1. A New Chapter in the Journey Towards Healing and Understanding my Concussion

My name is Paige Decker and in November of 2013, while playing for Yale’s Women’s Ice Hockey Team, I suffered a head injury that then only seemed minor. What I couldn’t have predicted then was that the next 22 months (and counting) would consist of a battle with a concussion so severe in its symptoms that it would go on to change my life forever.

Initially, I downplayed the gravity of the diagnosis, committing myself to striking a balance between recovery, rest, doctors appointments, and some semblance of a life belonging to a girl enjoying her last year of college. And somehow, I did it. After scraping myself past the finish line of my last semester at Yale, I managed to secure a full-time job, move to Boston, and begin what felt like a seamless transition into adulthood.  

That only lasted two and a half months.

I soon found myself stepping back, moving home, taking a hiatus from the real world and making recovery my first and only priority–something I should have done from the beginning. This wasn’t necessarily my choice, though; thirteen months after the injury, my increasing symptoms left me with no other option.

By December of 2014, every morning, my body was crippled by the chaos within my brain, immobilizing me to the point where getting out of bed felt like an accomplishment.

Because I have always believed whiplash has played a role in my symptomology, I resorted to a series of neck treatments, including that of prolotherapy in January of this year. Prolotherapy is a nonsurgical injection treatment aimed at stimulating healing to damaged ligaments and joints. Unfortunately, the injections triggered a Central Sensitization disorder that caused an excessive response of my sympathetic nervous system, adding symptoms ranging from excruciating bodily pain to involuntary twitching to my already long list.

This blog is a commitment to getting better, and even though I have a long way to go before I’m fully healed, I know that so much progress has already been made.  Once this is all behind me, my goal is to one day finally be healthy enough to go for a run with my dog again. 

In the meantime, my posts will be an attempt at healing and understanding. I hope that some of my experiences will help others struggling to understand their own concussions or brain injuries. I’ve learned a lot about concussions and the medical field’s various treatment modalities – some better than others – and I want to explore the steps I’ve taken and lessons I’ve learned. 

One of the most important (and hardest) lessons I’ve learned in the last 22 months is that recovery cannot be done on your own. Along the way, I’ll have a few guest voices (ranging from friends to doctors) to help raise awareness about the devastation these injuries, if left untreated, can cause in people’s lives.

Thanks for checking out this link; if you think you know anyone who might benefit from reading, feel free to share.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy,
not on fighting the old,  but on building the new.”