Concussions: Part 2

The aftermath of a hit to the head is something surreal. Everything started to go in slow motion, from the time I saw the bubbles underwater to breathing for the first time to then trying to swim to the side of the pool. My coach at the time, was watching me. I told her I felt fine, but as a precaution, she tested my pupils.

One way to know if your brain has been raddled around too hard is by testing the reaction of your pupils. Slow (or no) reaction means there’s something wrong and a normal reaction means everything should be fine. I had slow pupils, but nothing that looked too serious. I was told to get out of the water and lay down, away from lights and loud noises. At first everything felt fine, but as the minutes and hours dragged on the symptoms started rolling in.

Soon I had been out of the pool for a month…

Then 2…

Then 3 months.

I had stopped eating in an attempt to maintain a figure suitable for Synchro and my mind was tired of sitting alone in dark rooms unable to go outside with friends. I was depressed and in pain.

No one really understands what a brain injury feels like, and it is also a different experience for everyone who has one! I felt as if knives were stabbing my eye balls from the inside out. Slowly I started to feel better and therefore, I started training again. I even started to FEEL happy again, but soon after I thought I was finally recovered I received a kick to the head that would set me back again.

I had taken what I thought was necessary rest and trusting my own judgment went on to train again. That year, I went on to win National Champion in all 5 events I had entered.  I had achieved what I wanted, but the brain is a funny thing… 

For 2 years after my initial concussion I felt that stabbing pain, every single day. Some days it was worse, some days it was bearable.

…To be continued…


Published by Claudia Holzner

Hello Everyone!! I am a synchronized swimmer on the Canadian National Team. Follow my blog to get an inside look at what it is like to be an elite athlete! Enjoy!!

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