|The George Washington Bridge from Riverbank State Park|
I've been busy with moving from a house to an apartment and all that entails--downsizing and peeling away, getting rid of, parting with, selling, giving away, triaging, storing, sorting, pleading with grown children to make decisions, packing, repacking and unpacking and finally settling in to new space, a new neighborhood and new neighbors. All an adventure in growing up and out, in many ways, in going back. For me, going back to New York City, even to a neighborhood, Washington Heights, where I trained to be a doctor, a neighborhood rich in memories, some more bitter than sweet, but now one that is new with wonderful and surprising places and cultures to explore.
In the mean time, I am also hard at work on a book, that with a bit of luck and some blessings from all those powers we rely on for our good fortune, will emerge in the next weeks to months. It is a book that will help anyone who has had a concussion. It will also be a useful guide for parents and professionals who know someone who has experienced a head injury or is likely to see one because of the sports they coach or play.
In late June of this year, just moments before public schools let out, New York State released its new Guidelines for Concussion Management in the School Setting. This document is based on the Concussion Management and Awareness Act (Chapter 496 of Laws of 2011) which requires all districts to have rules and regulations to address students who may have had a concussion whether in school or not.
The new rules are robust and comprehensive although not terribly specific. Each district will be faced now with the task of creating committees, protocols and education plans for the entire community (from students to families, coaches, certified athletic trainers to nurses, guidance counselors, teachers and administrative staff) in order to manage head injury responsibly and effectively.
The book I am writing will help all involved to understand the basic Four R's: Recognizing what a concussion is: Responding Responsibly to such an injury: Resting as much as is necessary for a complete Recovery; and Reassessing to be sure Recuperation is at hand.
Stay tuned. We all have a lot to learn together.