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My post-concussion syndrome years later - My concussion healing timeline

Updated: Jan 10

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In the beginning, I questioned myself almost every day: “What is the concussion healing time?”. Right now I still have post-concussion syndrome years later. It’s so hard to say what the average post-concussion syndrome recovery time is, because we are all different.


post concussion syndrome years later

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For some people, their post-concussion syndrome recovery is a few months for others it takes years and for some, it seems like an endless journey.

Then there are also people who don’t have concussion symptoms right away, or the symptoms do come and go and for some people, the symptoms don’t go away without therapy.


Table of contents
What are the effects of a concussion on the brain?

First of all, there is one important thing I learned in my journey. You don’t have to hit your head to get a concussion. A bump, blow, or rapidly moving back and forth is enough to sustain a concussion. The last one is the one I had: a whiplash.


During my first two years, I didn’t know I sustained a concussion. It’s weird, right? Some people ask me how that’s possible. But I never knew you could sustain a concussion from a whiplash. Now I know better.


Enough information! Please tell me the concussion healing time!

I know you are here to get the answer to this question. But there is no one answer for everyone, which makes it so hard and frustrating. It depends on the severity of the concussion, it can vary from person to person. Some don’t have post-concussion symptoms at all and others have post-concussion syndrome years later.


Many times I wished I just knew how long this would take. But on the other side if I knew it would take this long right after the accident it would have driven me crazy. In this way, it was a more gradual journey.

I learned at Cognitive FX that when you experience confusion when injured, you’re more likely to have symptoms that don’t go away quickly.

And I learned that post-concussion recovery time isn’t related to the injury source. So someone who had a car accident can have the same recovery time as someone who fell of the stairs.

My Post-concussion recovery timeline

I wish I could give you a clear answer but the only thing I can do is share more about my post-concussion recovery time. Below you will find the timeline from the accident on May 23rd, 2017 until now (exactly 5 years later while I am writing this).


2017

Tuesday, May 23: The day I bumped into another scooter on my way home. I thought I was fine and only hurt my ankle.

I felt a bit weird but thought it must be the adrenaline from the accident.

Wednesday, May 24: The day after the accident. I went to work and pretended like nothing was going on. I still felt weird but couldn't explain what it was.

Friday, May 26: I went to my workplace for 4 days. Went home early this Friday afternoon and told my boss: "I will take rest and be back on Monday".

Monday may 29: I couldn’t go to work as I promised on Friday. I called my boss and told him I needed one more extra week of rest. He told me that was okay and I felt relieved. A whole week of rest!

Monday, June 5: I couldn’t go to work after resting as much as possible for a whole week. What is going on with me? I called my doctor and planned an appointment for the next day.

Tuesday, June 6: I went to my doctor. He told me that I felt anxious and that I needed more rest. He gave me some calming pills and sent me home. His advice: 3 more weeks of rest and you will be better. What 3 weeks?!

Tuesday, June 27: The 3 weeks went by, I didn’t feel any better, I felt even worse. I didn’t go to work and stayed at home. Even doing groceries was too much. I called my doctor again because he told me I will be better within 3 weeks. I planned a new appointment.

Wednesday, June 28: There I was, again at my doctor’s office. It felt like I had to cry and not even knowing why. When he asked me how I was doing, I burst into tears. He told me that it’s normal to feel a bit overwhelmed and mentioned the word whiplash for the first time because I had a lot of neck pain. He sent me to a physiotherapist and advised me to get as much rest as possible. ‘It can take up to 6 months’, is what he said. 6 MONTHS?!

July: My first appointment at the physiotherapist. He explained a lot about whiplash and that he was able to help other people with a whiplash injury. It gave me hope. We scheduled the next appointment which would be the first session.

July: I had my first session with the physiotherapist. Even the ride to go there on my bike in Amsterdam wasn’t easy, but I needed to do something. So I went and had my first session. I remember I felt way worse after the session but hoped this was part of the recovery.

July: My second session was even worse. I had to do some strength exercises. It wasn’t that my neck wasn’t able to handle them but it felt way too much for my head. Talking during the session was exhausting, is this normal for a whiplash injury? When we finished, I had such pressure on my head.

Aug: In total, I had 6 sessions and it felt like I was getting to feel worse than better. I decided to stop the sessions. This wasn’t what I needed.

Aug - Dec: I felt so lost and didn’t know what to do anymore. The accident was already 7 months ago and I still didn’t feel any improvement. During these months I tried craniosacral therapy (which helped temporarily) and I started Neurofeedback therapy.


2018

Jan - May: I had 20 Neurofeedback sessions which did cost me a lot but didn’t feel any improvements because of that. I felt so disappointed again. Emotionally this was the hardest period. It was so frustrating! May - Nov: I didn’t want to get disappointed again and I was so tired of the fact that nothing seemed to help me that I didn’t want to try new things. It felt like I was “waiting” until a miracle would happen. During this time, I tried to go back to work as well but this didn’t work out very well. It was too much. I felt useless and was sick of being at home all the time and not being able to participate in the “normal” world.

Nov: This month I had my “last” official workday at the office. We both (my employer and I) decided this wasn’t going to work and did cause me a lot of stress. We agreed both on this and because it was an agreement from both sides, I was able to get a bit of financial support from the government, which saved me during that time.

Dec: I was so done and tired of trying to keep up my life (social and work) that I wished I was at a place where I didn’t know anyone, just me and nature. I needed a break from everything and decided to go traveling.

