Here at SPARCC, we have gotten pretty used to seeing a certain pink hyrdoflask with a Michael Scott sticker on it sitting on our counters. That’s because Ironwood Sophomore Emily rarely goes anywhere without it, especially when she knows she will be doing active rehab at her appointment. Now, being at the tail end of her second major concussion, Emily is a professional at what it takes to get better. After her first concussion during a soccer game in April 2017, Emily felt like her recovery was going slowly and she couldn’t see herself getting better and returning to her team anytime soon. She was coming to her appointments, doing her exercises, taking her tests, but was not seeing much improvement.
She decided that she would have to make some lifestyle changes to start making big leaps forward. Emily set up a strict sleeping schedule for herself, being mindful of her screen time, especially before bed, started eating a more balanced diet, and began carrying that pink water bottle around all the time. This water bottle was a reminder of all the hard work that Emily had put in and the realization that her concussion was not going to get better on its own. Emily brought her hydroflask along to her physical therapy appointments as well.
At PT and at SPARCC, Emily found a community. She enjoyed watching everyone around her work to get healthy as she felt like it was a team effort. Although it was exciting seeing her fellow patients return to their sports, she was disappointed that she had not been cleared yet. With every appointment at SPARCC, Emily made new goals for herself with the different tests that we do to examine different aspects of a concussion. Even if it was something as small as getting a faster time on just one of the King-Devick number reading cards, she was striving to be better. This goal setting gave her and her family something to work towards, similar to the goals she set in her sports.
Emily is excited to be able to compete this season on her high school tennis team. She hopes that she will soon be fully cleared to get back to her soccer team, but she is looking forward to return to tennis, a sport that she played as a child. Emily, we are so proud of all the hard work that you put into everything that you do!