Types of Brain Injuries

 

Brain injuries only exist in only two ways: Penetrating, or closed. Basically, and it’s self-explanatory, either something goes through your skin and skull, or your brain is shaken, and hits your skull.

While penetrating is exciting-sounding, such as getting shot, having a harpoon go in, or something equally exotic, they’re few and far between. The closed injuries are more complicated, and far more prevalent. There’s a type of injury that’s a gazillion times more prevalent than the others, so I’ll simply mention them: epidural hematomas, subdural hematomas, and cerebral aneurysm.

Concussions are so common, and misunderstood, such that President Trump said ‘Uh oh, got a little ding on the head?’when asked about concussions in football.

Yeah, that’s real tough talk. For years, researchers have worked to show the serious consequences of those “dings” Trump dismisses (with his signature bullying sarcasm). “Concussion. Oh, oh!” — the science has found that the cumulative effects of all those dings can be deadly. In March, the NFL acknowledged a link between playing football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease. CTE symptoms include depression, memory loss and aggressive behaviour: several NFL players who committed suicide,

C’mon Trump, get serious. You’re in charge of the USA, and dismissing such a serious thing as a concussion as “a ding on the head” is an error, of galactic proportions.

Eric Lindros made an immense suggestion. While it’s got validity, will it fly?

Eric Lindros was the top of the top player in the NHL, of that there’s no doubt, but his retirement that was forced upon him by concussions has changed his view on hockey a bit.

On August 17, in London Ontario, Lindros said it’s time for the NHL to seriously think about removing body contact from the game.  Not selectively, but entirely.

When he began his professional career, he was awesome skill-wise, because no other player was anywhere close to him, even remotely.  He was the best of the best, and wasn’t afraid to be the best at beating the hell out of someone.   He’s still playing, after his forced-retirement in 2007, but how they play is that they don’t run into each other.  It’s all skill with the puck, and he’s still second-to-none.

I think that while what he’s suggesting may sound drastic, and scare some people with the significance of it, but when you think about it, it makes sense.  Take out what makes the game dangerous for players, both while they’re playing and after they’ve retired, and accentuate the skill-elements.

I can’t ride a conventional bike, but there are benefits. But, what to call it??

It’s taken me a while, from a deep low, but I’m now always trying to get lemonade from what’s first-seen as lemons.  Granted that this a somewhat unconventional ride, I don’t get saddle sores, but it’s made worse by the fact that I don’t know what to call it!   Technically, it’s a tricycle, but whenever someone hears that term, they think of something that little kids ride, that’s kinda slow.    When I ride this, I wear clip-in shoes, like fast-bikes wear, and I’ve reached 42 km/h as my max speed.

However, based on what’s thought when someone hears the term, they expect something like this.

I think that using the correct term “recumbent” is best!  Because if someone hears it, and knows what it is, excellent,  but if they don’t, they’ll ask!  There isn’t anything that would come to mind, if you don’t know the term!

What I share with kids at PARTY

When I do my monthly PARTY talks at the hospital, who’s there are grade 11s, basically either just got, or about to get their drivers license.   They’re learning about the effects of decisions.   But, I don’t only talk about drinking & driving, but other decisions.  I ask them to put their hands up if they always ride their bikes with a helmet on.  I’ve asked every group in the last few years, and every time, I’m surprised if someone holds up their hand.  When I started to ask it, I thought that maybe one or two might not, but everyone else would.  I was stunned that in the first class I asked, not a single kid held up their hand.  In fact, it wasn’t until the third group that someone held up their hand.  I asked, saying that there’s no reason to not tell me why, because I won’t judge.  I’ve heard that it messes up their hair, that it’s hot, it’s uncomfortable, and so on.  I share with the kids that there’s absolutely no reason that would be good enough to not wear one.  I say that the man who hit us was behind us, doing about 60, and we’d had no warning.   I was driven over, and the only reason that I’m not dead is because of my helmet.  I’ll start asking the classes to raise their right hand, and promise that they’ll wear theirs.

What I’m going to try to champion

Living in Richmond is pretty good, it’s a small town, everyone knows me by sight (probably something like “that nice disabled guy”), but the bike paths are non-existent for me.  I can’t ride a conventional bicycle.

My ride is about 3′ wide, and about 2′ off the ground.  At the speeds that I ride at, I’m pretty much completely invisible.   The roads that I’d prefer to ride on, because they’re outside town, don’t have many intersections, and are long, but have speed limits of 80 km/h.

I’m fast, but nowhere near that.  I’ve approached the city councillor for the area, asked him for his help, and I’m not sure when, but I’ll be getting going at getting it done!

 

It’s perspective, and visibility

This past weekend I was in Toronto, at a charity awareness hockey game, organized by StopConcussions.com.  There were closer to 50 people playing, and the message was clear.  The occurrence of a brain injury can’t be completely prevented, other than living in a box, and doing nothing.

Before the game, Kerry talked about what the day represents, and introduced me to the group.   I looked at the group, there were at least 3 retired NHL players, a para-olympian, a woman who I think is an Olympian of some sport, but it was me who was speaking.   There were several people in the group who approached me after, saying that they’d suffered an injury, and weren’t the same.  But, the fact that they’d suffered the injury was completely invisible.  I heard that Keith (Primeau) felt the effects of his multiple-concussions for upwards of something like 7 years after retiring.  However, he’s the ultimate example of its invisibility.  He walks unaffected, and he speaks with no issue.

The mission of Never Stop is “To support and promote public awareness and education on brain injuries” and this past weekend I helped do that.  While the participants were familiar with the injury, my addressing them showed another aspect of it, which is the invisibility element.  I used to hate how I was, because of all that I’d lost, but with the evolution of Never Stop, it’s given back to me what I lost.

The name, Never Stop, is more than just a name, it’s a feeling that people should embrace.  That no matter what happens to you, unless you’re dead, you should Never Stop.  I lost the coolest job, I lost the ability to do triathlons, but I decided to Never Stop.

I ride a tricycle, and planning to get an Alinker, to enable me to walk at a pace that would make me race-capable.  While the name of it is Never Stop, it also represents the mindset that it promotes.