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Resting the Brain

#1 User is offline   Chasann 

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 12:13 PM

Four months ago sustained BI and when sleeping during my rest periods found that I got the peace the brain needed to cope with fatigue and in general life. Now that I no longer sleep during time out, find I am not getting the quality down time anymore, difficulty quietening the mind, stillness, irritated by noise, so rest times are not as restorative as they once were. Any pointers that helped others.
Any names of neuro physio in Nelson area? Or other physio really versed in TBI.
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#2 User is offline   Alan Thomas 

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 01:18 PM

Your experiences in broad terms seem to be very much the same as mine in the months following my brain injury in 1993. Of course every brain injury is quite different which means that it is probably a very good idea to keep a log as to how you are feeling and what you are experiencing. This will be very helpful for the clinicians to diagnose the nature of your particular situation and how best the plan the best course of action. Sadly there is an extreme shortage of truly competent clinicians to provide this type of help so you might find it is a very good idea to get yourself onto the Internet to see what the international experts have to say about brain injury.
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#3 User is offline   unit1of2 

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 02:10 PM

View PostChasann, on 25 November 2014 - 12:13 PM, said:

Four months ago sustained BI and when sleeping during my rest periods found that I got the peace the brain needed to cope with fatigue and in general life. Now that I no longer sleep during time out, find I am not getting the quality down time anymore, difficulty quietening the mind, stillness, irritated by noise, so rest times are not as restorative as they once were. Any pointers that helped others.
Any names of neuro physio in Nelson area? Or other physio really versed in TBI.


You will go through all sorts of trials and tribulations with your restorative time. I t is important you do get your down time. As soon as you feel the need to drop everything and go lay down, even for a few intended minutes (can turn out to be an hour or more sometimes)... You must do it. You may find your sleeping patterns are disturbed and all over the place, you'l just have to put up with it, OR take a mild sleeping tablet, but only every now and again, not every night!

You will have good days and crap days, it is the nature of the beast.... You can push yourself every now and then, but do not do so if you are going to be driving!! or handling expensive things!!

Elena Moran is a Neuropsych Specialist, and can put you through a Battery test to see where and what is happening for you. She is very good. Will also explain to you what is happening and why.. She can also assist you further with rehab. Luckily she is now in Nelson.

.... it does take time. You will know when and how to deal with things on a day to day basis eventually. Sometimes forcing yourself to listen to TV or Radio noise can help strengthen your ability to cope eventually. You may find yourself rocking in your seat with head in hands for a bit, or pacing the floor wanting to scream BUT, try to control those erges and over time your tenacity/coping should improve. It's all about time... plain and simple. Just don't expect to much to soon. And sadly you may have to accept some facts about yourself, eg: not actually being the very same person you once knew, that you feel slightly or a lot different. However out of the negative some positives will or may come through.

Try focusing on an interest you may have had. Wither it be Handcrafts, music, piano, guitar, art, or dancing.... something that can hold your attention for slightly longer periods, something you can get your mind/teeth into to use to relax the brain in a different way... It helps rebuild, strengthen and also relax.... Your patience with yourself will improve with time doing something like this. It works! And it has also been proven to help ....

Good Luck .. Keep us posted how your doing. DO look up Elena Moran.!!!

All the best going forward... :-))



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#4 User is offline   Chasann 

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 02:14 PM

View Postunit1of2, on 25 November 2014 - 02:10 PM, said:

You will go through all sorts of trials and tribulations with your restorative time. I t is important you do get your down time. As soon as you feel the need to drop everything and go lay down, even for a few intended minutes (can turn out to be an hour or more sometimes)... You must do it. You may find your sleeping patterns are disturbed and all over the place, you'l just have to put up with it, OR take a mild sleeping tablet, but only every now and again, not every night!

You will have good days and crap days, it is the nature of the beast.... You can push yourself every now and then, but do not do so if you are going to be driving!! or handling expensive things!!

Elena Moran is a Neuropsych Specialist, and can put you through a Battery test to see where and what is happening for you. She is very good. Will also explain to you what is happening and why.. She can also assist you further with rehab. Luckily she is now in Nelson.

