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March 7th, 2009. The day that literally rocked my world for six months. The few moments my body flailed through the air, uncontrollably. The mere seconds my neck whipped backwards. The single day in my life that I can’t recall.
I’m told I got hurt on a trampoline. But i can’t remember that day much. I do know that I didn’t hit my head. So how could I have gotten hurt? That’s what the doctors and I couldn’t figure out. They said it was whiplash. It took two weeks to figure it out. It took two weeks of multiple doctors and multiple tests. I had too many symptoms to link me to a certain illness. During the two weeks, while going from one doctor two another, I had to take the CMT’s.
After to many tests to count without any answers, I was pointed to Dr. Lee. I took an impact test, which tests your reflex, memory, and cognitive thinking. I failed. After the first time of taking the test, I was escorted back to Dr. Lee’s office. As I stumbled back, the office seemed like light years away, but it was only a few doors down. I kept thinking how bad I did. I felt like such an idiot, I couldn’t remember anything. My head was spinning. It felt like going on the Spinning Teacups in Disneyworld, but the speed was cranked up five times faster. The lights felt like I was staring directly into the sun. I had had headaches before, but none as bad as this. When I arrived at his office I was surprised. It wasn’t like any other doctors office. The walls were a pine needle green. It was darker then the hallway, thankfully. He also had a multiple plaques hanging on the wall. I began to read each one, as he scanned the scores. My father sat there patiently waiting for the Doctor to hopefully give us some answers. As I read each plaque he began to speak. His words snapped me out of the trance I seemed to be in. As he rifled through the scores a second time, I sat up, knowing this would be important. As he skimmed the very last of the results, I crossed my fingers hoping he could tell me the answer I desperately needed and the reasons for all my symptoms.
The diagnostic; a concussion. Usually sitting in a dark room, getting plenty of rest, is the answer. In my case after a week of doing that, hadn’t made a dent in my scores. So all I could do was wait. After another week, I was put on medication. They don’t actually have a pill for concussions. It was a medication used for depression, which somehow stopped the symptoms. When that didn’t work, the only thing to do was to wait it out. So that’s what I did for two months.
During those two months, more impact tests were taken, as well as Catscans, MRI’s, EEG’s, and EKG’s. Plus a lot of resting. My days began to seam together as one. They were spent either; sleeping, eating, coloring, playing with playdo, or my favorite, staring at a blank wall for hours on end. Since my room was blacked out, it was more like keeping my eyes closed for days.
Missing two months of school seems like a dream come true, right? Wrong. I was completely ripped out of my world. Meaning no TV, computer, phone, or music. I was cut from technology, for what seemed like lifetimes. I was also deprived of a social life. I couldn’t see friends, or anyone who wasn’t my family. So for those two months I spent the entirely with my family. Which could be taken either way, and that’s how I took it.
In addition to the symptoms of the concussion, I was also experiencing neck spasms. So I was off to see a physical therapist. I was worried at first, thinking that it would hurt. My first visit was an evaluation to determine what areas he needed to work on. The PT suggested a schedule of coming three times a week to help me with my balance, as well as my neck and back. I was glad to be able to get out of the house for something besides another doctor’s appointment.
Therapy was fun for me until the part about my neck came in. My balance was way off but could be fixed by different walking exercises. But my neck was different. My therapist told me I was very tight, considering he couldn’t crack my back. The most painful thing I experienced was when he worked on my neck. In order to get rid of the multiple spasms in my neck he had to press on them and rub them. That doesn’t seem too bad, but considering that my neck already hurt in the first place, it didn’t help. After weeks of this, I would move onto stretching, which seemed like a gift from God compared to the “hands on” technique.
Soon I was cleared to go back to school. But I was only to go for one class period. My first “day” back, I was prepared with my sunglasses on and my earplugs in. As the students filed into my English class, the surreal moment began. I felt like I was on the red carpets. Being gone for a week people worry, but being gone for a couple of months, people assume you’re dead. As my classmates filed in, so did kids from other classes. As the word of me being back spread like wildfire, the more kids came in. Soon after I had said hello to everyone, the class began. I was lucky in a sense that I didn’t have to participate. I was mainly there to observe, and best of all socialize. It was great to see friends, let alone familiar faces, after being alone for the longest time. As the days spread, so did my classes. Before I could get back to any more classes but three, my seventh grade year had ended.
Summer began, and so did school for me. Since I had missed so much school work, I had to be tutored. So my science, Spanish, and math teacher came to my house, and tutored me. After I had been caught up with all the work I missed, my summer had officially begun. The only problem being the fact that I still had a headache, and couldn’t figure out why.
My next doctor was an allergist. He took some blood, and sent it to a lab in California. The test results came back a few weeks later, and they shocked me. I was highly allergic to gluten, so wheat, flour, rye, and barely. Most of my diet was made of gluten. The only good thing I got out of it was that a symptom of an allergic reaction to it was headaches. So when I stopped consuming foods with gluten, the headaches stopped.
It’s funny how only a few moments can change a person’s life forever. How seconds could change my outlook on things. My accident has taught me that life wasn’t meant to be rushed through, that I should take the time and enjoy it. I am thankful for the fact that my injury was not as bad as it could have been. Looking back on that day, I wish that it never happened. Unfortunately life doesn’t always work out the way we want it to, so we have to take what we have and make the best of it.