Concussion – Liz’s Story

Concussion – Liz’s Story


My name is Elizabeth Leverton, I’ll be a freshman
at Notre Dame, and I’m 14 years old. My first concussion I got in playing basketball. It was the first tournament of the year and
first game, and I got elbowed in the head. And then a couple days later on the next game,
I got kneed in the head. I kept having headaches, I couldn’t eat at
all, it would hurt my stomach. I couldn’t read, I couldn’t play video games,
I couldn’t watch TV without my head hurting. I just liked to lay down in a dark room by
myself without doing anything. We didn’t really know what was happening. We just probably thought it was a headache. I was referred to INI – Illinois Neurological
Institute. Cristin: I met Liz 3 months after her injury,
and this girl was depressed. She sustained two back-to-back concussions,
but she really didn’t understand what was going on. Her parents didn’t understand
what was going on. She stopped socializing with her friends,
she couldn’t even function at school – I mean, she was miserable. Liz: It wasn’t really a great time in my life. I do sports all year round, so being out of
sports for 4 to 5 months was not what I usually do. And I was sad for most of the year because
I couldn’t do anything. I mean, who would have fun just sitting on
a couch in the dark? That’s all I had to do. Cristin: She really needed a guide back into
her life. Jenna: So with children, the one difference
that we have in treating them is getting them back into being a student. So they’re a student first, and
then an athlete second. So we work with creating an individualized
care plan of how to gradually get them back into the school environment, making accommodations
for how much and how long they can be at school, how frequently they need breaks, what amount
of homework they can take home, and then we gradually start adding back in tests and quizzes,
but we want to provide their brain with some exertion but also providing rest and not stimulating
them too much. Liz: I missed a lot of school. I probably missed half of the year. I had a lot of school work to make up. Cristin: She would be able to return to school
successfully, her grades were great, she was able to return to sports successfully, and
she did very well. Liz: The treatment helped me a lot. I think without it, I’d probably still have
daily headaches. Go see a doctor and follow everything they
say to do. That’s what helped me get through my concussion,
and I want that for everyone.

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