When I was my son’s age, nine I believe, I went out to the soccer field to work on my goalkeeping. As I was sent a high cross to the far post, I tracked the ball in the air, moving across the six yard box, along the goal line, and…Bamn!
I found myself lying on the ground with my dad asking me some seemingly redundant questions – Who am I? Where was I? What day is it? Apparently, I had run my noggin into the goal post.
I recall that I gave the correct answers, so we resumed play. Dad again went down the same wing, crossed the ball…Bamn! This time we were back at the parking lot, sitting against the car, recalling a lot less and feeling a lot more sore. This was my first introduction to the concussion.
Thirty-five years later, and my son is sledding down a gentle hill, only to catch the back of his head as he clears the snowy ramp. There was nausea, headache, and localised pain. Yes, he should have worn a helmet; yes, I didn’t even consider packing it; and no, I didn’t expect him to bump his head like that.
The research into brain trauma has come a long, long way. ThinkFirst Canada details all you need to know regarding brain trauma, from prevention to treatment. From my experience, the real problem with concussions is our attitude towards them.
Good bye, “Suck it up, buttercup”.
Hello, “Helmet on, melon head”.