MOVING IN – OUR NEW OFFICES
Have finally moved into our new offices at 2500 Gaskins Rd. The team is busy unpacking, assembling furniture and getting ready for our Grand Opening. It’s a convenient location at Gaskins and the 64 Freeway with plenty of parking for our patients. Drop in…say hello, and we will give you the grand tour.
KIDS AND CONCUSSION
Warm weather is finally here! As we dig back out from winter’s cold grasp to enjoy the great outdoors, it is time to remember about concussion prevention and awareness. We often think of concussions in athletes, but they can happen with any head injury and often without loss of consciousness. Common injuries this time of year are bicycle accidents, skateboards accidents and even sometimes minor falls. It is important that we do all we can to prevent concussions in the first place. All kids should wear properly fitted helmets and other safety gear when playing contact sports, biking, rollerblading, and skateboarding. We cannot prevent every concussion but we can do the best we can to keep our kids safe and minimize serious head trauma. Unfortunately, kids will be kids and accidents happen. So, it is essential that parents and coaches to recognize the common signs and symptoms of a concussion so that children can get prompt treatment and cognitive rest. It is important to monitor children even when they seem to feel okay because a concussion is a moving target and symptoms can sometimes develop hours later. When we miss or dismiss such complaints, we put children at risk for recurrence and more prolonged recovery. Some of the signs and symptoms of concussions are as follows: – Loss of consciousness – Headache – Blurred vision – Difficulty walking or balance issues – Confusion and slurred speech – Decreased responsiveness – Memory loss – Vomiting – Difficulty concentrating – Mood swings A concussion is a clinical diagnosis meaning it is often made based on the story you tell your doctor without any further studies. If your child has any of the above symptoms you should contact your pediatrician. They may not always order imaging studies like a CT scan depending upon your child’s physical exam. Children usually recover in a week or two following the injury. They should be removed from play or practice immediately to prevent further injury. It is not necessary to wake your child to check for symptoms even in the first 24 hours. Treatment with physical and mental rest will speed up recovery. If symptoms persist or your pediatrician deems it relevant, you may be seen by a concussion specialist for further treatment such as prolonged rest and physical, occupation, vestibular or speech therapies. We at the Pediatric Headache Center of Richmond are able to help coordinate and manage all of the above aspects of treatment for our patients.
MY MENTOR, JACK PELLOCK, MD
Today with great sadness and tears in my eyes I write this blog post and step away from informative to commemorate a wonderful man. There are times when thank you is not enough. Jack Pellock, MD passed away May 6th, 2016. He was my mentor, my teacher, my colleague, and most of all my champion. I owe my career in part to him. He was my department chair and saw things in me that I never could see in myself. I have had the time in the past year of creating this clinic to reflect on who I am, who I was, and who I will be. I have thought about what I want this clinic to be and to represent. I realized that I was in a very dark place during my medical school and residency years. God bless those that put up with me. My depressed feelings and stress became so overwhelming that I wanted to quit. I was prepared to walk away from all the work I had put in to becoming a child neurologist when I was only two years from finishing. I went into a meeting with Dr. Pellock and Dr. Shapiro (my program director) with plans to leave. They both told me I was wrong. They both believed in me more than I ever could have of myself at the time. Dr. Pellock asked me what I needed to be okay. How could he help so that I could join him in our esteemed career? He took my complaints and demanded changes in the program to protect his child neurology fellows. He stood up for me, plain and simple. I will never forget it. It made me feel like I had friends and true colleagues in my career. I was not just a cog in the big medicine wheel. He always cared about all of us. He loved to teach us all of his vast knowledge. In the coming days, there will be tales told of how many articles he published, how many books he wrote, how many protégés he influenced. And you know what, it is all true. However, what I remember are the quieter moments in the conference room or his office where we talked about cases or sometimes just life. I remember him including myself and the other fellows when he would ask questions of other members in the department on a hard case. He treated us with respect and gave us value. I remember his laugh and smile. He could walk into any room and knew at least half of the people in it. He was such a big influence here and throughout the child neurology community. He never acted like it. He was always so gracious. I can never say thank you enough to him for what he gave me. I can only hope to come close to what he accomplished. I am sorry I didn’t believe in myself sooner because he was right (as he always was). I hope that his wife and children can begin to see the legacy he left behind and I am sure they do. He was an amazing doctor, teacher, friend, mentor, and overall human being. Thank you will never be enough. Until we meet again, may I do you proud.