John Sickels' Concussion Chronicle

Derek Rothchild, Getty Images

Have you ever wondered what it is like to have a slow recovery from a concussion? Read this and find out.

Concussions in sports are a huge ongoing story, and they deserve to be. The National Football League and NCAA football have a huge problem with this issue, obviously, but concussions are a growing concern at all levels of baseball as well. The NFL, perhaps cynically, has made a point to inform people about how many concussions happen in MLB.

Concussions are prevalent in sports and certainly more frequent in baseball than commonly known, although that's been changing over the last few seasons due to some high-profile cases like Justin Morneau and Brian Roberts. The NFL quotes Chicago Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro: "I guarantee you there are some guys playing with concussions now because they feel like it's not serious and they can just keep playing. The one thing we know now is concussions are serious injuries and you can't mess around with them."

As just about everyone who reads this website knows, I suffered a concussion in October due to a home accident: I was hit in the head with a metal sculpture. It did not seem like a big deal at first, but let me tell you, it turned out to be damned serious. I'm not just talking about having problems working at my writing job. It has impacted every phase of my life in a negative way.

So I've decided to write about it while it happens. Part of this is selfish: I need to prove to myself that I still can write, plus I want a chronicle of this experience for my own reasons. Part of it is practical: concussions and brain injuries are an ongoing story in the sports world, and I hope that my story will illustrate exactly how much of  a problem these injuries are.

To get everyone up to speed, here are earlier updates on this issue:

October 23: I described what happened after I tried to ignore the symptoms and work normally.
October 28: Frustration at not being able to work normally, and feeling like my brain was "undervolted."
November 5: Admitting that the 2014 Baseball Prospect Book will be later than normal.
November 12: Feeling much better after taking four days completely off away from all work and family pressures.

My current condition: Returning home has set me back; my symptoms rebounded considerably this week. My wife was in a car wreck on Tuesday; she is fine, but the adrenaline dump from that evening worsened my symptoms. I was non-functional in most ways Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, with a horrid case of insomnia. I slept well last night and feel better today, although not as good as a week ago.

In my next post tomorrow, I will describe the various symptoms and the way my brain was working before and after the accident.

I hope you guys find this interesting. It is the first step in getting things back to normal around here.

The first observation: the concentration required to write this article increased my headache (on a scale of 0-10, with 10 being "worst pain of you life", the worst headache I've had from the concussion has been a 9) from a 1 to a 3. By stopping now, it should ease back down over the next hour.

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