�I said, don�t move... stay down.�
I tried to get up.
�For f**k�s sake mate, just don�t move!�
It was then I realised on was flat on my back. My team mate, �Spiro� was looking down at me. The referee came into the picture and then moments later, the coach came over to declare he was the best person qualified to decide on my condition.
�He went down like a sack of potatoes... trying to tackle Rosco.�
�Oh right... Willow! Look at me... look at me son! How many fingers do you see?�
�Close enough... look Spiro... let�s get him off!�
I was then hoisted up and as they say in the classics, I was �assisted from the field of play.�
Concussion is an odd feeling inasmuch that it is no feeling at all. Being knocked out probably contributes to the sometimes popular notion of Atheism. I mean, everything just goes black� the lights go out. Zilch, finito, over... there is no sensation whatsoever.
I�m lucky because I remember the details of the day. I�ve been told that in some cases, it�s hard to remember the events surrounding a head knock and in extreme cases, the memory banks are severely wiped.
But I was lucky.
When Rosco came towards me, I saw him and knew I had to take him low. He stood at six foot-something while I was five foot-something... so a head-on assault was out of the question. Tackling being a precise science, I decided to move in towards his hip with the plan to unsettle his stride and then drop to his legs, thereby bringing the big bloke down. But he saw it coming and as I approached, he stepped into me. My head came into direct contact with his hip and after that, things became a little blurry.
For the record, I have been knocked out three times in my life. Rugby League and Rosco provided me with my first experience. The second time was courtesy of a gnarly surf at Cronulla� and the third time was thanks to some nutcase in Riley Street, Darlinghurst. All of which occurred in the space of five years, and while I was a relatively more reckless individual.
Despite the stories that Rugby League is a dangerous sport, I can tell you that there are far nastier things in the world than getting the timing wrong in a tackle. The fact is, I stuffed up. I saw Rosco and he saw me� I went in and was beaten by a more experienced player. It was never his intention to hurt me� it was my poor execution which saw me out of the game. That�s life� you don�t get away with much and you learn a lesson.
Nevertheless, concussion is no laughing matter.
According to research, the brain is composed of soft, delicate structures that lie within the rigid skull. Surrounding the brain is a tough, leathery outer covering called the dura. Within the brain are cranial nerves (hence the word �cranium� and for some, �Richard Cranium�). These nerves are responsible for many activities including eye opening, facial movements, speech and hearing consciousness as well as vital activities, such as breathing. The brain is cushioned by blood and spinal fluid.
A sudden knock causes the brain to bounce against the rigid bone of the skull. This may cause a tearing or twisting of the structures and blood vessels. Because of this damage, brain signals are interrupted.
There are three main categories of concussion: 1.) Mild concussion occurs when the person does not lose consciousness but may seem dazed. 2.) The slightly more severe concussion occurs when the recipient does not lose consciousness but has a period of confusion and does not recall the event. 3.) The classic concussion in its most severe form. This occurs when the person loses consciousness for a brief period of time and has no memory of the event.
Well I lost consciousness for a brief period and still have memory of the event. What do doctors know anyway?
The good news is that apart from a few nervous twitches, I made a full recovery. My team mate Spiro is now in charge of his Dad�s trucking business and the coach bought a share in a pub in Campbelltown.
Rosco, now senior constable Rosco, went on to a successful career in law enforcement.
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