Head Trauma

the truth about students concussions


Black. White. No colors. Not knowing where you are. Not sleeping. Constant headaches. Constant questions to be answered. This is what life is like for sophomore Matthew Boehm.  He has had five concussions: 4th grade, 5th grade, 7th grade, 8th grade, 9th grade.

“It’s tough knowing that you can never play football again,” Boehm said. “It was pretty tough [coming back from recovery at home] because you’re coming back to all your teammates who are healthy, and you’re still kind of out of it.”

Boehm’s most recent concussion happened during baseball workouts last year. The team was hitting fly balls and his teammate hit one to him, as he dove to catch the ball he landed on his head. He was out of school for two and a half weeks and couldn’t do his school work. He was constantly at doctors visits, couldn’t look at his phone, or play video games. He slept a lot and was in a dark room. He can no longer play football which he used to do but can play baseball because he has less risk of getting another concussion.

“The doctor said it’s up to me to play football, but in the end you want your mind more than a sport, and I feel that’s most important to me and not playing a sport,” Boehm said.

Senior Breana Wayne is also familiar with the ugly word concussion. The word in itself sounds horrible. She got her fourth concussion while playing volleyball at the Chicago Christian Tournament this past September.

“I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t wanna tell anyone,” Wayne said. “I lied right through my teeth and said no [when her coach asked if she was dizzy]. The biggest struggle was accepting that this was my last year, and I can’t repeat what has happened, like I can’t go back and try to make up my senior year in volleyball…”

Treatment for her was going to the hospital and having tests done. She was told she had to wear sunglasses indoors and to “take it easy” with her class work.

The struggles that team doctors, school nurses, and student pediatricians have is in gauging the trauma and recovery process for the the brain.. “Every child is different.  Every person is different. Their brains get better at different times. Some people might take days, some weeks, some months,” School Nurse Tracy Boehm said.

According to Boehm, all people should take concussions as a very serious matter, especially since the professionals have a better understanding about how to treat concussions more than they did several years ago.

“I think we are seeing such a big increase in concussions in the media and in sports because sports trainers, doctors, and coaches are more aware now of the injuries that do happen to the players of any of the sports: football, volleyball, soccer whatever it may be,” Boehm said.

Concussions are so irregular and no one can predict them. They just happen. Unfortunately, according to Boehm, there is no way to prevent them. You either have to remove yourself completely from the sport or take the chance.