Concussions are a brain injury, not a sports injury.

Yes, concussions can and do happen in sports, and are not just limited to contact or combat sports like football, rugby, MMA, and boxing. Concussions can happen at home. In fact, the top 2 causes of traumatic brain injuries in the US are motor vehicle accidents and falls–not sports.

I know. I was one of these statistics.

3 years ago, shortly after healing my brain with the neurostimulation program that I would later name PeakMIND, I experienced multiple concussions at home. As can be the case for many people, it was the first accident that set up the rest of the dominoes to be knocked down.

While preparing the dogs for a late afternoon walk on July 4, a loud boom rocked the neighborhood. Large island-wide celebrations are common on Oahu, so I wasn’t surprised, but our dogs were. Our blind terrier yanked back on his leash in fear, sending the gate and its heavy metal latch flying towards me. I was bent over with one of our other dogs, my head at the same level as this horse-shoe shaped latch.

The latch hit me hard on the side of the temple and put me on my butt. I saw stars and my ears rang. I sat there for a few moments, disoriented and trying to gather myself.

For the rest of the week, I had a headache, poor temperature regulation (this happens to be one of my most regularly experienced symptoms with concussion), and a bit of anxiety. We were in the middle of a move, so I couldn’t let this slow me down.
Later that week, while doing some work under the new house, I stood up too tall, too quickly and hit the top of my head hard on the wooden beams above me.

Again, I was dropped to my butt, head ringing and seeing stars.

This was not good.

After concussion, certain metabolic processes are occurring in the brain that make it more sensitive to reinjury. A second concussion before the first is completely healed can lead to “second impact syndrome,” which can have more significant, long-lasting effects than the initial injury or a second injury that occurs outside of this metabolic window.

There’s no way of knowing whether or not I experienced second impact syndrome, but I did have a recent history of EEGs and collected more after these accidents. The EEGs after the household accidents showed clear disturbances in my brain’s function.

brain changes after multiple concussions

Along with disturbed brain waves, concussions can cause a whole host of other symptoms, some of which we’ve covered before. One of these includes deficits in proprioception and spatial awareness.

Issues with proprioception and spatial awareness make it difficult to gauge where you are in space. You can’t accurately judge exactly how close or far you and objects are from each other. This can increase the likelihood of further injury.
In my case, it led to household concussion number 3 within a month!

While standing up from the toilet in the guest bathroom of the new home, I totally misjudged where my feet were and how far away I was from the wall. So when I stood up, I did so too quickly and too far at the wrong angle–again–shoving my head forcefully right into the corner of the large wooden towel rack.

My head rang again, and again, my EEG showed disturbed brain function.

I hadn’t been treating myself with PeakMIND at this point because I wanted to collect more EEG data and experience what others usually experience from such injuries (for science!), but I immediately performed another EEG and started treating myself.
This was my summer of concussions. Multiple accidents. Multiple EEGs. Months upon months of PeakMIND.

Then, I got COVID that fall! In the end, I was treating and monitoring my brain health the entire year.

It was a gnarly 12 months for my brain, but I learned a lot about how to better support my patients. I didn’t let the learning opportunity go to waste.

If you are concussed or suspect a concussion, don’t wait! See a specialist as soon as possible. Even if it was just a household accident, your fall or head trauma could leave you in a vulnerable state and require help to fully recover.

Please learn from my story and share it with others.