Thoughts From The Inside

Since being involved with the foundation and helping others I had a realization of what it is I want to do with my own life...and that is help those affected by impairments, more specifically stroke and brain injury. I have since returned to school for the combined physical therapists and occupational therapists assistant diploma program in London, Ontario. However this isn't about me but about what I have learned and witnessed since then, the good the bad and the ugly. I'll go ahead and start with the bad, the lack of knowledge and understanding surrounding the repercussions of a brain injury or multiple concussions, the ignorance in thinking it’s all a part of the game when it comes to sports related concussions. Don't get me wrong before my involvement I was ignorant myself, once the information was in front of me I did further investigation into the effects of living with a brain injury and the importance of proper diagnoses to allow for recovery.
The fact that some people have someone such as former Harvard football player and WWE professional wrestler Chris Nowinski, who was forced to retire due to a series of concussions, explain the dangers associated with multiple concussions and of ignoring return to play protocols blatantly argue the facts blows my mind. Some people don't want to believe they could be putting their kids or teams in harm’s way when it comes to sports, completely understandable. But knowing the facts, following preventable measures and following return to play protocols (knowing when to sit out a concussed child or adult) and when to seek medical attention is all anyone is really asking at this point. Make yourself aware whether it’s for yourself, your child or your team; choose to be in the know.
This to me isn't necessarily the worst part that being that even if you get proper treatment for the multiple concussions and brain injury in the beginning, it seems all too often people are being forgotten, at some point in the rehab process people are slipping through the cracks. Maybe due to the fact that the Speech-Language Pathologist only works 2-3 days a week at the hospital you've been admitted to for that stroke and the well-known rehab facility won't accept you until you can understand commands, or communicate needs. Don't forget about the other patients she needs to see in those 3 days. Or the community support if you’re lucky enough to have in your area, which is only allotted for so many days a week for too short of a time. If you money is not a problem and you have a great supportive family you are certainly very fortunate and are likely to have a better recovery. What about those who may not have much support or funds. They are likely to become depressed (20-50% will within the first year after injury) and if unable to properly care for themselves they will end up in nursing homes which unfortunately often does not have enough of the proper services for someone with a brain injury.
Enough of that, now for the brighter side, I have been fortunate enough to talk to and meet numerous great people in the brain injury community including nationwide and specifically more local Brain Injury Associations and professionals of Rehabilitation Companies that work hard to fix these issues and advocate for the survivors. I can only hope to be half the advocate of these people including Troy himself, I look forward to 2014, graduating and beginning a career in rehabilitation to hopefully better assist the persons I advocate for.
I could go on forever, though I believe I may be jumping all over now so I will bow out of this blog here...for now.