4/ Pink concussions, Clark Kent and social isolation

The first of three Pink Concussions sessions is over, and I stumble into the foyer.

“What did you think?” asks founder and CEO Katherine Snedaker.

Overwhelming, I say. Good. There’s so much!

“Were you triggered?” she asks.

Triggered. Ah, yes. That’s what’s happening.

I do my Clark Kent thing, enter a washroom stall, close my eyes, and breathe.

In retrospect I should have stayed longer. Perhaps I should have skipped the next session or gone home. But I stick around. Über-me wants to get back to work, even though there’s no assignment and the pressure comes solely from within.

pink 3


After the break, my handwriting’s back.

Females report more symptoms early. Have symptoms longer. More willing to talk about inner selves.

Females over 55 – less likely to survive mTBI (mild traumatic brain injury). Not as much estrogen protection?

Full stop. In square brackets I’ve written Me? I’m two weeks past my 55th birthday. Beside being female, I’m now the target demographic.

My notes go on about social isolation: how after a brain injury or concussion, we’re told to get off our screens. I’ve circled and starred Speech pathologists – work on social media engagement – make sure continue.

I’ve been a lot less active on social media since my brain injury. Because online time is now nap time. Because I’m not sure who I am. But social media has also been a place of tremendous support.

16-year-olds: “I am what you think about me.” So brutal to have a brain injury. (Katherine Snedaker, United States)

All this cocooning we used to do was harming girls more. (Dr. John Leddy, United States)

Sex is not a predictor for bad outcomes … but you have to ask about the quality of life, especially after 40. (Dr. Katrin Rauen, Switzerland)

The panel takes questions from the floor.

Is TBI and sex different from other disabilities? Many issues also identified in cancer group … More than 50% of people with TBI (traumatic brain injury) report a decline in sex. (Dr. Jennie Ponsford, Australia)

It looks like another me has taken over the note-taking. Brain loosened up. Don’t feel so triggered. 4:23 Bounce back: coffee, handwriting bigger, brain functioning.

Dr. Leddy’s closing words: “Getting the word out is hard … Twenty years ago people with these symptoms were told that they were depressed.”

1/ My journey to the World Congress on Brain Injury

2/ Press, no press

3/ Don’t look back

4/ Pink concussions, Clark Kent and social isolation

5/ Pink survivors

Next: 6/ Sex and the brain

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