Concussions and CTE

For those of us who wish to talk about the many styles and facets of recreating Medieval armed combat.
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Re: Concussions and CTE

Post by Roland Brokentooth »

Could my concussions (I've had two confirmed, one from football another from wrestling as well as some "brown outs" from SCA) be the reason I sometimes have trouble getting words to leave my brain and get to my mouth? I've noticed it has gotten worse since 2005, the last time I really got rocked.
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Re: Concussions and CTE

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Re: Concussions and CTE

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Re: Concussions and CTE

Post by Tom B. »

One of the scary things there is the fact that Junor was never diagnosed with a concussion during all of his years of playing.
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Re: Concussions and CTE

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Re: Concussions and CTE

Post by Lloyd »

I slipped on the ice on Wednesday evening after work - concussion #13 for me (that I know of). Not as bad, I don't think, as the last one, but the headache and nausea of continuing (and I really crave chocolate :?: ).

I am pretty sure that this is it for me.... :( No more jousting, no more fighting.
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Re: Concussions and CTE

Post by Amanda M »

Lloyd that sucks. I am sorry to hear it. :(
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Re: Concussions and CTE

Post by Aaron »

Praying for you Lloyd.

My boss at work is the TBI MD for Afghanistan, and every once in awhile someone mentions NFL and he says, "Job security!"

TBI is cumulative. Rest is the best cure, and not reinjuring yourself.

With respect,

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Re: Concussions and CTE

Post by Diglach Mac Cein »

Sorry to hear the Llyod. I truely hope you are wrong, and that everything works out for the best.


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Re: Concussions and CTE

Post by Steve S. »

I think this is a good post, and it makes me consider some things I have seen over the years.

It seems to me that there has been an increased awareness and appreciation of more "extreme" medieval combat sports. We've seen the rise of "real" jousting, and now Battle of Nations. I myself have perceived this feeling that the "same old same old" SCA style of combat is being perceived as somewhat passé, and there is a newfound awe for these more extreme combat forms.

Perhaps it is worth looking at SCA combat in a new, more appreciative light.

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Re: Concussions and CTE

Post by M. S. R. »

Hi, I'm new here but I wanted to chime in on concussions.

A lot of focus is being placed on helmet padding, which is good, putting stuff between you and the stick is an awesome idea, but concussions are also caused by having your head snapped violently from one side to the other, with often no real injury beneath the actual point of impact. The damage comes from your brain sloshing around and impacting the inside of your skull at other points. It makes sense to me that heavier helms would help in this regard, as the heavier your head is in relation to the blow, the less it will be moved, and the less sloshing around your brain can do.

Speaking of sloshing, your brain is cushioned by a layer of fluid between it and the skull, this is it's natural padding. Things like dehydration, drinking, etc thin this layer and make you more susceptible to concussions(Of course none of you ever fight with hangovers.. right?)

On rest: Boxers who are KO'd are required by the athletic commission to wait 60 days before fighting again. Most high end professional trainers make their fighters wait 3 months, and some wait at least 6 months. These periods gone without fighting can account for millions of dollars lost to all involved, yet it is still enforced and encouraged, so there is probably something to it. (note that just because you were KO'd in boxing doesn't mean you lost consciousness, just that you were hurt and unable to recover to the referee's satisfaction in the allotted time of 10 seconds) So if you experience symptoms of a concussion, it may be worth your while to take a bit of rest.

So basically you need:
Padding to prevent direct transfer of impact from the stick to your skull.
Weight to keep your head from snapping back and forth.
Hydration and less drinking before fighting to support your natural defenses.
Proper recovery time after being injured.

Many of you probably knew all of this, but if just one person didn't then it was worth writing.

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Re: Concussions and CTE

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Re: Concussions and CTE

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Re: Concussions and CTE

Post by Tom B. »

League of Denial: the NFL's Concussion Crisis by Frontline is well worth watching. While it is centered on football anyone involved in a contact sports should pay attention.
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Re: Concussions and CTE

Post by Vitus von Atzinger »

Disturbing.
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Re: Concussions and CTE

Post by Tom B. »

Vitus von Atzinger wrote:Disturbing.
Especially the young guys 18 & 21 whose brains had CTE.
Also the guys without a documented history of concussion. The possibility of the numerous smaller impacts causing issues is very disturbing.
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Re: Concussions and CTE

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Roland Wodeman wrote:Could my concussions (I've had two confirmed, one from football another from wrestling as well as some "brown outs" from SCA) be the reason I sometimes have trouble getting words to leave my brain and get to my mouth? I've noticed it has gotten worse since 2005, the last time I really got rocked.
In a word - Yes.

