The Danger of Head Injuries

Head injuries can have a long-term affect on the brain.
Photo credit: activekids.com

Head injuries can have a long-term affect on the brain. Photo credit: activekids.com

Luke Hicks, Staff Writer

Head injuries are a common occurrence at high level sports and even at young ages as well. Professionals play it off and just get about two weeks of rest before they are ready to play again. However, the rise in research and awareness of head injuries has increased the severity of this injury. In the 80’s and 90’s and even some people today, a concussion was commonly described as just “getting your bell rung” or a “ding”. Head injuries are much more serious, and in the most severe cases can cause brain damage such as CTE, which has affected many former NFL football players. I have personally had 2 concussions, 1 being very severe and the other on the less serious side. I can say that when I had both, I could not remember what had just previously occurred. I felt like I was in a different person’s body where I could not control my emotions or my words. The most recent one I suffered was this summer during a lacrosse game. I do not remember from where I was hit to where I was sitting in the car on my way to the hospital. I was told I was responsive the whole time, but I kept repeating my words and forgetting who people were. I can tell how severe these head injuries are and say that they are no joke. Football, lacrosse, and hockey are the main sports where these injuries can occur, but most involve contact with another person in a sport or event. My recent teammates have also experienced head injuries much like mine and are willing to share their experiences here. 

Michael Kipley 

Cardinal Mooney HS, Sarasota FL 

Injury occurred in a lacrosse tournament in October of 2019 in Charlotte NC.

Do you remember the contact?

Michael: I do remember the contact, but I think it is mainly because I have watched the film of the hit many times. I don’t know if I would remember if the hit had not been recorded. 

Can you recall the events that followed? 

Michael: I remember that our team won the game, the hit happened on the very last play, and our coach was talking to us about how we did. There was an award thing at the end of the game, and I received one, but it was kind of foggy from there. A medic did check up on me but that is all I remember. 

Were you taken to a hospital or specialist?  

Michael: I was originally not taken to either because the medic at the field thought it was minor concussion. Through the course of a couple months though, I ended up going to a few doctors and eventually a neurologist. 

How long was your recovery time? 

Michael: My concussion turned out to be extremely awful, so I believe my recovery time was about 4 months. I couldn’t play any contact sports and I would get dizzy at random times. 

Do you still have effects to this day?

Michael: I do still have repercussions because the part of my brain that got injured was primarily balance. It is hard for me to balance sometimes and when I close my eyes I start to sway. I also get extremely sharp pains and headaches where I got hit and luckily they are not too common and don’t last long. My brain was also affected when I did math, so I did not take any math tests the entire second semester. This caused me to not take the final in that class, so I am retaking Algebra 1. This really held me up in school because I could be a whole level ahead if it weren’t for my concussion. 

 

Ezra Moore 

Freshman at Roswell High School 

Injury occurred in a football game in 2019

Do you remember the contact?

Ezra: I do remember the contact. I knew it was a concussion because I had had a couple before this one occurred.

Can you recall the events that followed?

Ezra: I do not remember anything that followed, only sitting on the sideline and drinking water. 

Were you taken to a hospital or specialist? 

Ezra: I was taken to the hospital and eventually a specialist. They said I couldn’t play football for a while since I had had so many concussions beforehand.

How long was your recovery time?

Ezra: My concussion was not extremely severe, so it was only two weeks. My parents wanted to keep me out a little longer so I would heal better, but I did play contact sports between my comeback in football.

Do you still have effects to this day?

Ezra: Occasionally I will have some minor headaches, but nothing severe and it does not affect my learning or everyday life. 

 

Sean Keogh 

Freshman at Blessed Trinity Catholic High School 

Injury occurred in a lacrosse game in 2017

Do you remember the contact?

Sean: I do not remember anything except hitting the ground. I did not know if I had a concussion or not since I had never had one.

Can you recall the events that followed?

Sean: All I remember is walking to the sideline and my coach running some concussion tests on me. He told me I had a concussion right there and I probably needed to go to the hospital.

Were you taken to a hospital or specialist?  

Sean: I was not taken to a hospital that day, but I was taken to a specialist so they could tell us how severe it was. They told me it was minor, and I did not experience much pain after the day I was hit. 

How long was your recovery time?

Sean: My recovery time was about 2-3 days due to it being a minor concussion. I have not suffered worse, but I know that I got lucky with this light of a concussion.

Do you still have effects to this day?

Sean: I do not remember ever having side effects or symptoms even after a week of rest. I do not experience any today either, so I got the good end of a concussion. 

Concussions can range from anywhere from 2 days to recover, or even a whole lifetime of symptoms. Therefore, we need to pay much more attention to our bodies when we suffer this type of injury. Our brains are unpredictable and the more we protect them, the more likely we are to live a healthier life. If you think you have suffered a concussion or another brain injury, contact your doctor or go see a specialist. Head injuries are nothing to joke about.