“I feel so dumb; I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” These were the words my son told me after suffering from his first concussion unbeknownst to me.
I was unaware of the fact that he had suffered a concussion. I had no first-hand experience with concussions. I looked at his pupils with a light and asked him to follow my finger with his eyes. He didn’t pass out or vomit, so I thought we were in the clear.
That was the extent of my education and concussion screening. After sitting down and icing his head for a couple of minutes and with no visible marks, this active 9-year-old boy asked to go outside to play soccer with his friends. Naturally, I thought he must be ok, and released him to his free will.
After a persistent headache, the following day I took him in for a CAT scan and evaluation. The CAT scan results came back normal, and it was not ruled a concussion, at this time.
It wasn’t until three days later when the memory loss was apparent, and we realized the severity of the concussion.
Things quickly got worse, headaches, memory loss, lethargy, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and even seizures.
It was the height of the hockey playoffs which he had followed religiously with his father. He knew every player by name. However, all of that knowledge had suddenly disappeared. We realized something was wrong when he could not follow a conversation and repeatedly would begin speaking only to say never mind. He literally, was at a loss for words. He repeatedly asked for the time and had a perplexed look fixed on his face when we would engage him in conversation.
Anxiety began to set in as he drew more and more blanks and realized he couldn’t remember people or events that we could. “I feel dumb,” he said, as he could no longer complete his math homework. He forgot all of the multiplication facts he had just recently mastered.
Unfortunately, in my son’s case we were unaware that he suffered a concussion, so we did not follow the proper concussion protocol and steps to protect him from more neurological strain, and post-concussive syndrome soon became his reality.
Severe migraines and vertigo lasted for the first month, while sleep disturbances became more evident and emotionally he was not himself. He was placed on a homebound school program since he could perform only minimal tasks while symptoms persisted. However, to my surprise, the school did not have a concussion plan ready to implement. I was left to educate his educators on his condition even though, I was still learning.
Unfortunately, many people, including myself, did not understand the after-math of a concussion and it was a long difficult journey. After initially being cleared from his concussion, the dizziness, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and headaches were so bad they were debilitating. The school believed that since outwardly he appeared to be fine, and projected the attitude of disbelief of his expressed continued symptoms.
Due to the nature of concussion and post-concussion syndrome, the majority of the battle was an inner struggle with no outside visible marks. Because of this, he was often accused of “milking it” or “making things up.” I believe this was partly due to the lack of information, education and complexity of this subject.
Unfortunately, my son’s relationships with concussions would not end with one, partly due to the severity of the initial concussion. Research shows that once you receive a concussion your chances of getting another one increase up to 3X and it takes much less of a severe hit to the head each time.
He suffered another concussion in 2015 at school when a classmate playfully pulled his chair out from underneath him sending him falling back hitting his head on a desk.
The third concussion occurred in 2016 by what was considered a mild blow to the head during football practice. Both times the familiar feeling of concussion filled his head, and he was immediately evaluated, and the proper steps in our concussion protocol began.
Never again would I make the same mistake, and be caught off guard by a concussion. I was in control of the situation and ready to help by son. I will never forget that feeling of helplessness. No price can be placed on being prepared once a concussion takes place.
It was through these experiences that I met other individuals also suffering from the effects of concussions and I realized there was a lack of adequate information and direction for those needing answers, like myself after my son’s first concussion.
I also realized how many people were so unaware of the debilitating effects that concussions and TBI’s could bring.
It was this reason that I sought to create the Concussion Protocol Plan, initial for my son. As I began to implement the information I had learned and research in my own son’s life, I experienced bitter sweet emotions. I was elated and grateful to have answers and a plan for my son, while at the same time, I was angry that I could not find this information in its totality after his initial concussion.
It was during that epiphany that I realized, the information I used to help my son needed to be documented and put to print for others out there struggling and searching for solutions and answers.
The information in this book is a composition of scientific and medical research, case studies, and real life applications brought together over a span of 5 years.
I am so excited for you, that you have found this information, because I know it works! I have such gratitude in knowing my son didn’t suffer in vain, and our struggles brought answers that can help others.
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