When hockey forward Meghan Duggan broke her wrist in the semifinals of the World Championships a few years ago, she could clearly see the fractured bone on an MRI. The path forward was clear, if a bit painful: She’d wear a cast to play in the finals (where the team won gold), have surgery, then let the bones heal.
That seemed simple and straightforward after what she’d just been through: a 14-month recovery from a serious concussion. Since December of 2011, she’d been coping with symptoms such as migraine-like headaches, severe sensitivity to light and sound, and depression. At her lowest moments, she’d wondered if she could even handle going to the grocery store, let alone returning to the ice.
But through a long, slow process of self-discovery and an innovative approach to treatment, she rebounded—to new heights. She led her team to an Olympic silver in Sochi and then gold in PyeongChang in 2018—and in between, through a contract dispute with USA Hockey that amounted to a seismic shift toward gender equality in the sport. While her injury recovery was nothing she’d wish on anyone else, she said, the skills and determination she gained fueled all that came afterward.
Meghan joined us today to discuss:
- Her lifelong passion for hockey and her marriage to a fellow hockey star (update since we recorded: they’re having a baby!) (5:37)
- How hockey players view injury and the toughness of the sport (7:05)
- More about how her concussion occurred, and what she calls “probably one of the worst decisions I made in my life” (13:02)
- The small steps that began to change her trajectory (20:45)
- The personal transformation the injury inspired (23:41)
- Her specific symptoms of concussion and the unconventional approach to treatment she followed (24:42)
- What her relationship with the team was like while she was out, and when she returned (38:32)
- How she harnessed what she’d gained during her recovery process to lead her team to Olympic gold (45:39)
- Her thoughts on concussion awareness and prevention (46:51)
- What she tells injured athletes about seeking support (50:54)
Resources/links we mention:
- Meghan’s Instagram and Twitter
- The Carrick Institute, where she pursued treatment
- More about the contract dispute, and resolution, with USA Hockey
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DISCLAIMER: This content is for educational & informational use only and & does not constitute medical advice. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional because of something you may have heard in an episode of this podcast. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult with a qualified medical professional for proper evaluation & treatment. Guests who speak on this podcast express their own opinions, experiences, and conclusions, and The Injured Athletes Club podcast hosts nor any company providing financial support endorses or opposes any particular treatment option discussed in the episodes of this podcast and are not responsible for any actions or inactions of listeners based on the information presented. The use of any information provided is solely at your own risk.