Starting To Worry about Brain Trauma

Discussion in 'Competitors Corner' started by Pretty In Pink, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    These last few weeks I've been taking it easy in class, taking time off. I noticed that when I'm having conversations with people I was consistently forgetting names and places. Like, I'd see the place in my head but I couldn't remember the name until someone said it. Happens to everyone. For a few weeks though, I was struggling a lot more than normal. My family, friends and girlfriend said that they didn't notice a difference but I felt it.

    So I stopped sparring and memory improved.

    Now I have an ever-so-slightly sore head. Had it for a week now I think. It feels like my brain is warm. Like on a pain scale it's like 0.5 out of 10.

    Also, I'm a bit of a hypochondriac. I have been to the doctors over nothing quite a few times.

    I spar almost every session, but it's normally light sparring. Going to talk to my instructor about it.

    What do you guys reckon? Am I just imagining it? I'm talking coherently no problem now, and I can concentrate and still learn like normal.
  2. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Maybe you had a light concussion?

    I wish I could reassure you, but if you want to be a professional fighter, CTE and other brain trauma is a real danger. You have to consider this as you plan your future. Whether or not your current situation is some sort of brain trauma, I don't know. But it is a real danger on this career path.

    On the other hand, many professional fighters and American football players DO live full lives. Something that seems to be lost sometimes in discussions of this issue.

    Dr's are still learning a lot about this issue.

    I have been spacing things like names of people I know well lately. In my case, it seems to be a part of getting older, but it scares me too.
  3. Knee Rider

    Knee Rider Valued Member Supporter

    Mate, if in doubt get it checked.

    I've worked on an acute rehabilitation ward for stroke and head injury... You don't want to go there. I'm sure you fine but best have that piece of mind.

    Go to docs.
  4. StooXex

    StooXex Valued Member

    This is good advice.
  5. chatter box

    chatter box Member

    Hello pretty in pink,it may be nothing to worry about,then again-it may be a warning that all is not well?
    if you notice this- then it is a concern for you-listen to your body.
    please go back and talk to your g.p,ask for a brain scan,
    no one can see inside your head!-you may have to end up paying privately for this,
    you can book a private mri scan on line.
    I would not ignore this.I HOPE it is nothing
    what price can you put on your health?
    get it sorted,at least for your peace of mind.
    kind regards.
    Mitch and Pretty In Pink like this.
  6. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    I'd stop sparring and talk with either a brain specialist, or a sports-injury specialist. This would make me very nervous about my self. Big "whoa!" :eek:
    Pretty In Pink likes this.
  7. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    As someone suggested it could be a mini-concussion which I would honestly prefer.
  8. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    If you spar full contact, it's worth getting a private mri (200quid upwards) to make sure there's no preexisting issues.

    Safe mma have started requiring this and they've caught several fighters with structural brain weaknesses.
    Tom bayley and axelb like this.
  9. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    I'm constantly forgetting things. I could talk about a fighter and rattle off his record and significant matches...a day later and I'm like "who? Oh the dude with the thing?"

    Mine however is most likely a mix of age, lots of life experience and hitting the Earth a lot.

    Anyway. I would generally agree to go to a GP and have them refer you or something. But it also sounds you're a bit like me (a bit of a hypochondriac).

    It is most likely nothing but going in, your stress levels might spike upwards. It can't hurt getting a check up. In fact as a pro fighter, its pretty much a requirement. Right?
    Pretty In Pink likes this.
  10. liero

    liero Valued Member

    There are a LOT of factors that go into memory and cognition beyond a mild concussion.
    Changes in sleep/diet/stress/caffeine/alcohol and drug use can all be factors. Often memory issues end up being due to a physical or psychological health issue rather than brain damage.
    Statistically, most martial arts practitioners are safer than other contact sports when it comes to brain injury.

    When you see a doctor (because based on the advice above you will) Make sure you can tell them the following information:
    You say you spar every session, what type of sparring? How often do you get hit in the head/neck when you do spar? What level of contact? What type of safety equipment do you use? Have you had a big head hit on the ground if not a knock out/knock down (if so when, how, how bad)?

    The key things in measuring whether you have been concussed (and whether it's considered severe) is how much you remember pre- and post concussion. If you have memory loss, it's a concussion, how long = how severe (amongst other things).

