Hello, my name is Blair Hennessey.
Growing up I played hockey competitively. By the time, I finished minor hockey I had 8 diagnosed concussions, God knows how many undiagnosed!
I went into the Canadian Forces as a reservist at 16 years old. During this time, I played Junior hockey where I endured an awful cheap shot which left me with concussive symptoms for about 4 months.
I later joined PPCLI in the Canadian Forces as a regular force member. I love the military and I truly miss my job every day. About a year after getting to battalion they had the annual Hockey tournament between all the major western Canadian units. There is no checking in this league, however, I was blindsided. This was the beginning of my nightmare!
I spent months trying to get better, I was off work, and I couldn't stop vomiting, my memory was awful, and I had a headache and ringing in my ears that is at times unbearable. Due to the nature of the military I was pressured into returning to work way before I should've been. We were on a field ex which I wasn't doing much, but the very first morning I slipped on a sheet of ice while on my way to report for my duty!
Time passed, and a cook from the Wainwright kitchen found me passed out in the back of the meal hall. I couldn't remember anything, and all my symptoms from before got worse in the days to come. I never told many people about this because I was afraid the people I worked with would view me as weak or broken. About one month after that, we were on field exercise to train the high readiness unit.
While on the final "attack" our LAV struck a ditch and we almost tipped. During this my head smashed against the ceiling in the back of the LAV. I still haven't recuperated from the last series of concussions. It's been three years and I still have Ocular-Motor nausea, intense light/sound sensitivity, a relentless headache and ringing in my ears, angry mood swings and my verbal memory is nothing short of terrible.
My story isn't of one significant trauma, but it's repetitive trauma which has created my problems! I've been diagnosed with a total of 16 different concussions, and that doesn't include the ones that were unreported!
I am working on myself a lot harder in the last few months, so I've started doing yoga and practicing mindfulness as much as possible, which has helped me with my mood and mindset tenfold!
I am very happy to be a part of this helpful supporting Family. I look forward to learning more.