TCB Mailbag: The Weekend Warrior


It is a good thing to get questions in the inbox; more people wanting to find out more information about concussions.  That being said, as I state in the replies, a medical doctor should be the one to go to with problems with head injuries.  Use that as a base to all the “information and advice” that follows.  We will run the mailbag as a main theme presents itself; this edition will be about “The Weekend Warrior” or non-sanctioned athlete.  If you have questions and want them addressed in my professional, and sometimes comedic, opinion send it TO US.

We will begin with “T-Money”:

So I am playing some beer league softball and roving the outfield like Jim Edmonds in the early 00’s.  A ball is hit to the gap and I take off like a bullet and as the ball approaches the ground I dive and make the grab, well I guess I did.  I do not actually recall making the grab only opening my eyes and seeing the ball in the glove and everything was yellow.  Not a sunny yellow but the yellow of a softball.  I thought it was just because I was looking at the ball, but it was a night game and after I threw the ball to a teammate from my bum I tried to stand up.  And couldn’t, not that I was dizzy, but just didn’t have the power and the yellowness of my vision was very perplexing.  I figure I just got dinged a bit, what are your thoughts, and I did catch the ball!  By the way the yellowness went away after about five minutes.

Nice catch man, hope it was worth it!  This “ding” you are describing is a concussion; altered brain function.  You have described vision impairment (was the yellow like those cool Oakley’s?), memory impairment with a lapse in time, and unable to get up immediately, some motor impairment.  It sounds like you got home OK, but you best bet would be to lay low for a couple of days and let the symptoms die down.  If you are already taking fish oil, bump up your dosage for about a week and monitor your symptoms.  Seek a doctor that has experience in concussions with worsening symptoms, and head to the ER if symptoms become very worrisome.

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Greg:

There is no way you can get a concussion from a five year-old right?  I mean all he did was hit me in the head with a plastic golf club; now a few days later the sun and bright lights are really bothering me and I have a headache that will not go away.

Yes, you can, as innocent as it seems.  The sensitivity to light seems to be an issue along with a headache.  The headache alone could be due to other environmental issues, like allergies and pollen this time of year, but combined with the light sensitivity this may in fact be a concussion.  As with any concussion, the immediate response should be rest (physical and cognitive) to allow the brain to recover.  After 24-72 hours, reassess and monitor the symptoms and then seek medical attention if they persist.  Just be thankful your mini-Tiger didn’t have a real club in hand, you may have been dealing with stitches on top of a concussion.

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This is not Greg, but a YouTube video of a head injury that happens often;

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Mike:

I just want to preface this by saying I am the “white Derrick Rose” plus about 20 years and no knees.  We were playing noon ball and I “exploded” to the rim to rise and took an elbow to the head.  It dropped me hard and I couldn’t really hear anything other than a high pitched tone.  I shook my head and all of a sudden I had an instant headache, pounding like Clydesdale’s pulling the Bud wagon.  From reading your blog I figured that I had sustained a concussion (seriously previous to this incident I would have thought it no more than a “ding”) and knew rest was the best course of action.  However this is the issue, I am not a pro athlete, I work for a living and missing time from work could directly effect things.  I went to work the rest of the day and was not even close to being productive, all I could think about was my head and the damn noise in my ear.  What should I do?  I don’t want people to think I am a wuss.

When you exploded to the rim how high were you elevating?  My initial guess is that it was about 12″, ha, just kidding.  Seriously if you would have broken your leg during noon ball would you have gone back to work?  And how long would you have missed work for that injury?  Of course you should stay away from work or any cognitive activity until your symptoms resolve; money not withstanding, if you cannot be productive at work, when will your supervisor catch on and you get in trouble?  A simple suggestion is take some sick time, sleep as much as possible and avoid all mental activities.  When you return to work, limit your time under lights and in front of computer screens, even if you are feeling good.  And if you are in a noisy environment, wear some ear plugs.  Oh, by the way, that noise in your ear is called tinnitus and a symptom of head injury, usually in blast type incidents, like when you fire a gun without ear protection.  As for you appearing to be a “wuss”, again I go back to a broken leg.  Would your co-workers think you are a wuss if you had a cast on?  Just because the injury is invisible to them, it is not to you, and use it as a chance to educate those around you about concussions.

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Finally a comment from “36 year old Gamer”

So the Sunday before Easter I got a concussion falling off my bike, and my headache was worsening and concentration was awful I was thinking about heading to the doctor.  Then, if you are not a gamer then you wouldn’t know this, the Play Station Network went offline.  I was mad as a banshee because my free time spent on gaming was now shut off, HOWEVER over the next few days because I was not playing games online for about 4 hours a night I slept and relaxed.  Lo and behold, my headache subsided.  I have been feeling much better almost back to normal (been about 18 days), I just want to say there is some validity to your cognitive rest to include video games, Thank You.

Yeah I am aware of the PSN being down, I like my games too, getting extremely frustrated with technology, I digress.  Thanks for the note and to the rest of you take note of 36YOG, avoid all the extra stimulation after a concussion.

Remember you can send us your questions/comments to the TCB Mail Bag.

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