Concussions: They’re crazier than you think

Isaac Sierra

   The blinding sun glints off my eyes as I sprint towards the goal. The crisp morning air of the Grand Haven stadium fills my lungs as I dash down the field determined to score against the second best team in the state. The midfielder lobs the ball towards me and I time my jump perfectly. Time seems to slow as the ball makes contact with my forehead and flies towards the goal. Suddenly, excruciating pain surges through the back of my head as the massive elbow jabs me. Everything goes black and I collapse to the ground, motionless.

  Concussions are very common, and although they used to go almost completely unnoticed, they are rapidly gaining more attention. However, although concussions are more noticeable than before, their consequences are not common knowledge.

 When one usually thinks of a concussion, one just assumes that it means that the person gets frequent headaches. However, concussions include considerably more symptoms than just headaches. For example, one of the most common symptoms of a concussion that is not widely known is the extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Consequently, when a concussion is first diagnosed, one generally has to stay in a dark room for days on end to help the brain recover. Personally, I had to stay in a dark room for an entire week to recover from the extreme light and sound sensitivity. A concussion may seem like just an unfortunate injury to the head, but it impacts the brain much more severely and in very peculiar ways.

 Concussions are very complex injuries as they involve the most sophisticated structure in the known universe: the human brain. There is often no physical evidence of a concussion when the brain is analyzed. However, concussions are very real and despite the lack of physical evidence, they cannot be neglected. It is commonly thought that if one’s external appearance and body movements are normal then they do not have a concussion. However, the impact of a concussion on a person is much more complex than just external appearance. In my case, having suffered two concussions in a matter of months, my focus has depleted significantly, and my irritability has increased greatly. Instead of being able to do all my homework nonstop in a couple of hours, I actually have to take breaks due to my propensity to become distracted. I also become extremely angry at the slightest things due to my extreme irritability. Although I may not appear any different physically than the people around me, I am functioning at a far from sufficient level and doing simple things at home and at school have become difficult.

 Concussions are very serious injuries that affect millions of athletes every year. They inflict far more damage than just headaches and changes in external appearance. Victims of concussions like myself experience more difficulty functioning normally than what it seems, and it is important for one to realize the struggles that are involved with suffering through a concussion.