I recently read an article that made my jaw drop. It basically stated there are websites that will produce a fake doctor’s signature so an athlete will be allowed to return back to play. It really got me thinking; is the pressure in today’s society to “suck it” up and play greater than the potential risk of further injury?
I mean, this is your brain we’re talking about! I couldn’t believe students would take advantage of something like this. Then I realized the pressure to return to sports is huge.
When I first got my concussion my team would say, “we can’t wait to have you back”, and “practice isn’t the same without you”. It was killing me; I was missing so much of what I thought was a ‘crucial’ high school experience. I got to the point where I even told the school’s Physical Trainer that I was “feeling a ton better” and expected resume regular activity within the next few weeks. In reality, I was feeling the same, if not worse.
At that point I didn’t realized the seriousness of what could have happened if I returned to play too soon. Now, being more educated on the subject, I can’t help thinking how stupid it was for wanting to go back. Maybe it was just a normal response from a normal teenager? Maybe I just wanted to get back to normal and appear ‘super-human’, like an athlete on tv. Someone who could “tough-it-out” like a pro. I hate to think what could have happened if I had played before being cleared. It makes me wonder what happens to athletes who play after being cleared by a fake doctor.
Concussion awareness and education is the only way for them to fully understand the impact of their choices.