The Eagle Eye

My hidden injury

Physically I look normal, but mentally I have been concussed for 10 and a half months and I am a better student because of it.

According+to+the+Brain+Injury+Alliance+the+purple+area+is+where+many+head+injuries%2C+including+mine%2C+often+are+injured+and+located.
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My hidden injury

According to the Brain Injury Alliance the purple area is where many head injuries, including mine, often are injured and located.

According to the Brain Injury Alliance the purple area is where many head injuries, including mine, often are injured and located.

Rachel Tetreault

According to the Brain Injury Alliance the purple area is where many head injuries, including mine, often are injured and located.

Rachel Tetreault

Rachel Tetreault

According to the Brain Injury Alliance the purple area is where many head injuries, including mine, often are injured and located.

Rachel Tetreault, Staff Writer

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It was an average game day for my teammates and me: the whistle blew and the soccer match began against the Mater Dei Mustangs. Little did I know that the game would change my life.

As I go against a player, I fall backwards on the field, hitting my neck and head against the turf causing my vision and mind to go blank. All I knew was that my head was pounding with pain and I was taken out of the game to rest.

Like any other athlete, I told my coach that I was good to continue playing, so I went back in the game. Pushing through the pain, I started to run and headed the soccer ball — which was a big mistake.

The next day I went to school and when I came home, I took what  thought I would be a short nap, but ended up sleeping for over 20 hours. I felt completely different when I woke up, but I continued to play another game of soccer the following day… and one small hit to the head with the ball, and I start to think like a five-year-old, losing both my memory and identity.

I finally decided to tell someone about my symptoms and I immediately went to the doctor. With many different tests and  magnetic resonance imaging (MIR) scans, the doctor concluded that I had a traumatic brain injury (major concussion) and recommended I to see a concussion specialist.

While going to the doctor twice a week, I was on concussion protocol for a month which meant that I was not allowed to participate in anything.

For a whole month I missed school and sat in a dark room all day with no technology. I could not interact or hang out with friends, I had to take weird vitamins and pills and I could not exercise.

Not seeing my friends and not being able to exercise was the worst part of it all. I fell behind school and failed my second semester of freshman year, I forgot how to comprehend books and even conversations, and I couldn’t talk to anyone except for my family.

All I knew is that it would be a long trip to recovery and I was determined to get there.

By pushing my brain harder, I finally fully recovered in 10 and a half months because I had to learn differently and study extra hard to retain information.

I have always been an average student, but my grades now– with the help from my new study habits– show my academic improvement.

I managed to go from failing freshman year to receiving a 4.0 last semester in my junior year.

Now, post-concussion, I am thriving in school. This injury has taught me to push my limits and to be more determined than I have ever been in my life.

Many people are unaware of the dangers of having a head injury. If the concussion is not properly taken care of with plenty of rest, it may result in long-term symptoms.  Take it from me… if your head hurts, take it easy and rest.

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