Life After Hockey

Spending time at my happy place

I played ice hockey for 28 years. In 2007 I had two concussions within one week that would change my life forever. My first concussion I hit a player head on head saw stars but continued to play because that’s what I was taught growing up; just suck it up keep playing. But my second concussion was in the same week. I ran into my own player shoulder on shoulder. This hit felt different because I actually felt different, almost like a different person. The following morning I would wake up with ringing in my ears. To this day I still have 24/7 ringing in my ears. But that morning I felt different like I wasn’t completely me anymore.

Getting a diagnosis

It took two years of searching through doctors to finally figure out through using a DTI MRI that I had an Axonal shear injury. I have been struggling ever since. Back in 2016 I had to leave my job because I could no longer do it.

I took part in a clinical tau blood test study and they confirmed I have above normal tau levels in my blood. But being a clinical study, I couldn’t get anymore answers of what’s going on. I have currently been on 73 different medications and none of them work. I have become very sensitive to most medications. I suffer with so many symptoms, paranoia, sensory overload, anger, out of body feelings, memory problems, anxiety, light sensitivity, tinnitus, insomnia, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts and many other symptoms.

I can no longer walk into a store or doctors office without making my symptoms all worse. I’m learning to live with all this. I’ve found exercise, walks on the beach or natural trails to be very beneficial. I’ve recently discovered floating in a pool does wonders for my out of body feelings and sensory overload. I’m continuing to decline but I’ve learned that keeping my mind busy is my best defense. Given my sports history my doctors suspect I have CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). But I’m not going to let that slow me down. I’ll try to live each day the best I can.

Can you relate? Have you experienced a concussion? Share your own story.

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