Signs your kid might have a concussion & an end to the volleyball season…

Bones at the hospital waiting to get in…discovering just how bright the lights are!

I spent the weekend trying to convince myself that Bones DIDN’T have a concussion…and the second the diagnosis was confirmed, I felt like the worst mother on the planet!

It’s not my first day at the rodeo. A few years ago, The Tall Blonde had a dreadful ski accident that left her broken and bruised…her head taking the brunt of the damage that left her spending multiple days in a dark room and months before she was fully recovered. (Post: Uphill from Here.) Then there was the time that Spiderman took a nasty hit in hockey and swore he was fine despite my watching him like a hawk thinking I could see symptoms while he insisted I was too overprotective…until he admitted he saw double…but only when he moved his eyes! And there was also the time Bones knocked herself out as a baby…which remains one of my worst moments as a parent.

But this seemed different.

I mean, I knew she was hurt…we were away at Volleyball Provincials and when I walked into the gym and saw the ice pack on her head, my heart dropped. I put my arm around her to find out what happened and she lost it…the way you lose it when you’re hurt and suddenly your mother is standing in front of you asking if you’re ok.

Turns out that while getting her gear out of the van that was transporting them between games, one of her teammates didn’t see her and closed the trunk…with Bones’ head still in the way!

Had it not been for a teacher yelling bloody murder…things could have been a lot worse.

I kept my eye on her. She was pulled from play. She stayed in my hotel room rather than with her teammates and she took it easy…she definitely had a headache but duh…a trunk had landed on her head leaving an egg in its place. OF COURSE she had a headache.

I thought she was a little dopey…but maybe that was from the long weekend…she didn’t seem to cheer right away when the team got a point but rather her reaction seemed delayed…or maybe I was reading too much into things? She seemed pale…but gym lights make everyone look awful. She seemed to be leaning towards her friend…but her posture isn’t the best and friends tend to cuddle at these tournaments. Maybe she was more tired than normal…but we’d been up late. Her eyes seemed dark…or was that last night’s makeup? She seemed irritated by me…but what else was new?

I could push every single symptom away while at the same time…it was nagging at me. There were moments where she was laughing and carrying on and she seemed pretty good.

And then she didn’t.

The next day, while studying for an upcoming test…Bones couldn’t focus and that evening, back at the gym for the beginning of Club Volleyball tryouts…the lights and sounds were unbearable.

There was no denying it.

We headed to emerg where they called it.

Waiting to get the diagnosis.
Waiting to get the diagnosis.

She’s resting…both physically and mentally…for a couple of days. I’m feeling that momma guilt of bringing her in almost 48 hours AFTER it happened but I swear…in those 48 hours, I barely had my eyes off of her!

So…what are the symptoms of a concussion? According the doctor at emerg and the pamphlet I picked up…put out by the IWK Department of Pediatrics, Capital Health, BIANS, and Dalhousie Faculty of Medicine…here are the signs:

  • Headache
  • Pressure in head
  • Neck pain
  • Dizziness
  • Balance problems
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Vision problems
  • Hearing problems/ringing
  • “Don’t feel right”
  • Feel “dinged” or “dazed”
  • Confusion
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Feeling like in a “fog”
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue or slow energy
  • More emotional than usual
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty remembering

And yup…Bones has just about all of them.

She’s on complete physical rest for a few days with limited mental activity (reading, TV, computers etc..). If mental activity makes her symptoms worse…she’s to stop immediately. Once symptom free, she can move on to a little light activity, ease into things…head to school for a 1/2 day and see how it goes. We’ll be visiting with the doctor again and as luck would have it, she has a month off from volleyball so the timing is pretty good (if there’s ever such a thing as good timing for a concussion.)

In this case, Bone’s has a “mild to moderate” concussion but as the doctor pointed out…every concussion is a serious one.

As for the weekend, it wasn’t a total loss. The Halifax West Volleyball Team placed fifth in the province ending the season on a high note! Despite the headache and sitting on the bench, Bones managed to celebrate with her teammates…a group of fantastic girls we were quite pleased to get to know this season.

HWHS Volleyball Team
Van selfie while waiting for Dairy Queen to open to enjoy a small celebration.

And now…we just have to put a little time in to get her back together before the club season begins!

Hopefully by then…my momma guilt will be all but gone!

3 Replies to “Signs your kid might have a concussion & an end to the volleyball season…”

  1. I’m so sorry this happened. What a sin! 🙁

    Don’t be too hard on yourself, Colleen. Sometimes this cruddy stuff just happens. You are not the first parent to brush off symptoms of things (or Things!). Your comprehensive list, though, could make far fewer parents feel guilty. That’s excellent.

    I hope Bones can rest up and feels all better soon.