I will try to be as concise as possible in telling my brother's story.
More than a year ago, in September of 2006, my brother (a high school senior) sustained a concussion playing football. The doctor he saw soon afterwards claimed that there was nothing wrong with him. Five days after his injury, he stayed up til 3 AM working on an English paper. The next morning, he had a raging headache.
However, as he was a senior applying to colleges, he had to maintain his GPA in order to be a strong applicant. To give you some idea of the pressures he was facing at the time, and of his talent, my brother was in the top 1 or 2% of his class and was taking the most challenging courseload available at my high school (one of the nation's best public schools). He applied to Stanford University under their Early Action program, and got in. Even more happy news followed that April, when he also received acceptance letters from Harvard, Princeton, and MIT. However, as a student with a strong work ethic and sense of integrity, he had continued working full-throttle throughout the year, despite declining performance in his humanities classes. He found himself having difficulties writing papers and analyzing text, when only one year before he had been lauded as one of the best writers in his grade. Frequent headaches recurred throughout the year.
My brother started the summer after graduation with high hopes, thinking that three months of relaxation would allow him the recovery time his brain needed. However, on July 4th, in a stint to relieve his boredom, my brother found himself doing backflips with his friends. Another concussion.
Since then, he has deferred a year from college in order to recover from his Second Impact Syndrome. Over the rest of the summer, despite headaches and insomnia, it appeared that he was well on his way to recovery. Within the past few weeks, however, he has somehow undergone a steep decline. A recent MRI and blood test show no abnormalities, but he is unable to read, look at a computer screen, draw, exercise, do math problems, listen to music, and even talk to other people without experiencing a headache. Today and yesterday, he spent his entire day looking out of a window to our backyard - the only thing his brain will allow him to do.
Needless to say, I and my family are worried sick about him. Just one year ago, following his early college acceptance, it appeared that he had the entire world at his feet. And now, he can barely function without pain. He still is experiencing some level of insomnia, and rarely sleeps deeply (which is when brain recovery happens the most). I simply cannot believe the course his body has taken. If ANYBODY has suggestions for what he could do to expedite his recovery, or has witnessed or undergone similar experiences, PLEASE share them. I will be so grateful.