As the largest orthopedic physician group in the Midwest, and one of the largest in the country, you are sure to find a clinic that best meets your needs.
June 8, 2020
We thought we understood concussions. They seem pretty common in athletes—almost a rite of passage. You get hit in the head, have a headache for a few days, rest, and resume play. No big deal. Wow, were we wrong!
Abby’s concussion affected absolutely every corner of her life. For five months, school, friendships, family, free time, sleep, nutrition, exercise and volleyball were impacted. This invisible injury took her life on detour we wish on no one. She couldn’t make it through a full day of school. Her friends and teammates didn’t understand so her relationships suffered. She couldn’t sleep but was exhausted by everything. Her headaches and confusion made it difficult to function. Volleyball, of course, came to a slamming halt. This concussion was evil. It was isolating. It was long. It was consuming. And, as a parent, helping your child navigate through a head injury was like traveling in the dark without a map. We didn’t know what to do to help Abby recover. There were days we weren’t sure IF she would recover.
It was clear we needed help. Fast.
We got that amazing help and expertise from Chris Ashton, the Concussion Program Coordinator at TCO. He, along with Dr. David Olson, and physical therapists Mike Steiner and Jake Wendt worked together to put a recovery program together to help Abby heal. Chris started by carefully assessing Abby to determine the type of concussion she had, taught us about the complexities of concussions and put together a comprehensive program to help Abby move forward. He patiently answered absolutely every question we had that first day and throughout the entire recovery process. Every email and every phone call were met with Chris’ calm, confident advice. He rode every “roller coaster moment” with us and was a positive beacon for us throughout Abby’s treatment. Chris coordinated vestibular and ocular therapy with Mike and Jake at TCO’s Physical Therapy locations in both Eagan and Woodbury. Mike and Jake share an expertise in concussion recovery that is hard to find elsewhere. This was not your average-joe physical therapy. They put together a program to help Abby’s eyes work together again to improve her balance, headaches, and fatigue. Although the exercises were definitely not fun, Abby enjoyed working with both therapists. They made her smile while encouraging hard work and pushing her brain to heal.
Fast forward five months. Abby was just cleared to play volleyball again. School has improved, she’s sleeping well, and she’s able to spend time with friends. She got her life back. Thank you, Chris, Dr. Olson, Mike, and Jake for giving us a road map to recovery! Thank you for standing with us—especially on the bad days. Thank you for sharing your amazing expertise to give Abby the opportunity to continue pursuing her dreams. You. Are. Awesome.