When concussion hits close to home

We are proud to welcome a guest blogger, who chose to share a personal, family experience.

On April 27th, 2014 our family experienced a life-changing event involving our 7-year old son, “David”.  A possible concussion was mentioned at the hospital but was never addressed again due to visible injuries. His concussion, although initially invisible, has had a significant impact on his day-to-day function as well as a focus of his physical therapy treatment at CorePhysio.

David was an active, pain free kid before his injury.  We noticed the first unusual sign when David was in the hospital after his injury. He became upset about a "hot head".  The pain was so severe that he would scream and thrash, with his symptoms reducing only with the use of ice packs.  After more than a year later, he still requires a fan blowing on his head whenever he lies down.  In addition to his head pain, he had difficulty in day-to-day activities.  Homework, appointments or class activities would result in a headache along with escalating frustration.  He preferred to stay home since the activity made him too tired.  His list of "symptoms" seemed to lead in one direction: although his visible injuries had healed, his brain injury was impacting his comfort, cognitive processes and also his balance.

I assumed his lack of balance was all a result of physical injuries, until our CorePhysio PT noticed something unusual with his eyes.  He was showing signs of nystagmus, resulting in his eyes “jiggling” from side to side when he looked in certain directions which contributed to his balance challenges and dizziness.  David’s PT started with manual therapy on his head and neck to get the joints and muscles moving normally.  She also designed treatment that combines visual challenges with balance challenges.   She even took us to Fairhaven Toy Garden where he had a chance to try Kendama and Chinese yo-yo, which he loved.  Both toys have challenged his balance and tracking while having fun at the same time.

When his school activities ended for summer vacation, his visual tracking and balance showed significant improvement and his nystagmus is much better.  He no longer says he's tired all the time and he is looking forward to physical therapy again.   We are now practicing eye exercises at home in order to strengthen his eye muscles and brain control. The cognitive rest and careful choice of his PT treatment is just what he has needed for his brain to heal.

For our family, finding the right Physical Therapists has been paramount.  The PT’s at CorePhysio have not only taught us beneficial exercises but are also a wealth of knowledge.  They have seen David on a regular basis and observed symptoms I may never have realized were there.  They know the right questions to ask and have been there to guide us through the healing process.  We couldn't have done this without CorePhysio.  Thank you.