Jun 18, 2019
THALIA OTAMENDI started playing competitive sports since moving to Canada at age 10, and sports quickly became a pillar in her life. Her sport involvement and life came to a standstill in 2013 when she sustained her 4th concussion playing soccer.
The strategy she had succeeded with during her previous concussions was simply pushing through symptoms until she felt better, but this time she started feeling worse and worse. She had just started her career and had received two promotions in two years working for Sleep Country Canada. She was enjoying life as a young professional, and was still playing sports - so it was extremely difficult for her to accept that she needed a break from everything.
Due to a variety of reasons (unhelpful medical advice, pressure from work to return, and the anxiety that she developed), it took her more than 2 years to feel like herself again. During those 2 years she had really started to doubt whether she would be able to return to her old self again. The stressful and confusing experience motivated her to quit her job and return to school to study concussion rehabilitation.
She is just finishing her MA with a focus on the psychosocial aspects of concussion recovery. That is, how individuals’ thoughts, emotions and environment shape and influence recovery. She recently completed a project that explored how Canadian newsprint media portrays concussions and their connection to CTE. The's currently involved in a couple of knowledge translation projects that analyze the implementation/de-implementation of the latest concussion recommendations with general practitioners.