What happens to your body when you stop moving for 269 days?
- Weight: 83,5kg
- Body fat: 9,6%
- Fat free mass: 75,5kg
- Skeletal muscle mass: 43,5kg
- Weight: 75,1kg
- Body fat: 12,6%
- Fat free mass: 65,7kg
- Skeletal muscle mass: 37,0kg
How does the aftermath of a concussion feel like?
Hmm…well let´s talk about the obvious. You have almost constant headaches and it gets better when you rest and it´s get worse when you don´t. You have a hard time focusing and you can also get memory loss that can vary a lot between different people. It can last for only a few days or for the rest of your life, depending on the injury.
Now to the scary part. The part that often is extremely hard to explain to other people. The part I would like to call “brain exhaustion”. Your tired, you can´t focus, you can´t listen to what anyone is saying without screaming inside. You have difficulties thinking.
THINKING has become one of your daily difficulties. You feel dizzy almost all the time, not alert, almost like you´re dreaming, but you can´t interact with anything. Your surroundings don’t mean anything anymore. You are just a brain, that´s it. Your body doesn’t matter at all, only your brain. You can almost feel it laying in there on the inside of your skull, just lying there, hurting. Ever since I had my last concussion, everything, every day have seemed blurry, like I wasn´t there to begin with, like it was all a dream, and I can´t remember that much of it. It´s a scary feeling, and it keeps we awake quite often still.
Am I hopeful about my own future in sports, as a coach, a father, a physiotherapist? Yes, very.
Am I hopeful for my brain, that I won´t end up having Parkinsons or Alzheimers? No, not so much.
Everyone should understand, right? Just tell them. No...far from it. People have their own thoughts on almost any subject and, to quote Mark Twain:
- "What gets us into trouble is not what we don´t know. It´s what we know for sure that just ain´t so."
I´ve been called stupid (literally...) when explaining that practicing "sport karate" (a non full-contact sport) can lead to brain damage. I´ve even had a doctor telling me that minor concussions not even are dangerous for your brain, at all, only the big ones are.
I´ve had people telling to my face that it´s crazy that I would think that I had brain damage after practicing "sport karate" when they themselves done this and this and that and that and taken many hard blows to their head and have had up to 15 concussions without any brain damage.
Well...that might be, but it doesn’t change my life situation one bit. All people are different, we have different bodies and different brains and we react differently to certain kinds of physical trauma. Maybe you have had 15 concussions (not counting the sub-concussive blows), but it doesn’t seem likely.
The problems today, I think is that people don´t know how fragile the brain actually is. You can´t tape it, you can´t see it. If you look at my brain in f.x. an X-ray, you will see nothing but a completely healthy brain. Why? Because todays X-rays can´t detect everything, only a brain biopsy can, and they don´t do that very often.
Watch the movie "Concussion" starring Will Smith in the lead role. An amazing movie! Then do some fact checking afterwards and watch a documentary about the characters in that movie, then you will realize how hard this subject is.
There is no "four weeks of rest then your fine" anymore. Doctors do not know enough to be certain about such a claim. No one can know for sure when it comes to the brain. And the best doctors in this area will say the same, that they do not know. And being sure of what you don´t know, is far better then a doctor who do know something that actually just ain´t so.