Moderator: Moderator Team
A few more details: I didn't lose consciousness, I did/do have memory gaps immediately before and about 20/30min after. Some headaches, minimal nausea, no real vision issues, no super sensitivity to light/sound, minimal dizziness. The past few days I have felt really off, like jumps in energy levels, and pretty loopy back and forth, but I'm not taking other than ibuprofen to minimize headaches.
I'm 21, in good physical shape(I'm a Cat 3, hoping to make my 2 upgrade, racing collegiate A), first concussion, and really just hoping to get back on the bike soon.
Don't rush back to action until you're 100%. With more severe symptoms you might have to take extended time off (as in multiple semesters) from school. Totally not worth it.
After the accident I spent two days in hospital to do CT and that doctors could keep an eye on me. Then I took one week at home mainly in bed, no direct sunlight, no loud sounds, no TV, no newspapers, just keep kalm and quiet. Then 5 more weeks avoiding any sort of stress. My doctor suggested this 6 week off period as it is usual time needed for a full recovery. After these 6 long weeks I got back on the bike again and in a few rides I get fully comfortable again.
All relevant people recommended me not to hurry up with come back. Let your body and mind get back to equilibrium and it is a slow proccess.
I had a big crash in 2010 and a sports med doctor gave me the test three times, starting about a month after my concussion. I also talked with the physio who was working on my back (broke a vertebra in the crash). He works with the national team speed skaters and had lots of experience with them suffering concussions at events.
Without trying to prescribe anything, I'd say that you should be very cautious about getting back on the bike soon. My concussion was bad enough that they put me through CT scans three times (twice at the hospital in Italy, once after I came home). It appears as though concussion effects are cumulative and if you have residual problems from your first concussion, it can mean that another bump on the head can be even more severe. Yes, you want to get back on your bike but you only have one head. Read some of the reports of long term effects on football and hockey players and you might decide to stay off the bike.
My doctor allowed me to go back to moderate exercise where I had no risk of falling (i.e. trainer) after about six months. A while later, he said I could ski as long as I didn't hit my head. Of course, on the second run on the second ski day, I was going down and made sure I didn't hit my head. However, I did manage to dislocate my shoulder. It was exactly ten months before I was back on the bike. I went back to work after about a month (part time since I'm semi-retired). If I could go back I would have avoided work and moving pictures (TV, movies, etc.) for at least another month since I had moderate symptoms for two full years and wonder if I'd have been better if I'd taken more time off.
There are a number of scoring tools used for concussions that SCAT3 tool currently likely the most used in sports med. Is available online (get off your computer) and there is an app for the previous SCAT2 scoring tool.
It is hard to often say how serious a concussion is, we often like to categorize here so we can feel better about rushing back-Take them all as serious!
General rules though: symptom free before resuming activity after a period of time symptom free (this period of time is debatable).
Non strenuous activity before strenuous activity.
Step it up slowly and any return of symptoms shut it down till symptom free for a lot longer than you waited last time.
Shameless plug here (which I in no way profit from): The only current helmets on the market that have any evidence to reduce concussion are MIPS helmets. Scott has released one now that is good for road and mountain and is actually relatively inexpensive. I make my living with my brain and so bought one. You and anyone else who has posted on this page about their concussions should get one too.
Now get off the computer and rest that brain.
Excellent advice here all around. I like the person who mentioned not only rest of the body but rest for the brain. Reading, TV, computers almost anything that stimulates the brain is not a great idea in the acute phase. Boring but helpful.
Really great additional advice. It was scary as hell trying to check my email a while after my little bump and realising I couldn't make out a single word on the screen despite feeling pretty fine!
The advice about not messing with any possible concussion is probably the best overall thing to keep reiterating. Damn scary things!