.... it does take time. You will know when and how to deal with things on a day to day basis eventually. Sometimes forcing yourself to listen to TV or Radio noise can help strengthen your ability to cope eventually. You may find yourself rocking in your seat with head in hands for a bit, or pacing the floor wanting to scream BUT, try to control those erges and over time your tenacity/coping should improve. It's all about time... plain and simple. Just don't expect to much to soon. And sadly you may have to accept some facts about yourself, eg: not actually being the very same person you once knew, that you feel slightly or a lot different. However out of the negative some positives will or may come through.

Try focusing on an interest you may have had. Wither it be Handcrafts, music, piano, guitar, art, or dancing.... something that can hold your attention for slightly longer periods, something you can get your mind/teeth into to use to relax the brain in a different way... It helps rebuild, strengthen and also relax.... Your patience with yourself will improve with time doing something like this. It works! And it has also been proven to help ....

Good Luck .. Keep us posted how your doing. DO look up Elena Moran.!!!

All the best going forward... :-))



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#5 User is offline   Chasann 

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 02:21 PM

Thanks for reply, cannot say I am enjoying my efforts with radio and music but will persevere, guess it is no different from physical impairment - practice and repetition - but what was once joyful now so aggravating.
Will follow up with your recommendation. Many thanks.
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#6 User is offline   unit1of2 

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Posted 05 December 2014 - 12:02 AM

View PostChasann, on 28 November 2014 - 02:21 PM, said:

Thanks for reply, cannot say I am enjoying my efforts with radio and music but will persevere, guess it is no different from physical impairment - practice and repetition - but what was once joyful now so aggravating.
Will follow up with your recommendation. Many thanks.


Chasann... it take's along time.. and everyone is different. It maybe a case of months after your accident that you start to even want to push through some of those barriers.. It is as you said 'practice and repetition', it's exactly that, and it's by doing this that you begin to 'exercise and toughen' that brain.. Can take months and months... but hey, what else have you to lose huh?.. It's all and only about time, and your little bits of practice input wither on a daily or weekly basis or up to 3 monthly repetition, it will all come to you. Don't push to hard, try though and then ease off, and then try some more, sometimes you'l do it without even thinking about it.. That is when your making progress!

The issue is, more to do with external 'white noise' ... and other activities or happenings going on round you. A bit likened to 'autisiem' when the brain is finding it hard to translate and fathom, and separate what is happening outside of our brain, that which our senses is taking in. The processing is delayed. When our senses are taking in information it's in there on the surface but from there it either is blocked or it's like trying to force the information into areas that no longer have a route to accept it....BAM...

for some it's a Head Explosion! Two canon balls clashings. Some folk don't experience this, but go through all the other same affects of it.... White noise! and other such difficulties with processing, memory, short circuiting.. and 'fatigue'.

Have you managed to track down Elena Moran... Neuropsych specialist. She is very good and will test you and tell you exactly what you need, after she has tested you.. She is honest and straight to the point..



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#7 User is offline   unit1of2 

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Posted 05 December 2014 - 12:19 AM

And do try finding something 'creative' or things creative that you can come and go with as an activity.. doesn't have to be big. And you don't have to finish your creativity in a big rush. Just find something that you feel you gravitate to and may hold your interest, even if only for initially a few minutes at a time, but something you know you'l feel comfortable and gravitated to on a regular basis.
Could be flower arranging, art, hand crafts, wood work, carving, paper mashae (splg?), folk art, cross words, jig saw puzzles, doodle art, stone art, sewing, digital software... but in a quite atmosphere and just you. You will probably chop and change ideas of what you may want to do, and come and go with it over time. However, it is all about applying yourself and conditioning your brain again, your concentration and then later over time (months or even years) you will notice changes to your self and how your brain is slowly adapting. Even accepting more noise/s, and also accepting more noise/s when your trying or are actually focused on doing something else!...... Yes the concept does work. It is about resting and healing, resting/pushing/resting/healing/repairing/pushing/resting/healing/repairing and so on and so on..... all in 'TIME'... Building a new brain with some old bits. It may not be like the old one, and you'l notice the difference within yourself but, it's better than 'No' brain.....

Important to remind yourself to have patience with yourself. Have quiet time, and try not to take frustrations out on folk, animals or objects or self. As it isn't healthy for anyone or anything. You'l find probably you will curse and cuss yourself over things you do or say, that's fine, but go gently... :-))

All the very best.... Posted Image
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Posted 07 December 2014 - 10:28 AM


Sport head injuries: New guidelines
2:06 PM Friday Dec 5, 2014Posted ImageKieran Reid charges through the Springboks in September. The player has been back playing with the All Balcks after concussion problems. Photo / Darren TaumataACC has released a concussion guideline for sports organisations following high numbers of head injuries as a direct result of sport related activity.

