Zach Peters Retires

  • Although there was some speculation that Zach Peters left KU after his concussions because of issues with teammates (and that may well be the case in reality), it looks like those head injuries were a very real problem for him because he’s announced that he’s giving up basketball altogether. I’m sure we Jayhawk’s wish him well. It’s a shame he’ll not be able to live out his dreams, nor live up to the potential I saw in him, though.

  • @konkeyDong

    That is really frightening information. You have to wonder about his overall health moving forward. My guess is he has some kind of permanent disability now. And there must be some kind of imminent danger if he suffers an additional concussion.

    Many players in the NFL have suffered horrible head trauma but remain in the game. Makes me wonder about Zach.

    I know my thoughts and prayers are with him.

  • Zach was a kid who admired the Jayhawk traditions, and committed to the program while still very young. Whatever health and consequent frustration issues he dealt with his freshman year in Lawrence, it is a shame that he was unable to contibute and develop into a significant big man at KU. Most of us bore high hopes for him; were sorry to see him depart. Here’s wishing all the very best for him in his journeys outside the world of contact sports. Will always be a Jayhawk.

  • As someone who suffers from Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI and is a precursor to CTE from having to many concussions in life, I totally understand why he is doing this, I can’t believe he kept trying. But I understand his want to keep playing and not be controlled by the concussions.

    The American Heart society got rid of the term “minor heart attack”, saying that if your heart has issues it’s major. The council for head injuries is trying to do the same and get rid of the term “minor concussion”, if you get concussed, you have a problem no matter how slight.

    I have had surgery to help control my headaches that I have everyday and they aren’t like your worst migraine, they are worse. I have a device implanted in my hip like a pacemaker that has two leads that go up to my brain and give an electric pulse to stop mask the pain. It is an occipital nerve pain stimulator, and it works, it has saved my life. I just wish someone like Junior Seau could have done the same.

    The work they have accomplished on brain disease and concussions in the last 7 years is almost ten fold over what they did the 20 years before that. There is hope that they can stop memory loss, headaches, double vision, loss of balance and other great things for the brain in a few years.

    So from one concussion victim to another Zach I wish you luck.

  • @JRyman Amazing and inspirational stories like yours certainly can help others. It is amazing to me that the concussion issue has only really become a mainstream focus in the last few years. Best of luck, brother … hope all continues well.

  • @JRyman

    We all wish you the best.

    I suffered numerous concussions back in my day. And today I am extremely forgetful. I can forget anything for brief periods, including the names of family members. It is extremely frustrating, debilitating and embarrassing.

    I don’t know if my forgetfulness could be associated with some kind of permanent damage. @JRyman , if you have any thoughts on my situation, I’d appreciate hearing them.

    I used to get extremely painful migraines. Used to get one about every two months. Today, I maybe get one every two years and the intensity isn’t as bad.

  • @drgnslayr I told my wife and family and the doctors, that I can lose my memory, my balance and I will live a full life. I can’t do it with the pain.

    I forget names of athletes a lot guys I shouldn’t. I forget coaches names as well. As far as family goes I do pretty good except for a set of twins that are 12 and aren’t identical, I just call them ‘Thing one’ and ‘Thing two’ It works Im “that” uncle.

    I’ve read more on concussions and brain injury over the past four years than @jaybate 1.0 has written. The memory thing and concussions is a double whammy. Depending on where the concussion occurs it can affect the memory right away, short term a lot of times a guy won’t remember the play he go hurt on or the game. Sometimes it will take memories away such as names within time again on placement. But with each concussion, and the more you get the easier they come too. But when you get a concussion it scars your brain, leaves what they call gray matter on the brain, it never goes away, if anything it will get bigger. This little by little will also affect your memory.

    Dementia and probably Alzheimer’s are in my future, but until they take away my functions I will I’ve my life and do things that will create memories not only for me but for my family. I already struggle with balance issues here and there, especially when standing up or turning around.

    But you know what the headaches, the drugs that they tired and didn’t work are no more(unless I forget to recharge my batteries) and I can live with that. I think I tried more pills @HighEliteMajor uses words in some of his OAD rants.

    I live a good life at 41, still able to work, drive and do things that I want, except roller coasters, after two cervical disk fusions I’m done with those. Flying sucks due to the air pressure changes. But I still try to do all those things I want.

    A plus when I have a few to many extra beers with my neighbors I can adjust my shock therapy and get rid of that hangover quickly!!!

