When I was a child of about 4 years old, I was at a playground with my brother and grandmother in Brooklyn, NY. I was about to go down the slide when I accidently fell backwards and down the ladder, landing on my head. No mTBI officially diagnosed, but a hospital trip and a number of stitches later I was “fine.”
About a year later I was diagnosed with ADD and shortly after medicated with Ritalin. Over the years I progressed from Ritalin, to Concerta, to Vyvanse, to Adderall, to Adderall XR, to Daytrana, and back to Concerta.
By then, I was in my second year at chiropractic school at University of Western States, just about to start my Masters in Sports Medicine. I noticed that I would not feel the same effect from my medication day to day, and my ability to perform in school was directly affected by my diet.
While exploring ways to improve my performance and figure this out, I found Dr. Glen Zielinski, a professor of clinical neuroscience and functional neurologist in Lake Oswego, OR. I figured the best way to learn was to become a patient. After 2-3 months of skeptically starting functional neurology brain-based treatment, I noticed my speech, focus, and balance improved. I was able to perform without my prescription medication, and my grades improved 5-10 points.
I was sold. I jumped with two feet into learning everything I could about neurology and the brain. As a bonus, understanding the neurological pathways connected dots and provide the "why" areas in my sports medicine and chiropractic education that previously did not make sense.
Things were going very well until I caught an edge and fell skiing a powder day on Mt. Hood. I had a concussion and a broken PCL. What’s worse, I felt like I had lost all the progress I had made in brain performance over the past year.
My primary care physician, education in chiropractic school, and most online resources had very limited useful information. I was uncomfortable with the lack of knowledge about concussion and became more determined to continue learning and training in functional neurology.
This became my motivation to provide better resources and patient education, with evidence-based complementary treatment options for concussed athletes and those stuck with post-concussion syndrome.