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Ex-Harleston Magpies player-coach Tim Whiteman reveals progress has been made in his recovery from post-concussion syndrome




Former Harleston Magpies player-coach Tim Whiteman has provided a positive update on his recovery from post-concussion syndrome.

Whiteman sustained the head injury that ended up having some serious ‘repercussions’ while in action for Magpies 12 months ago.

He initially felt fine, but in the days that followed a number of problems developed and it has taken him some time to get back to normality.

Hockey action from Harleston Magpies Men's 1st v West Herts - Tim Whiteman ..Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography. (32671685)
Hockey action from Harleston Magpies Men's 1st v West Herts - Tim Whiteman ..Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography. (32671685)

Writing on his Twitter page, the ex-Great Britain international said: “One year ago, I suffered a mild traumatic brain injury playing hockey.

“At first it felt quite harmless. I even returned straight to work in the following days. I had no idea I would develop post-concussion syndrome, or that I would still feel the repercussions of my injury today.

“The first few months were hell. I seemed to make little to no progress, spending 23 hours a day in the house. To begin with I couldn’t walk past the end of the road and found basic tasks excruciatingly difficult.

Hockey action from Harleston Magpies Men's 1st v West Herts - Tim Whiteman ..Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography. (32671691)
Hockey action from Harleston Magpies Men's 1st v West Herts - Tim Whiteman ..Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography. (32671691)

“I experienced debilitating fatigue, concentration issues, tinnitus, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity and irritability. Worst of all, however, was the psychological effects.

“I was extremely low and became all too familiar with the daily feeling of hopelessness. My confidence and self-esteem took a hit.

“I was lucky though and throughout these early months I was supported by my amazing parents and my incredible (now) wife who never once blinked in her relentless support and encouragement. For this I am forever grateful.

“At the three-month mark I turned a corner and quite quickly improved. My periods of energy between ‘crashes’ increased to an hour or two and I started to walk further distances and appreciate the importance of nature in my recovery, something I still require today.

Hockey action from Harleston Magpies Men's 1st v West Herts - Tim Whiteman ..Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography. (32671806)
Hockey action from Harleston Magpies Men's 1st v West Herts - Tim Whiteman ..Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography. (32671806)

“After six months I slowly returned to work, the most important part of my recovery. This wasn’t without challenges and yet thanks to the supportive management and department at Thorpe St Andrew High School, I was given space and support in my return to teaching.

“I also owe a lot to my psychologists and occupational therapists who helped mediate between work and support my underlying post-injury anxiety.

“As the school term developed, I was able to slowly increase my lessons. A pattern began; every three weeks or so I would suffer crashes yet return even stronger.

“Before Christmas I felt my confidence and energy returning to pre-injury levels, if only for shortened spells. At this point I still required two hours a day or so with my eyes closed or sitting in silence listening to podcasts.

“In the last three months my recovery has improved to the extent that I now know I will eventually make a full (albeit with some ongoing symptoms) recovery. The next challenge is to start exercising and push my heart-rate up.”

“I’ve learnt so much from my experience and I am determined to take more from this than the injury has taken from me. This includes empathy, reflection, prioritising, pacing and planning.

“A big thanks to everyone who has supported me in my recovery. Love to all in these difficult times.”

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