My Concussion Story
It was the beginning of my last semester of high school and everything was going the way that I had planned. I had my best friends beside me, my grades were prevailing, my skin was glowin, I was the captain of my school’s varsity basketball team, and I had prom, DECA/FBLA competitions, and graduation to look forward to. I expected for everything to continue if not get better. Nothing could possibly go wrong. Until, I was struck –literally– with a concussion. This concussion wasn’t just some bump to the head, like I and many others had thought. My injury developed into post-concussion-syndrome, and turned into an eight month long battle.
I received my injury on a Friday night basketball game. The gym was jam packed with people, screaming people, screaming coaches, and screaming teammates. It was an intense game and all I wanted was to perform my very best. My nerves were running high and my adrenalin was pumping. My team was on offense now, and I saw an open lane to the basketball hoop. I flashed through the middle, and luckily my teammate passed me the ball and in perfect timing I had a lay-up to the hoop. Well, unfortunately for me it did not go in, but my hunger for a basket ran deep. My opponent rebounded the ball, but I was swift and attempted to grab it out of her hands. In doing so, I inevitably threw myself to the ground slamming my head into the ground…something broke, something cracked and I instantly was in tears.
A pain like none that I had ever felt before entered the sockets of my brain. A trainer led me into the back room, everything became fuzzy for me. The lights, the room, I wasn’t myself. The trainer calmed me down to the point that I no longer was crying, then led me through a test in order to determine the severity of my head injury. I couldn’t say the months of the year backwards or repeat numbers that he listed to me or even dart my eyes back and forth without an excruciating pain entering the back of my head where I was hit. The trainer told me that I had a very “mild” concussion and I would be back to playing in a week or two–that lifted my spirits. I had friends with concussions before and theirs had not lasted more than a few weeks, I was hopeful, I would be back just in time to play in the regional and state tournament with my team. But, I nor the trainer could be more wrong.
Following my “accident” I went to bed that night and woke up the next morning feeling relatively normal. I can’t remember ever really experiencing a headache that day or even that whole weekend, so I quickly thought the trainer was wrong and I was fine. That whole weekend I “rested” stayed home and relatively did all of the things that I usually would do; watched TV, ate junk food without a second thought and I believed without a shadow of doubt that I would be back to playing that Monday morning at practice. Monday morning came around and I was on my way to practice, when I received a call from my school’s trainer, Coach Rich. He had a panic in his voice, “You’re not going to practice this morning are you?” And I shrugged and said “Of course, I feel great, almost 100%” “Almost?” “Close enough” I said with a giggle. He suggested that I stay on the sidelines and focus on just shooting and dribbling nothing else. No active play, which I settled with. All I wanted to do was be on the court again.
During the practice I couldn’t help but notice that I felt slightly dizzy by the end of it all. I hadn’t done much but I knew something was a little off, but just brushed it off. I went home and reassured my mother I was perfectly fine. It wasn’t until the next morning that it would all hit me.
At school the next day, my friends were wondering why I was even at school, but I knew absolutely nothing about concussions and reassured them that mine was super duper minor. The bell rang and I went to my first period class, Calculus. Before I get into all that went down, i must note that the brain once it is severely or even slightly injured does not particularly agree with problem solving and I would learn this all in about the first three minutes of class. I remember looking at my warm-up problems and attempting to solve them only to feel that awful pain again. Awful isn’t even a word to describe it, it felt like knives were seeping into my brain all while bombs exploded from within. It was the worst pain I had ever felt in my life and I was quickly brought to tears. I sat in my chair and cried, mascara running down my face and the explosions in my head only continued. This was my very first concussion-related headache which would accompany a multitude of other symptoms for the next eight months. This was the beginning of a very difficult and long battle.
To read my full recovery story, click or tap the link here!