Under the guidelines players in all sporting coders who suffer a suspected concussion will be expected to leave the field of play immediately and seek urgent medical assessment.

The guidelines, which are based on the 2012 Zurich Consensus Statement on Concussion, also suggest:

• Extra caution should be used when dealing with children and adolescents

• No return to play on the day of the injury under any circumstances

• Assessments must be undertaken by medical doctors

Much of what is contained in the guidelines is already common place in sports such as rugby and league.

About 7350 such injuries are recorded each year and in the last four years sports related concussion claims cost ACC $76 million, the corporation said.

"It's not just the financial cost but the decline in general health and quality of life for the injured person for up to 10 years following the injury, or, maybe for the rest of their lives," said Dr Peter Robinson, ACC chief clinical advisor.

READ MORE: RUGBY'S CONCUSSION PROBLEM
Shontayne Hape played international league for the Kiwis - until repeated head injuries ended his career and threatened his health
Taranaki player Shane Cleaver says he didn't want to admit the seriousness of his concussion problems for fear of having to call time on his rugby career


ACC worked with New Zealand Rugby, New Zealand Rugby League, New Zealand Netball and New Zealand Football and the AUT University Sports Performance Research Institute to develop the guidelines.

"We all agreed something had to be done and that a national guideline would be a starting point," said Dr Robinson.

The guidelines will set out what to do, how to recognise the signs and symptoms, what action to take and how sports organisation can develop a concussion policy and implementation plan.

Dr Robinson said ACC also had an expert panel available to assist organisations and review their policies, plans and educational material.

- NZ Herald

http://www.nzherald....jectid=11369500


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#9 User is offline   not their victim 

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 10:31 AM

My battle with concussion
By Steve Deane

5:00 AM Saturday May 31, 2014
Shontayne Hape played international league for the Kiwis and international rugby for England - until repeated head injuries ended his career and threatened his future health.

Posted ImageShontayne Hape. Photo / APGrowing up playing league in New Zealand, everyone got knocked out at some point. Everyone got concussed. I can't think of a single guy I played with who didn't. You just got up and played on. We were told to be Warriors. It's the nature of the sport. Harden up. That was the mentality. I was brought up with that.

I reckon I'd have been concussed 20 times by the time my professional league career with the Warriors, Bradford and the Kiwis ended with a switch to English rugby. That was nothing compared to what was to come.

After playing for England at the rugby union world cup in 2011 I joined London Irish for the 2011/12 season.

Halfway into the season against Gloucester I copped a knee to the head and was knocked out. I told the club's medical staff I'd copped a head knock, but didn't admit the full extent of it, that I'd blacked out. The next week against Harlequins I copped another knock. It was a pure accident. Our lock Nick Kennedy kneed me in the temple and it put me straight to sleep. Concussion on concussion. That was the big one for me, the worst I've ever felt.


Read also: Star's courageous brain-injury battle

The following day I was to undertake some head questionnaire tests relating to how I was feeling and my symptoms, and the results were shocking - some of the worst they'd ever seen. They stood me down for eight weeks, which was the protocol.

I've always loved music. DJ-ing is my hobby and I have my own turntables and gear at home. But the effects of the concussion meant I couldn't bear to listen to music. The sound was too much. Sunlight was a problem too. I had to stay in a blacked-out room for days. I'd bike to training and by the time I'd get there my head would be throbbing and I'd have to go home to rest. My tolerance for my three young kids was zero. I was always angry around them, couldn't even last a minute without getting cross and losing my cool.

My relationship with my wife Liana suffered. She was left to manage the three children and household on her own, while I tried to get my head right.

By the time my stand-down was over there was only three or four games left in the season, so there was no point in coming back. That meant I'd had a four-month break by the time I arrived in the south of France to play for Montpellier in the French Top 14 competition.

WHEN I came down here everything was cool. I felt fresh and had been cleared to play. I felt like my concussion problems were behind me. I was actually more worried about the state of my knees.

In England it is a standard procedure for all players to perform a computerised pre-season head test. There are a few different versions of the test used around the world, but they are all basically the same thing. They take about 10 minutes sitting at a computer. The test establishes a baseline score that you'll have to match later in the season if you cop a head knock. The problem with the test is that players can manipulate it by under-performing so that later if you have a head knock and you have to beat it you normally can. In my league days the boys all beat the test and everyone kept on playing.