    These are factors which will be considered by a General Practitioner, but they have pretty limited advice on concussion. Typically it's "go home, don't drink, don't get hit in the head again". A further step could be seeing a neurologist or sports-medico to get scans as mentioned. These can be pricey.
    If you want to investigate how your cognitive ability is actually going, you could also consider a cognitive/neuro-psychological assessment from a psychologist/neuro-psychologist. Most universities which have post-graduate training programs offer student administered assessments at a low price, but a comprehensive assessment by a fully-qualified professional can be upwards of several thousand dollars. You could go get one done so in many years if you really have post-concussive symptoms you can contrast the difference.

    Also, if you are pursuing an MMA career (which by your sig it looks like you are) you need to consider how to mitigate the head injury factors. A few suggestions are:
    1. Limit full contact head shot sparring, only use it when it is required- rather than just because "we are tough". If you work out how to do this, and still be always fight ready, let me know.
    2. Make sure you wear protective gear (head gear, mouth guard) whenever you spar.
    3. Don't get dropped on your head. Spar on Mats. Most people who have serious head injuries from contact sports or die from knock outs "on the street" tend to get the damage when they hit their heads from the fall, not the initial strike. You can't break fall if you are out when you fall.
    4. Take sustained breaks from contact training if you do get knocked out. Taekwondo (my martial art) say 30 days after a stoppage. The more conservative evidence is 90 days. I met a health professional who said up to 6 months after a KO could leave you vunerable for multiple concussive traumatic brain injury (VERY conservative).
    5. Do some research on "healthy brain" things you can do to protect your brain health. I recall their was some growing research in the area of neuro-feedback technology in improving recovery after brain surgery and concussion. Not sure whether that applies to protective health for combat sports. There is certainly some legs to the idea though.
    6. Old school combat sports people seem to talk about neck training. I'm no expert on this (even less than what I have already written- so take all with a grain of salt).
  11. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Depression is linked to memory problems too.
  12. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Since work has been slow my diet has been poorer. I barely eat and I've been drinking a lot of energy drinks and not a lot of water.

    Feel a bit calmer today after forcing myself to drink some water and eat proper food. Stopped with the energy drinks too.
    Vince Millett likes this.
  13. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Dehydration can also cause dementia-like symptoms. If the energy drinks have been interfering with your sleep patterns, then that could have an effect too.
    Travess likes this.
  14. Latikos

    Latikos Valued Member

    A coach of mine used to drink Coca Cola Zero, with the wannabe sugar stuff in it.
    That made him experience memory and concentration problems as well.
    Were those energy drinks with sugar or this other stuff?
    Could be a factor too.
  15. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    I have the unfortunate experience of basically everything in this thread mentioning potential reasons for memory loss. Woo hoo!

    As a hypochondriac you should probably add in more than average anxiety to your list of potential causes of symptoms.

    Dehydration with high levels of physical exertion, increased anxiety, too much caffeine, depression, and getting wound up emotionally are my common occurrences for having a hard time with short term memory issues. If you did receive a mild concussion, a couple weeks to a month of taking it easy (meaning taking it freaking easy, not doing light sparring or med-high intensity exercise) should take care of it. I had a brain injury on top of a brain injury, being bed ridden for an entire month. My brain would literally "buzz" and I couldn't visualize things inside my mind or remember things well. My speech would also slur. Lasted about 3 months for me before I didn't experience those symptoms anymore, however I'm a little shaky on that because I also have PTSD which manifested its symptoms as concussion symptoms. It basically took 3 months before my speech didn't slur, which is the marker I'm using.

    Get an MRI at least, that'll tell you what's up as good as anyone or anything can. Then take it easy.
  16. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Good advice Ero and good to see you back here.
    Mitch and Pretty In Pink like this.
  17. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    I never left! I just lurk because I'm still kinda' adjusting to my new life with constant ailments and haven't been able to exercise regularly, much less train in martial arts ::tear::

    Also I just noticed your age Pretty In Pink. Unless you have received multiple traumatic head injuries I wouldn't worry about memory loss being the result of an accumulation of dings on the head. I've had A LOT from high school football, to MMA, to Boxing and from the military and in normal circumstances my brain still functions pretty good. Ask me in 20+ years it might be a different story : P.
    Pretty In Pink likes this.
  18. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Cheers guys, you've all said a lot and it's alevieated my worries somewhat. I'll get to the doctors and talk with them about how I'm feeling.
    David Harrison and Simon like this.
  19. hewho

    hewho Valued Member

    good luck, let us know how you get on!
    Mitch likes this.
  20. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    Go to the doctors. Don't mess about asking on the forums, just go. You only get one brain. Look after it!

    Edit: Just realised this is the better part of a year old. Think I need to get my own brain checked. /sigh.
    axelb, Knee Rider and Pretty In Pink like this.

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