Andre Clement’s Concussion Story
I am a 22 year old from Falmouth, ME and currently attend Wentworth Institute of Technology.
|Sport||Years Played||Highest Level|
|Ultimate Frisbee||10+||Nationally Competitive|
|Ice Hockey||10+||Travel Team|
I have had 5 diagnosed concussions with my longest recovery being 9-12 months.
Symptoms I experienced through my recovery included sensitivity to light, sensitivity to noise, feeling like I was “in a fog”, drowsiness, more emotional, irritable, sadness, nervous or anxious, feeling slowed down, didn’t feel right, difficulty concentrating, difficulty remembering, fatigue or low energy, confusion and trouble falling asleep.
Emotionally, the most frustrating aspect of my injury/recovery was not being able to participate in daily life as I used to.
What I Would Have Done Differently
During two years in college where I received 3 of my 5 concussions, I am not sure if there was something I would’ve done differently at the time. Due to the mass attention concussions are now getting and the continuously changing diagnosis and treatment of concussions,I felt I was abiding the best protocols for recovery at the time of my concussions. However, I didn’t consider the emotionally debilitating effects I would experience in the long term recovery.
I lost the ability to participate physically in the sports and activities that defined me as a person at the time. I was officiating hockey at the collegiate and professional levels. I was the captain of the Ultimate Frisbee team. I had to stop playing and stop officiating. I experienced a loss of identity, I was angry, and felt lost and alone. This was, and still is, the most difficult part of my recovery.
The only way I can make peace with what happened is accepting it. I wish I could’ve accepted change earlier. I would fight and blame myself for what happened. Only when I started accepting the change and trying to better myself was when I started feeling like myself.
Advice I Would Give To Others
Share your problems. Don’t make my mistakes. Don’t let your pride (or whatever makes you YOU) get in the way of your recovery. You will want to get right back to everyday life, so do it in a smart way. Get back to basics. Start small and progress. The recovery process is the same as practice for a sport. It’s hard work, not always fun, but you get better. Good or bad days, I am thankful I am still breathing.
Back to other Student-Athlete Concussion Stories.