My Annoying “Ex” and Their Name is Anxiety-Following-a-Concussion

Disclaimer: This piece is me complaining about a concussion I had recently

Concussions suck; I’ll be the first to yell that off the tops of buildings.

Over the past month, I recovered from a “mild” concussion (which lasted nearly five weeks). It was such an agonizing recovery that I wished school wasn’t even part of the picture of my recovery.  I got the concussion during a basketball preseason scrimmage. Second quarter, East Lyme on offense, shot went up and I went down. That instant, my back hit the ground, taking majority of the impact with my neck and hitting against the wood flooring. Overwhelmed with the impact, I went into a panic for about two minutes following the fall was fine immediately after but I began getting headaches a few hours later and for the next three days after that. The only thing I could do during my recovery was a.) try and not use my brain as much as possible, meaning school and the use of screens and b.) sleep.And yet, I did neither, because the grind of school never stops.

I lost many hours of sleep those first few days of having a concussion since I was worried about trying to catch up in all of my classes: completing the homework and copying notes. Along with that, I was freaking out because I needed to make up assigned tests and quizzes, and, without thinking, I rescheduled all of my tests and quizzes for the following week. That first week I was supposed to be resting but instead I was just worried about finishing everything I missed before it was too late and that break was just go go go instead of rest rest rest. My headaches got better as the first week went by and I wasn’t having any headaches until Sunday of that week when I was trying to study for the multitude of quizzes/tests and trying to complete homework and projects and then– they returned. A week of catching up resulted in me getting “Post Traumatic Headaches”, which basically means you thought you were fine, but you’re not! In addition, I felt like I was under a microscope for everyone because I was getting this so-called “special treatment” by my teachers with the rescheduling of assessments. Not to mention this slow boiling anger from said teachers- no offense to them- since I could not take any of their quizzes/ tests until a month from when they were scheduled or use a computer with full brightness in any of their classes. Other than the rescheduling, I was expected to complete all work and homework assigned. With the post-traumatic headaches, all of my assessments that I was hoping to get out of the way the week after were pushed to the week after and after break, which did not go over well with any of my teachers.

And then we reach now, first day back from break, I feel a lot better and I have never felt more under the microscope. I still have to do five quizzes from a month ago and two tests from also a month ago, which are spread out within the next three weeks- good but bad at the same time. Along with that, I have to take regular scheduled tests and quizzes- fun! And yet midterms are coming up and I have zero time to study to for them because I’m drowning in studying for make-up assessments- extra fun!

Okay, I spent the past few paragraphs complaining about my month long fiasco of a concussion, but my whole point of this piece is that there’s no break from school from returning from an ongoing concussion. For any student that goes has a concussion of any severity, there should not be anxiety to return to school as if the student is 100%. An environment where it’s okay if a student with a concussion does not have to complete mandatory would relieve some of the stressors that cause this anxiety. The student does have to complete work somehow but there should be more leniency to it, such as giving a longer deadline to assignments or even exempting the student from assignments. There is so much anxiety for a student following a concussion and a student’s arrival back to school should not consist of the student thinking, “Oh my lord, I’m so stressed out!” but rather “Okay, everything is under control and I can focus on my recovery”.

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