Even Teachers Get Concussions by Amanda Nachman

Even Teachers Get Concussions

 by Amanda Nachman

Amanda Nachman was an elementary schoolteacher for fifteen years prior to her mild traumatic brain injury in 2011.  She is still working on her recovery, and writing to share her story to get the word out that not only athletes and soldiers are dealing with this invisible disability, but people we come across every day can be affected by the impact concussions can have on us.  She is hoping she can help change the way the medical field responds to others who find themselves in a similar situation.

A Teacher’s Obstacles with her MTBI 

I did not injure myself in a car accident, or sports accident, I was injured on a field trip with my students.  We were snowtubing, and I was asked to help supervise at the bottom of the hill.  Without seeing him coming down the hill, a student on his tube, took me out from behind accidentally.  It happened so quickly that I was unable to put my hands down to break the fall, and I landed on my head and back on the hard packed snow.  The pain started with my head, neck, and back.  I don’t know if I lost consciousness for a second, minute, or not at all.  I only have pieces of the day.  From there my vision and memory were affected.  My ability to walk with any balance began to decrease, my speech diminished, and my fine motor skills were almost gone within a matter of five or six days.  I had all of the classic symptoms of a concussion.

Along the way I encountered many physicians who had only dealt with concussions/ MTBI’s relating to athletes.  When I came to them, they seemed perplexed on how to proceed with me.  I was told my symptoms weren’t normal for only hitting my head the way I did.  I was told my symptoms were unusual, that they must be symptomatic of something else, or according to the work comp doctors, they were just psychological.  It wasn’t a sports injury or a car accident, so how could they categorize me?

I was told in the beginning to rest for the weekend, and I would be fine.  As my symptoms continued to increase rather than decrease, I was sent to a clinic whose doctor told us I did not need the ImPact Test, a version of neuropsychological testing done often as a baseline for athletes, in the event a concussion should happen.  It is also used to assess patients who have had a mild traumatic brain injury/concussion.  Because I wasn’t an athlete, I was told I did not need the test.  We didn’t know what it was at the time, so we accepted what we were told.  At a clinic two months later, I was given the test as a routine screening for concussion patients.

In my book, **Who Am I Again, I go in to further detail on our failing healthcare and legal system, changes needed, and the many obstacles that I encountered along the way.  Although my doctors all seemed to agree I had suffered a brain injury, I was given a different timeline of healing by every doctor, a different diagnosis for my back and hip injuries, and no two doctors agreed on how to proceed with how to help me with these injuries.  My last stop, I hope, is the Mayo Clinic, where I am hoping to get the care I need to be out of pain for the first time in two years.

**To purchase your copy of  Who Am I Again? contact Ms. Nachman through email at: milliclover@yahoo.com

My book offers some insight on how to navigate through the medical and legal paths needed to get the best appropriate care needed.  Who Am I Again also shares my journey with humor, anger, grief, advice, and with genuine hope for a better day.

7 responses to “Even Teachers Get Concussions by Amanda Nachman”

  1. Debby says:

    Amanda, This odyssey has been crazy. Love you lots, and look forward to seeing your recovery continue to progress. I can’t wait to see your book.

  2. Riva Nolley says:

    Amanda, thanks so much for sharing your story. I’m looking forward to reading your book. You have always been very determined, capable and focused on moving forward with your life, whether it was years ago making a home for yourself and your two beautiful children, or now. You are a source of inspiration. I know I will learn much from your blog posts and books. Thanks again for having the courage and drive to educate the rest of us. Much love, Riva

  3. Howard says:

    This is a very interesting story and I can’t wait to read the book. Please let us know when the release date is.

  4. Mom says:

    I love you, you are the best!

  5. Trudy says:

    Amanda I had no idea you were injured and still suffering the aftereffects
    For so long. You have encountered more ordeals in your short lifetime than anyone I know. And still maintain appositive attitude. You are amazing. P.s. My daughter, Dina is family doctor but if you need one that will give you special attention she could be helpful.

  6. Betsy Chadderdon says:

    I have known Amanda for 30+ years and she is an amazing person. I was shocked the first time that I spoke with Amanda after her injury. Her speech, physical strength, and memory was noticeably effected. It was amazing to learn that medical doctors and ‘professionals’ in the field of education doubted Amanda’s injuries. In fact, it infuriated me! Amanda has held her head up and she continues to move forward with her amazing attitude to get the help she needs and deserves. Amanda is a strong and dedicated person and she strives to help others.

  7. Gary and Sheila says:

    We are very proud of your bravery to persevere and share your story.

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