I can’t even summarize in 20,000 words all the things I have learned since the book launched 6 weeks ago. It’s been a powerful experience, getting to talk to so many different people about their impressions/experiences with concussions. One profound thing I have learned is how we are “concussion aware” as a society, aka we know the word…but getting into what a concussion looks, feels, and acts like is still very much lacking.
We’ve boiled things down in the media to: concussion = bad. Which is slightly true, as in you never would choose to have a brain injury. But the message that concussions heal, and you can fully recover if you get good treatment and take things seriously. Playing the “bump on the head” tack (cough, cough, looking at you Donald Trump), not wanting to reveal the injury for fear of stigma, or more simply, not knowing what to do or where to turn for good medical care, are all serious issues.
Going from “who cares?” 10-15 years ago to now people being worried enough to remove kids from sports is a radical change. I’m hopeful that Back in the Game, and the many others out there who care about their youth athletes, will swing the conversation back to a real place.