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Personal Experience

PersonalExperience

Iam honored to give my life experience for I believe it can make adifference and help athletes be aware of concussions. I am a17-year-old female who loved playing lacrosse. My first lacrosse gamewas when I was 6 years old. I did not love it at first, but as timepassed, I fell in love with the sport. I even became famous due toaggressive and perfect play. Each day of my life revolved aroundlacrosse. My parents were happy with my play as it kept theirscholarship hopes high. At night while asleep, I could see myselfplaying lacrosse for a big college. I joined high school with highhopes of attaining a lacrosse scholarship to continue playing myfavorite sport through college. Not a single thought ever occurred tome that concussions will take all my lacrosse dreams away.

Iplayed lacrosse for 9 years. In all these years, I suffered 7concussions of which 2 were not severe, but the other 5 occurredduring my 4 years of high school, and they really affected me. Injunior high school, I was among the best players in our team. Mycoach and teammates could not afford to play a game without me. Theyloved my aggressiveness, but I think I was too aggressive. One day, Icollided with another girl from the opponent team as I was fightingfor the ball. The collision drove the girl and me to the ground butfell holding our heads. All we said was &quotouch!&quot andproceeded with the game. At that moment, coaches, parents, teammates,nor referees thought of concussion. I also did not think of it. Thefollowing day after the collision, I complained of a headache, butthis did not stop me from going to school. That day, I struggled toconcentrate in class. I did not even visit a doctor instead, I satit out as many in the injury community do.

Thefollowing week, we had a friendly game in our school. I was stillhaving headaches, but I did not take it seriously. As if it was myfate, I yet collided with another girl but passed out this time. Atthe emergency room, I was diagnosed with a concussion. The doctoralso told me that I could return to play in 2 weeks. I convinced myparents, as any other athlete would, that I was concussion-free afterthe two weeks. I lied I had no headache because of pressure tocompete and not to lose my position in the team. I was more concernedwith the game than my health.

Thethird concussion was worse compared to the other two. I washospitalized for several weeks. I could not even recognize where Iwas or what had happened to me. I did not know that my life wouldnever be the same again. I tried returning on the field but ended upwith concussions, until after the fifth concussion in my high schoollife that I decided to stop playing and concentrate on healing andacademics.

Thingswere even worse off the field. Long treatments kept me out of school.I suffered daily headaches, dizziness, and memory loss. Doctor’sadvice was to stay away from tests, computer, or note taking. I hadsuffered a concussion syndrome, which required months or years totreat depending with how my body was going to respond to thesetreatments. My grades continued to drop as reading, writing, orcalculating was extremely difficult.

Iurge athletes not to ignore any injury or return to play too soonbefore a concussion heals. Doing this will just prolong theirrecovery. Ignoring medical concerns will prevent one fromparticipating in their favorite sport. It may also lead to pooracademic performance due to low attendance rates due to treatments,difficulty sleeping, and altered mental status (Saffaryet al. 15).Athletes need to look after their health to reap benefits on and offthe fields.

WorkCited

Saffary,Roya, Lawrence S. Chin, and Robert C. Cantu. &quotConcussions inSports.&quot (2011).