On March 31,2017, I received my first concussion after being hit by a truck on my bicycle. I do not remember falling or hitting the ground. I woke up as I heard my neck snap and found myself sitting upright in the intersection facing four lanes of traffic and my rear bike tire was under the truck's front driver side tire. I do not remember walking home but I know I did because I locked up my bike and went to work. I tried to work but my hands were shaking. I did not feel well. The next day, I was slurring my speech and was experiencing tremors down both my arms while not feeling myself. I realized from working many years in the ER that I could possibly have an intracranial bleed.
I called for paramedics and went to the hospital. My CT scan was inconclusive but the MD said I did have a concussion. I have treated many patients through my 20 years in practice with concussions and I can tell you having one gives you a whole new perspective. After 2 weeks of nausea, shaking intermittently, increasing insomnia & memory loss, I saw a Physical Therapist for a concussion analysis. I scored 14 out of 15 markers that guaranteed I had a concussion. The PT explained what to expect over the next months, and confirmed all the symptoms I was experiencing were due to the concussion. She cautioned me that the visual testing might make it difficult to drive home but I told her no problem as I was taking the bus. After the testing, I walked to catch the bus but sat down on the curb hysterically crying about one block from their office because I was so dizzy and nauseated. I called a friend to pick me up.
The next week, I started seeing a James Fix, a Craniosacral therapist, to release the trauma from the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord along with checking the alignment of the bones in my body. It helped alleviate the nausea on the first session. Within 2 weeks, I had 5 sessions which significantly my balance and the ear ringing had drop to half of what it was. I always slept 5 hours the night I had the treatments. However, any visual stimulation form lights, computers, sound still set off the nausea. Sleep and memory issues did not to change. I started to see Tony Anderson, a chiropractor once per week at 5 weeks post MVA. My soft tissue was still inflamed which made it difficult to adjust. It took weeks. I was also giving myself one acupuncture treatment per week along with Chinese herbal remedies to decrease inflammation and swelling. Also, I sought out myofascial trauma release work bi-weekly for my neck, shoulders, back and hips from Stephanie Montoya who was fabulous.
Four months into this process, I was depressed, exhausted, sleep was better but not more than 5 hours. My concentration, recall, light sensitivity and running a business was challenging me on every level to keep it together. Then, I met Lisa Inman. She practiced neuro-feedback. She explained how it could help me with the symptoms I was still experiencing; however, I would feel worse before I would feel better. I cautiously, scheduled my first appointment. As I looked at the first scan of my brain waves Lisa showed me, I was shocked. It occurred to me in that moment, that it looked like an ECG of someone having a ventricular attack of the heart. It made sense to me that a concussion would disrupt the electrical system of the brain just as a shock to the heart would change the heart rhythm!
The treatment was relaxing but I was very tired. I went home and sat in my bed for 6 hours. I was completely exhausted. Once I ate supper, I felt fine except for the ringing in my ears had become really loud. I did sleep my first full night of 8 hours since the accident. I continued neuro-feedback sessions once per week. A week later I started, Body Talk therapy with Kathryn Maslanka which I had never heard of before Lisa recommended it as well. Body talk seemed to help me most with my balance and anxiety around crossing the intersection where I had been hit.
Nine weeks later having both these therapies weekly, I was amazed at my progress. My visual triggers were gone. I started sleeping through the night regularly and waking focused and motivated. My balance had improved enough that I started taking Belly dancing classes. I still had to lay down for a half hour in the middle of the day but it use to be for 2 hours after each patient I treated. I now had the energy to socialize, network and rebuild my practice again.
So here is what I want to share with you about concussion recovery, there is no One treatment type that will bring about complete recovery from a concussion. I am not sure when I will have a full recovery, but I know that using all these different therapies has made a huge impact on my ability to recover. If you or someone you know is still struggling with symptoms from a concussion, reach out to try these other therapies in conjunction to what you are already doing. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about any of these therapies or contact providers in your area for more information.