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  1. #1
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    Concussion Recovery Thread

    There are amazing MTBR threads here on recovery from various physical injuries, but not much on concussion recovery. So thought it might be helpful to start collecting that experience in one place.

    I had my first-ever concussion over three months ago. Another rider plowed into me from behind. Much less serious than many: no blackout, no major disorientation, just a mild fuzzy feeling and mild nausea. I wondered right away if it was a concussion, but decided probably not and went ahead and did a race afterwards. But woke the next day still feeling off and realized what had happened. Felt normal in a day or two.

    Since then, my symptoms recurred briefly a couple times after non-serious, normal-life impacts. But last week I had two knocks in two days and now, bam, I've had impossible-to-ignore symptoms (nausea, head pressure, no energy, screen sensitivity) for a full week.

    Anyway, I finally went to see a concussion specialist. He gave me a prescription for vestibular therapy (PT) and recommended fish oil, magnesium oxide, B2 and Co-Q10. No riding for at least 2 weeks. Taking it super easy and doing my best to avoid any head impacts (not so easy with a 3 year-old). I've even given up my daily beer til I'm symptom-free. We'll see how well/fast it works.

    And I've ordered a MIPS helmet.

    Definitely a little freaked out about the whole multiple-concussion thing. Pretty determined to start dealing with it responsibly now, even if I'm pulling out my hair to get back on the bike.

    Interested to hear other riders' experiences recovering from concussions, what's worked or what mistakes you made.

  2. #2
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    As someone with a few head injuries over the years, i thought i'd share some info at least. I'm certainly no expert to any degree on how to recover from any head injury but have spent a significant amount of time reading information.

    I've had a few head injuries related to cycling, the most recent being 2 weeks ago. i had a few beer to say the least and ended up with a 1.5cm gash on my head. Fortunately it was mostly an abrasion as opposed to a direct smash of the head off the pavement. I didn't end up going to the hospital until it was too late to acquire stitches and the cut was already infected. So take note! there's a 6 to 12 hour time period where stitches can be applied.

    As I near my 40s (yay the new 30s!) I know I still suffer from the collection of my past head injuries. By the time I was nearly 18, i had already had a few head injuries ranging from 15 stitches to just mild (bell wrung) moments, which were from every thing from bike crashes, to getting hit by a moving car, to an assault and other accidents, to simple things like elbow's to the head in basketball to hitting my head against the wall in the swimming pool (more bell wrung type of injuries *blurred vision and disorientation).

    I've survived 2 stints of being homeless to finally getting disability 7 years ago. No medical help really either, 9 years ago when i applied for disability i had told my doctor that i was pretty sure i was suffering from multiple concussions, and was sent to a geriatrics department at a local health center, only to be told i was ok. Mind you, nowadays, things are alot different and the attention given to concussion issues is quite different. Even after my visit to the hospital 2 weeks ago, they said they'd give me a sheet to read about concussions, funny though, they forgot to give it to me.

    Anyways, from what you mention, diet is important. I have tried DHA in the past (fish oil) but it's hard for me to say how well it works, since when i was trying it, it was well past the immediate time of the injuries. I do eat quite a bit of tuna though.

    For me, I find reading and doing brain puzzles to be very helpful. Though I admit that reading can be a challenge for me, since i'm pretty sure i have had dyslexia ever since one of my first head injuries that occurred when i was probably 11 or 12 years old. Again, long before much knowledge was known of concussions.

    The link below may be helpful to some, it's a forum i found some time ago. I'm not a member of the site, but found some of the information quite helpful.

    Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Concussion Syndrome - NeuroTalk Support Groups

    hope some of this helps.
    "Well, I asked her for water, and she gave me gasoline." Tommy Johnson, by Big Sugar

  3. #3
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    Just had my first session of vestibular therapy. I guess time will tell. The part about jerking my head around (while trying to keep my eyes fixed on a point) made me a little nervous.

    For me, the #1 thing I'd do differently is be fanatically careful about avoiding even minor blows to the head in the weeks and months after the original concussion. I thought I was good as new a couple weeks after when I hadn't felt any symptoms for a while, but I've learned the hard way that full recovery takes longer than that.

  4. #4
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    That's good to hear. One thing I've come to understand about the recovery from head injuries, is that they can be an injury that one can recover from and it's not the end of the world. Another thing to keep in mind is that the older we get, the longer it takes for the body to heal, and obviously the brain is part of the physical body.

    Fortunately science has done some good thing in the understanding of the injuries and are working towards better recovery methods, as opposed to the old saying, "suck it up and get back in the game." I've become a bit of a NFL fan this past decade and seen quite a change in attitude regarding treatment of head injuries.

    Also, one magazine I now have a subscription for is Scientific American Mind Magazine. As the title suggests, it is all about mind activity. Always lots of interesting subjects discussed in it.

    Just remember to be patient, as well as, as letting close one's know to be patient. The hard part is obviously those not subjective to actual recovery and only see the objective side and usually have trouble understanding. That's why education about head injuries is so important, so even the non-victim(s) can understand, which isn't always easy, since head injuries are very subjective.

    take care.
    "Well, I asked her for water, and she gave me gasoline." Tommy Johnson, by Big Sugar

  5. #5
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    I have suffered multiple head injuries playing football, wrestling, and my favorite on something with 2 wheels! And a pretty good car wreck. I have learned one major thing through it all is take your time recovering!!! There is nothing like ringing your head hard and trying top be a tough guy and you wreck because you are dizzy and hit your head again. I now work with a physical therapist 3 times a week for neck and spinal injuries.

  6. #6
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    I got a concussion about a week and a half ago. While I apparently was responsive after my crash and was able to ride out, I lost about 20-30 minutes from right before the crash to when I was at the bottom icing another injury.

    I seem to be getting frequent vertigo and headaches. Loud noise and light is very irritating to me. I haven't seen the doc yet, but have more or less resumed normal activities. I've been getting plenty of sleep.

    Any suggestions/prognosis? Probably gonna see the doc this week.

  7. #7
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    Yes, get thyself to the doc as fast as possible. It sounds for sure like you had a hard concussion, and it needs to be checked by a professional. If you have these symptoms 10 days later, it needs to get checked. I'm not a doctor, but have had 4 concussions in my lifetime (2 from football, 2 from bikes). In each case, the symptoms subsided noticeably within 2-3 days. Good luck, and feel better soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swell Guy View Post
    I got a concussion about a week and a half ago. While I apparently was responsive after my crash and was able to ride out, I lost about 20-30 minutes from right before the crash to when I was at the bottom icing another injury.

    I seem to be getting frequent vertigo and headaches. Loud noise and light is very irritating to me. I haven't seen the doc yet, but have more or less resumed normal activities. I've been getting plenty of sleep.

    Any suggestions/prognosis? Probably gonna see the doc this week.

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