Confessions of a Concussed Student


It was a normal evening practice in the pool when my next 14-21 days would change forever. I received a blow to the head by a water polo ball, proving a concussion can strike at any time and can even affect a world-class athlete like myself. After hearing that I wouldn’t be required to complete upcoming assignments, it would be an understatement to say I was excited. Unfortunately, there are some major setbacks to having major brain swelling.

There’s really nothing to do: 

You get to sit back, relax and do nothing. Literally nothing. I woke up naturally on Friday morning at 11 a.m. and it was truly a beautiful experience, but what was I going to do for the rest of the day? I tried to do homework, but it hurts to concentrate. I decided to make the most of my day off by sitting on my phone and scrolling through social media, but the bright screen made my eyes water as my head started pounding. I just lay down and attempted not to pass out when I got up to get some fluids or simply closed my eyes and timed the beat of my favorite song to the pulsing in my head (not the best option for everyone). The worst part for me was dealing with my parents when they would contradict themselves. It’s very confusing for someone who can’t focus for longer than three minutes. While you’re not allowed to get up or do anything in general, you also aren’t allowed to have an attitude with your parents. By “having an attitude,” I mean that when I would ask my dad to get me something because I was told not to get up, I “was being snippy” and told that my legs weren’t broken so there was no reason I couldn’t get it myself (not that my brain was broken or anything).

If you do anything, you lose progress: 

Eventually, after days of sitting around missing TV shows and homework, your head is hurting just as bad and you can’t stand up without almost passing out. I went to a party, but the next day was probably the worst I had ever felt. I coincidentally had a doctor’s appointment that same day and he was extremely, condescending towards my treatment of the concussion. I was told that if I kept being your average party animal, I might face some actual brain loss, which no one can really afford, much less growing up in our school district. Let this be a lesson to all past, current and future sufferers of a concussion: even if you feel fine, you aren’t. Believe me, the reward of the party or anything of similar nature isn’t worth the risk of major headaches and losing time out of the game and the classroom.

Assignments are extended, not excused: 

My doctor gave me the papers and I emailed my teachers to keep them in the loop about my tragic accident, so I walked into school thinking that the following week would be a breeze. All my teachers were helpful and understanding, saying “You don’t have to do that right now.” Absolute music to my ears, I think I shed a tear or two on Monday, and it was not because of the typical Monday sorrows, but of joy. I coasted through the day with no complications. When I went home, it was a completely different experience. It didn’t even occur to me that I would still have to do homework. I just thought I could skip a unit and jump back in, but as we all know, life is unfair. All of the teachers totally accommodated me and my injury which should definitely be recognized, but after two weeks they were obviously tired of the same excuse. Like I said before, even though you may feel better, you’re not better. Even today, I’m still having minor headaches, but as the old saying goes, “don’t be a little b**ch about it.”