Ryan Huth: Unlocking the Secret to Concussion Recovery
Ryan Huth was no stranger to bumps on the head, having played football from the time he was a child through college. But this one was different.
While unpacking a skeet shooting machine, the apparatus accidentally fired and hit Ryan in the forehead. Those around him said the noise was unforgettable.
In one sense, Ryan was lucky. It was estimated that the apparatus was moving at approximately 45 miles per hour. Had it struck any lower, he might not be here to talk about it.
At first, Ryan thought he was ok. He felt a little unsteady but thought some rest would alleviate his symptoms. But when the following days brought blurred vision, dizziness and nausea, Ryan realized how serious his injury really was.
He saw his physician, who diagnosed Ryan with a concussion and recommended therapy, which he did for a year at another rehab facility.
“Even with the therapy, I still was not improving as much as I expected,” says Ryan. “I felt off, and everything around me seemed to be moving in slow motion. I knew I was not processing things around me correctly.”
With his wedding day approaching, Ryan was becoming seriously concerned that he would have to postpone it. He knew he had to find therapy that would help him, so he reached out to Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network in Allentown.
Ryan learned that Good Shepherd has a comprehensive Concussion Management Program that encompasses all aspects of patient recovery, including physical and occupational therapy, vision rehabilitation and vestibular therapy coordinated by a Good Shepherd physician.
A thorough evaluation with Debra Lehr, OD, FAAO, an optometrist at Good Shepherd confirmed that Ryan was still suffering the after effects of his concussion. Good Shepherd designed a program for him consisting of vision, vestibular, speech and occupational therapy.
“Good Shepherd discovered that my biggest problem was that my eyes were not cooperating with each other, leading to nystagmus or uncontrolled eye movements,” says Ryan. “I was constantly dizzy.”
When Ryan developed debilitating migraines, the concussion team recommended he see Good Shepherd Physiatrist Kyle Klitsch, DO, who started Ryan on a physical therapy regimen specifically to strengthen supporting muscles. He also began giving Ryan Botox® injections every three months, which have greatly alleviated the last remaining trace of his concussion symptoms.
Ryan says that one of the things that immediately struck him about Good Shepherd was how friendly everyone was and how much everyone genuinely cared.
Within a few weeks, Ryan was beginning to see progress. His processing speed and balance improved, and he could finally see light at the end of the tunnel.
“If you have a concussion, no one else has the expertise and technology I have experienced at Good Shepherd,” he says. “Having an optometrist like Debra Lehr, who specializes in how neurological injuries impact vision and cognition made an enormous difference. They were able to connect all of the dots for me.”
Not only is Ryan feeling himself these days, but his wedding ceremony went on as originally planned thanks to the therapy he received at Good Shepherd.
“I love everything Good Shepherd stands for,” says Ryan.
For more information on how Good Shepherd can help see you or a loved one through concussion, call 1-888-44-REHAB or visit GoodShepherdRehab.org.