There are responsibilities and freedoms that come with being a teenager. It is the first time you can get a job and spend your hard-earned money the way you want. You have the freedom to drive and hang out with your friends. But something can happen that takes those freedoms away.
Aydrien was living her teenage years to the fullest until one day last September. She was racing go-karts at full speed and got hit from behind. She does not remember the accident but she remembers feeling miserable sitting in the hospital. She was given a C-collar brace and a referral to see us.
Once she started coming to SPARCC, she realized that concussions can affect people in different ways and the recovery process is not as fast as you think. She would meet people with the same issues and they were able to discuss what they were struggling with.
Aydrien’s mom also found comradery with the families of the other patients. She was able to talk freely about her fears and worries with Aydrien’s recovery. As Aydrien slowly made progress, it was hard to find the balance between doing the things that made her happy and doing the things that didn’t aggravate her symptoms. Aydrien’s life was no longer that of a normal teenager.
She was coming in week after week for months, making little improvements. It seemed there was no end in sight. There had to be some sort of change. Aydrien had not gone to school in the months since her injury and was completing classes at home. In January, the family and Dr. Mo decided that Aydrien was ready to start a few classes back at Walden Grove High School. This was the turning point for Aydrien. She was able to make her friends a priority and spend more time with people she cares about and that care about her. That’s who she credits with her recovery. Being able to be social again gave her the energy she had been missing for so long.
As much as Aydrien loved her experience at SPARCC, she is so happy to be back to being a teenager! She is driving again and is active every day. Aydrien will graduate from Walden Grove this December and plans on getting a degree in nursing so she can help patients like her who go to the Emergency Room. Aydrien, thank you for sharing your story with everyone and proving that recovery is possible!
By Libby Frino & Erin Peterson