Post Concussion Syndrome
I’ve bumped my head a few too many times in various ways and now I am taking a journey through an 8 week brain treatment program with a neurologist. I figured these thoughts should be shared and could reach someone else out there who is also going through confusing and unknown times. Or maybe, like myself and many others, that person is at a point of desperation and hasn’t been getting fullfilling answers from doctors. Brains are weird, and getting answers can feel like pulling teeth while getting frustrating when you begin to calculate all the wasted time and money on appointments. Dang that started full Debbie Downer, I promise this is all here for the good of spreading awareness and a road to recovery!
Currently I’m on day 21 of 59 of a brain program and things have already improved tremendously, but we still have a long road to get where I want and that is mountain biking again, if that’s even possible. What’s this program consist of one might ask? It has three layers every single day: Physical therapy, supplements, and an anti-inflammatory elimination diet. Every day I email my doctor on what I consumed and how I’m feeling. Rigid baby!
The therapy consists of a lot of eye tracking and balance exercises. They seem stupid simple but they are so powerful. What happened to me? I won’t do this justice but in layman’s terms at some point, or throughout the repeat concussions my cerebellum was injured which transcended to several areas of my brain getting tired, swollen, or taken over from other areas of the brain because they were weak. For example my eyesight with tracking and depth perception were off so badly to where I would become dizzy while moving quickly or bump into things I didn’t see in front of me. One time I went to pick something up off the ground and didn’t see the chair in front of me, stuff like that. I felt like I was 90 years old when this would happen. My short term memory was pretty washed too. We did an exercise where I repeated 4 or 5 words, about a minute later they asked me what those words were, absolutely drew blanks. I’ve felt similar traits working with hex codes during web development. My balance is improving but also off, especially if my eyes are closed. All of these things have been improving through the inital first few weeks which is so exciting to see happen.
At the beginning of this jaunt I would get wicked headaches during the workday and have to go lay down, nap, etc to reset the brain in order to continue to work. The work I do is not high heart rate at all, it’s more-so the technical aspect and high focus that was causing these pain patterns. Good news: now that work aspect is completely gone, very rarely do I get headaches and if they come, they disappear quickly.
Another post-concussion symptom I’m working through, and this is the biggest priority, is retraining my brain to distribute proper blood flow when my heart rate increases. This issue would come after some physical activity, like a leasurely ride around town. I’d come home with a massive headache and have to lay down for hours. This is already improving and every layer of the program is complimenting this piece of the recovery. It’s still crazy to me how the brain is in control of your entire body.
Anyway, that’s where we’re at right now and a bit of history on how we got here. As said when I started this 3 weeks ago I couldn’t even go on a ride without feeling it the rest of the evening, so things are looking up, but still a long recovery ride to get where I want. Party!