Posts Tagged ‘pain’

So it would appear that my physical symptoms of the concussion have subsided. I no longer suffer the headaches that I described earlier. I still get waves of nausea every now and again, but overall things have taken a turn for the better. However, I am still not 100% symptom free. If you saw me on the street and spoke to me, you probably would not know that I had anything wrong.

However, there are clearly still issues in the head that I need to work through. My handwriting, short term memory and general writing ability being the top ones that are my concern at the moment. As you might’ve seen from the twitpics earlier this week, my handwriting has taken a bit of a nose dive, to the point that I get frustrated with myself when I’m trying to write by hand. I have since resorted to taking all my notes on a laptop to make sure that I am able to decipher my notes and actually remember what I was doing, rather than having to hire an Egyptologist to tell me what I’ve written.

As for the writing ability, I can write at my normal pace, but I have to pay extra care into what I write. Sometimes what I write is not what I was supposed to. I forget words from sentences and sometimes the structure of sentences is a little bit wrong. I’m not using the excuse that English is my second language and that would be the reason why, but these are mistakes that I wasn’t making prior to the head trauma.

My memory is still a bit all over the place. For example, I dunked my hand into a coffee cup full of hot coffee the other day as I thought that it was full of sweets. Who puts sweets in a coffee cup? I don’t know but I guess it made sense in my mind before burning my fingers and thinking “Hang on just one darn minute, these are not jelly beans.”

The other issues I still have relate mainly to self image, but this is not an emo diary so I’m not going to start writing about what pants I want to wear and how I want my hair to look and so on.

Suffice to say, I’ve taken significant steps in recovery, but there are still a lot of things that just don’t make sense and a lot of things I find I’m questioning. Whether it’s a personality change caused by the latest concussion and one that has accumulated from the four others I’ve had remains to be seen.

The awesome thing is that I was able to last a whole work out a few days ago. OK I wasn’t pressing nearly the same weights as before, but it felt good to give the body some abuse after laying in a dark room for a week and a bit.

I thought I’d take a break from updating the daily concussion update, because there was really nothing new to report and I doubt you want to read stuff like: “my head still hurts etc”. Everything is still slightly off kilter and I’m not feeling a 100%, though I have taken significant steps to recovery, or at least I feel I have.


I had an appointment with the doctors yesterday and what got told what I had feared. You might recall that I said I had 18 out of 21 symptoms listed for post concussion syndrome (PCS) and basically the doctor told me that I’ve got the condition. I had secretly wished that he would say that you’re still not fully recovered but you’re about 95% there and that it would be OK to resume normal activities.


What scared me yesterday was that I was told that it was likely that I had a small bleed in my brain as well that he didn’t spot upon first examination. However, the bleed was (if there was one) was minor to the point that doctors wouldn’t have done anything for it i.e. drill a hole in my head or remove a piece of skull.


My moods are still all over the place and I keep going from being happy to being sad to flat out enraged for no apparent reason. On a personal level this has been a trying test of patience, and my patience is wearing thin at times.


For the first time today, I wrote something by hand rather than by computer and here’s the difference. This picture: is from notes that I took on the 1st of March and here is a picture of my hand writing today: Spot the difference?


On a positive note however, I have been allowed to start doing exercise again. I’m not allowed to lift heavy weights yet (damn it), but I have been allowed to do cardio work (hockey is cardio isn’t it?) and light weights. I went for a run last night and I did OK till about 8 minutes in. After that I had to take several breaks to let my coordination get back. I’m going to attempt the gym today and use the small dumb bells that are normally reserved for women. Man I’m going to get ripped doing that.

After I posted my blog last night, I took a turn for the worse. My headaches intensified to the point I was ready to do the 3m dash to the bathroom at any second. Good thing I didn’t have to as I probably would’ve knocked myself out on a door frame or something else. My headache was so intense that I wanted to perform trephination on myself to try and alleviate the pressure in my head. Luckily the painkillers finally started to work and I was able to get some sleep. I did sleep rather well, to the point that I was woken up only at 13:00 when a friendly Jehovah’s witness rang our doorbell.

I was also overcome with a feeling of sadness and I wanted to ball my eyes out last night. I have no idea where it all came from but my mood changed rather drastically and I wallowed most the night in a mix of intense headaches and self pity. I was a seriously sensitive dude last night Otherwise, today I have been feeling relatively fine. My head is clearer than it has been for days now and I don’t feel as if I was living in a cloud. However, I’m still not 100%. I don’t think I could last a full gym work out or a jog.

