A lot of folks have been giving Franzen a hard time over his concussion and I would like to provide my own experience in the hope people can understand that a seemingly innocent 'love tap' can cause a TBI (traumatic brain injury).
With all the strides being made on TV about concussions, with so many men who have now committed suicide because they could no longer live in such pain, it hurts me that the Wings community is so callous and shallow in their responses to such a very serious injury.
A brain injury is THE MOST SERIOUS injury a player can sustain, and we as the Wings community should be pulling together to give our fallen warriors their support when this happens. And not belittle them and accuse them of malingering or lying.
I sustained my first concussion 2 years ago and I've never had any head, neck, back or head injuries in my life (I'm 37, fit, former Marine). I didn't get hit in the head, I fell down, hard. So hard in fact that it caused my head to snap back and I got a concussion. A bad one, it took 6 months before the headaches stopped. 18 months before I didn't have symptoms, but 2 years on I still have some problems. After 6 months I went to see the specialist Crosby saw in Los Angeles when he wasn't getting better because I wasn't getting better, I had all the classic symptoms and they would just not go away. The truth is, doctors can't do anything for a concussion, there is no test, there is no drug, there is really no treatment. When you injure your brain it's a traumatic brain injury and everyone heals different and the only medication is time.
When Franzen says he has a problem processing information I feel for the guy. I know what that's like, to barely be able to drive yourself to the doctor, to not be able to watch TV, or even wash dishes because there is too much going on and after a few minutes you have to sit down and collect yourself because you're so exhausted. Or having to take two breaks while walking to get the mail. Or it takes 5 minutes to type a sentance while writing an email. This is so frustrating, there is NOTHING you can do but let it run its course. On the outside one can look strong, fit, and healthy like a mule, but on the inside, the brain is going completely haywire beyond your control. The way Franzen got popped is how many concussions occur, and since this is not his first concussion he is risking serious injury to his long term brain health. (Think Junior Seau)
I hope more people will have an open mind when we're talking about a TBI, and do more to help those in need, with understanding and giving people space and time to recover. But to mock the injury in any way, is cruel and you would not want to go through the same pain of any player having to live with the recovery of this injury. I am embarrassed by some of these responses I'm reading here, on line and in the news sections, as a Wings fan, as a man, and as a human being.
Thanks for reading.
I am SO sorry that this happened to you and that you've had to go through what you've gone through and that, truthfully, you will have to continue to go through it as well.
I am 22-years-old; I've had two diagnosed concussions, including one from a significant rollover accident (6 times, 4 different ways). I know what it's like to lose concentration in the middle of a sentence, to catch yourself saying gibberish praying that nobody heard that you can't even put together a complete sentence ocassionally.
It's embarrassing. It's painful. And, worst of all (like you said), there's not a damn thing that anyone can do for you.
You have my empathy and I hope things get better. After all, it IS possible to see your symptoms fade or become more sporadic. Especially after your service to all of us, that's the least you deserve.