G Justin Pugh
December 3, 2015
A: Ö Iím missing three weeks and I was having bad headaches for three weeks. I was sitting at home doing nothing for three weeks. When youíre talking about your brain and long-term effects from it and weíre seeing now what happens with guys, you have to make sure you take care of your brain. As soon we said concussion, they shut me down, did everything right, so Iím very fortunate. I know a lot of guys who are in the same situation.
Q: You never experienced anything like that before?
A: Never, never in my life. I was scared, Iím not going to lie. I was definitely scared by it, it was something that definitely woke me up, and made sure that you have to take care of yourself and make sure youíre doing the proper things right, especially when you go into the protocol to take the baby steps and do things right. Obviously it hurts on Sunday, especially that first one, the first time I had to watch a game on TV and it was no fun.
Q: Was there a hit or anything?
A: It wasnít a single hit that I can remember. I came out the game against Tampa Bay and I really felt like I wanted to collapse after the game. I know a couple of guys came up to me and I just said I didnít even want to do interviews. I think it could have been partially dehydration, but like I said, after seven days of having the same kind of symptoms, and headaches, and hoping it was dehydration and not a concussion, but it was definitely more than that.
Q: What have they told you going forward, any dangers?
A: No, thatís the biggest thing with concussions as well. I met with a specialist and basically what a concussion is, itís almost like a sprained ankle. Once youíre fully healed from it, youíre fully healed from it. The issues come when you get a concussion, come back too soon, and then get another concussion. Your brain is trying to heal and once it heals, itís fine. Thatís where a lot guys have issues with now because they would come back too soon and get another hit to the head. Really everyone wants to put a negative connation against a guy who maybe has had several concussions, but once youíre healed youíre 100% fine. Itís almost like a sprained ankle from what Iíve been told, so thatís the biggest thing, taking the proper precautions, and making sure youíre 100% healthy.
Q: It sounds almost like a migraine that you could be talking about.
A: It was almost like you couldnít believe how tired you would get. I was sleeping 13 hours at night and I would come home from here and sleep another two hours. Literally it was just sleep, sleep, sleep, because my brain needed to rest. It was something that I definitely learned a lot through the process and I want to make sure what I went through, I help other guys who are in similar situations, so they donít rush themselves back. Thatís the best thing you can do.
Q: Any throwing up and all that stuff?
A: I had no nausea, no nausea at all. It was really just pain behind my eyes.
Q: Is there any tentativeness at all now that youíre back at practice and they told you you passed everything? Does it still give you tentative feelings at all?
A: I went out there today and I hit heads with somebody and soon as I got that first hit, I was good. Thatís something that as a football player, thatís my instincts going out there, just to play the way Iíve always played, be aggressive, and Iím never not going to play that way. Thatís why I wanted to make sure I felt 100% before I went back and did it. I was able to do a lot of bag drills yesterday, so building that progression helps you build that confidence back up. I havenít put pads on since the Tampa Bay game, so thatís going to be a big thing in warmups to make sure I get some nice contact and feel good about it.
Q: What youíre describing seems almost kind of debilitating a little bit, were you able to do any kind of conditioning?
A: No. That was the thing, that first week when we thought it was dehydration, I did practice that week and it didnít feel right. As soon as that happened, we shut it down. I was able to do some running and you kind of build your way up to it. I was able to do 20 minutes of cardio one day, I was in a lot of eye training stuff with the trainers, and really just working on doing as much as I could. You push it to see how far you can go and if it would bother you, we would back off. I would get a day off and we would come back and try and push it a little more. I stopped having headaches last Friday and it was awesome. We were able to kind of push it and I was able to do some stuff on Saturday out there, running around, not with the team, but we definitely took the proper steps. Yesterday I wanted to practice so bad, I was yelling at the trainers, ďI have to go out there and practice,Ē and they held me out yesterday to make sure I felt good today. I felt good today so it was just stacking together consecutive days of feeling good.