I thought I understood concussion. I had played contact sports my whole life, after all, complete with my fair share of bumps to the head. A few begrudging days of rest and I was always raring to get back to the game. Until the time that I wasn’t.
My last concussion four years ago was a life-altering event. In the weeks following that concussion, I was confused, disoriented, unable to read or write, cook a meal, or even walk properly. I had a severe and constant headache, and my room wouldn’t stop spinning. It was like the world’s worst hangover that just wouldn’t quit. The pain kept me from sleeping, my eyes couldn’t track properly, I had left side weakness, my emotions were all over the place, and even my menstrual cycle became erratic. As my rehabilitation stretched on and on, I realised I was no longer capable of performing my fun, frenetic job coaching at a gym, and my dreams of playing roller derby for Team Canada were over. I continue to cope with the effects that the concussion and its recovery process have had on my body and my ambitions.