February 29, 2016 — By Health Ambassador Harry Carson
The month of March is designated “Brain Injury Awareness Month”. I applaud that recognition for the condition. But for someone who is and has been effected by some type of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), every month and even every day brings an ever increasing sense of Brain Injury Awareness. I posted in this blog a couple of months ago that the effects of brain injury might not matter until you or a family member are effected in some way. I have to be honest and acknowledge that if I had not been effected by this issue as a result of the hits I gave and took on the football field the significance of the recognition might not be of such high importance to me. So, I truly speak from experience and I get it!
I am involved with quite a few projects and causes that take up a lot of my time but I am very much “keyed in” on what is happening in the Brain Injury Awareness world especially as it pertains to current and former football players on all levels of the sport. I know all too well that physical injuries to parts of the body can be surgically repaired, rehabilitated and in time players can get back on the field and even (in some instances) play better than they did before their physical injury that sidelined them. The human body is amazing from that standpoint. But, that is not necessarily the case for players sustaining concussions and other traumatic brain injuries. Physically the body might feel fine but if and when there is some type of cognitive decline, such as the inability to process information in a very short span of time, that player becomes a liability and must give up the game. It is at that point that Brain Injury Awareness becomes more of a focal point to a football player along with his family.
Whether it’s the athlete on the field, a soldier in the military, an individual involved in an automobile accident that injures the head or spinal cords of the driver or passenger or even a senior citizen who merely walks out of their home, to their driveway to pick up the morning newspaper in winter and slips on an icy surface, falls and hit their head, in every walk of life we all are vulnerable to a Brain Injury. Just as I referenced earlier the athlete being able to re-bound from a physical injury, most people can withstand knee, back, ankle injuries. Unfortunately, the brain is the one organ of the body that we cannot afford to injure or damage.
I want to strongly encourage you to not jeopardize your health and well being by not exercising good judgment in your daily walk of life. Once you lose your ability to do all of the things your brain allows you to do, you might not be able to reverse that course.