Tracy's Story: The End of an Athlete's Career

"If you think you have a concussion, don't hide it, report it ... I didn't know it could get this bad."

It was January 10, 2005. I was 17 years old, and my high school basketball team was playing a varsity game, and it was around the second quarter, and I was going up for a rebound, and as I came down, the back of my head collided with the top of another girl's head. The next day, after the day I got hit, I went to school, and I was really sick, and I knew I had a concussion cause I suffered through a concussion my 7th grade year. I had all of the symptoms-- dizzy, nauseous. I couldn't focus in school. I can continued to play a second game after that, and I passed out after the second game in the locker room. Basically, I was bedridden in my house for about 6 months straight. I slept on the couch because of the light. We had to dark sheets over the windows. My mom and my sister had to help me walk around. I lost my balance; I could't really get that back for quite a while. I didn't know it could get this bad. All athletes have a strong will, and since we're young, we know that we have to suck it up. Suck things up whether--you know-- you sprain your ankle or your hurt your finger, you just go in the game and you shake it off and you don't complain and you don't cry. But this is a brain and head we're talking about, and you can't suck it up. So unfortunately, instread of missing a game, I missed the season. I missed sports for the rest of my life, and I missed out on a great life that I could have had. Athletes need to know, if you think you have a concussion, don't hide it, report it. It's better to miss 1 game than the entire season.
Posted on BrainLine October 24, 2011.

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. www.cdc.gov.