In the back of your mind you are aware of the dangers, but you are paid to get out there and play and you want to play. You never think anything bad is going to happen to you. So you just do it.

Some clubs don't even bother with the computerised test. You evaluate yourself through a questionnaire. When I got knocked out the first time at Montpellier I just said 'oh nah I'm fine'. They ask if you were dizzy, feeling fatigued, in a daze, headaches, etc, on a scale of 0-10. If your total score was too high you'd be stood down.

That first French concussion came in my fifth game, against Toulon. I clashed heads with someone in a ruck. I felt terrible, but decided to bite the bullet. When you come to a new club and you are an international player you are supposed to impress. I was on the biggest contract of my career, so there was a load of pressure to deliver. You don't want to let anybody down. You have to be out there playing.

I played the next week and got knocked out again. A prop was running past me and accidently kneed me in the head as I off-loaded a ball. It was just slight tap but it got me in the wrong place. This time I was really worried. They rested me for a week. That's the French rest. Normally you'd have two-four weeks of doing nothing. In France it was 'okay we'll rest you for a week and you'll be fine'.

There was constant pressure from the coaches. Most coaches don't care about what happens later on in your life. It is about the here and now. Everyone wants success. They just think 'if we pay you this you are going to do this'.

Players are just pieces of meat. When the meat gets too old and past its use-by date, the club just buys some more. You get meat that's bruised or damaged, the club goes and buys some more.

I sat out for a week but I wasn't right. I was back to having constant migraines. I was pretty much in a daze. Things had got so bad I couldn't even remember my PIN number. My card got swallowed up twice. My memory was shot.

Dosing up on smelling salts, Panadol, high caffeine sports drinks and any medical drugs like that to try and stop the dizziness, fatigue and migraines was the only way I could get through trainings and matches.

I went through the next four or five months like that. Pretty much a zombie.

LOOKING BACK I could have prevented a lot of the pain I caused myself by telling the doctors much earlier how I really felt. But I wasn't thinking straight. You are under constant pressure from all angles - coaches, team mates, fans - and you don't want to let them down. I also wanted to play on to achieve my bonuses, especially when you know your career is coming to an end.

Somehow I got through 11 games but by then I was falling apart. I would try not to get involved in rucks because I was terrified of getting knocked out again. My performances were terrible and eventually I was dropped. It was the first time I'd ever been happy about it. I was just happy I was going to give my head a rest.

I had three weeks of no games and I thought that would sort me out. But heading into my comeback match I was knocked out at training. It wasn't even a head clash. One of the boys just ran a decoy line and bumped into me and I was knocked out. When you are getting knocked out and no one is even touching your head you realise things have got pretty bad.

But I still didn't tell anyone. I played the match and got knocked out in the first tackle. I tackled a guy and I was out. Asleep.

I'd been telling the docs on the field that it was my shoulder, I had a stinger, or I was just a little dazed. But after the game I knew I had to do something. I phoned my mum and my agent. They said I had to put my health first. At a team meeting our coach Fabien Galthie, a former French halfback, grilled me for lying in the ruck and giving a penalty away. I didn't want to admit that I was lying there was because I had been knocked out. It was humiliating. Galthie was blowing me up in front of my team mates and I just held my tongue.

Afterwards he came to me to talk about my performance. I was like "I'm over it, I have to come clean". I told him the reason I had given away the penalty and my performances had been below par was because I was knocked out and suffering from concussions. He couldn't believe it.

The club sent me to the Montpellier Hospital for scans. Sitting in a dark room with electrodes attached to my head looking a big blue screen, I felt like a patient in a psychiatric hospital.

I was told to count in my head while doctors monitored my brain function. I did tests for memory and vision. They show me seven or eight pictures of, say, a tree, couch, bird or a bike. When they turned the page and asked me what I'd just seen I could only remember one or two things. The specialist showed me on chart the average score for someone with a normal brain. My score was just above someone with learning difficulties.The specialist explained that my brain was so traumatised, had swollen so big that even just getting a tap to the body would knock me out.

He referred to me to another top specialist in Paris but he was very clear - I had to retire immediately.

Back at the club I broke down in tears telling Galthie.

