Post-Concussion Syndrome

It’s time for me talk about a major mental health issue I am going through. I’m a Management Consultant and a Leadership and Safety Speaker suffering through Post-Concussion Syndrome since March of 2017. The concussion, suffered during a soccer game, has literally rocked my world and I battle daily with the sounds in my neighborhood and in the world surrounding me. Sounds that I know won’t hurt me, but leave me overwhelmed. To provide you with some insight here is my experience at the YVR International Airport.

I’m at YVR and can’t escape the sounds. A stretchy rubber squeaking sound from the escalator, air conditioner, vendor refrigerator, people movers (clicking), paging someone on the loudspeakers, airplanes, children, other travelers, bathroom toilets, hand dryers, squeaky luggage, squeaky shoes, squeaky cleaning carts, sound of golf carts (high pitched squeal, like its constantly in reverse), television, music, a worker’s radio, the person beside me eating chips. There seems to be no escape, its relentless and ubiquitous. How do we survive with so many sound distractions? How many times is that toilet going to flush?

The squeaking rubber noise feels like it’s running across my forehead scraping the paint off my brain.

Plane taking off, I understand that and can endure it because I know it’s temporary. I even understand the alarm for when the people mover starts, but there’s just so much noise. These sounds seem so evasive and annoying, but I’m the only one cringing, feeling like hiding because it just won’t stop. Another gentleman goes on the people mover and everything starts all over again. There’s a lot of activity at an airport, I’m overwhelmed, but nothing is actually loud, just grinding, and everywhere. I move from location to location, but it’s just an opportunity for another annoying sound.

Whose kid is that and why is he screaming, why are kids so sad? Ahhh a brief sense of calm just before the next plane taxis, toilet flushes and child screams. Conversation behind me, beside me, airplane ready to leave, motors, fans, this could be a long flight.

They asked if we would be willing to check our ‘carry on’ since the flight is at capacity. I volunteered, then realized my passport is in my carry on. I don’t need it for a domestic flight, but I’m grief stricken thinking I could lose my passport. I start to cry as I board the plane.

I share this message, not so that you’ll feel sorry for me, but with the hope it will create a better understanding of Traumatic Brain Injury, Post-Concussion Syndrome, and the discomfort some people may be enduring associated with “normal” environments. I feel very blessed and continue fighting to gain my health back, but my brain needs time to heal. I was encouraged recently by a friend who endured a very similar situation and overcame it. To quote Micheal Landsberg “I’m sick, not weak”.

Thanks for reading, please share. #BellLetsTalk #mentalhealth

Duane Janiskevich – Stop Cutting Corners – Mental Health

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