I was in a car accident on Oct 2nd. I seem to be OK. As far as I can tell I suffered a mild concussion – I was foggy the rest of that day and ALL of the next day. And by foggy I mean I had a hard time holding my concentration on anything, and all my cognitive tasks took longer. I was barely able to get my work done at my day job. :/ And this was after sleeping for 12 hours the night of the accident. I had a hard time carrying on a conversation with my SO, and everything seemed to be happening in a haze similar to a bad hangover.
By the third day I seemed to be doing better though. And I think I’m ok now.
This period was very scary, but I consoled myself with the knowledge that it was temporary, and I would soon be back to normal. But it did provide for an interesting context. Is this what it’s like to be (for lack of a better word) dumb? I can’t imagine doing much with my life in that state. How could one pursue any really challenging goals without the ability to focus and think? I don’t know if I would want to continue life in that state, but I’m not sure I’d have the presence of mind to do anything about it.
Is that what it’s like to be very old, when senility starts to set in? No wonder people don’t want to live forever, if they fear that this is what eternal life would be like.
I can’t imagine what it must be like to be in a profession where blows to the head are common. How do parents allow their children to participate in football games? How is this even remotely legal? How can you function as a human with repeated trauma to the soft, fragile thinking organ? I suppose it should be an adult’s right to use and use-up their bodies however they see fit, but before you’ve reached an age where you’re considered mentally competent to make your own choices, how can any adult entrusted with your well-being watch you doing that? I’m more functional when I’m drunk! (well, not crazy drunk. But I haven’t gotten crazy drunk in a while, and regular-drunk is less debilitating than that blow was). And this wasn’t even a severe concussion – my car was drivable after the accident, and I was able to walk around under my own power.
Remember that article that linked leaded gasoline with crime? In retrospect it shouldn’t be surprising that brain damage leads to bad social outcomes.
I just saw a couple days ago: A high school in Texas, faced with budget issues, cut it’s sports program rather than it’s art/music/math/etc programs. It saved $150k/year and… “That first semester, 80 percent of the students passed their classes, compared with 50 percent the previous fall.” Given my latest experience, I’m not surprised.
In summation – sports that involve blows to the head (football, soccer, boxing, etc) should be banned from schools. Now. Today.