Ah, Lacrosse. The thrills. The chills. The Heart Thumping. The concussion.
Last Friday, at Alex’s game, he was hit in the head – twice – by a person. Hard. Evidently it was bad enough to knock him down, and, the second time, enough to make him feel dizzy. Luckily for everybody, I wasn’t at that game. It was at the farthest school in their lacrosse district, and over an hour and a half away, so I didn’t go. He was also leaving from the game with a friend’s parents to spend the weekend, so a lot of this stuff I didn’t find out until much later.
Anyway, they took Alex out of the game, and administered a ‘field concussion test.’ I may have mentioned before that there is a medic at every lacrosse game (that should be the first clue that lacrosse = bloodsport). This field concussion test consisted of 40 questions, designed to see if his brain was scrambled. He told me a little bit of what they asked him, including the fact that he had to walk a straight line, close his eyes and stand on one foot, and count backward from 100 by threes. It sounded to me like the field SOBRIETY test the police administer when they stop you for suspected drunk driving. Not that I know from first hand experience, of course. I’ve seen it on COPS.
Evidently, he passed, because they let him play the rest of the game. Later that weekend, at his friend’s house, he walked into a tree branch and hit his head, and it made him feel dizzy again. Of course, nobody called me. I mean, why would I want to know? I’m only his mother. When Alex got home on Sunday, he did tell me about the head hits and the concussion test, but said he felt fine.
On Tuesday, I got a call from the school clinic saying that Alex was in with a headache he said he’d had for several days, and they were checking him for a concussion. I was all “but they already checked” and they were all “well, he could still have one because those lacrosse medics really don’t know what they’re doing.” Way to make me feel better.
This new test involved something called Head Minder, which all of the athletes are supposed to take BEFORE they start the season. It tests their cognitive function (or dysfunction), short term memory, reflexes and reaction time. It is done on a computer, and consists of stuff like this:
Soon, you will see a series of pictures. Some are from the series you saw a few minutes ago, while some are new. When you see a picture that you recognize from a few moments ago, press the space bar. If you see a picture that you have not seen before, then do nothing. Try to be fast without making mistakes. You are being timed on how fast you are.
Shortly, you will see a series of pictures. Press the space bar every time you see a picture except if it is of an animal. Press the spacebar as fast as you can. You are being timed. Remember, press the space bar every time you see a picture except if it is an animal.
Since my child did NOT take this test before hand (Alex says his coach was supposed to make him an appointment, but didn’t) they had him take it, then wait one day, and take it again. Evidently this would show that, if his brain was scrambled, at least it wasn’t getting any worse.
So here we are on Thursday, and he’s been cleared to return to battle – er, lacrosse. Apparently his brain isn’t deteriorating – a fact I find SO comforting. It's too late to find out how much it has already degenerated, which may or may not be a good thing. He has another away game tomorrow night.
I’ll be making the drive.