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During my concussion journey, it felt like I had to answer a lot of questions about my concussion symptoms/whiplash injury that I didn’t have an answer to. Doctors, my employer, friends, family, and other people around me asked me many questions. What did they ask? How did I respond?
The first year was the hardest period to answer questions. Simply because I didn’t have any answers myself. I didn’t know what was going on with me, and no one could tell me this. So how could I answer those questions?
No one ever mentioned the word concussion injury during the first two years. How is that possible after having a scooter accident where you sustained a whiplash injury? These two things go hand in hand, and doctors don’t know anything about it, at least some doctors I visited in my country.
Below, you will find an overview of the questions I can still remember being asked by my doctor, family/friends and employer during my journey.
Questions my doctor asked about my whiplash injury and how I responded
Do you feel you took too much on your plate last year? No, I was doing well until I had that accident. It felt like he wanted to give me the label of burn-out. But I know my body, this isn’t a burn-out.
Can you move your neck? Yes, but it hurts. Sometimes, it felt like they only focused on my neck because I had the label whiplash injury, not concussion injury; however, I had all the concussion symptoms you can think of.
Would it be a great idea to talk to a psychologist? I can only give you that referral. He didn’t want to refer me to other doctors, so I didn’t want to go to a psychologist. My symptoms needed to go away and that’s not caused by something in my head.
What about doing more exercise? This will make your mood better. I understand the thought, but in the first year, I couldn’t do exercise, even walking was hard, it made me nauseous. How could I do exercise? He just answered: Just try to push yourself a bit; even a few minutes’ walk would be okay.
So, all tests are negative, how do you feel about that? What do you think is a good next step? I didn’t know how to react to that; it felt like I had to prove my symptoms. I told him that he was the doctor, not me. He wanted me to take more rest and check in after a few months. It felt like I was all by myself again.
A doctor was testing my reflexes, and everything was working well. So, it seems like you are healthy, isn’t that great news? I told him: Healthy?! I can barely do anything, so I am not healthy. I wish something had come out of that test. He stared at me and didn’t know what to do anymore.
Questions friends and family asked and how I responded:
So, you did improve since the accident, right, you’re doing better now? Maybe, I did improve a bit, but I am not feeling better. Every time I said I am doing better (when I had a good day), they thought my whiplash injury was healed, and there was no way back. I knew it didn’t work like that.
Isn't it an idea to try not to think about your concussion symptoms all the time? Maybe it will help you to not focus on the main thing in your life? I get that thought, but it’s not just between my ears. If I have symptoms all day, it’s impossible not to think about it. It’s like you cut your finger, and it’s hurting, and someone says just don’t think about it.
You were able to do that thing the other day, why isn’t that possible now? I don’t feel the same every day. One day, I can do 10 things, but the next day. I can’t do anything. Every day is different.
You look great today, how are you feeling? Maybe I look great, but I don’t feel great. I don’t want to complain or talk about it all the time, so I don’t say anything anymore.
Questions my employer asked and how I responded:
In the first few months. How are you feeling? Please take the rest you need. I am not feeling well, I am taking enough rest and hope my whiplash injury will go away soon.
After the first months. How long do you think you need to feel better? I told him that I wished that I felt improvement, but I don’t. I don’t know when I will feel better. I wished someone knew the answer.
After 6 months. We have to start thinking about replacing your spot because we can’t let other people pick up your tasks anymore. I responded that I understood, but it made me sad, I asked if it could only be temporary. That was okay.
After 1 year: You’ve tried to come back many times, but we feel that it’s not good for your health and also for the function of this job, it’s not the best thing ever. Clients seeing a different face every time, and we don’t want that. Would it be better to focus fully on your health and not have to push yourself anymore? This was a big moment for me, the decision to stop that job; it felt like nothing would ever be the same. I stressed even more about being able to ever work again. I was familiar with this job but finding a new job and meeting new people was freaking me out. A concussion injury will give you a lot of anxiety and I felt that to the max at this point.
These were the most important questions that I still remember being asked in my journey. I’m probably still missing some questions, but I want to give you an idea of the questions I dealt with. I think most people with post-concussion symptoms can relate to some of the questions. Do you?
Please let me know in the comments below if there were some other questions about your concussion injury you had to deal with and how you responded to them. I would love to hear from you!
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