Dec: I don’t know how I did it but I flew from Amsterdam to Asia. I stayed for 4 months in Asia and almost didn’t meet anyone. I needed me-time and rest from everything. This allowed me to think of what I needed to do with my life. I felt a lot of financial stress because I knew I would run out of money soon and wasn’t sure if the government would still support me.


2019

Jan: I was still in Asia and during my stay, I also googled new therapies. I still felt this wasn’t forever and there needed to be something that would be able to heal me, right? Traveling gave me back my hope, made me able to learn more about my body, and step away from all the anxious thoughts. I ended up scheduling a call with the concussion clinic Cognitive FX in Utah.

Feb: I had to wait 1 month to be able to have the (free) Skype call with Cognitive FX. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting outside, overlooking the rice fields, and felt very emotional. I spoke with them and told them about everything. They immediately said: you have a concussion. This was the first time someone ever mentioned to me the word concussion. I still can’t believe it that it was never ever mentioned to me, no doctor. I immediately decided to do this treatment and booked an appointment with them in May 2019. I also booked my ticket from Bali back home in April.

April: I flew back from Bali to The Netherlands and stayed for 6 weeks at my parent's place. I didn’t feel ready to go back to Amsterdam and I even couldn’t go back because I rented my apartment. I waited until I was ready to go to Cognitive FX.

May: I went to Cognitive FX. I was so nervous but I never regret this choice. It was the best choice of my life and during the week I improved a lot. In case you want to read more about my treatment here, I wrote in this blog how I experienced it.

June: Cognitive FX advised me to go to a neuro optometrist so I started this at an optometrist in The Netherlands 1 month after I went to Cognitive FX. I had light therapy, eye exercises, and put on Yoked Prism Glasses. In total, I went there for almost a year and it did help me a lot! Dec: I had my first call with the Mind-Eye Institute because I realized I reached my limit of improvements at my neuro optometrist in The Netherlands. After the call, I thought that I should wait a bit because I wanted to focus on the emotional part that comes with a concussion as well.

2020 - Concussion Healing Timeline

April: I decided that I wanted to go for the treatment at The Mind Eye Institute. And exactly at this moment, Corona happened and all borders to the United States did close for Europe. I had to wait.

Sept: The last year I felt more improvements, continued for a long time with all exercises cognitive FX gave me and finished my sessions at the neuro optometrist. I felt it was time to work on the emotional part that comes with a concussion. So I called my doctor to give me a referral to a psychologist.

Oct: I went to my psychologist and realized the emotional part was something I didn’t pay attention to during my journey. I was always focused on the physical part of getting better and when I look back this journey wasn’t easy at all. Not knowing what to do, how to get better, not being able to participate to social activities, not being able to work... It’s a lot!


2021 - Concussion Healing Timeline

April: I launched my community platform and learned so many new things. I had to learn my boundaries because I am still dealing with post-concussion syndrome years later, had to learn more about how a community works, make posts for Instagram, set up classes courses and more!

June: I felt so overwhelmed by starting to work again that my symptoms became worse. I took immediate action and made a change to my planning. I wasn’t able to work that much already. Step by step, not always easy but so needed.

Sept: I was doing much better after taking it a bit easier with running the community. I was getting so much energy from helping people and I knew that that was something I wanted to do for a long. Only taking care of my limits was really needed but I learned a lot and became better at it.

Nov: I had to wait for such a long time to go to The Mind Eye Institute, and had to move my scheduled appointments over and over again because the borders remain closed until November. In November 2021 I flew to Chicago and did see Dr. Zalinsky, she is amazing! I will share an update soon.


2022 - Post Concussion Syndrome 5 Years Later

May 23rd:

While I am writing this blog, it’s 5 years ago since I sustained my concussion. What a rollercoaster! This was my concussion healing timeline just in short ;).


In the beginning, I was mad, I could only think: “why did this happen to me”? I thought it was unfair.


All my friends, colleagues and family were continuing life. I never felt this worse, lost and alone in my entire life. 🤦🏽‍♀


5 years did pass and I am a totally different person. Every year, I changed, Learned new things, and slowly started to notice positive effects as a result of my concussion. ✨


The first 3 anniversaries were awful, I only focused on what I missed and why I still wasn’t the old me anymore.


My 4th anniversary was 1 month after I started this community, I looked back and compared where I was during my 3rd anniversary and noticed such a difference.


I found a goal and a purpose in life.

I discovered a new way of working (not for a boss), new possibilities did show up, and new like-minded people crossed my path.


It always felt like I lost everything: friends, my job, financial security, my home and control over my own body, and my health.


Right now, here I am, it’s my 5th anniversary and I realize my life is (mostly) a creation of what I dreamed of: Not working for a boss, doing something that gives me fulfillment (helping others), having like-minded friends, living in a more rural place, and a lovely relationship. ❤️


Without the circumstances that forced me to make changes, I wouldn’t be where I am right now.


I am grateful and happy with where I am right now and eager for more.


A big thank you to everyone who is following me, who is a member of the community, without you, I wouldn’t be where I am today.❤️



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1 comentario


I had an MVA back in 2004, have a concussion on the right posterior part of my head, I also had a burst fracture that almost got me paraplegic from the neck down, To this day I still get a headache that feel just like it happened the day of the accident at the exact same location of the impact.

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