouldn't be able to extract the stitches.

Don't know if that helps your story. But if you chose to take it beyond the pounding, you'll know what kind of wound you're dealing with.

BTW - after an EEG, EKG, Cat scan and pregnancy test (!), my diagnosis was Stress.:Shrug:

Mike Martyn
09-16-2008, 10:22 PM
I got nailed in the head with a round house kick in a full contact sparring match. Broke my nose as well as cracked an eye socket.

I didn't feel a thing.

I remember spinning around in slow motion with the vague thought,

"I'm dying. Hey, this isn't so bad."

And then the blood starting running down my throat which made me cough and sputter blood all over the place.

It wouldn't stop bleeding and so me and the kiddies were off to emergency where the on duty doc set my nose.

For what it's worth the nose setting procedure hasn't changed in 5000 years. The doctor put a forefinger on each side of my nose and snapped it back in place. The noise was like the crunching of thin ice under car tires and it is unbelieveably painful but only for a split second.

Later, I felt a bit nauseous although that may have been from an excess of gin and vermouth :)

09-16-2008, 10:53 PM
I've gotten hit in the head a few times. This is how it felt from my perspective from the worst blow:
It felt like I got hit in the head with an object that, when it touched me, made me numb. Not only did it make me numb, but also made my mind hear a symphony of pianos and violins for split second. It was a sound that bypassed my ears...only my brain heard it. The left side of my vision lit up it what looked like an explosion of blood and the rest of my vision saw rainbow colored tiny dots of light (I was hit on my left side). These visual symptoms were quickly replaced with a pulsing greyness with an invisible black blob. I know that sounds impossible, but thats the only way I can explain it. Soon the pulsing vision had company...my head was throbbing like a strobe light and the strobing made me puke. Time also stood completely still. I thought about an hour passed between the time I got hit and the time I threw up, but I found out it was only a minute and I was out for part of it.

Hope that helps

Bo Sullivan
09-16-2008, 11:02 PM
I fell backwards and banged my head once, and lost conciousness. When I came round, all the blood from my head felt like it had collected in my feet. I was very lightheaded and hyperventilating. I was told I had concussion.

09-17-2008, 03:24 AM
If you'd like, I can give the list of symptoms from Body Trauma: a writer's guide to wounds and injuries by David W. Page, M.D. It has a section dedicated to varying types of head wounds. There are listing for skull fractures, diffuse brain injuries, and focal brain injuries. Let me know if you're interested. I just love this book.

09-17-2008, 03:26 AM
Numbness setting throughout the skull, a migrane like no other, the world suddenly starts spinning faster than ever.

Etc. :D

09-17-2008, 05:58 AM
Got mugged in High School. A guy hit me in the head with a metal bar, just above my right ear. I didn't see it coming, cause my back was to him as I was looking at his partner.

Simultaneous to a 'gong' going off, was a severe vision shift. Like someone shook the screen. Then lightheaded, dizziness, then PAIN!!!!!! Very very sharp pain over the ear, then a dull spreading pain throught my skull. I managed to keep from passing out, only because I didn't want to know what would happen if I did. Got out of the situation without stitches - so figure it was a hard knock, without breaking the skin.

09-17-2008, 06:25 AM
I got knocked out once (concussion) and can only remember the events leading up to it (up to about 2-3 minutes prior to impact), with no knowledge or memory of how it felt on impact, or how I was after impact (other than what others have told me). I only remember waking up hours later after sleeping it off, apparently.

After reading this thread, though, can't say I'm sorry. :o

09-17-2008, 10:53 AM
I'll tell you my personal experience, because it was bizarre, and parts of it might play well in a story.

When I was twenty, (thirty years ago), I was attacked from behind while in prison and struck on the side of the head with a blunt instrument. It split part of my ear and in my opinion, knocked me out. (I say in my opinion, because as far as I'm concerned, I was out cold, but witnesses say I only went to my knees.) During the next few seconds, I experienced at least two full length dreams; vivid, colorful, seemingly normal dreams. When I came to, I had absolutely no idea where I was or why I was there. None.
I was taken to a doctor, stitched up, and then placed in solitary confinement. No one would answer any of my questions as to where I was or why I was there. My situation was pretty obvious, but it made no sense.
My best guess is that I regressed in time....nearly two years.....to a point before my incarceration.
My mind put me in another place; another world, really, with a home, a wife, a dog and a job. It was as real to me as if it had been yesterday.

Okay, temporary amnesia due to a blow to the head, right? Sure. Not that unusual. What was weird, though, and terrible at the same time, was that my memories returned over the next twelve hours or so.....chronologically.
Not in dribs and drabs, bits and peices, snippets that had to be puzzled together, but directly through time in a straight line to the present.
I walked through the worst two years of my young life all over again while I lay in a 9x7 concrete cage, alone and scared. I lived it all again in my mind, praying throughout that it was just a very, very bad dream that I'd wake from in the morning.

That's a lot more information than you need, but it makes the best sense fleshed out a bit. Maybe there's something you can use. :)

09-17-2008, 01:39 PM
I was going to offer a whole list of potential sympoms based on my knowledge as a first-aider, but these accounts are all far more interesting and vivid than a boring ole list of symptoms :)

Not everyone will display all symptoms. Some don't even take any damage. I knew a chap who was glassed with a big, solid bottle over the back of his head, and he just turned around to ask his assailant what he wanted. On the other hand while my father was in hospital there was a chap in isolation because he worked at an ice rink, had slipped on the ice, hit his head when he fell, and lost consciousness. He'd fallen onto his back, so when he vomited he breathed it in. It took him three days to die.