Injuries: how do they affect Patriots in the classroom

Hannah Norton, News Editor

“I remember knowing people were there and trying to talk to me, but I had trouble seeing them and I couldn’t understand what they were saying. I was shaking and convulsing.”

Sophomore Makenna Palzer suffer from a concussion during a snowboarding trip to Whistler, B.C., and a second during a soccer game.

“My first one was during our first run of the trip: it was super windy and there was snow everywhere, so we were just trying to get back down to the lodge,” Palzer said. “It was pretty hard to see and I fell twice, but it didn’t really hurt, so I didn’t think it was that bad.”

After returning to the lodge, Palzer started having a loss of portions of her vision, nausea, and convulsions. She was rushed to the hospital under the possibility that there may have been bleeding in her brain. There was no internal bleeding, but she was diagnosed with a severe concussion.

Palzer’s second concussion was caused by a header in soccer. She now has to wear a concussion band when she plays, and is not allowed to do any more headers, due to the possibility of a third concussion.

“When I came back to school, I couldn’t concentrate for long periods of time or work on computer screens,” Palzer said. “I had a lot to catch up on, and since I couldn’t think as well as I normally do, it was hard to do.”

It’s considered common knowledge that concussions (whether sports-related or not) can have considerable adverse effects on students’ performance in the classroom. However, for many students, other injuries can be just as detrimental.

According to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, high school athletes make up over 2 million injuries per year. Almost half of those injuries are due to overuse.

Senior Jordan Ashraf fractured two vertebrae and ruptured a disc in his back during a lacrosse game last February. This caused a pinched nerve, creating numbness throughout his leg.

“The week of my injury, I was in a ton of pain,” Ashraf said. “I was barely able to get any schoolwork done because of it.”

Ashraf consistently had to miss his morning classes to attend doctor’s appointments, and often left early for physical therapy sessions in the afternoon.

“I also missed four or five days of school, because my leg was incredibly numb and I wasn’t really able to walk,” Ashraf said. “So I think that definitely had a negative effect on my grades.”

Junior Halle Abel broke her wrist during a soccer game in 9th grade and has been affected by it ever since.

She was in a cast for six weeks and wore a brace for two months following.

“It was my writing arm, so while I was still able to write, it made it a lot harder, especially if I was in pain,” Abel said.

Abel injured a growth plate, which caused tendonitis in her wrist.

“In PE, we did lots of push-ups and planks, and those absolutely killed my wrist,” Abel said. “So I often had to sit out or do something else.”

Junior Mia Oliver was also injured during soccer, twisting her knee and tearing her MCL in the spring of 2015.

“I missed a lot of school to go to doctor’s appointments–it was misdiagnosed several times, actually,” Oliver said. “This caused me to miss a lot of class time for final reviews, so I had to make up a lot of work during that time.”

Junior Madison Neyland had a stress fracture during her tenth-grade track season due to overuse. She was unable to run for over three months.

“Because I wasn’t running, I didn’t have much motivation,” Neyland said. “I had more time, but it was all I was doing, which was never any fun.”