Patrick Hruby and I discuss the recent article he wrote about making a decision about letting your children play youth tackle football. It was a great discussion and I hope people learned something along the way.
Side note: You will hear a dog barking, my kids, their TV show way too loud, and brutal wind howling through a non-secure window (it was Sunday during the brutal storms that spawned tornadoes – keep those effected by those storms in your thoughts)
I need your help!
My 16 year old son has played football, both offense and defense, since he was 4 years old. He has always been the most valuable player on his team. He has taken many hits to the head, and received numerous concussions.
Last year, he was the quarterback and the hardest hitting linebacker of his freshman high school team. This year, he is unable to go to school due to his extreme anxiety and depression about leaving the security of his home. He is mentally unstable.
He is currently seeing a psychiatrist, who has had him on prozac with no positive results. This week, he has now been put on effexor. All my son wants to do is hide in his room and sleep.
He is being schooled by the local school district through home bound instruction. He wants to learn and study, but he is having great difficulty getting the energy to work on anything. My son is in pain! Can you help us?
As his mother, what can I do to help my son regain his life?
I am sorry to hear your troubles. I wish I could provide the comfort you and your son needs. The only thing I can suggest is that he continues to seek the proper medical care and don’t rest until he becomes himself again. I will offer my inbox to your son if he would like to talk to someone that has dealt with similar issues in life.
How should he contact you to talk to others in his predicament?
Please know that you and your son are not alone in this journey. My son has been struggling for quite some time after a wrestling concussion. We understand the rollercoaster nature of this journey. There are good days, not so good days, and some very dark days. Dustin has some great links and resources on this page. I would also suggest contacting your local Brain Injury Association and see if there is a support group in your area. We attend a support group and the connection with other families and students who are walking the same journey has been beyond incredibly helpful.
Dustin is also quite correct in his encouragement to seek and follow PROPER medical care. I personally interview any and ALL medical care professionals/offices prior to making any appointments to ensure that they have experience with concussions/traumatic brain injury. We have found that inexperienced medical providers often attribute his symptoms to other things like ADHD, TMJ, “teenage sleep schedules”, etc. If he is going to expend physical, emotional, and mental energy on any kind of appointment (medical, physical therapy, speech and occupational therapy, counseling), it better be with someone who knows that they are talking about and gives him realistic options and expectations. When asked what his suggestions are to others on this journey, he will say “Take the time you need to heal; don’t rush it”. He also says it is very frustrating to deal with doctors who are not honest, are not knowledgeable, and give false hope about how soon you can return to your activities.
Perhaps the best advice someone gave me was to help my son see his identity separate from his injury. The concussion should not define who he is. That is so hard. The concussion affects nearly every aspect of his life but inside he is still the intelligent ambitious young man that he was always was. He just has to find different ways to access that and to demonstrate that. So that has become our daily goal.
If you would like to connect me directly, please feel free to do so. You can e-mail me at email@example.com.