Friday, May 31, 2013

The ImPACT of Concussion

items used in the creation of this journal page:
book paper
paint pens, felt-tip and ball-point pens
white glue, Miracle Tape,gesso

On October 2nd of last year, while practicing basketball in his Jr. High Athletics class, my son sustained a concussion when he was hit with great force with the ball to the side of his head. His coach didn't see the accident and didn't feel the need to have him checked out. Later that day he complained of headache, we got him some medication when he was picked up at the end of the day. That evening he complained of headache, nausea and dizziness...I called the trainer and the coach numbers that we were given and emailed twice, no response. About 8:45 that night he began throwing up and we all left to head for the emergency room believing he had a concussion. A 5 hour wait [where 2 of the hours my son and I slept in the examination room] and broken CT Scanner meant the ER doctor tried to do a concussion exam on a very lethargic [due to sleep] 12 year old boy! She felt he probably had a concussion and gave me a list of symptoms to watch for. I was to return if they persisted and she recommended I call to make sure the CT Scanner was operational. The next day he stayed home and rested. We heard briefly from the trainer.

The next morning he went to class and started being symptomatic again. We picked him from school and had him rest. That evening we were back at the ER, received a scan and learned that thankfully he had no bleeding on the brain, but confirmed he was definitely concussed. The next morning we were at the trainers office for the ImPACT test.

When administered correctly, the ImPACT test can be an effective tool in determining if a patient has sustained a concussion and the severity of the concussion. This time however it had not been done correctly. The school was supposed to get a baseline from the students during the first two weeks of school. The coaches insured that the kids in the sports that were actively having contests [football] had their baseline tests and did not stress over the fact that the rest of the athletes [off season basketball] had not received tests--even in OCTOBER. Despite this fact my son's test confirmed that he had a rather severe concussion and we were sent to the sports medicine specialist to learn our course of action.

If you've never had the experience of seeing your child's every pleasure stripped away from them, I recommend you pass on that experience. It's heartbreaking. NO ELECTRONIC MEDIA OF ANY KIND--no television, no headphones, no cell phone, no Kindle, no computer, no video games of any kind, no calculator, no smartboards, no iPads, no fun. No sports of any kind. No gatherings where there will be a lot of people, a lot of noise, a lot of visual stimulus. No strenuous activities. no. nO. NO! For a 12 year old kid this is overwhelming. This was our fall : No football games, no Homecoming, no Train Show, no dance, no camporee, no shooting sports, nothing. One afternoon he looked at me with a tear in his eye and asked , "Can I play Legos or cars?" "Yes, you can." *sigh*

The next 8 months was complicated with struggles with the school about what my child was able to do, repeating myself often to the same people about his limitations as prescribed by the specialist. A second concussion was sustained in April and a whole new struggle began...this time with my son suffering from Post-Concussion Syndrome and requiring medication to help bring his brain back to normalcy. That is where this page comes from. The symptoms I know by heart. The NOs are part of my everyday life. As he was concussed or recovering from a concussion for 8 of the 9 months of this school year it came as no surprise that he would end the year with an incomplete.

As of yesterday, we are once again on a protocol to return to full activity. We are taking it slow. We are learning and relearning all that was lost with the memory problems during the summer so that we can show proficiency to move on to 8th grade. I'm not expecting problems there as he really is doing THAT much better with the new medicine.

about the journal page: I created this to share on the blog today and have showcased the supplies listed above from the store!! Be sure to show them some love! The writing in the top right are all the concussion symptoms--from memory. The writing on the bottom are all the restrictions to our lives to heal properly. The image with the 2 kids is a pocket and in the pocket is a personal note that I wrote to the me 9 months earlier telling myself that I was going to need strength and perseverance like never before, warning the younger me that I will find myself repeating myself and that people are just not going to understand, reminding myself that at times I will feel very alone but that I'm not alone and that I do have the strength to do this.

***almost done I promise! Thanks for making to the end of this LONG blog post***
I'm entering this project in  TracyWeinZapfel Studios May Creative Dare--details of the dare is below. Check it's a great way to get your creativity flowing! Thanks for the inspiration Tracy!
Your Creative Dare is to write a letter to you.  Write a letter to the infant you, toddler you, teenager you, etc.  Think back to how far you have come and not where you wish you were.  Give yourself praise for the path you have taken.  You can read my letterHERE.
I dare you to incorporate the following elements from our Sponor:  Faber Castell Design Memory Craft (not required to participate) 
I accept your dare and used yummy Gelatos on my page! 

Thank you for checking out my blog! Please feel free to follow me and subscribe through bloglovin so you never miss an update!  I hope you enjoy experimenting with your supplies and don't be afraid to "follow the art."


  1. wow, I truly feel for your young man and your family. I never knew there were so mnay "no's" when you suffer a concussion or that it lasted so long. My prayers and my heart go out to him, I hjope he has a better summer. waving hi from the hills of North Carolina ♥

  2. Lifting all of you and especially your precious child in prayer and will keep him there til you say otherwise. Leslie, your courage and determination will stand him in good stead. You continue to fight for every right he needs. (((hugs)))


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