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Jamie Macoun Discusses Head Injuries

from Bill Graveland of the CP at the Vancouver Province,

In the first few years after his retirement, former NHL defenceman Jamie Macoun would talk about the knee, ankle and back injuries he suffered during a rugged 1,128-game career.

But in the past decade, he has become more concerned about the residual effects of head injuries.

"If you talk to my kids, they say I have some damage. I can't remember their names. I can't remember my dogs name for crying out loud," Macoun said Monday as the federal government announced funding for new research on concussions with a focus on improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the injuries in children and youth.

"If this research had been done 25 years ago where would we be now?"

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jamie+macoun

Comments

Primis's avatar

The scary thing about this is that this stuff happens to people that DIDN’T play professionally and may be caused by similar things.  What if some of the stuff we just associate with “getting older” isn’t?

Just playing HS sports I probably had 2 or 3 concussions, and maybe another 1 or two just playing recreationally (gym class, goofing off with friends, etc).  And I never once played organized football or organized hockey (I was a kamikaze pilot playing basketball at times though).

Occasionally, my entire brain just clicks OFF for 3 or 4 seconds, like it’s rebooting/refreshing.  It’s been happening more and more as I get older.  I’ve always assumed that’s just “getting older”.  Maybe… it’s not?

I wonder how much of that is from my head slamming into the gym floor, or me going headfirst into the stage (padded, but still) at the one end of the court?  Or what about my own personal sensitivity to light?  Or the fact that I’ve had more “balance” problems as I’ve gotten older.  I’m only in my mid-30’s.

You really, really start to wonder…

Posted by Primis on 11/04/13 at 09:36 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

I’m with you there.  I played football for six years and had at least one documentable concussion (knocked out for a minute or so), but off the field I have had four more (including being unconscious for an hour or more when I was like six).  I definitely see the effects.  Depression, forgetfulness-  I was diagnosed severe ADHD at 24 or 25 and I fully believe it is due to concussions.  The scary part is that it doesn’t get better from here.  It just keeps getting worse as time goes by, it seems, and when last I checked there really wasn’t a good test for chronic traumatic encephalopathy that didn’t involve studying a dead brain.

I find that uppers (caffeine and adderall are as strong as I’ll go mind you) really, really help my mood swings (or at least they help swing me in a positive direction) so in a way the ADHD diagnosis was a godsend and makes it so i don’t require pots of coffee daily to be tolerable to be around- but the memory retention is just not ever coming back, I realize at this point, and the check-out lapses of attention already give me trouble in work.  I’m 33.  Hopefully I won’t be intolerable to my family when I’m older but it’s one of those things where you just don’t know, because you really aren’t in control of it.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 11/05/13 at 02:31 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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