Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau offers a marvelously articulate, and heartbreaking, account of the tough road back from a major concussion in an interview with ESPN.com.
The story is great because it captures the nuances of what Morneau, and thereby others who have suffered concussions, must endure. It’s been eight months since Morneau was hit in the head by Blue Jays player John McDonald’s knee, and he is making progress but is still on the mend.
In the story that was posted online Friday Morneau, who is obviously a bright guy, talks about the frustration of waiting for his brain to slowly heal. He admits to being an impatient person. So it’s hard for him to deal with the fact that a brain injury doesn’t have a timetable for healing the way a torn liagment or a broken bone does.
Morneau is also wise, as is the Twins management, in that he is not pushing himself too hard. He knows that could ulitimately hinder his recovery from his concussion.
He vents a bit about the fact that the most run-of-the-mill activities — watching TV, going to a movie — all stimulate your brain. And as Morneau says, “When your brain is working, it is not healing.”
Morneau made two other cogent points. He noted that the “culture of sports” is one of “gritting it out” and playing with an injury, which is not an option with a concussion.
And then Morneau talked about how he saw the world, as if in a “fog,” the first few months after he sustained his concussion.
“If you’re going 65 miles an hour down the road and you look out your side window, everything looks like it’s just going by so fast that you can’t really focus on it,” he told ESPN.com. “Then you look out the front window and you see everything clear.”
Morneau is at spring training in Florida, and he is playing ball. But he would be the first one to admit that he doesn’t know what the future will hold for him this season. I wish him well.
Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
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