Becky

Some injuries can’t be played through

Apr 20 • Becky Hilker, Opinion • 725

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With only a couple games left in my college athletic career, I got injured and reinjured during my lacrosse game last Tuesday.
During my sophomore year I tore my labrum in my left hip. I had to get surgery and I missed that entire season. I have come to the conclusion that my body hates me. Every day when I wake up I feel like I am a 90-year-old woman.
My bones ache, crack and make all kinds of noises they shouldn’t and there is a constant pain in my hip – because of arthritis. But because of my love for lacrosse and because this is the last time in my life I will be able to play at this level again, I push through the pain and try to play.
I almost made it through to the end season without hurting myself again until Tuesday. I fell directly on my left hip, which has a small tear in the labrum again and I bashed my head off the ground in the process.
I wasn’t too upset about my hip because I figured I just irritated the area and it would be OK in a couple of days – which it was – but I was more concerned about my head.
I have never had a concussion before – that I know of at least. But, I had a few symptoms of a small concussion and I wasn’t allowed to play in our game on Saturday.
That was disappointing. However, I wasn’t as upset because an injury with my brain is a lot more serious than an injury on really any other body part.
The athletic training staff was very cautious about letting me overexert myself or really doing anything that could possibly increase the symptoms.
For the first couple of days after I hit my head I didn’t really get the rest that I needed, which I think made my symptoms seem worse than they really were. I had to go and work on the paper directly after the game and I was there until almost 3 a.m.
I then had to go see the doctor Wednesday for my hip and an evaluation for a possible concussion. The hip was as OK as it was going to be, but there was a slight concern about my head. That night, I was up late working on homework and then I was up early Thursday.
During the day on Thursday my symptoms increased and I wasn’t even allowed to stay to watch practice that afternoon because the trainers and my coach wanted me to get some rest. By Friday, my symptoms decreased a little because of the rest, but after another evaluation and doing the Impact Test – computer modules to test your memory, concentration and response time – they came to the conclusion that I should sit out at Saturday’s game.
It wasn’t fun watching my team play without me, especially during a tough game. But I am glad that the trainers and my coaches took the symptoms seriously because a head injury isn’t something to play around with.
Sports medicine has come a long way in recognizing the signs of possible concussions early on before they get too serious and it has made an impact on the athletes’ lives. Just in the last decade alone there have been new discoveries on concussion prevention and treatment.
It is changing the way of contact sports and I believe it is for the better. Too many athletes who suffered head injuries in the past went unnoticed and suffered far worse than they should have.
So when I was told I wasn’t allowed to play Saturday I was upset, but not playing in one game is better than never being able to play again or suffering from irreversible damage the rest of my life.
BECKY HILKER
hilker001@knights.gannon.edu

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