Concussions: ODA Edition

As I am writing this article, I text a question to my friend, senior Dana Saltz, who I know has a concussion and shouldn’t be looking at a screen.

Oops. Sorry, Dana.

Most people might not know the science behind a concussion. To start, what is a concussion?

According to the Mayo clinic, a concussion is a “temporary unconsciousness caused by a blow to the head” or “a violent shock from a heavy blow.” According to my notes from Mr. Newhams’ Anatomy class, “A concussion can be a severe as permanent brain damage and as minor as constant headaches.”

Mayo Clinic also declares symptoms include headache, confusion, lack of coordination, memory loss, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, ringing in the ears, sleepiness, and excessive fatigue.

It seems as though concussions have become a common injury at ODA in the past couple of years, and no, not just from football and lacrosse. Concussions can occur in just about any physical activity.

Three seniors have had concussions this calendar year, two from cheerleading!

“[Having a concussion] was awful and stressful because I had to catch up on all my school work,” says senior Libby Grimond.

Libby got a concussion from cheerleading.

“I went to school only half the day for a while” says Libby. “My brain couldn’t handle full days of learning.”

Another victim of a cheerleading concussion is senior Dana Saltz.

“I didn’t have to go to school for a week, which is relaxing, but at the same time stressful because I’m missing a lot of work” says Saltz.

Thankfully, her concussion was not as severe as it could’ve been.

Some students, like Libby, had issues catching up on work while others could attend classes, though in constant pain.

“Honestly, having a concussion was pretty terrible because your head cannot stop throbbing and everything was super, super loud and everything was super, super bright and you had to stay off your phone and computer the entire time. I always felt so tired,” says senior Miller Condrack.

Miller got a concussion from sailing.

One of Miller’s concerns was not being able to go on her phone or computer. When you have a concussion, it is important to stay off electronics to allow your brain to rest.

“As an AP Photography student, having a concussion was difficult because all of my work was to be done online.” says Miller.

Because having a concussion requires a ton of bed rest and “doing nothing,” yes it can be relaxing, but it’s also stressful to know you could be doing something productive, but can’t.

Obviously, a risk factor that may increase your chance of a concussion is playing sports. There is no easy way around that one because ODA requires a sport each year to graduate.

It is important to take caution when playing any sport because your brain is the most important organ of your body in and outside of school.

What should you do if you suspect you or a teammate has a concussion?

Say something. Concussions can be extremely serious and should not be taken lightly.

Don’t be afraid to use your voice!