Living with PCS while social distancing
The Coronavirus pandemic has challenged us all in many ways, but those experiencing the lingering symptoms of a concussion may be especially affected. To provide support to those struggling, the Concussion Legacy Foundation hosted a webinar on March 27, 2020 featuring co-founders Chris Nowinski, Ph.D. and Dr. Robert Cantu, along with two members of the Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS) community who shared tips and information for coping through these uncertain times. Watch below to see Gracie Hussey discuss how she manages her PCS symptoms and remains hopeful despite social distancing and disruptions to daily life.
At a time when social distancing and periods of isolation have become a widespread obstacle in the daily life of so many, Gracie Hussey of Memphis, TN is an expert on how to cope.
Gracie sustained her first concussion when she was just 8 years old and went on to suffer several additional concussions throughout her competitive youth soccer career. As she transitioned from middle school to high school, Gracie attempted to hide and fight through worsening Post-Concussion Syndrome symptoms. She suffered from headaches, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to smell, memory issues, and vision difficulties that interfered with her schoolwork and daily life. Eventually, Gracie's symptoms became so severe she was forced to homeschool for a semester in 10th grade.
Now a college student at the University of Alabama, Gracie was told not to return to campus after spring break to help stop the spread of Coronavirus. For CLF's webinar, Managing PCS in the Time of Coronavirus, Gracie shared her perspective on living through new social distancing measures and how the experience is similar to periods of inactivity and isolation she dealt with when her PCS symptoms were at their worst. One of the best strategies, Gracie says, is keeping a routine and taking breaks:
"Staying active and trying to keep my routine as normal as possible, even though I’m not allowed to go anywhere besides walking around my neighborhood and working out, has honestly been my savior because I haven’t gotten into the cycle of just lying in a dark room because my head hurts."
Like so many forced to stay home from school or work, Gracie was concerned the PCS symptoms she'd worked to keep in check would make a comeback. The knowledge that she has conquered her symptoms through discipline, routine, and exercise countless times in the past helps Gracie remain hopeful.
Gracie has been an advocate for concussion safety with the Concussion Legacy Foundation since 2015. Below, Gracie shares her story for the Concussion Legacy Foundation's Safer Soccer campaign.
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