First, A Bit Of Background
Growing up on the coast of Maine I was surrounded by the sailing community. Its culture of perseverance had engrained itself in me since I was young. I pushed through the freezing weather and battled heavy winds just to compete in the sport that I grew to love so much. I was uneducated on the subject of concussions, I knew they could have a strong effect, seeing some of my closest friends take a hit by the boom. I remember thinking, what my friends went through would never happen to me. (My Naive 16 year old self)
How I Got The Concussion
During the spring of my junior year, I was ending practice, and sailing into the dock with my best friend. As I approached an average upwind landing, I prepared for the glide zone(an area where you have enough momentum to let your sails out and "glide" into the dock). I had done a less than stellar landing, but I expected my crew to hop off the boat and catch us on the dock. It was certainly my fault, I hadn't gotten us close enough. We had missed the opportunity and our boat was swiftly drifting away from the dock. I stood up, and out of frustration pushed the tiller hard to port... the boom whipped over and smashed my brain's left hemisphere with 15 kts of power. Imagine a baseball bat hitting you in the head at 17.4 miles per hour. I fell to the bottom of the boat, staying conscious, and instantly knew I had sustained a concussion. Feeling really drunk without the buzz, topped off with a splitting headache, I went to lie down on the ground. I rested while everyone else was de-rigging. Honestly I had know idea what I was in for on, I just pushed through the practice debrief in the spirit of no pain no game.
TAKING THE SAT'S THE NEXT DAY
Somehow I was able to drive myself home without getting in a crash, something I strongly urge against. I told my parents what happened, and they were pretty much just as in the dark on concussions as I was. They told me to get some rest, as I had a big day ahead of me. I told them I could go through with it. I took the SAT's with a full blown concussion. I suffered through 6 hours of testing with a throbbing headache, and a huge feeling of what the hell am I doing here.. As each hour passed, my headache grew stronger and stronger. Of course, If I had a time machine I would not go through with taking this test with a concussion. It really set my recovery back. The weekend passed and I was still in throbbing pain. I went to school on monday just to take the famous concussion test. No surprise here, it was very clear I had a concussion. The school nurse, who actually ended up being a huge savior of mine, told me to go home and shut off all stimuli. When she found out I had taken the SAT's on Saturday, she FREAKED out. What the hell was I thinking... I missed 3 weeks of school immediately after the test because I was in such severe pain and disorientation. Words of advice, If you ever get a concussion make sure you don't take the SAT's the day after.
You're Probably wondering what my score was??
I got a 1580 out of 2400... not the best score by any means, but hey... I had a concussion
Let me know what you think...
This article is purely informational. I am not a doctor, though I am a patient. This is not advise.