Concussions are a growing concern in our society. Many have heard of the devastating effects a head injury can have on favorite athletes. However, it seems that we do not fully accept the fact that these effects translate into everyday life. Serious head injuries happen frequently in everyday life. Often these injuries take place at work, in a motor vehicle accident, or during violent altercations. It is estimated that a brain injury occurs once every 3 minutes in our country. 
Post concussion syndrome can be life altering. Effects from a concussion can be short term.They can also last for years without any certain resolution. It has only been in recent years that medical science has been taking concussions seriously. This has lead to concussion treatment being described as the no protocol, protocol. With medications such as Topiramte, a drug that lists side effects similar to concussion, being issued for relief or pain.    
The Neurological Wellness Association has several practitioners that are working independently on progressive concussion treatments. We currently have four members working to regain their health through these services. Our ultimate goal is to create a group of physicians who can help our members navigate the no protocol, protocol in order to get back to life as soon as possible.    
One of these members is Anna. This is her story.  
Hi. My name is Anna Donevan. 

I sustained a concussion while playing indoor co-ed soccer at a facility with a hardwood floor. I collided with a large man on the other team, and we fell to the floor. My head hit the hardwood floor twice. 

I went to the emergency that night, and the doctor said it could take anywhere from two weeks to two months to heal. That was on January 21, 2016, and now it is near the end of November, 2016. Needless to say, it has been a long, hard, and unexpected road for me. 

Over the past several months, I have seen many medical practitioners, including a GP, RMT, Osteopath, and Neuroscience Specialist Doctors. While I have certainly improved since the initial 3 months after my concussion (where I couldn’t really leave my house, socialize, have great mobility, stand any loud noises, and dealt with continual head pain), I have not been able to move forward in healing to 100%. This concussion has affected, and continues to affect my life in every way. I am able socialize on occasion and for minimal periods of time. Doing things I enjoy such as walking, swimming, and creating and playing music, has also been greatly hampered. I am not back to my full health. In my experience with the medical systems, concussions are not fully understood and if you have a concussion like mine, where you are not considered to have a brain injury which is very severe, you ‘fall through the cracks’ of medical provision. That is how I felt initially- that no one care-giver was consistently providing the care I required. Also, many people who experience concussions go through heightened anxiety and depression, as life is severely altered and one is required to learn a new way of living. It is a huge trauma, and though the MRIs may show up clear (as in my case thankfully), it still alters your ‘normal’ way of life. 

To illustrate, before my sports accident, I was a full functioning person, with a full-time job, social life, hobbies, etc. Then, in the immediate months after my concussion, I experienced loneliness and isolation, loss of friendships, and not being able to work. I was able to receive EI for four months after my accident, but nothing since then, as I do not qualify for a disability.  In the past month I have tried working, but I experience a relapse of symptoms when I try to do too much. 

I was introduced to the Neurological Wellness Association through a information table outside the grocery store in Esquimalt. I phoned and explained my situation and they were so very helpful in providing immediate support. My first consultation is with Jenna this week. 

I am thankful for the medical help that I did receive through the traditional medical system, but it was not enough and I am still struggling.  As someone that doesn’t qualify for neuro-rehabilitation programs, or disability payments, and my EI has run out, I am in need of support both financially and also rehabilitation to get back into work when I am able to. I hope that with physical therapy, my brain can heal and I can fully re-engage with life again. 

Thank you so much for your support. 


Anna Donevan

Neurological Wellness Association has provided a 50% subsidy to Anna so she can pursue treatment with Jenna Howe. We will look forward to future updates as we follow Anna on her quest for Wellness.

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