• 82°

My Turn: Post-Concussion Syndrome — a misunderstood malady

By Rosemary Wood

You have heard a lot about concussions in the news recently, mostly related to players in the NFL. What you might hear less of is “post-concussion syndrome.”

Excuse me while I shudder as I write the word.

You see, I have recently experienced firsthand this condition that produces life-altering symptoms and is generally misunderstood by the general public and, as it turns out, by a number of health-care providers.

Last spring, I had a fall and hit the back of my head hard on the ground. I was diagnosed with a concussion the following day and tried to continue with my normal activities, per doctor’s orders, with the exception of a few limitations on lifting and bending. From appearances, I looked fine and I felt fine for the majority of the time. As the days went by, however, I began having symptoms that should have alerted the doctors treating me that something was wrong.

I knew that I was in trouble when, two weeks after my accident, I was experiencing dizziness, light and noise sensitivity, several episodes of near-fainting, headache, ringing in my ears and painful spasms in my neck and torso. Things got curiouser and curiouser, as I realized that I could no longer calculate simple math problems in my head and just thinking about dates on the calendar was literally painful. And, there was no more multi-tasking for me. Only one conversation or activity at a time, please, or the results would be a throbbing headache. At my worst, I was unable to even sit up without assistance due to the dizziness.

Luckily, I got an appointment with a concussion specialist. It has been eight months now since my accident, and he tells me that I am one of his success stories. A key factor in my recovery was following the doctor’s orders for strict brain and body rest. For three weeks, I did not read, watch TV or use the computer. Most of this time was spent being quiet in a dark room. I definitely would not have made it through this time without the support of my wonderful family, friends, neighbors and co-workers who offered help, meals and prayers.

I also needed physical therapy so that I could walk again without assistance, acupuncture for my muscle spasms and an experimental drug to help me recover quicker. Yes, I am one of the success stories. Unfortunately, there are many children, teens and adults who are not getting the treatment they need. One dear friend whose son recently experienced post-concussion syndrome told me, “People don’t understand unless they’ve gone through it.”

Until a little over eight months ago, I was one who didn’t understand but now I know what can happen and will not think lightly about concussions again. Not everyone who has one will develop post-concussion syndrome. The key to prevention is getting and following the best medical advice after a blow to the head.

Rosemary Wood is a native of Salisbury and an elementary school counselor.



For first time since February, Rowan records two COVID-19 deaths in one day


Salisbury man receives up to 20 months for carrying gun while subject to domestic violence order, having fake license plate


Rowan County COVID-19 vaccination numbers see major improvement after inclusion of new data


Top shot: World champion skeet shooter conquers competition, helps grow sport


Local cultural institutions receive funding from Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program


David Freeze: New Mexico brings mostly flat roads


Rowan-Salisbury Schools teachers reflect on summer institute


Education briefs: Superintendent awards excellence in educational performance


Mayor Alexander talks infrastructure, growth with Kannapolis, Concord mayors on ‘Charlotte Talks’ radio show

Legion baseball

Baseball: Honeycutt excited, humbled by being drafted

High School

High school football preview: Falcons have experienced offense


Olympics: Livingstone graduate Hayes among final eight in 400


Freeze: Day 9 — What makes the best day


Salisbury Police talk worsening crime data, initiatives at first Neighborhood Action Group meeting


Spencer’s Park Plaza town hall project still on track, change order coming


RCCC names new foundation director


North Carolina experts worry as schools don’t require masks


NC sports betting bill gets winning vote from Senate panel


Salisbury man charged with 79-year-old woman’s murder says cellphone location resulted in charges


Salisbury City Council will return to virtual meetings, require face masks in city buildings


Landis goes big with two helicopters for National Night Out


Spencer and East Spencer join forces for National Night Out


City Council approves Grants Landing development on Rowan Mill Road


In lighter-than-usual year, RSS nutrition staff serve more than 100,000 summer meals