There are still issues I’m trying to work through. One thing I have noticed the past week is that I don’t really feel like myself. Where I am starting to feel better, I feel as if there’s a part of me that is missing. I guess the problem with concussions is that they are like breaking a vase. You can try and put it all back together, but depending how bad you broke it, you’ll never be able to fit all the pieces back together. And I guess the symptoms and the emotions are as unique as the person who suffers it.

However, this has been the best day so far, but that’s not to say that I’m OK. I hope from now on I’ll be able to make significant progress day by day. My dreams are still weird and for the past few nights they have had a mexican theme to them. Go figure that out.

I’m also seeing the doctor again on Monday, so hopefully I’ll get some more guidance into where I go from here. Tell you one thing though, once I get the all clear from the doctors, the first thing I’m going to do is have an ice cold beer.

Also, good luck to my teammates this weekend. I won’t be able to join them on the ice, but hopefully I can muster enough focus to make the trip and watch them play.

So a few days has passed since my visit to the doctors and I’ve received a lot of encouragement from friends and team mates. To be honest, when I blogged about the verdict on my knee and the operation, I have to be honest and say that I knew to anticipate it and knew in the back of my mind that the knee would need surgery to repair the damage.

The only reason why I was slightly bummed out by it was simply because I know I will miss some games in the cup and I’ve worked hard to get myself in shape. The team also looks good and composed and we’ve had a series of good training sessions, so from that point of view, it’s tough to sit out.

However, I know that the operation will fix a problem that has hampered my performance for the past three years. I guess you could say that I’m going through some sort of analysis or stages of things. Alcoholics have their steps to recovery and if I go by their scale, I’m now on step called anger.

Why am I angry? I’m angered by the treatment that I have received up until now. From the early onset when I described my symptoms and the pain that I felt, the doctor I’m seeing now has been able to tell me what the likely cause is and treat it properly.

When I first sustained the injury I was taken to the Bristol A&E (Emergency department for any Americans) where the knee was examined and X-rayed. Despite being in so much pain that I was on gas and morphine at the time and not being able to bear weight on the leg or bend it, as the X-ray didn’t show a break or a fracture, I was sent home with a shrug of the shoulders and given a diagnosis of ‘ligaments’ and told to stay off the leg for 6 weeks.

Despite having a good remainder of the season that year, I never fully recovered. The season after that was plagued by the injury and every stride that I took felt like someone was twisting a knife in the knee.

However, training hard for last season I was able to regain some form and felt that the knee had finally settled.

Between these seasons, particularly the 08 summer cup, I went to see a ‘specialist’ at an NHS clinic where my knee was scanned but nothing was seen. Though it turned out that the ‘doctor’ was a physio therapist rather than an orthopaedic specialist. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but respect and admiration for physio therapists. They were able to provide some form of pain alleviation when I was at my worst and have treated many of my other ailments.

However, to make a long story short, the diagnosis that I got from the ‘doctors’ was that the pain was all in my head and I was imagining most of it. So in space of a year I had gone from having an injury to a crazy person. The treatment was a course of painkillers, which only got stronger and stronger as time went on. I’m honestly surprised that I have not gotten addicted to any of the medications I have been on, as most have warning labels stating that can cause addiction.

So the reason why I’m angry is that it seems that doing things through public healthcare is a nightmare, unless you have been involved in a serious accident or have another acute health problem. I have to admit that when I had to get my appendix removed, the service I got was first class.

But it is frustrating, when if your condition is not serious or has something to do with a joint, you are overlooked. Understandably joints are difficult to diagnose, the knee in particular, but if a patient keeps coming back frequently and with same symptoms you would expect that the problem would be properly looked into, but no.

I wonder how well I would’ve played and trained had the knee been treated properly the first time around, but because of it, I have lost three years of playing at my sharpest edge.

In either case, I’m happy that it is going to be treated and I look forward to hitting the ice once it has healed. Who knows, maybe it will re-invigorate my play like it Teemu Selanne’s after the lock out.

So, I’ve finally found out what is wrong with my knee, after three long and increasingly painful years.

I met today with Dr. Adrian Wilson from the Hampshire Clinic, who I must say is one of the nicest Orthopedic specialists I’ve met. If I could’ve had my choice of a doctor, I’d chosen the Finnish chap, whose name escapes me, but given that he lost his licence due to a stroke I’ll go with the best option, which is Dr. Wilson. What he said about my previous diagnosis’ was that the pain definitely was not in my head and that he commended my toughness on competing and playing through what has been intense pain.

