One Teen’s Heart-Wrenching Struggle Post-Concussion
Seventeen-year-old Avery Crowe, a student at Hebron High School, was a competitive D1 club soccer player when she collided heads with another player during a big game in which college scouts were in attendance. Determined to gain the attention of the scouts and lead her team to victory, Avery shook off her injury and continued the game, hurting herself again when she headed the ball 10-15 more times in that one game. Only later would her parents learn that Avery had suffered a concussion that would forever alter her life, and theirs. Avery shares her story here.
I go to bed every night wondering if I’ll wake up forgetting everything. It’s terrifying. I can’t control it, and I don’t know when it’s going to happen. It pains the people around me. Why does this happen? How? A year and a half later and still no answers. I’ve become a pro at covering my pain and emotions. I’m just trying to be a normal 17-year-old.
A year and a half ago, I got a life-changing concussion that I’m still dealing with today. I’ve been diagnosed with retrograde amnesia, along with a pounding headache 24/7, double vision, vision damage, vestibular and cognitive damage. One of my biggest struggles is memory. I forgot my boyfriend 7 months into our relationship. I had no idea who he was. But thankfully he stuck with me and made me fall for him all over again. In school history is a nightmare because it’s all memory. I have multiple accommodations to help me do my best. For example, I get my test read aloud to me normally about a week later, so I have more time to study. This helps with my double vision. I can read for about 45 minutes to an hour before I start seeing double. I’ve gotten prism glasses to help my eyes converge text. But my biggest struggle through all of this is my pain. I have raging headaches around the clock. I’ve tried every over-the-counter painkiller, and nothing makes a difference.
However, I’m beyond lucky to have so much support from my family, friends, teachers and doctors. This happened to me for a reason. Even though I go to a doctor appointment every day some weeks, I know it’s going to get better. I can’t control what happens and can’t live my life in fear because if I do then I won’t be making new memories that I hope not to forget.