Steve | Belleville, Ontario

Steve | Belleville, Ontario

Now 46, Steve got concussed in November 2014 while playing hockey. He hit the back of his head on the ice, then slid into the dasher boards and hit the top of his head.

Concussion Symptoms

For nearly two years, Steve, a teacher, suffered from several concussion symptoms, including:

  • Hypersensitivity to sound
  • Multiple headaches per week
  • Double vision
  • Irritability

He also experienced emotional lability, a tendency to laugh or cry unexpectedly at what might seem the wrong moment.

“I would cry at the drop of a hat. Seeing a fluffy kitten. Watching my daughters being cute,” Steve shares. “Tampon commercials – I’m not joking!”

Concussion Treatment

By chance in late 2016, Steve bumped into a former student who recounted her experience with a concussion. She was treated at the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program in Pittsburgh, Pa., while in the United States on a scholarship.

Through UPMC Global Care, Steve scheduled his first appointment that December. He was immediately prescribed vestibular and exertional therapy, which according to Steve, was very straightforward and easy to follow.

“The staff instructed me to do things that bothered me to increase my tolerance,” Steve explains. “The first thing I did was take my wife to dinner and have a beer!”

He admits the treatment wasn’t pleasant at first, but noticed a difference just two short weeks into active treatment.

“Just having the confidence to know that what I was doing was helping made it a lot easier to push through it,” he says. “A weight was lifted off my wife’s shoulders, too. She no longer had to worry about bringing on my mental fog.

“Also, the exertional therapy had a nice incidental side effect: I’m in better shape than I have been in years and my wife keeps telling me how great I look!”

Concussion Recovery

Steve traveled to UPMC two additional times in early 2017 to confirm his recovery.

“I was definitely surprised to learn I could be treated so easily after all that time,” he shares. “The treatment took effect so quickly.”

“After two years, I had tried so many things. Going to UPMC should have been my first idea.”


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