  • @JRyman dang, you have a great attitude and I’m sure you can inspire others that suffer from TBI. I haven’t heard of that treatment, so glad it’s helped you! Maybe I missed this, but was the from football? Wish you well and others here that suffer from similar problems. God bless!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 A few from HS football, but I never missed the next play, heck I’ve never been knocked out. Rodeo. a few car wrecks. A few accidents here and there. An ill-advised head butt. Kicked in the mouth by a calf at a branding, didn’t loose a tooth but spun me around and took 8 stitches to close my lip up. High jumped once and missed the pit landed on the back of my head on hard ground. Made the height jumped two more heights.

    I had an MRI done almost two years ago and they found 14 scars only brain that they could confirm. Another three that could be from concussions or could have been spots from something else. My Dr. when he got the results asked me first if I played pro football, I said no. Then college, again no. Asked if I had been in more than one IED attack while serving, I said no, that I hadn’t even been in the military. I listed off the above list and the nurse started to laugh and asked how many of those I made up. NONE!!!

    I have tried to work with places to talk about it and to talk with others, but the media, hospitals and general public only want to hear from a pro athlete or retired/injured military member instead of an ordinary average guy. The best is hearing from people that try and compare their headache cures with me. When Vicoden, doesn’t work or a morphine drip in the hospital won’t work to get rid of a headache, I don’t think your grannies baking soda, whiskey, hot water, bayer aspirin with a splash of ginger is going to work.

  • @JRyman

    Your words are very inspiring to me. I’m in my 50s… and I’m afraid to go for a MRI. I’ve totally avoided doctors after the last basketball injury to my knee. That was back in the early 90s.

    My concussions came from football and boxing. I suffered several major concussions (and black outs) in junior high football. Back then, we were just given a drink of water and told to get back on the gridiron as soon as we felt good enough. I recall two separate incidences where I was knocked unconscious and played again a few minutes later.

    I faced the same mentality in boxing. Getting knocked down or out you were expected to get up and spar again as soon as the “stars” were gone.

    Just with the limited knowledge I have on it today, it horrifies me to think back on those moments.

    I have my wife trained to rescue me in social situations. I can give her a certain eye contact and she’ll jump in and rescue me with names. My family is aware of my condition but I don’t broadcast it to the world. I’ve had very embarrassing times at HS reunions and at the grocery store, running into people and drawing a blank.

    What I am very curious about is inflammation, and how systemic inflammation impacts the brain.

    I’ve spoke in here before about what a change in my diet has done to my life… totally bringing me back from being very crippled and in pain, to living like a teenager again and pain-free. I feel like it has helped my brain function, too.

    It may be worth it for you to take a look at reducing the acidity in your diet. Limiting meat from your diet, along with all manufactured foods… breads (grain) and starches… sugars… And trying to eat more green. Foods that have an alkaline impact on the body.

    It has basically stopped all my systemic inflammation, giving me back the use of my hands from arthritis and all the joint scarring. It has removed all the pains from my back and the rest of my joints, too. It seems to have put me in a better mood most of the time. I sleep like a kid again and jump out of bed in the morning.

    I haven’t had a migraine for quite a while. Maybe 2 years. When I did have them I would immediately go into darkness and lay down. I had a ritual of pulling on my hair in specific spots on my head. I’d do it over and over… for hours if need be. Not sure what that did, but it was very helpful in relieving the pain. The pains included a sharp overall pain to my entire head and very sharp pain right behind my eyes. It seemed to help a little bit to keep my eyes shut even though I was in total darkness. Silence was golden… and any noise would intensify the pain and make me nauseated.

  • @drgnslayr noises drive me crazy, especially constant steady noises like exhaust fans, loan mowers vacuum cleaners will all put me over the top. I use in ear ear buds with loud music to get me through mowing the yard.

    I had 8 MRI’s in 3 ½ years and two CT scans and numerous X-rays too. They finally used a T3 MRI which is more intense and can find any admiralty and that’s when they found my scars on the brain. I feel lucky that I can’t have and MRI now due to the leads on my brain, but if push comes to shove in the future for research on my brain I will have to have them removed for an MRI to check out advancement of the scars.d

    When my headaches first started they came on like a led pipe to my temples and no matter what I tried they didn’t go away. I tried taking caffeine pills, I tried cutting out alcohol, caffeine, sugar, starches, dairy and nothing worked. I had an infectious disease doctor, a neurologist, a pain specialist, all in my hospital room trying to figure out what was going on. They thought it was a degenerated disk that was putting pressure on the spinal cord and other nerves they took it out and put a new disk in, and no luck. Suffered for 5 months with severe headaches everyday, and then they stopped for 8 months, and came back with a vengeance. Literally knocking me off my feet while walking one day. Tried a nerve block and radio frequency oblation and that helped for 16 months. Then again they cam back like a pissed off Ex looking for revenge.

