A few years ago, I suffered 2 concussions over a short period of time, both of them because I am a klotz so it’s no surprise to anyone who knows me that I walked into a glass door (the door survived, I saw stars and felt weird for several days), and I fell down a flight of stairs onto my head while showing off for my grandkids, who thought my stumbling around afterwards was just their zaydie doing some of his stupid zaydie tricks.
Anyway, the thing I learned from those head hits is that the symptoms (which for me included sleep problems, dizziness, headache, strange sensations, and, my wife says, moodiness, although I totally deny that last one) went on much longer than my doctors claimed they would.
In fact, I think some of the symptoms lasted 2 years, and one or two may still be on-going (but certainly not the moodiness), and although that extended symptom time runs counter to what they used to say about concussions – “Your bells aren’t ringing any longer. OK, it’s safe to get back in there. Go get em, Tiger” – more recent data backs me up: Symptoms from concussions can last a long time despite what hockey coaches want to believe.
Not only that but the brain may still be hurting long after the sysmptoms have gone.
At least that was the finding in a recent Canadian study in which researchers concluded that “signs of concussion-related injuries can still be observed in the brain” one year after the concussion.
And the really scary part of this study is that in the 24 athletes who were diagnosed with a concussion and who had these sophisticated MRI brain analyses, the outward symptoms had disappeared so these athletes had been cleared to play their sport again, but their brains were still not back to normal, which really means that they were at quite high risk of suffering another concussion.
If you hit your head, take it as a serious injury.
Better yet, try not to hit your head: Your grandkids will still think you’re a funny guy even if you don’t fall down a flight of stairs.