Marlowe Evans.

Being Young: Concussions, not my idea of a good time

I had to get doctor’s notes excusing me from classes and from both of my jobs.

Many teenagers struggle to balance work and academics, but when a concussion comes into play, it can be nearly impossible.

Wondering why I haven’t written in a month? You guessed it: concussion.

Having had two concussions in the span of three weeks is definitely not my idea of a good time. The first concussion happened because New Brunswick is cold and icy, and I slipped on my way to breakfast before my first class of the morning.

I went to the doctor and she said, “Stay home. No phone. No sports.”

I did what I was told, and truth be told, I was rather bored. But I got better quickly and was back working and playing sports.

It was during my first game of volleyball since the first concussion that I acquired the second. That one meant a trip to the hospital.

After having two concussions in such a short period of time, the doctor said: “Stay home. Do nothing.”

That was hard.

I had to get doctor’s notes excusing me from classes and from both of my jobs. I suddenly had nothing to do, and let me note – cabin fever? It’s very real. I went stir crazy.

Eventually, I was allowed to do some physiotherapy, then return to the gym, then to school, and now to work. (I’m still not allowed to participate in sports, which is not a fun time for me since my volleyball team is in the running to win the league.)

But what did I do with my time before I was allowed to return to my regular life? This week, I’m sharing concussion life hacks for everyone out there who has been benched, bedded-in, or inconvenienced because of a blow to the head.

• Concussion hack No. 1: Audiobooks are actually cool.

Way back before Netflix, or even television, there was radio. Back then, it wasn’t only music that was on the waves – people listened to radio plays, which were like films, only you got to imagine what was happening. Audiobooks are just modern radio plays. Over the course of the month I was not allowed to do anything (and also not really in a state to be able to do anything I might add), I listened to four and a half audiobooks, some of which were over eight hours long.

• Concussion hack No. 2– Invite friends over.

Since I live with a roommate, I luckily wasn’t left all by myself during my concussion exile. But sometimes things got a little lonely when Savannah was busy studying.

So, I invited over friends, who mercifully brought food with them most of the time, and saw to it that I was comfortably tucked in and reasonably entertained. (I’m not kidding one of my friends tucked me into bed like a little caterpillar. It was the only upside of the concussions.)

• Finally, concussion hack No. 3– Don’t rush yourself. It’s been over a month since my concussions and I’m still not back to functioning at 100%. That’s frustrating for me, but when I stress myself out, I only make my symptoms worse. Concussions aren’t fun for anyone, but trying to rush back into everything only makes them last longer.

Overall, there’s not much to be said for being concussed. I mean, having friends tuck you and in bring you little snacks is nice. But being able to do nothing but listen to audiobooks for hours at a time? Not my ideal way of spending February.

Still, now that I’m getting to go back to everything, I’m grateful for the gym, and even for my homework. I never thought I’d be saying that, but at least it’s something to do.

Marlowe Evans is a student at the

University of New Brunswick

from Maple Ridge who writes

about youth issues.

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