    I have kept every drug bottle prescribed to me, just as a reminder of what I put my body through and also to list off what I tried and it didn’t work. I was looking into research hospitals across the country to get help when I spoke with a pain specialist that worked with people with back and leg pain. He was from Poland and had heard about using the same technology in Europe on the brain. And so we went for it. Now insurance wasn’t keen on it. Had to have a full health physical once it was passed then a psych eval. Then an interview. Then a trial to make sure it would work. I walked around my house for 10 days with wire sticking out of the back of my head connected to a battery pack. Then a month and half later got the permanent ones installed.

    I still have severe mood swings, I get angry easily. I become reclusive other times. I can sleep for hours on end one day and a week later be up for three straight days and not be tired. Never no what is going to happen.

    My wife can tell by my eyes if I’m in pain or suffering from something, my kids know when to just walk away from dad, the dog well he just doesn’t get it yet. My neighbors are all helpful and that’s good.

    Im a smart ass and I don’t mind a good joke at my expense, and I make a lot of them. I just tell them to be original and stay away from the Frankenstein ones and the 6 million dollar man, I want original!!! Like, “whats a matter? Get your wires crossed?” I will give a high five for original jokes like that.

    I worked at a church the past two years, (just left that job friday, I was the maintenance guy and physically couldn’t do it any more) and would forget members names all the time and would have to describe them to other staff members so they could remind me of who they were. I would write a list every day and week of what needed to get done, or I’d forget some of the smaller things. So there were some rooms that were set up very last minute. There are times I don’t remember why I went to the store until I reach in my pocket and grab a list. I’ve missed my turn to go somewhere that I’ve been to a million times. I space out and just sit there at times.

    And looking back on it all I wouldn’t change it, not a thing. I had a blast growing up playing sports, breaking horses to ride, riding bulls, wrecking a bike here and there, I just wouldn’t change a thing. I have no regrets and as I tell people why would change something Im going to forget about anyway?

    Gotta have a good outlook on it, gotta be able to laugh or it will take your life like Junior Seau and others that were too “tough” to go for help or laugh at it. Jim McMahon is great at it, he leaves sticky notes around his house, and his wife will do the same for him. She put a post it note on her head one day with the word “wife” on it when he woke up. He just laughed. But he sleeps a lot or just lays around. He will go play a round of golf and quit after a few holes. He wears his sunglasses all the time not to be cool, but because of his headaches. They have bothered him ever since BYU he says, he is very light sensitive.

  • @HighEliteMajor “PUnch Drunk” was the term they used back in the 40’s and 50’s due to boxers getting knocked out and having lingering affects to a punch later that night or even for a few days.

    Remember the old smelling salts trick? Hey that will get the cobwebs wiped out of your head.

    People not affected by it personally or knowing someone close to them have no clue to what a concussion can do. I know I didn’t until I knew what was wrong with me. I have family members that don’t grasp is fully, and ask all sorts of questions about it all the time now. They want to know, but it is hard to grasp.

    I read stories, listen to interviews from former players of war Veterans, and I know all their issues, I know what they are going through and suffering from.

    My nueorologist puts it in layman terms, “the brain is not a secondary organ, everyone is worried about the heart, but the heart doesn’t beat without the brain and visa versa. The lungs, kidneys, liver and pancreas all get more research money than the brain. Why? No one can comprehend how technical it really is.”

  • @JRyman “Dementia and probably Alzheimer’s are in my future”

    I haven’t posted for several days, it’s been a busy time and honestly, I just can’t get that amped up this far from the start of basketball season (or even football, for that matter).

    But I read your “Dementia and Alzheimer’s” comment early this morning and it’s been gnawing at me ever since.

    I know this is primarily a basketball forum, but sometimes we wander a little off topic. I’m going to wander a long ways off topic now and I apologize ahead of time for those I’m about to offend.

    I’ve read all of your posts lately about your brain injuries and the suffering that you’ve been through and it grieves me to hear what you have to go through on a daily basis. It humbles me and makes me feel embarrassed when I complain about an occasional backache or headache and have to take two ibuprofen in a month’s time.

