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Football: The Damage Done

This is the story of a World Champion.  This is the story of “a stud”.  He played a brutal game in a more brutal time and played it at the highest level.  He made people “smell pain.”  And for his accomplishments and his efforts, he has a few other trinkets apart from his Super Bowl ring

He has chronic traumatic brain injury, frontal and temporal lobe disorders, generalized seizure disorder and cognitive impairment. He believes he also suffers from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive neurodegenerative disease similar to Alzheimer’s that has been linked to absorbing repeated blows to the head. He has a bum knee, too, and a right arm he can barely lift over his head. His kidney stones burn like hot coals. He sometimes goes four days without sleeping.

The sport made Visger a man. Now it is unmaking him.  “He lost his family, his job, his life,” says his mother. “It’s like a ripple.”

On a postcard-perfect Southern California morning, George Visger is pissing blood. This comes as a relief. For me, mostly. But also for him. Things could be worse. He could be having a seizure. Or slipping into a coma. Which means I could be jamming a one-inch butterfly needle into a thumbnail-sized hole in the side of his skull, trying to siphon off excess spinal fluid while avoiding what Visger calls “the white stuff.”  The white stuff being brain tissue.

In addition to his other ailments, he suffers from hydrocephalus, a medical condition also known as “water on the brain.” In healthy people, spinal fluid circulates through and drains from the brain; in Visger’s case, concussion-induced scar tissue blocks that flow. The resulting intracranial pressure ultimately can result in coma and death, crushing his brain from the inside out.

The compression, Visger says, feels like a beer can being shoved into the middle of his skull.

If you are a football player or have football players in your family, please read this entire article:

George Visger, The Damage Done by Patrick Hruby (ESPN.comM)


About carpebootium

I am a modern-day pirate. I travel the world and trade in today's currency, information. I sail through opportunity, comedy, history and strategy to turn turbulent into tournament, chaotic into cathartic, and embarrassing into emboldening. There are none who should fear me save two: Those who have what I want and those who get in my way. Are you done sailing your calm waters with strong undertow? Have you your fill of empty treasure and oasis destinations? Well good...come and join my crew! We're a lively lot from all over the world but be forewarned...anyone attempting to drop anchor will be thrown overboard, shot, harpooned and then marooned on an isle of cannibals. We move on! If you are ready...welcome aboard the Carpe Bootium!


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