Well’s Blog: Concussions

In my lifetime, I have had three concussions. I can tell you that frankly they suck. What makes it even worse is my most recent concussion is my third one in less than a year.

A concussion is a head injury caused by some sort of contact. When the head gets hit hard enough, the brain is shaken and bruised by being bounced off the skull.

The first head injury to occur to me was the winter of my freshman year during wrestling. I was doing well in my match until the kid threw me over his head. I landed on the right side of my cranium and basically blacked out. After getting pinned, I stumbled off the mat to my coach who then took me to the trainer. After multiple tests that included memory and reaction, I was diagnosed and sat out of any physical activity for a little over a week. I was also told to refrain myself from any television watching or video game playing.

The second concussion was dealt to me at the beginning of my sophomore year during the 2011 football season. I went to block an opponent from Salem while I played wide receiver and he head butted me, causing my brain to rattle in my head. After the game I was diagnosed by our trainer who put me through multiple memory tests again and told to stay out of any physical activity and other things that make my brain work hard. My concussion lasted for only a week and I was back.

The third and most recent concussion was also the most severe. It was again during wrestling, when my teammate picked me up and accidentally threw me on my head. I landed face first and bounced off the ground. This one screwed me up even more than the past two. I was out of any physical activity for four weeks. For the time I was out, I was very upset. Being taken out of activity for so long can take an emotional toll. I finally was cleared and allowed to do activities on January 30.

Some effects that I had as a result of the concussion were memory loss, a constant headache, sensitivity to light, and dizziness/confusion. Some long term effects could be permanent brain damage and possible paralysis. I have been lucky enough to not experience these symptoms.

Because I have had so many concussions already, I plan to be more careful in future physical activity. A precaution I am going to take is not to lead with my head during football. If I have children who play sports one day I will tell them of my past experiences and warn them of the dangers of concussions.

Concussions are a huge hassle, but also very serious. They can cause you to have serious brain damage and possibly put you in a wheelchair. While it is important to be a part of your team, it is more important to treat yourself first.

Blog by Ethan Wells