I was a 9th grader when I competed in a downhill skateboard race wearing full head protection and gear. A racer ran me off the road during the third heat. I fell into a ditch and hit my head. I was knocked unconscious. No one witnessed my crash or saw me lay in the ditch. Somehow I made it back to the road. At the ER, the CT scan didn’t show any brain or neck injury. I was told to rest. Later I was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and post-concussion syndrome. During the first 4 months I was unable to walk unassisted or talk in complete sentences. The words were stuck in my mind but would not come out. Loud noises or regular house activity increased my severe headaches. For example, my family could not use the ice dispenser unless I was in my room with the door closed. I slept during the day and was awake at night, because then it was dark and quiet without anyone around. It allowed me to control my environment to what I needed. I did not return to attending regular school until 11th grade. Now I have almost finished my senior year and will soon have my High School Diploma.
I have been dealing with chronic headaches, insomnia, and short and long term memory loss since the accident. The accident happened in October 2013.