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An Invisible Injury

Unlike injuries to the arm or leg, a concussion often seems “invisible” to some. However, while the initial injury itself isn’t usually visible to the eye, the symptoms, such as nausea, dizziness, and the inability to concentrate, are evident. While I wish that putting on a Band-Aid, or wrapping some gauze around my head, would heal the injury, the brain is an intricate organ that needs time to not only form, but to function. When a baby is born, they have two soft sports, or fontanelles , which  is the space between the bones of the skull. The front fontanelle doesn’t usually close until a baby is over a year – that’s how much time the body needs for the skull to be ready to fully protect the brain.

Unfortunately, people don’t always understand how difficult it is to heal from a concussion. This lack of knowledge leads to comments like “is she faking it to get out of this test?” and “I’ve heard that concussions aren’t a real injury, so she should just drop the act.” This ignorance is perfectly exemplified by a comment made by one of my teachers: “For those of you who are proud of your concussions, here is a story about a real brain injury.” I was proud to have survived my concussion, but the comment showed how little the teacher understood. I wasn’t proud of having to sit through the day managing headaches, trying to focus on my classwork, and hoping the light wouldn’t make me sick. In fact, I think because of this ignorance, people are ashamed of their injury and the emotional, physical, and mental toll that it takes on you. This comment, while offensive, further highlighted for the need to education not just on the field, but also in the classroom.

 

--Alex, July 2015

Blog Index

My Journey Continues
    posted 2015-08-03

An Invisible Injury
    posted 2015-07-15

Woman's World Cup Soccer
    posted 2015-06-25

A Frightening Incident
    posted 2015-05-22

Change is Hard
    posted 2015-03-31

Change is Hard
    posted 2015-03-31