“After I got my first concussion, I was in a rush to get back to doing all the stuff I wanted to do but getting my second concussion ended up causing me to have to put my life on hold for two years.”
Jamie was an active high school student when she experienced her first concussion. She was doing a warm up activity at basketball practice, dove on the ground, and crashed into her friend’s knee. She immediately felt dizzy and confused. The next day, she had an awful headache, nausea, and sensitivity to light. She pushed through the pain and tried to go back to her normal activities. When she couldn’t it make through school or practice without feeling sick to her stomach, her coach recommended that she see a doctor to be assessed for a concussion. Three days after getting hit, her physician diagnosed her with a concussion and told Jamie to rest and take Advil until the symptoms subsided.
Second Impact Syndrome
A couple of weeks later, feeling better, she was hanging out at a friend’s basketball game when a stray basketball hit her in the head. Now, any recovery she had made, was instantly gone and her symptoms gradually worsened. The next day, Jamie’s physician diagnosed her with second impact syndrome, a potentially deadly traumatic brain injury that results from a repeat concussion before a previous concussion has healed. The approach to the second concussion was again, time and rest. As time passed she noticed her personality changing. She felt more irritable than ever before and extremely fatigued. Jamie was in constant pain, had trouble sleeping, couldn’t concentrate or remember things well, and her life came to a screeching halt. Eventually, relief came when she started an intensive therapy program including physical and neck therapy, speech therapy, vision therapy, and chiropractor visits.
Two years after her first concussion, Jamie has worked hard to catch back up in school by taking online classes, summer school, and home tutoring. It was extremely difficult, but she caught up in time to graduate with her high school class and is excited about attending college.
Jamie wants to share her story to help students understand how serious concussions are.