There are many forms of help that you receive after you have a concussion. If you were in a collision with another cyclist while out riding your bike, you may receive help from pedestrians or motorists who stop. Someone may call your family members who may come to pick you up. Perhaps you will have suffered other injuries, and will receive first aid from paramedics. If you are seriously injured, you may be transported to a hospital by ambulance, and receive medical attention from doctors there. Once you are assessed, you will be given care as well as discharge instructions. After a concussion you will need to be seen in at least one follow up exam by your primary doctor. You may need multiple visits depending on the severity of your concussion, and you may also need the services of a concussion doctor.
Your primary care provider is good for routine visits such as yearly physicals and mild problems such as coming down with strep throat or a rash. But for more complex issues, it is beneficial to see someone who has focused on one area of study. Women see OBGYNs for their obstetrical and gynecological needs, because that is a doctor who has focused on that area of study. They might be able to go to their primary care provider with simple issues such as initial pregnancy test or a yeast infection, but for more in-depth matters, they seek care from an OBGYN. The same concept applies to anyone who experiences a concussion. You can follow up from the emergency room with your regular doctor, but it is a good idea to also see a concussion doctor. In fact, your regular doctor would probably recommend it and write you a referral. This way both you and your doctor know that you will be getting the special care that your brain needs.
The human brain is a complex organ. It floats, suspended in fluid which usually absorbs the shock of any small bonks on the head. But even though the fluid is a fantastic shock absorber, and even though the brain is protected by a hard, bony skull, it is not a perfect system of protection. Unfortunately, brains can smack that same hard, bony skull from the inside and become injured. And in serious instances, that same skull can be cracked or crushed in a concussion event.
Your brain is special. It controls basically your entire body. The things that you do without even thinking about them, such as breathing or your heart beating, are regulated by the brain. The brain does indeed have a capacity to heal itself just like your bones do, and your skin does when it is cut. When bones break, you get a cast and directions on how to care for yourself and restrict your activity so the bone can mend. When your skin is cut, you receive stitches, a bandage, and instructions on how to keep it clean and dry as well as how to care for yourself so that your skin can mend. The same concept applies to your brain after a concussion.
It is important for the health and healing of your brain to receive proper post-concussion care, and to follow the guidelines you are given as well. Have you received the best possible care, or is it time to make an appointment? Pick up the phone today.