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How bad can they really be?

One concussion is all it takes to have a lifetime of problems.

A bump on the head? Everyone said and believed is was no big deal. A kiss from mom, or putting ice on for a few minutes, or sitting down to relax to make everything better were the treatments for any and just about all injuries it seemed, including head injuries. This was the thinking in the early 2000s and earlier years, when parents, players and coaches never thought twice about a head injury. There weren't concussion protocols like there are today. So, where do you draw the line between a minor bump on the head and having a possible concussion? Are the concussion protocols today too much?

Where It All Began

There was once an aggressive athlete who was always on the move, whether it was roller skating or taking on soccer players two years older than she as a goalie. Getting up to continue playing after being kicked in the head by another player or colliding with the goal post and blacking out was something that happened time and time again. Parents and coaches were concerned but not enough to involve a trip to the emergency room or to see the doctor. Everyone always made comments such as "She's okay!" or "Give her time to get up" or my favorite "She is tough, she can handle it." That athlete gave into to the comments and put on that tough girl act and continued playing. At the time, blacking out and losing consciousness and continuing to play seemed like the cool thing to do.

Happiness to Struggling

Fast forward 15 years later and 6 years after their last concussion. That aggressive athlete is in the past and now 30 years old, still living at home, struggling to finish college, and trying to find a career and have a social life. To say the least, it is difficult if not impossible to accomplish anything between the light sensitivity, constant headaches, fatigue, dizziness, emotional ups and downs, lack of focus and short term memory issues. With already having been to the neurologist and eye doctor and finding no resolution, giving up seems like the only thing to do sometimes. If there were concussion protocols years ago, would things be different now? It will always be a constant wonder.

Truth and What To Do

As it turns out, that young aggressive athlete wasn't as tough as she and everyone else believed. Kids are resilient for the most part, but parents and coaches should never risk letting a head injury go no matter how minor it seems. Their heads and brains are still sensitive at a young age and need to be protected. Even though there are no signs or symptoms of a concussion or head injury at the time and everything seems normal, get checked out. The truth is your childhood days of being fearless and believing to be indestructible will without a doubt come back to haunt you years later in life as an adult whether you are in college or working full time. My advice would be to go to the emergency room or go see a doctor and use the concussion protocols that are now in place. There are various treatments, therapies, and restrictions that when followed make and will make a world of difference later in life. Everyone needs their brain and needs it to be functioning correctly so they can live life to their fullest potential. One blow to the head is all it takes to have a lifetime of problems. The bottom line is that concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are serious issues and should not be taken lightly and should be taken care of as soon as possible. Every step taken, following the concussion protocols makes all the difference in the world.

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