“One of the most frustrating things I’ve dealt with this past year regarding my concussion is that no one can physically see or understand the pain that goes on inside of my body. I wasn’t even sure if my parents could even fully understand that I was so desperately alone in this struggle. I didn’t have a giant neon sign over my head that read ‘concussed person here’ or a band aid with a ‘broken brain’ sign wrapped around my head to show people I was hurting. It was frustrating to feel like no one could feel my pain.
Sure, people were sympathetic, but they couldn’t really understand. I think that is one of the hardest parts about going through a concussion; the isolation of an invisible injury. My concussion had no outward signs. I wasn’t in a coma and I didn’t have a giant gash on my head. All I had was a terrible headache that limited my social and academic functions. But nobody could see inside my head to tell I had a headache. All they had was my word, and to some people – that wasn’t enough. I received comments from ‘friends’ that I was “milking it for all it was worth” or that I shouldn’t complain so much about something that was so little. I couldn’t do anything to convince people otherwise. It was difficult to deal with these attitudes from others. What I have learned from this is that I have no control over other people and their opinions and there is no way to make them understand what I’m going through.
I can only control my own actions and how I respond to this brain injury. I will respond by helping to educate and encourage others to be compassionate and caring to those suffering with this silent, often bandage-free brain injury.”