I incurred a concussion about halfway through the 2009-2010 hockey season after being hit from behind into the glass by someone over a foot taller and about 100 lbs. heavier. I was wearing a helmet and a full face mask at the time, but since I didn’t see it coming at all, I had no way to brace myself. I met with an ER doctor and had an MRI, which was negative, and then had a CT and met with a neurologist. He told me that he didn’t want me playing for at least the rest of the season, and I didn’t. My symptoms were typical of those from front and rear impacts, including trouble focusing and concentrating, headaches, and nausea. During the summer, I tried hockey again. It was pickup (less competitive than a traditional game), and the people were all more or less my size. I accidentally collided with people on two occasions, but I didn’t think they were particularly hard impacts and none of us were moving very quickly. The concussion symptoms came back. That night, when I went out to dinner with a couple of people, one of them asked my age. I couldn’t remember exactly what it was, which was especially terrifying. About three weeks later, I met with a sports medicine doctor, who had me do ImPACT testing. When I asked what the results were, he just said they “weren’t good” and recommended that I see a physical therapist. I’ve been seeing him for about seven weeks now, but I’ve lost trust in him and still have concussion symptoms many months later. I’m not playing hockey at all anymore, and it’s a very difficult emotional experience, knowing that I can’t participate in something I truly love without putting my future health at risk.
This email brings up a few great points, things we struggle with in the medical professional community.
- Lack of communication between disciplines
- Refusal to learn about new rehab techniques
- Lack of professionals that know how to deal with concussions
- Time it takes to get the “right” help
- Overall education
The emailer also would like to think that this will help others, and I agree. Please comment on this or send in your own testimonial about concussions. The more we communicate the better we will be at identifying issues that can be resolved.