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Let’s Talk About Brains: Concussions & Racing
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Let’s Talk About Brains: Concussions & Racing

Racecar drivers are well aware of the possible dangers they have to face while on the track. It takes years for someone to reach a professional level of racing, but it takes only a few moments for them to get hit and potentially lose their career.

Racecar drivers love what they do and are okay with the risks that come with racing. However, there are still some threats that many people don’t take seriously. Perhaps the most noticeable one is getting a concussion. A lot of people still don’t understand the potential lasting impacts a concussion inflicts to one’s brain, and there is a need to talk about it more. Stef Schrader, a writer for Jalopnik and a racecar driver enthusiast, has recently shed some light on his experience of getting concussed from an accident.

A Late Diagnosis

After being in a car crash during the opening race of this year’s 24 Hours of LeMans, Schrader didn’t think anything was wrong with him. The adrenaline pumping through his veins right after being hit prevented him from feeling the effects of his accident.

The day after the accident, however, Schrader started to feel dizzy and his previously mild headache increased. His pain and confusion got so intense that he broke down in tears. After he went to see the doctor and failed at some basic concentration tests, he realized that his injuries were far from subtle. The doctor ran the CAT scan on Schrader and diagnosed him with a concussion.

A Concussion without Loss of Consciousness

When talking about the brain, one needs to realize that not everything that the brain goes through can be noticed instantly. Such was the case with Schrader’s injury. The fact that he hadn’t lost consciousness and was able to move around independently after his crash caused the injury to go unnoticed.

A Longer Recovery than Usual

Schrader was told by the doctor that almost 90 percent of concussions resolve themselves in 7 to 10 days. The brain needs time to heal after such a traumatic experience, and complete rest is suggested during this time.

However, it was months before Schrader could start feeling normal again. His case was one of those in which the brain takes far longer than usual to heal. During this period, he couldn’t work or go out. His job was affected, as he couldn’t drive cars and review them like he used to. At one point, he even started having a hard time falling asleep.

After months of medication and rest, Schrader was finally able to return to his normal day to day life. He started writing again, and is now living his life as he did before the accident. However, even after such a long time, sometimes there still comes a moment where he has a hard time remembering something simple.

Concussions are no less than traumatic brain injuries. They can cause perfectly healthy individuals to lose their grasp on simple things. This sort of stress can be devastating for the brain. Let’s start talking about all the possible outcomes of getting a concussion so that our athletes are fully aware of the proper way to deal with it if they get one.

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  1. Power and Race Crew
    Power and Race Crew
    Thanks for posting on this important topic!
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