I have avoided posting on here about this because its a little too close to home. And I really don't feel good talking about what happened to me, I've typed and deleted an email like this at least a dozen times.

I have been diagnosed with frontal lobe brain damage from a high number of concussions and sub-concussive hits, most of which came from our sport.

One of my many symptoms is word finding. Its worse some days then others, but some days I can barely get out a sentence with all the pauses trying to get even basic words to come out. I scored lower than the 1st percentile on a short term memory test, have developed ADD like symptoms, sleep issues, mood disorders, hormone imbalances. Honestly, the list goes on and on...

According to my team of neurologists its not just the concussions, the big hits we recognize as brownouts or 'getting our bell rung', but the sum of ALL the hits to the head big and little. Every time we take a head shot it can add up. What it added up to for me is long term disability, retirement from fighting, losing my job, hobbies, and a lot of my self.

I have also been accepted into several concussion studies at a major research university. They were fascinated by what we do. They are looking into many areas including possible genetic components to explain why some of us have much worse outcomes from TBIs. Not everyone who does what we do, or plays in the NFL or other violent sports will have outcomes like mine, but I do see a lot of the same symptoms in other people I know from our sport and know of at least one seeking treatment for a very similar list of symptoms to mine.

My 2 worst concussions in the SCA were both getting pushed over in melees and hitting the back of my head on the ground. The ground does hit harder than anyone I ever fought ;) But I guess its just important to know that it can happen from what we do, and if you are having symptoms like I've listed above, or in the CTE literature, go get checked out by your doctor. They are learning more about concussions and concussion care every day.
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Re: Concussions and CTE

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Friedrich Parcifal wrote: I have avoided posting on here about this because its a little too close to home. And I really don't feel good talking about what happened to me, I've typed and deleted an email like this at least a dozen times.
I for one appreciate you coming forward and sharing your story.
Please know that by sharing this you are helping others.

Thank you.
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Re: Concussions and CTE

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Unless we start coming forward to get this information out I believe that we are doing not only a great disservice to our fellows, but failing in our dedication to chivalry. It wasn't easy for me to start this post, I had been in denial for a very long time, but I know fellow jousters that have Parkinsons-like symptoms and heavy fighters that used to be silver tongued, but now have trouble completing a sentence without search for words.

Like it or not, this is the reality that we live with.
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Re: Concussions and CTE

Post by Friedrich Parcifal »

Lloyd wrote:Unless we start coming forward to get this information out I believe that we are doing not only a great disservice to our fellows, but failing in our dedication to chivalry. It wasn't easy for me to start this post, I had been in denial for a very long time, but I know fellow jousters that have Parkinsons-like symptoms and heavy fighters that used to be silver tongued, but now have trouble completing a sentence without search for words.

Like it or not, this is the reality that we live with.
You are very correct Lloyd.

Honestly, I have had a very hard time coping with what's happened, even more so since my official diagnosis in March.

I had to come to some kind of grip on what happened to me before I felt like I could come forward and say anything. The neurologist who asked me to speak up, who is also a professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical school, just wanted me to pass along the kinds of symptoms I had that so that people would know what to look for in themselves and others, so they'd know when to seek medical attention.

Even with what has happened to me, I still miss the clash of arms immensely and would return if I could. Last weekend I went to my first event in a long time, and had to step away a few times to cry during the fighting from the emotions of missing it so much. But I have to live with it, and now that I am able to speak about it, I felt it time to do so.

I also made a difficult decision to spoke up at the event when a fighter was struck and quite obviously concussed. I spoke with his lady about what I saw, why it worried me and what symptoms to watch for over the coming days. Its ****ing hard to know where the line is between speaking up and minding my own business. I decided that since I am privy to quite new information from doctors at the forefront of this research that I had to at least inform his Lady of the newer information I had. I'm not sure if it was entirely welcome, but I felt I could not hold my tongue and feel good about myself afterwards.

I'm sorry it took me so long to speak up. Its not been an easy road. But if my story helps anyone else avoid becoming another data point in this research then I will be pleased.
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Re: Concussions and CTE

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I am sorry to hear it Lloyd...in a way, you sort of got me 'back' into the whole medieval thing. Back in the late 90s I ran across a write up about you and all of a sudden, I was on fire- and not a little hero worship as I started reading up on it more (jousting, fencing, armor et al). I wish you the best, man.
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Re: Concussions and CTE

Post by Uly »

If you do take a hit and decide to call it a day, do yourself a favor and don't unwind with a beer.

