Esther Lovett's PCS Blog
What can you do to help spread awareness?
Posted: July 7, 2016 | Written winter of 2015-16 during Esther's medical leave
By Esther Lovett
Below are things that you can do to help whether or not you have had experiences with concussion and/or Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS). Unfortunately, concussion and PCS are not talked about enough—you can help to keep conversations going.
Educate yourself. There are tons of ways to do this.
- Check out the Concussion Legacy Foundation's website which has great information as well as inspiring stories.
- Read. Start with:
- Share information with your friends and family—the more people who know, the closer we are to making this less of a problem.
- If you hear someone say something ignorant about concussions, correct them. Educate them and let them know that their thinking is wrong and potentially very dangerous.
Don’t be a silent bystander.
- If you think that you or a teammate has a potential concussion, SPEAK UP. The person who says that they are worried that they or a teammate might have a concussion and should be checked out is far braver than the person who pushes through, putting him or herself or a teammate at immense risk.
- Remember, your teammate who just received a head injury is not the best person to make the logical decision.
- If you hear anyone with a concussion being accused of being a malingerer or faking his or her symptoms, step in. This should not happen, and the kid being accused likely feels very unsure, uncomfortable, or self-doubting and doesn’t know how to explain PCS or concussion to the accusers.
“Experts” aren’t always right.
- It’s been widely reported that some team doctors have provided misinformation.
- Coaches may put a concussed kid back in the game out of ignorance or desire to win.
- I have had an athletic trainer tell me in front of teammates that I did not have a concussion when I was suffering with PCS with which I was diagnosed by Boston Children’s Hospital.
Be sensitive and supportive.
- If you know anyone suffering with concussion symptoms, say something. This person likely feels isolated and alone and probably doesn’t get a lot of support from their peers. Just say that you know how difficult it must be, that they are doing so well coping/carrying on, or that if they need anything they can talk to you.
- Think about how it would affect you—what if you couldn’t play your favorite sport anymore? What if you suffered with chronic pain every day and were expected to perform in school as well as everyone else?
Ask. Reach out. You will be amazed at how meaningful a simple “how are you” text can be!