Host Bruce Parkman Interviews Chris Boyce About His Personal Brain Injury Diagnoses and Forming CTE & Brain Injury Global Support
Recognized by the Concussion Legacy Foundation, Chris Boyce’s Facebook group CTE & The Brain Injury Global Support (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) is determined to implement. They focus on educating parents, sports leaders and the sports community about how concussive trauma has contributed or caused long-term brain health issues.
Parkman shares his story about his son’s behavior of depression and distant behavior. Boyce shares similar symptoms of dizziness, anxiety, insomnia, short-term memory loss, anger issues, and sensory overload, among others that were experienced after two consecutive concussions. He summed it up in a startling statement.
“It is a big psychological game…The rage is huge.”
Is Medical Community Supportive?
Finding the cause and treatment of Boyce’s symptoms have been challenging. Locating doctors who acknowledge that early-age contact sports could be the cause of a mental health issues adds to the lack of answers and successful treatment. Boyce explains that he has been on 78 different medications and is told by the therapist to see the neurologist and the neurologist says to see the therapist.
“Doctors don’t know what to do with people like us,” says Boyce.
But, his determination to get better for himself, his family and to help others in the same situation is bringing change. “You have to be your best advocate,” Boyce says adamantly. He found a doctor that offered him a DTI MRI. According to Boyce, “It showed an axonal shear injury in the superior frontal lobe, two micro-hemorrhages with white matter loss. If I wasn’t persistent in telling these doctors that there is something wrong and gone off of the first MRI, I would have never known that I have brain damage.”
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What Advice Can You Offer Others?
While continuing to seek medical attention, Boyce discusses other key components to cope through this health event. “You have to gather some type of support system. Especially with suspected CTE. I know a lot of survivors don’t have those options and you have to look to outside services… A group like ours is good because they [members] see that they are not alone,” he said with certainty.
How Can Our Community Get More Attention Placed on This?
One starting point is educating parents. Parents who may have played sports in the past and taken hits may not experience any long-term effects or even be aware of possible health issues.
“Parents have to get out of the mentality that it didn’t happen to them…it’s not going to happen to their kid…You can be one hit away from changing your life forever,” stressed Boyce.
Boyce started contact sports at age 12 and never had any major symptoms. But, upon reflecting back to his high school years, he feels that were signs. However, the signs of mental health issues were never applied to contact sports. Today, he stresses that long-term head traumas are completely unavoidable. More importantly, his Facebook CTE group offers a path to a supportive community that provides resources for people and families dealing with a variety of health issues as a result of high-impact sports.