Aaron Rocha’s Concussion Story
I am a 23 year old from Rye, NH and graduated from Babson College in 2014.
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I have had 3 diagnosed concussions and I believe 2 more undiagnosed with my longest recovery being more than 12 months.
Symptoms I experienced through my recovery included headache, “pressure in head”, dizziness, balance problems, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to noise, feeling like “in a fog”, don’t feel right, difficulty concentrating, difficulty remembering, more emotional, irritable and sadness.
Emotionally, the most frustrating aspect of my injury/recovery was feeling isolated and alone – feeling like no one understood what I was going through.
What I Would Have Done Differently
I underwent two prolonged concussion recoveries…I wish I had learned more from my first of five months. I should have done more to strengthen my neck, shoulders, back and core to help mitigate some of the risk of another concussion before I returned to play.
A year later when I was hit shoulder-to-shoulder, I got lightheaded and was showing signs of symptoms. But, I didn’t tell anyone and I continued to play the last hour of practice because I didn’t want to miss our upcoming fall-ball tournament. Oddly enough, it took two weeks before I was diagnosed with a concussion because I was out sick (so not playing lacrosse) but continued to refuse to tell anyone about my head. Knowing what I do now, I put myself at way too high of a risk for Second Impact and realistically caused a really prolonged concussion recovery (just shy of two years) because I didn’t take care of myself immediately. Vision is always 20/20 in hindsight, huh? I wish I had spoken up immediately.
Advice I Would Give To Others
The most difficult thing for me undergoing a prolonged concussion recovery was feeling alone and that nobody could understand what I was going through; not my doctors, teammates, friends, parents, anyone! I barely knew what was going on myself. When I finally had the opportunity to talk to another student-athlete who was going through it too (that’d be Mike), I felt so much better emotionally and even saw progress with my physical symptoms.
The best advice I can give is to not hesitate talking to someone at CAN Recover. We get it and that’s exactly why we are here. Nobody will understand the way you feel unless they have experienced it themselves.
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