Everyone dreams of going out on the right note, winning a final and going out with everything intact. I had been told I couldn't do what I'd been doing all my life. I was gutted. The club was shocked.

But even then they tried to overrule the medical advice. They said they'd rest me for a couple of months and see if I could recover.

I knew I was being told it was over but I'd heard of guys taking six-month sabbaticals and coming back. I got in touch with Michael Lipman, the former Bath captain, who had been forced to retire by multiple concussions. He said he'd experienced exactly the same stuff that was going on with me, and advised me to listen to the specialists and stop playing.




But you just think "this is my living, this is what I do". I'd had three reconstructions and barely any cartilage left, so I always thought I'd retire because of my knee. The docs tell you "we can fix that, we can get a new knee, we can fix that shoulder". But with your head, you only get one head.

I knew that, but I still couldn't accept it was over.

I was thinking I'd rest for a year and then make come back. That's why I never told anyone I was retired.

To go with the denial, I went into depression. I was lucky I had some great support around me, from my wife, family and the players association in England.

The RPA and my good mate Nigel Vagana and Paul Heptonstall of NRL Welfare & Education team are putting some great things in place to help players transition to the next stage of their lives, but it's still incredibly tough dealing with the fact you are washed up in your early 30s.

In January I finally accepted it was all over. I'd read about a young club player in Auckland who died after suffering a head knock in a game. My fourth child was on its way. I was 33. Was playing for one more year really worth risking my life?

I've suffered depression, constant migraines and memory loss. I can see now the improvements I've made. I've completed an online brain training course and have started studying for a BA (Hons) Degree in Leadership and Management.

TRYING TO learn again is a challenge. I can remember things that happened a long time ago but things that happened yesterday, names, numbers and stuff, I constantly forget.

Growing up I used to wonder what was wrong with my granddad when he couldn't remember things. I'm not a granddad, I'm in my 30s. I've got the concentration span of a little kid. My oldest son can sit at the table and do stuff for hours. When I do my university assignments I struggle. Half an hour and that's me.

I am in a much better place now that I'm not getting beaten up every week. But I do worry about Alzheimer's and dementia. The doctors can't tell me what is going to happen to me in 10 years time. Research has shown that's when it catches up with you.

I'm not telling my story because I want sympathy. I'm telling it because this is an issue people, particularly young players, need to know about. More people need to speak out about it, tell the truth if they are suffering. Most players won't, though, for fear of being thought of as soft or because of the financial pressures.

Rugby and league have come a long way in dealing with concussion but there is still a lot further to go.

Recently I watched a quarterfinal between Toulouse and Racing Metro. Florian Fritz got knocked out, blood pissing out everywhere. He was totally in Lala Land. He came off and a medic came out of the tunnel and told him to get back on. He did but he was in no [fit] state. I see stuff like that all the time. It's what I used to do.

Fans used to see that sort of thing and go "Wow, he's tough". We need to change that mentality.

Young players don't fully understand the risks of playing on with concussion. The most dangerous thing with concussion is that it's an injury you can't see. That makes it easy to ignore - something that happens far too often.

- NZ Herald




http://www.nzherald....jectid=11264856
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#10 User is offline   Chasann 

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Posted 24 December 2014 - 07:52 AM

Thanks for most helpful advice - breakages occurring on a regular basis and as time goes on learning more of what doesn't work or needs a differing approach - definitely a long journey with challenges along the way. Back driving and total concentration the order of the day and having to stick to familiar short routes.

Have touched base with Elena, and persevering with reading, music, whilst the religious meals (burnt offerings) continue. Am so easily distracted. But it is progress. And of course you now look better so therefore you are better. Speech is coming along great until fatigue or questions, whichever comes first . . .

Some deep breathing exercises coupled with subliminal messages appears to be helping but have waited for the band constricting around the head before I take rests, have been told to rest before the symptoms appear. I guess I have been trying to train the brain to keep up with me but it doesn't work that way does it? One has to be in sync with the pace of the brain. A steep learning curve but now that I am getting help and some other ways of doing things it is paying off. By putting all ingredients needed out on the bench before starting to cook might mean all ingredients go into the bowl. Uncanny how things you have done on a daily regular basis, basically simple procedures can now be taxing - such is the nature of the beast.

Wishing all of you a Christmas that adds to the bank of memories and a NEw Year of better health, wisdom and happiness. Gratefully yours Unit 1 of 2.
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