After Concussion, Senior Learns to Love Her Brain

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After Concussion, Senior Learns to Love Her Brain

Senior Sarah Renberg met with Senator John Boozman  to discuss the benefits of vision therapy.

Senior Sarah Renberg met with Senator John Boozman to discuss the benefits of vision therapy.

Photo by Sarah Renberg

Senior Sarah Renberg met with Senator John Boozman to discuss the benefits of vision therapy.

Photo by Sarah Renberg

Photo by Sarah Renberg

Senior Sarah Renberg met with Senator John Boozman to discuss the benefits of vision therapy.

By Kyle Emery, Staff Writer

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Senior Sarah Renberg was playing for the highly competitive girls Pride hockey team when tragedy struck and was illegally hit during a game, receiving a severe concussion.

“My head injury resulted in a ton of visual problems including no use in my left eye, blurred vision as well as double vision, lacked depth perception and convergence deficiency,” Renberg said.

Through intense surgeries and ten months of rehabilitation, Renberg hopes to finally recover from her devastating injury, especially after being inspired by the Love Your Brain Foundation.

The Love Your Brain Foundation is an organization that stresses safe athletic competition by simply wearing protective headgear when playing contact sports. The organization argues that a brain injury can have severe, long lasting effects, so it’s important to protect oneself.

“You only have one brain and every impact can alter the way it functions, so protect it,” Renberg said.

According to Renberg, another important concept in maintaining a healthy brain is eating clean by consuming amino acids, a fuel source for the brain. Additionally, eating animal-based proteins, will help improve cognition and overall brain health.

“Certain foods like blueberries can aid memory in order to fuel your brain,” Renberg said.

Another important concept the foundation focuses on is stress relief. Some solutions to counter stress include meditation and yoga.

Renberg, had the opportunity to meet with Senator John Boozman (R-Arkansas). Boozman is an optometrist and a former college football player for Arkansas who heads committees for military veterans. Renberg spoke with Boozman about vision therapy and its benefits for brain injury.

Vision therapy may seem strange to most people because it’s not common to most doctors living in the D.C. area, however, Renberg was familiar with the therapy after engaging with doctors in Philadelphia.

“Many doctors fail to understand that a concussion can impact vision in terms of one’s ability to see single, focus, track, perceive depth and have spatial awareness,” Renberg said.

While working with the foundation, Renberg sought to both improve her physical conditions  and spread the word about the foundation that can save many people’s lives.

According to loveyourbrain.com, the foundation’s website, the foundation embodies a positive approach to brain injury prevention and recovery. The website mainly focuses on connecting, educating and empowering people to follow a brain healthy lifestyle.

According to Renberg, her plan is to improve universal diagnostics and develop a national treatment protocol that includes rehabilitative therapies, rather than just rest and medication. She would also like to educate coaches and players on the importance of neck strengthening, mouth guards, sideline testing, return to play protocols as well as a change in attitude about, “toughing it out.”

“Most important for CHS students though is that it’s important to find something that relieves your stress because whatever it is you may do, it’s always important to have an outlet to reduce your stress factor,” Renberg said.