I have been alive 22 years, I have played sports for 17 of them. I have had 4 concussions, 2 of them have been Grade 2, and one has gone without recognition. As a 3 sport athlete in high school I thought I was invincible. I thought no matter what I did, I wouldn't get hurt, and headaches were normal. I thought if I slept it off they would go away, and I was right... Eventually they did. I have a couple throughout high school, until soccer season my senior year where I took a ball straight to the face from 2 feet away. My eyes became black and blue and my memory was a little scattered, I sat out for a week and decided I was able to play again. I came to college and had one that was minor, but caused me to sit out for one game that happened over the course of a 3 days span my freshman year, and just like the rest of them I was OK to go after a day or two. But then last year happened, and the definition of concussion took another avenue in my life. Last year, I got a high Grade 2 concussion during a game. I was playing and ran into a girls shoulder with my temple, and my, entire right side went numb. I came out and said I was ok, which at that point I had a concussions already. I went back in and go hit even harder. To this day, I do not remember the fourth quarter of that game. I slept for days, and couldn't walk into the light for at least a week. I couldn't play in another game that semester, much less attend a practice. For weeks, I was not myself.. Physically I was there, mentally I could not hold a conversation, do homework, or even hang out with my friends, that is when my thoughts on concussions changed. To this day, a year later I still can tell some things are off, and I still struggle to remember things and recall certain memories. This is why I decided to do my project on Concussions & the Brain.
Never have i felt so much pain, Explosion after explosion
Of pain, My head feels too heavy. For my weary neck and my stomach churns.
And i cant eat, or sleep. I cant think without my mind hurting.
Every light now, even at its dimmest Is too bright and it hurts,
and noise now kills me inside, there is just too much noise.
Im so scatter brained, Nothing makes sense.
I cant remember anything, and it scares me.
I cant do anything, And i hate it.
I cant move, Or ill hurt.
But i hurt If i dont move, Torture pure torture.
Thats what this is, God help me please because I just dont know how I will get through this if I'm alone laying in the darkness and silence,
That has become my only.
Concussions by the numbers
-1.6 and 3.8 million sports related concussions per year.
-High school athletes sustain an estimated 300,000 concussions per year.
-13.2% of all injuries in sports are concussions, 66.6% in games, 33.4% in practice.
-For students 15-24, concussions are the 2nd leading cause of traumatic brain injury.
-25% of concussion sufferers fail to get assessed by medical personnel.
Treating concussions in the future
There are 5 new Advancements that could change Treatment:
- Blood tests for brain injury
- Color Changing helmets
- Accelerometers in mounthguards and patches
- Concussion pills
- Remote controlled dummies that move on the field like a normal player to practice with.
The last worD
This is such a huge topic in sports, and year after year we hear about former athletes dying because they had taken too many hits to the head during their careers, I still wonder when we will say enough is enough, and players will no longer be allowed to play in hopes to not cut their lives shorter. The 5 advancements in the years to come excite me, and more than anything intrigue me. I am anxious to see the outcomes and how they work to keep athletes safe and healthy. If I could do anything differently the next time around I would focus more on the stories behind it, the people that have been through these Traumatic Brain Injuries, not once or even twice, but several times, I want to hear what they think and read about their experiences and if these brain injuries scare them, but why they continue to play these games against the odds, risking their lives.