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Why people wear helmets ...

Here are the facts:

What is a Concussion? A concussion is a change in mental status resulting from mechanical forces on the brain. A blow or jolt to the head can cause the brain to move within the skull. This movement of the brain causes biochemical changes in brain cells. A concussion is not necessarily accompanied by a loss of consciousness. However, the concussed individual will experience symptoms such as disorientation, poor coordination, or vision difficulties.

A simple (first degree) concussion is defined as an altered state of consciousness (without a loss of consciousness), resulting from a blow to the head or whiplash, with symptoms lasting no more than fifteen minutes. Any cognitive deficits that arise from a simple concussion will disappear within 24 hours.

What are the symptoms of a Whiplash?
These signs and symptoms may occur immediately or minutes to hours after the initial injury. The sooner after the injury that symptoms develop, the greater the chance of serious damage.
  • Neck pain (check)
  • Neck swelling (check - though minor)
  • Tenderness along the back of your neck (check - tender everywhere)
  • Muscle spasms (in the side or back of your neck) (thankfully not)
  • Difficulty moving your neck around (CHECK - don't want to turn my head at all)
  • Headache (check - *sigh*)
  • Pain shooting from your neck into either shoulder or arm (that would just be freaky)

Why all this information you ask? Well ... I banged the back of my head real hard on the slopes this past Sunday. I was going too fast for my own good and it just wasn't pretty when I caught that patch of ice going down a pretty steep slope. I don't know how it exactly happened, but when I hit my head my hat and my goggles flew off and my goggles cracked. Now, not only is my neck extremely sore, my brain feels like jello when I try to make any sudden movements.

Since I probably sustained a simple concussion and was cognitively disoriented, I stupidly decided to go snowboarding again on Monday. Though I am relieved to find out today that "Any cognitive deficits that arise from a simple concussion will disappear within 24 hours." That means no one can take advantage of my misfortune anymore by tricking me in the brain ... don't you even try!

Oh yea ... I'm now putting some thought in getting a helmet, that's probably a smart idea.

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