Looking back to the day of my injury, I can recall these words going through my my mind:
“Thank goodness its only a “mild” concussion and I don’t have any broken bones.”
At the time it seemed like a reasonable thought. But now, almost 3 months after being struck by the car, I would probably look at things a bit differently. At the time, I was not very familiar with concussions, concussion symptoms and the recovery journey. My limited experience was based on a concussion my 20-year old son experienced when he was 11, a concussion my 31-year old daughter experienced at 21 and a concussion I experienced nearly 30-years ago. My son and I recovered rapidly and were back to our “usual” selves in a week or so. But with my daughter’s concussion, the affects lingered for months and had a profound impact on her senior year of college. But as I am won’t to do, I figured if the Doctor told me my concussion is “mild” my reaction is to think, “how bad can this be?” and to believe that I will be fully recovered in a week to ten days. My biggest concern at the time was how long it was going to take for the swelling in my leg to subside.
Before I go on, I am going to step back a bit and look at some things that define a concussion. These definitions are taken from the CDC website, https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/basics/concussion_whatis.html
“A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.”
“Medical providers may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, the effects of a concussion can be serious.”
Think about that for a moment, a concussion is a traumatic brain injury and is only defined as a mild because the symptoms are not life threatening. Concussions may not be life threatening, but they can be life altering so from that perspective should they be considered as mild? The final sentence of the paragraph sums it up, “the effects of a concussion can be serious.” Based on what I now know and what I am experiencing, all concussions are serious and need to be treated as such.
I know my perspective on concussions have changed over the course of the last 3-months. But, this has all been for the better as I have educated myself and embarked on my healing journey.