Shaken: A Hard Hit

November 13, 2017
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I am Katrina, a fun, loving, hard working, teenage girl. I have a mom, dad, and two younger siblings which we can call Andrew and Grace. I play volleyball with my school. We are an okay team but we’re not the best. We decided to participate in a tournament with club teams which are much better than us.

It was Saturday, we were driving to the gym for my tournament. I knew it would be some tough games but I was excited. One of our setters wasn’t able to come to the tournament so I was the second setter. It was a raining day; I looked out my car window, there were water droplets sliding down. Amber, mahogany, and golden leaves fell from the wind blowing. I finally got to the gymnasium. The lights blinded me as I walk from the cold, dark outside to the bright, loud gym. Excitement was rushing through my veins. Will we win the tournament? Where are we starting?        

I meet up with my team and we got ready for the first game before the official tournament. We played really hard. The score for the first game was 20-25. Determined to win, I continued to dive, race, and move to the ball during the game. But towards the end everyone was tired from running around. We lost 18-25. My team and I kept playing hard during the second match. But lost from hard serves and tiredness. The team had not been used to playing hard for several games.

Finally our third match came around, I started as the setter. By the time I was left-back we were over halfway through the first game. One of the girls on the other team, the next server was skilled at aiming. She had already got three points. The next serve was up. She threw the ball up in the air. Smack! It went flying so fast I couldn’t respond. I called “mine” but realized the ball was out. Before I could move out of the way, the ball knocked my head. Instantly I felt the world spinning, my head ached. The gym lights were brightening like a flashlight blinding my eyes. I went over to the sidelines and out of the game.

People were asking me several questions like, “Are you okay?” “Does your head hurt? What is hurting?”
“Your eyes look dilated. Are you hurting? Like a headache?” my coach asked.

Feeling odd and confused I stayed out of the rest of the game. I had never gotten a concussion before. I did not know what it was like until now. My mom, coach, and team were concerned for me and insisted that I go home. Devastated from missing out on the rest of the tournament, I got in the car with my siblings and mom as we started to drive home in lots of traffic in the stormy, rainy weather. We didn’t know if I had a concussion for sure so my mom decided to take me to a fire station where my dad works as a firefighter. He took a look and said I possibly have a minor concussion. So we said our goodbyes and started driving home. I felt sleepy and overwhelmed with exhaustion from the games and my injury. As soon as we got home I flopped onto my bed.
I rested my head for a while. I got in the shower when all of a sudden our power went out from the stormy weather. Soon, we are playing board games because of boredom. Eventually, we decided to go out to dinner because the fridge, oven, and microwave were out. At the restaurant, there was a long waiting time but we weren’t in any rush so all of us waited. After we got our table we spent a long time thoroughly eating our food.
When we came home the power was still out and wasn’t supposed to come back until 1:30 AM. My mom planned to go out with her friends which meant I had to babysit Andrew and Grace. So she left around 9:00. I put my brother and sister to bed. I sat in the dark for a little bit. The wind whirled around our house making a loud whooshing sound. It was quite scary to me at the time because I was hurting (not as much as before) from my concussion. I decided to try and read to see if I was okay to do so but instantly after a few sentences my head started to ache more. Just being in the dark made my headache and concussion worse. Finally I chose to go to bed. But it was rough to sleep because of the rain pouring against my window, listening to the swirling wind, and making sure I was being a good and safe babysitter. Then it was 11:00 PM and my mom had not responded to my text message asking around when she was coming home. Adrenaline rushed through me as I wasn’t sure what to think. My head ached, I heard the loud wind, and my mom didn’t respond to my texts yet.

Andrew woke up and asked, “Mom’s not home yet. Do you know when she is coming home?”

I continued to get worried. Some sweat dripped down my face. I could hear the howling wind, the drenching rain. Thankfully my mom responded several minutes later and she came home safely. Greatly Relieved, I laid in bed and soundly went to sleep. But I was awoken later by a loud beeping noise and all the lights turned on at 12:30 AM. I was grateful they turned back on a little earlier. I slept well the rest of the night.

The next day, I woke up with a terrible headache, I didn’t feel good, and changes of lighting made things worse. The power being out did not help my concussion get better especially because of lack of sleep. For the next few days I took the school days off. I couldn’t do my homework, or read a book, or use devices. I was bored out of my life. I rested, took naps, watched the rain fall down my window, and I snacked.

I learned a remarkable lesson: Be thankful for the little things you have. For example your brain; it works extra hard every day, all the time. When it is damaged, even the smallest bit, you can’t do anything. But with it you can do so much more than you think it could do.

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