Hitting the Pavement

Posted November 14, 2019
Hitting the Pavement
How a Concussion Inspired One Patient to Hit the Ground Running
It’s ironic that it took a concussion for Amber Dukart to feel like a runner.

She recently completed a 10km run in Vancouver where she hit a personal record time, and has her eyes set on completing a half-marathon in the next year.

“I signed up for the run as a way to celebrate the end of my concussion and rehab,” says Amber.

Amber’s concussion journey began in February 2017 when she was standing in her living room and suddenly fainted. “I fell backwards and hit the base of my skull on the corner of the wall. I didn’t have time to sit down before I fainted and fell back and hit my head,” says Amber.

Over the next few days, she started to experience severe concussion symptoms and suddenly started to feel dizzy, nauseous and severely tired. “I was sitting at my desk at work and my eyes couldn’t see the computer screen,” she says.

Amber immediately went to see her doctor, and was diagnosed with a concussion. She suffered an agonizing year living with symptoms, and sought help from a massage therapist, chiropractor, acupuncturist who wasn’t able to treat her concussion.

“It was tough. I took a full month away from work and I had a gradual return to work program,” says Amber. “I was getting migraine headaches every day and I would basically just go to work and sleep because I was so exhausted. I was suffering through and I just hoped that overtime my symptoms would go away but they weren’t.”

It wasn’t until a year later until Amber sought help from Advance Concussion Clinic, where she received care from ACC’s interdisciplinary team of Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Counsellors, Athletic Therapists and Neuropsychologist who was able to treat her various concussion symptoms.

“From the minute of walking through the door at ACC, I felt like I was being taken care of,” says Amber. “The draw for me was to work with a team who specialized in concussion.”

At ACC, Amber’s dedicated team worked with her over the course of a few months on her individualized rehabilitation program to get her symptom free.

“I never thought I would be able to live symptom free and I never understood that concussion is a treatable injury,” says Amber. “I don’t know if I actually believed it, but over time I honestly feel like I’m healthier than before I hit my head,”
Now, Amber is focused on her newfound passion of running, and training for that half-marathon in the near future.

“I’m just super grateful.”


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