    I said that the Dementia/Alzheimer’s comment was gnawing at me today - (here we go) - I would encourage you, no - I would plead with you not to think or speak that way. Proverbs 18:21 says that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”. I know you’ve been through a lot and sometimes it’s easy to think that way. You may have even been told by medical professionals that that’s what’s in the cards for you. Don’t believe them. It doesn’t have to be that way and it may NOT be that way. Things could change for you in an instant.

    I don’t know why we go through the things that we do. We ALL have things that we endure, whether physical, mental, emotional or spiritual, but I do know this - God loves you and has a plan for your life. Don’t get discouraged and don’t be surprised if things change for you soon. I will be praying for you and I know that many others will as well.

    Again, I’m sorry if anyone is offended by this. I understand. I spent many years scoffing at “weak” people who put their faith and hope in an invisible god. Then about 25 years ago I found out He wasn’t invisible - that He’s real and that He cares for us. (and He’s probably a Jayhawk fan).

    OK, I made the Jayhawk part up. Probably.

  • @JRyman

    I can read your posts on this all day! I’m sure I will completely reread this thread tonight before I go to bed… just to try and remember.

    The greatest invention in the last 50 years is the post-it notes! I can’t live without them. I’ve written out two of them since my last post. I never go to the store without them, even if I only need one thing! It drives me crazy to be at a store and can’t remember the single thing I came in there to buy. But it happens.

    It took my wife quite a bit of time (early in our relationship) to understand my disability. She used to call it “selective memory” until she got more experience with my memory loss and the frustrations I had with it. She gets it now.

    I, also, love to put humor around everything. It definitely lightens the stress around this. My dad really got me once… he said, “look at the bright side, you can hide your own Easter eggs!” I laugh every time that one comes back into my memory.

    What is really strange, is since this all happened, certain small details from my past never leave me. I can remember unimportant things, like the pattern of a neighbor lady’s blouse back in the early 60s.

    A big part of my work is mental, and I have to keep organized notes on everything I do. Very tedious, very frustrating but very necessary.

    I remain a very social creature, but it was my migraines that permanently made me dislike being in big crowd situations. The sound of a large crowd disturbs me to this day. So… it has impacted me socially as I try to avoid being in a crowd. To be honest, as much as I love Jayhawk basketball… I’d rather watch games on TV. Now and then I’ll attend a game in my beloved AFH, just to remember the smell and to flash back to my student days when we played basketball every morning in AFH. That was my biggest thrill at KU!

  • @drgnslayr I hate crowds, the noises, the people bumping into you awkwardly. I avoid concerts, games and anything else really if I can. If it’s outside I’m the guy way off on his own watching if I can get away from people.

    I am lucky enough if I have to I can adjust the intensity or where the electrodes are working at on my brain so I can control it to a point, but there are other times I will change the settings three times in thirty minutes and just have to walk away from something.

    @nuleafjhawk I don’t ever give up hope. I worked at a Church for two years and spoke a lot with the Pastors there and others on the Ministry staff about my issues and relied heavily on the good book. Maybe I will succumb to those things, maybe I won’t maybe I will have it worse. I don’t know.

    If you want to make God laugh, go ahead and plan your life out.

    I won’t stop living due to my situation, not until I have to. But the way I grew up and watching John Wayne movies I’m gonna guess I will put up one heckuva fight before I go down. I’ve never been one to just roll over and call it a day, no matter the score, no matter the situation, the injury the odds stacked against me. I fight, play hard, work hard and go for it. Don’t ever corner a tamed animal as it will make it crazy. That’s how I am when it’s time to fight. I’m not much, I’m not great, but when the chips are on the table I’m going after them.

  • @JRyman

    “If you want to make God laugh, go ahead and plan your life out.”

    I’m putting that one in my quotes file… another list I go through ever now and then! Thank you!

    Here is one I always enjoyed:

    “Don’t carve your destiny in stone, scribble it on a napkin instead.”

    Always thought that should be in a fortune cookie!

  • @JRyman when did you start to have the headaches? Sounds like you weren’t effected after your “hits”? I love your attitude and slayers too. You both have great support. Nice to have prayers too!!!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 My headaches started June 28th 2009. 13 or 24 months after I get rear ended in a car wreck. Doc thinks that that final whiplash caused a concussion on an already scared part of the brain and as it grew it triggered the headaches.

    17 years after I quit sports in college, 10 years after not playing hoops and about 5 after softball.

    So no not instantly affected with the headaches but affected non the less.

    Like everything in life it’s how you handle it and what you make of the situation.

    I’ve squeezed enough lemons to put country time out of business.

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