Chronically Concussed Keeley

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Chronically Concussed Keeley

Keeley Scalise, Series Editor

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According to Illinois high school association, a concussion is a traumatic brain injury that interferes with normal brain function.” An athlete does not have to lose consciousness (be “knocked out”) to have suffered a concussion.  

The most common symptoms of a concussion include headaches, confusion, lack of coordination, memory loss, and if the concussion is severe enough, vomiting. Symptoms depend on how severe the actual blow to the head was.

Concussions and I have really gotten to know each other quite well in the past two years. As a person who spends most of my time getting injured, concussions have been the worst experience for me. I have had a large amount of concussions, but who’s counting?

At times, when I have a concussion, I stutter and do not even feel like myself. Sometimes what I say makes no sense at all and I struggle to remember what I was even talking about.

Most of my brain injuries are caused either by cheer or me doing dumb things. I am one of the most accident-prone people on Earth. I once got a concussion from ‘baptizing’ myself in a hot tub.

My worst concussion was probably my second one. At cheer camp over the summer of 2018, I was hit in the head while stunting, and for a moment, I passed out. None of my coaches noticed what happened, so I got back up again.

I am the type of person to blow off all of my injuries until I cannot stand the pain anymore. So, being the person that I am, I got up and continued to cheer, even with the feeling that my head was about to explode.

After ignoring my symptoms for a few hours, they progressively worsened. My head hurt so badly that I could barely open my eyes, and I was throwing up. This is when I finally decided to seek help.

Apparently, I had a very bad concussion and they sent me home from camp. I was devastated, but it was what I needed at that time. I got home around four and slept until the next day.

After that concussion, my mom gave me the choice between quitting cheer or wearing a helmet. Being that it is my senior year, I chose to continue to cheer while wearing the helmet. Unfortunately, I didn’t wear my helmet during warmups at a competition, and my flyer lost her balance and fell onto my head. I went to the hospital and found out I had yet another concussion, and I sprained my cerebellum.

That was the end of my season. I have been cheering for about 13 years, so finding out that I could no longer cheer was absolutely devastating. It is my senior year, and I cannot finish out my final season.

Concussions can be scary, and have the potential to ruin your life. Being safe and tackling a problem when it happens is the key to keeping your brain healthy.