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How I Got My First Concussion - Happy & Healthy with Dr Cortney

person with thumbs up after a marathonIf you know me, you know I’m a runner! Running is stress relief. Running is exercise. Running is how I’ve met some of my best friends. And running is how I got my first concussion.

Asha and Bruce, my dogs, and I started early on a Friday, headed toward downtown Naperville via the streets, before we jumped on the Riverwalk Trail via West Branch DuPage River Trail around Ogden Avenue. We followed the blacktop trail under Ogden, along the river, staying on top until we started getting a bit hot.

I decided to go across the river via a bridge to get on the shaded side. As we approached a bridge, I noticed we couldn’t get access from the top trail; we needed to head down the stairs. I decided, based on my achy knees, that wasn’t going to happen. I noticed a pedestrian made a path through the shrubs that led to the sidewalk that would allow us to cross the bridge.

A Painful Encounter

I turned around, straightened Asha’s collar and made sure Bruce’s harness was snug, and headed toward the shrubs when suddenly I was hit in the face by something. My visor went flying, and my sunglasses were knocked crooked on my face.

standing near tree branchMy head was already aching, and I could feel the bridge of my nose bruising as I spoke. I picked myself up off the sidewalk, put my visor back on, straightened my sunglasses and said, “yeah, I’m fine” to the few bystanders who asked if I was okay.

I wondered what hit me. I looked around when I realized it was a tree branch that I ran into! This branch was growing horizontally out of the tree, right at about 4’11”, which made it perfect for me to clock myself in the face!

Grabbing the pups, I headed toward the bridge, crossed it, and ran in the shade for another mile, before heading toward Two Bostons for dog treats.

Three Bad Decisions

I should have known I had a concussion, because on the way home, I felt amazing running in the blazing sun. Note that I am not a fan of the blazing sun or the heat of summer. Then I began to make terrible decisions.

photos with my two dogsThe bad decisions began where the West Branch Dupage River Trail crosses Jefferson Avenue. I didn’t even look either way before I crossed! I heard tires screeching as I ran across, and as I got to the other side, I realized what I had done! Then, a second bad decision happens. I let Asha off her leash.

The third bad decision is that as Bruce and I are running together and keeping an eye on Asha, we see a flock of geese just grazing by the river. I get Asha’s attention and tell her to “get ‘em.” She gets excited, and starts running toward the geese just as a mom pushing a jogging stroller comes into view!

Asha chased the birds, which then started running and flying in the direction of the mom and her child! The geese were right in the mother’s face within seconds! There were not enough apologies for this mom at this moment. I seriously felt like part of my brain was missing!

Assessing the Impact

As soon as we got home, I checked my face in the mirror in the bathroom. I could see a decent size goose egg forming on the right side of my forehead, and a light bruise was developing across the bridge of my nose.

I looked at my sunglasses. No scratches and not broken, so I wasn’t too worried about myself. In fact, the weekend felt normal. No headache, nausea, dizziness, visual disturbances or fatigue. So, I felt pretty confident no permanent damage was done. That is until Monday at the office.

Sometimes I found myself struggling to find words. I was thinking clearly and felt great, but sometimes I couldn’t come up with a word I wanted to use. I couldn’t even get my brain to say the name of my assistant-Kim. By Wednesday, I knew I was suffering from a mild concussion, and it was time to take care of myself.

supplement bottles

Getting on the Healing Path

While I couldn’t decrease screen time, because that’s how I chart and work, I could reduce inflammation in my brain by cleaning up my diet. I eliminated inflammatory foods like eggs, corn, soy, wheat and dairy. I got several chiropractic adjustments in Naperville over the next three weeks and started taking supplements to help my brain heal.

The supplements I started on are as follows:

  • DHA
  • Magnesium L- Threonate
  • Glutathione
  • Curcumin

I am happy to say I’m feeling better. Thank goodness, because I need this brain firing on all cylinders!

If you have questions about supplements for concussion or other health concerns, please contact us.


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