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Canada From the comments: ‘Thank you.’ Readers respond to story of one reporter’s difficult year recovering from a concussion

Today, readers are responding to a feature by The Globe’s Kathryn Blaze Baum in which she recounts the difficult year she spent recovering from a “mild” concussion. Many have shared their personal experiences coping with post-concussion syndrome. Readers are also responding to news that Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick says he did not brief Justin Trudeau about a Dec. 19 phone call with Jody Wilson-Raybould in which she warned him that the Prime Minister and his staff were engaging in political interference in the case of SNC-Lavalin.

At right is what the brain of Kathryn Blaze Baum (pictured at left) looked like in an MRI on March 24, 2017, nearly five months after she suffered a concussion. She obtained a digital copy of the scan and more than 100 pages of medical records and notes to piece together how health-care professionals perceived her during treatment.

The Globe and Mail

Judy_M:

Thank you so much for writing this, Kathryn. I had my first mild concussion in 1984, then hit my head again a year and a half later. Both brought on debilitating vertigo. After the first, I literally had to relearn how to print and write -- thinking through each letter at a time. In those days there was virtually no information available about "mild" concussions and little treatment beyond rest and patience. Things eventually got better but I'm still prone to mild dizziness at times. My daughters as one point threatened to get me a football helmet with flower decals to prevent further incidents. I'm sure there are many of us who had to learn to deal with after-effects by figuring it out as we went along. Thank you again for sharing. Even after all these years it's helpful to know that I wasn't being a hypochondriac. I'm very glad better supports now exist. As people like you speak out, I'm sure more and better understanding and treatments will come.

peterbf:

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Thank you for writing this. I am four months and one day into my third concussion. This one has not been like the others - tinnitus and dizziness on top of the fatigue, neck pain, and mood disturbances that accompanied the first two. It is extremely frustrating trying to describe to non-sufferers what a concussion feels like and the impact that it has - an inescapable and internal torture test that at best puts life on pause, and at worst changes its course forever. I get even more upset by most online descriptions of concussions; symptoms are just casually listed like a checklist. Making matters worse, is describing concussions as “mild”. So much is lost in these lists and that label. Dizziness isn't just dizziness. It translates to not being able to walk, or drive, or live independently. You do capture what a concussion feels like. It is meaningful - to me, as a sufferer - to have a more complete description out there and one that I can share with people so that they can understand. Thank you.

ihalps:

I believe you have a new word that should now be included in the Oxford English Dictionary and that is” brainstorm”! So many people I know with concussions have said it is impossible to describe in words what one feels like. I feel as if you have painted for us a portrait of that interior terrain. I hope that this article will help create policy change and more understanding. Thank you.

Barbara J:

Thank you for contributing your significant professional skill (writing) to the qualitative literature on concussive injuries and recovery. A well-informed, anecdotal history entered into the discussion can sometimes move the needle in a way that quantitative can't. Maybe your injury was "unseen", but it's no longer unheard - you used your voice beautifully.

Readers are also responding to news that Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick says he did not brief Justin Trudeau about a Dec. 19 phone call with Jody Wilson-Raybould in which she warned him that the Prime Minister and his staff were engaging in political interference in the case of SNC-Lavalin.

Jody Wilson-Raybould speaks with the media after appearing infront of the Justice committee in Ottawa on February 27, 2019.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

Snowaway:

Apparently this SNC-Lavalin fuss-up was such a low priority to the PMO and the prime minister himself that it could wait until after the holidays. Not likely.

KalleJ:

As the issue of not prosecuting SNC-Lavalin was of such importance to the prime minister (as told by Wernick in the taped phone conversation) who in their right mind can believe for a second that Wernick was not informing Trudeau about the Attorney-General's firm stance on the matter. Like the second he hung up the phone. The cowardly behaviour of the prime minister is appalling to watch. He needs to resign before the election so as not to imperil the party further.

HabFan410:

Another completely unbelievable twist in the Liberal narrative. Yeah, I know the Clerk is supposed to be apolitical, but this one wasn't. So I count him in the Liberal camp. Jody Wilson-Raybould's story has been consistent since day one. The Liberals' story has consistently changed as they try to adapt to and "spin" the latest developments. Their futile attempts at damage control just dig the hole deeper.

William Lyon Mackenzie1:

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Totally bizarre stories the Liberals are coming up with, each less believable than the one before it. Wernick, Butts and all the others should be compelled to give their testimony under oath so that if they lie, they can be sent to jail for perjury.

Mellowcanadian:

Sorry, but the Liberals story has change so many times that I find it hard to believe the Clerk didn't speak to the prime minister before and/or after the holidays.

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If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

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