So after an hours consultation and tests, he was able to tell me that everything wasn’t right with my knee and that I more than likely have two things wrong. 1) I have torn the meniscus, which is quite regular in hockey or 2) when I first injured the leg, I got a microfracture in the bone, which did not show up on the X-rays and due to my rigorous training, I have never replaced the tissue on top of the bone.

I’m going to have an MRI in a few weeks to confirm the diagnosis and then go under the knife for an arthoscopy.

So how do I feel about this? Where I had anticipated that it would be something like this and I prepared myself mentally for the diagnosis, I still find myself depressed about it. Meniscal injuries are not career ending, but I guess the main thing that hacks me off is that I’ve waited to play in the cup for a long time and now part of, what was hopefully going to be a show case year, will be going to waste. Well not to waste but by eating popcorn in the press box. OK so I’m going to have some time off, but atleast I know what has been wrong.

However, when I weigh up the pros and cons, post operation I am hopefully able to return to an even better level of play as I have no hindrance with the knee.

Also another big pro is that I have plenty of time to recover and recouperate for potential try outs. I have been looking at teams that I would like to play for and at the moment Isle of Wight, Basingstoke, Bracknell, Bristol and Swindon are on the top of my list.

So there we have it. Three years of waiting and an hours consultation, I know what is bugging me. Just further proof that Money talks and Bullshit walks.

Weirdly I got complemented again on my muscle tone and bulk in my legs. Are all these doctors hitting on me?

It’s been another difficult week. I’ve had a spat of bad luck with things, mainly relating to my health. As it is well documented on my Twitter account and on this blog, I’ve got problems with my knee that I want to sort out and I’ll have an appointment for that on Tuesday, so expect another update then, latest.

So what went wrong this time? Apart from the knee, I had an allergic reaction to something Thursday-Friday night. I woke up with a severely swollen lip and from there, it quickly spread to my extremeties, mainly my right arm. Where I’d normally welcome the extra bulk, the swelling of my hand really had me worried. I don’t know what caused the reaction, but I reckon that it was a blister plaster that I wore on my right hand. I had been walking on crutches and had to carry my laptop home from work which caused my hand to rub on the crutches causing a blister.

So Friday, I spent catatonic, only spending a handful of hours awake. My wife said that it is what normally happens with an allergic reaction. Where I’m fine now, I feel extremely tired.

Additionally, I’ve been following the playoffs in the UK and mainly Isle of Wight. I had a tryout with the team arranged, but I had to cancel it due to being injured at the time. Now they are in the playoffs and I can’t help but think, ‘what if?’

I am increasingly worried, that with all the problems I have faced, I can’t work toward the goals I’ve set and outlined here. I am increasingly overcome with feelings of not being good enough, though looking through the rosters of the teams, I’ve played against some of the guys there and know that I’m more than capable of playing with them.

But my first priority is to get myself healthy. I have till September to get in shape so I have the time. I just have to hope that I can stay going till then.

Another difficult week with the knee and the doctors appointment is still over a week away.

The pain killers that I am on at the moment seem to take the worst edge of the pain off, but they make me feel quite bad. Though I must admit, I think I might have ‘over dosed’ today. It’s just that the pain gets so bad and I find that taking just one pill doesn’t really do much. I’ll probably end up like House with cane and vicoden and all.

Today for example, I took some before heading to the gym to make sure that I was able to do atleast some minor leg work. I’ve noticed that my quadriceps are shrinking on my right leg and my calf muscles aren’t what they used to be.

I’ve also noticed an increased weakness in the leg. Every step that I take I have to be close to something to lean on, incase the knee gives way. I’ve resisted using them so far, but the crutches in the kitchen are awfully inviting. Atleast that way I could take most the pressure off the leg before training so that I can play.

Other things that cause me discomfort and quite considerable amounts of pain are driving, sitting on the train, standing on the tube (or subway for any american’s reading this), sitting at my desk.

The weird thing is that I know that I should just rest my leg, but I can’t stop. I can’t be away from the ice untill the doctors tell me otherwise or if they have to operate on it. I’ve dedicated way too much time for the Summer Cup to give up now. This year has to be a big year for me personally.

On other positive notes, I did have one of the best work outs in a while. Really felt like doing the exercises to the end and punish myself.

If you haven’t already, go check out How To Train Your Dragon. It’s an amazing film and I haven’t been as excited about an animation since I saw Wall-E.