A couple months ago I received what was probably a minor concussion from a bike accident on the way to a bar for happy hour. After three drinks at the bar (the first of which was consumed within 15 minutes of taking the hit), I became completely blackout drunk. While I am not a huge drinker, three drinks should not have had me anywhere near that drunk. I was speaking nonsense, vomiting, had a lock of motor control, and cried for no reason (all of which are symptoms of a concussion). Apparently there was a synergistic effect between the alcohol and the head injury, making what was initially a minor hit into a huge deal. Had I gone home and rested after the hit, I probably would have been fine. Had I had a larger hit or more alcohol, I could have done some serious damage to myself.
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Re: Concussions and CTE

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Re: Concussions and CTE

Post by RoundTop »

Always wear a helm that fits you.

I used a loaner helm for a while while mine was being made, and while I did not get any concussions, when I was struck in the head it was certainly "felt" pretty well. It also cut my forehead a little (courtesy of a hit at the top of the bar grill driving it down).

Switching to my helm was night and day. a solid 14ga helm made for me, even big hits don't rock it too much, and those big hits don't happen much due to the shape (mid-point sugarloaf). Most vertical strike skip off, same with horizontal strikes at the upper helm.
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Re: Concussions and CTE

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Paladin74 wrote:I am sorry to hear it Lloyd...in a way, you sort of got me 'back' into the whole medieval thing. Back in the late 90s I ran across a write up about you and all of a sudden, I was on fire- and not a little hero worship as I started reading up on it more (jousting, fencing, armor et al). I wish you the best, man.
Wow, William, I didn't know that. It is humbling to know that I could inspire people to join our brand of insanity (I am not legally at fault though, right?). I look forward to meeting you and your brothers in the Order of the Marshall. I would be honored to break lances with you.
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Re: Concussions and CTE

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Re: Concussions and CTE

Post by Thorsteinn Raudskeggr »

Anyone here ever had Post Concussion Syndrome? How long did it take to heal?
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Re: Concussions and CTE

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Thorsteinn Raudskeggr wrote:Anyone here ever had Post Concussion Syndrome? How long did it take to heal?
Every single time - the last one (from earlier this year) was about 4 months; my big concussion back in 05 lasted for more than a year.
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Re: Concussions and CTE

Post by Thorsteinn Raudskeggr »

I'm going on my 3rd month since the accident. What kills me is that it happened from a workplace accident, and not me doing anything fun. I got hurt just stepping into a ilmaintained van.
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Re: Concussions and CTE

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Re: Concussions and CTE

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Uly wrote:I was speaking nonsense, vomiting, had a lack of motor control, and cried for no reason...
At my house, we used to call that Thursday night. :D
It's all just goobdooberous fripdippery now.
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Re: Concussions and CTE

Post by Rodney »

Lloyd’s thread got me thinking several months ago. I was experiencing some symptoms mentioned above, and they weren’t getting better on their own.

I finally went to see my doctor – a few times. My relief was great when I learned that I didn’t have damage from 2+ concussions, 11 years of football, or 20 years of rattan fighting. Three separate issues were identified; the worst being a damaged and inflamed greater occipital nerve. While not a minor problem, it’s better than the alternative.

The moral of my story is this: Man-up and go to the doctor if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in this thread.

Thank you Lloyd.
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Re: Concussions and CTE

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No worries, Rodney - I am glad that you are going to be okay. We have to have each other's backs and I am really heartened by the fact that folks are willing to step up and talk about what they are going through.
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Re: Concussions and CTE

Post by Thorsteinn Raudskeggr »

So I reached he end of my "treatment plan" and I can say that needing help for PCS/TBI from a workmans comp company will leave you with a severe bad taste in your mouth. They don't want to deal with anything they deem to be outside of the "industrial accident" so if you're having problems at home due to the effects of what happened they care not because it's not work, and the doctor cleared you for work.

I'm thinking of filing a complaint with the board of medicine in my state. Some of the stuff that went on is flat wrong and I'm still dealing with the side effects.
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Re: Concussions and CTE

Post by Cap'n Atli »

So, does the SCA Chirgeons' Guild keep any sort of database on concussions or any other injuries? Do they do any studies or compile statistics? Broken arms? Headaches? injuries requiring trips via ambulance or follow-up trips to the doctor.

It's a rough game, so something like that would probably be most useful.
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