Shelby Howard’s Concussion Story
I am 17 years old and currently attend St. Mark’s School and will be starting at Bates College next year!
|Sport||Years Played||Highest Level of Competition|
|Lacrosse||10+ years||High School|
I have had 3 diagnosed concussions and 2 undiagnosed concussions with my longest recovery being 3-6 months.
I actually sustained my concussion the day after I quit my high school’s basketball team, so I was asked to take part in our Fitness class in lieu of my normal athletic commitment. I was unknowingly given a bouncy medicine ball to do a medicine ball slam with, which bounced back and hit me in the cheek. I did not think anything of this hit, but after a soccer practice I had five days after the impact, my head was in excruciating pain, and I had been having a consistent headache since the hit. I was diagnosed with a concussion, which lagged on for what felt like forever. I would get frustrated with myself because I did not feel like my concussion was real because it was self-inflicted, and it was not even during a game. However, the pain was persistent and even led me to experience post-concussion syndrome for another 3-4 months. Over a year has passed and I am very happy to be symptom-free, and I hope other people can learn from my experience and take better care of themselves and listen to their bodies!
What has been the most frustrating aspect of your recovery?
Not being able to participate in daily life as you are/were used to
What I Would Have Done Differently
In hindsight, I wish I had shared my emotional symptoms with my family and friends. I bottled up all of my sadness and frustration because I was afraid that my emotions and symptoms would just be a burden to those around me. However, that is far from the truth and by not telling anyone how I was feeling, I was not giving anyone the opportunity to help me through my struggle..
Advice I Would Give To Others
I think my biggest piece of advice would be to be patient, and to expect the unexpected. The thing that frustrated me the most with PCS was the fact that I would be fine for 2 days, and on the third day, I would get a horrible headache out of nowhere. I am a stubborn person, so my erratic headaches would make me so frustrated, but looking back, being able to roll with the punches would have made me happier and possibly would have shortened my recovery time.
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