Concussions: Keith Primeau discusses the dark days

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by Alexis Brudnicki on May 4, 2012

*Former NHL Keith Primeau explained the dark days at a concussion education group brought together by Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences at Hockey Hall of Fame.  The  injuries affect athletes in any sport and the project is endorsed by Baseball Canada among others./Photos: Alexis Brudnicki ….

By Alexis Brudnicki

Alone on a desert island, surrounded by uncertainty, and losing hope with each passing day.

This is the widespread feeling of many victims of concussion.

The questions that come with brain injuries often have incomplete answers. Each individual is different and there really is no way to figure out how someone will react to their brain rattling around inside of their skull.

NHL veteran Keith Primeau discussed the “dark days” he experienced during his career Thursday at the Hockey Hall of Fame in support of youth concussion care and awareness, having found himself concussed a handful of times over the years. The gathering of concerned doctors and hockey players was the culmination of a year’s long work and brought together by Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences in Whitby.

“It’s every day,” Primeau said of his doubt. “The first thing you think of when you wake up is, ‘How do I feel today?’ And you feel the same. That wears on you over the course of a long period of time. It’s very dark. You feel as though you’re on an island, you’re on your own, and there’s nowhere to turn.”

So where did the 40-year-old hockey player turn?

“I turned to over 20 different doctors,” Primeau said. “That was because I knew there was a way; there was an answer out there somewhere. At the end of the day, I still don’t know if I have the answer, but I know that there’s a way to get better. I went to all different kinds of alternative medicine, eastern medicine, western medicine, modern medicine; all in the hopes of trying to find an answer to my problem.”

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