Thursday, May 21, 2009

Out of My Head

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.


Corrine said...

Alyssa is out for the season, thank goodness for Mono, huh? I could have her lick Alex if you want.
Hee hee.


AirmanMom said...

the joys of being a parent. Remember when he was just a little guy and you could kiss the boo-boo away or put a spiderman band-aid on it?
Hang in there, Mom!

Eternal Lizdom said...

So scary... you have to take head injuries, no matter how minor they may seem, very seriously. I've heard countless reports on research coming out that shows that what seem to be minor head injuries can actually lead to serious problems.

This testing... is this being done by the school? Have you taken him to your regular doctor?

I don't mean to be alarmist or anything. But I come from a family of docs and know more about brain and head injuries than I probably should.

Andrew Scott Turner said...

See why I love my wife?

The only person I know who can use the word "lick" in the same sentence with "mono" and "lacrosse"

God I love that woman

Laura ~Peach~ said...

oi oi oi insane... glad he is ok i would not let my son play football when he was young, but that was more because we had invested years into music and i was worried about him being hes a police man and i still worry,,, oh I left you a note in my comments :)

Evansmom said...

My nephew got hit in the head so many times during football that he knew the questions they would ask. One time he opened his eyes, looked at the official and coaches and said "My name in Ryan, I am in Lincoln Maine and the score is 10 to 7. Can I still play?" (The answer was no as he had lost consciousness.) Don't you just love it when your kids don't tell you something (like the fact he had had a headache for days) but then tell someone else that. I always feel like people will think I am not a concerned mother!

Joanie M said...

Ah, Lacrosse. My nephew plays lacrosse for Albright College and my brother is a high school boys' lacrosse coach. He also played in high school and college.

My son played Rugby in his junior year of high school. He was 6'2" and about 140 lbs. I couldn't bring myself to go to any of his games. How he never broke anything (or EVERYTHING) is beyond me!
Now he just plays beer pong.

MaBunny said...

Hmm, hope his brain isn't too scrambled. I've never watched LaCrosse, but is sounds very rough.

claudia said...

Geez! I feel for you. School's used to drive me nuts with their back and forth concern for the kids' welfare!
If I took those tests, it would be a big FAIL under my normal circumstances. I had to read the directions three times before I understood them! And fast...what is fast?!?
I hope everything stays good with Alex!

Merrily Down the Stream said...

All I got for that is YIPES!!!

Reddirt Woman said...

That's scary. Are you sure you can stand to go to the games? I think my innards would be in knots.

Keep an eye on him mom.


Lynn said...

Whoa...glad he's O.K....wonder what would happen if I took that test ? LOL

Sue said...

Don't forget to bring the ice bag too!

So great to meet you in person yesterday, ME!!! You are as lovely in person as you are on your blog! Lisa will be on the 207 on May 27th. We were in and out of the studio today in 10 minutes! Hope to see you again soon! :)

Mrs4444 said...

Man, that's a bummer. Kyle got a concussion when he was in 1st or 2nd grade, on the playground, running into another kid. Poor little guy did nothing but puke for 24 hours. Nowadays, he gets migraines. I think there's a connection. Hopefully, today's game was uneventful!

Vegas Princess said...

I could never understand Lacross and how they do not wear as much padding as football. They are certainly getting as banged up. I will keep my fingers crossed your son does not get hurt again.