Crashed head first into the boards at full speed during a travel hockey game In Philadelphia. Another large player (ie 6 feet, 190 lbs) fell on top of Tyler’s head/helmet while Tyler was still on the ground with head by the boards after initial collision. Tyler at the time was a 17 year old junior in high school. This was not a high school game…was with his club team. Tyler is 5’11” and 168 lbs.
While, he never lost consciousness, Tyler reported “seeing red” and “stars” at time of collision and feeling dizzy coming off the ice. His head also hurt. He did not experience nausea on the bench. According to his coaches, he passed the Concussion test they administered…ie he correctly identified how many fingers they held up (ie no double vision), he correctly knew the date, where he was, what he was doing, his name, , birthday, address, etc. The day after the tournament, Tyler slept almost the whole day….the tournament was in Philadelphia over Columbus Day weekend and had been a busy one with a lot of early and late night games and a lot of team dinners/events—so the sleeping, while concerning given his recent hockey accident, was also understandable given how much he had been through and we drove…so he slept whole way in the car and went back to sleep immediately when we arrived home. He went to school that following Tuesday through Thursday but it became clear that he wasn’t himself by Thursday. He reported that he couldn’t focus in class and that he was “seeing his teachers’ lips moving” but couldn’t absorb/process what they were saying. He also reported a migraine grade headache by the week’s end—these migraines were exacerbated by reading or lots of stimuli in the classroom. We asked that he see his varsity hockey trainer at school who had performed a baseline Impact test as concussion protocol when he entered his Freshman year. Sure enough, this Impact test revealed that Tyler, was indeed concussed. He scored significantly lower than his baseline on working memory and speed of processing. These scores were in the low 60s versus the 98 percent on each in his baseline. He immediately saw a local “concussion” expert popular with the hockey community—Dr. Eric Small—and began concussion recovery protocol…however, 6 weeks later, his working memory not only didn’t improve, it went down. Further, he was now sleeping excessively, causing school tardiness and sometimes missing school completely which was out of character for him.
This marked the beginning of the “search” for a “cure” for Tyler’s compromised cognitive state. His mental stamina was low. He tired easily. He slept excessively—-even on weekends—His headaches continued and he couldn’t concentrate and was frightened and frustrated. At no time did Tyler have mood swings or anger. He was just noticeably more fatigued and had more of a “flat effect” when interacting with him than before.