Brainwave is an informational resource for people whose symptoms haven’t resolved after a concussion or mTBI.
In December, 2020, I read the Los Angeles Times story about volleyball star Haley Hodson’s struggles with post-concussion syndrome. She had access to some of the finest medical institutions in the world, and yet they still botched her case. Sadly, the medical system routinely fails people with brain injuries, as if they have some rare disease.
Reading that story was one of the things that motivated me to create an informational resource for people recovering from brain injuries and post-concussion syndrome. In a sense, I wanted to travel back in time and provide myself—and people like Haley—with the information I wish I knew earlier.
Brainwave is the container for that information, as well as more cutting edge developments. My primary aim is to shorten the amount of time it takes you to survey and understand the current options that are available (here’s what we’ve covered since launching in September 2021, more is on the way).
I endeavor to present this information in a clear and concise way, spelling out what is backed by science and what remains unknown. Nothing here is meant as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. I am not a physician or a healthcare practitioner of any kind. I’ve simply had a lot of sports-related concussions and I had to learn this stuff the hard way.
I grew up playing hockey and skiing. I played two seasons of high school football and was knocked unconscious once. As an adult, I continued playing hockey recreationally and practiced martial arts. Without realizing it, I suffered several mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) without a loss of consciousness. In 2008, I suffered another sports related TBI that I struggled to recover from for a long time. The suffering I experienced—from the accretion of my injuries and from the malfeasance of medical professionals—isn’t at all unusual.
I realize that many people have suffered far more catastrophic injuries than I have, injuries that are blatantly obvious—such as great difficulty with walking or speaking. I honestly don’t know how much of the information on Brainwave will be helpful in such cases, but hopefully some of what’s laid out here will create a framework for moving forward.
At the same time, it’s important for everyone reading this to recognize that, just because someone’s symptoms may not be obvious from the outside, that doesn’t mean those symptoms don’t exist.
Whether our injuries are obvious or hidden, we must not only seek out information from a wide variety of sources and practitioners who don’t know each other, we must bring it all together in order to move forward with our recovery. I hope the information on Brainwave helps you do just that.
—E.M. Stonestreet, September 2021