What Can We Learn From Dale Earnhardt Jr’s Experience With Concussions?

Dale Earnhardt returned to his race car last weekend after spending several weeks recovering from two traumatic brain injuries. He has been very open about his experiences with them and because of that we can take away several key points…..Image

1. Every Concussion is Different!

“The two concussions were completely different as far as where my brain was injured,” he said. “The one at Talladega mixed up a lot of anxiety and emotional stuff. The symptoms were more anxiety-driven. If I got into a busy situation, I’d get a lot of anxiety.”

2. Healing from a concussion is hard!

“I was just really frustrated and having a lot of anxiety of, ‘Man, how long is this going to last? Is this ever going to be right again? I had no answers,” he said. “These guys are professionals, and I asked everything I wanted to know, and we went through all these drills and exercises, and they ran me ragged, and it was a fun day.

3. Professionals help with the healing!

“I felt I understood what I was dealing with and the process was and felt a lot better. If I ever got any doubts, I’d call Micky up and we’d talk about it for an hour, and that was the best therapy was understanding what was going on. The regular symptoms of being foggy and having headaches, those were prevalent in first concussion, not so much in (the second) one.

4. Concussions need to be taken seriously!

“It changed the way I feel about it to where if I know I’ve suffered another concussion or if I have symptoms after an accident, I’m definitely going to be a lot more responsible about it,” Earnhardt said before practicing his No. 88 Chevrolet at Martinsville Speedway. “I can understand peoples’ opinions that they would try to push through it or they would ignore it to stay in the car because I did the same thing.

“Some concussions are really bad, and I don’t care how tough you think you are. When your mind’s not working the way it’s supposed to, it scares the (crap) out of you. You’re not going to think about race cars, about trophies, about your job. You’re going to think about what I have to do to get my brain working the way it was before. That’s going to jump right to the top of the priority list. I definitely take it more seriously now after everything I’ve learned.

You can find the full article about Earnhardt’s concussion experience here:

http://www.indystar.com/usatoday/article/1660409&usatref=sportsmod?odyssey=mod|newswell|featuredtext|Indianapolis%20Sports|p

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