1. g_man526

    g_man526 Member

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    Doctors: How aware is someone when they get a concussion?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by g_man526, Apr 29, 2017.

    My MC just got the snot beaten out of him, and his buddy is walking him home. Said buddy is talking to my MC as they walk, and I want to know, assuming MC remains conscious, how self-aware he is right now. Thanks!
     
  2. Dnaiel

    Dnaiel Senior Member

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    I'm not a doctor. But I had a diagnosed concussion when I was about twelve. I pitched a baseball and it popped off the bat, then it went straight into my forehead, and the bump was about as big as the ones you see in cartoons. I fell straight forward onto the ground. If I did lose consciousness, it was at most a few seconds. Otherwise, I was as self-aware then as I am now.

    ETA
    I seem to remember the initial shock as like a being in a daze, and that could've lasted a few minutes. I suppose it could be compared to waking up from a deep nap. And it hurt, as in throbbing pain. But I wouldn't call it excruciating. I checked Google Images (concussion bump on forehead) and yup, a lot of those are pretty much what I had.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
  3. Dnaiel

    Dnaiel Senior Member

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    Are you kidding me? I just found this:

    The second objective of this study was to investigate whether former athletes who sustained their last sports concussion more than 30 years ago would show significant reductions on cognitive measures known for their acute sensitivity to MCI when compared to former athletes without concussion.
    https://academic.oup.com/brain/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/brain/awn347

    There can be a decline in mental and physical abilities for more than 30 years! Damn.
     
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  4. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Contributor Contributor

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  5. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    This has essentially dominated coverage of the NFL for the last few years. They tried to ruin Tom Brady to draw attention away from that. He came back and killed everyone. Go Patriots!

    upload_2017-4-28_23-26-48.jpeg
     
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  6. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Basically, if you've been hit hard enough to "see stars", or even have a temporary flash of interruption in your vision or disruption of your thought processes, you've had a concussion. They say that many American football players suffer several of this micro-concussions per game, and that, as mentioned above, the effects can be both cumulative and long-lasting. So it's pretty much up to you how badly affected you want your character to be, as long as you don't get too specific as to the exact blow or blows that caused it, you can have the character be anywhere from just momentarily distracted to pretty far out of it.

    ETA: Watch some films of heavyweight boxers taking headshots. Sometimes they can just shake them off and continue the fight, but other times you can see that they've "had their bells rung" and display obvious confusion and lack of coordination afterwards.

     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
  7. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

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    Dude, my dad attributed his sharp decline in cognitive function to all of the concussions he had when he was younger.

    He ultimately took his own life and cited this loss of cognitive function as the biggest reason for his decision.

    This shit is serious.
     
  8. IHaveNoName

    IHaveNoName Senior Member Community Volunteer

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    It depends how severe it is, too. There are three grades of concussion, ranging from a nasty headache and mild disorientation to full-on slurring of speech and bleeding from various orifices. I've suffered a few myself; I was still self-aware, but it's difficult to focus - it's kind of like being really drunk. One time, it felt like my head was stuffed full of cotton (that was one of the worse ones).
     
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  9. g_man526

    g_man526 Member

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    If it helps to contextualize the scene, this is basically a fistfight with some greasers, and the "boss" greaser has pinned down by MC and is beating the crap out of him. So think boxer injuries, and worse.
     
  10. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    I'd say you could make this work however fits your plot needs.

    I'm not a doctor but I work with kids and deal with concussions at least once a month. Sometimes the kids are fine immediately after the injury and then go home and the symptoms hit hard. Sometimes they're a mess immediately but recover quite quickly. For a serious concussion the symptoms can last for months, and some of them are really frustrating to deal with--mood swings, lack of self-control, limited ability to concentrate, etc.

    I've had the nicest, most respectful kid cuss me out in public, about two weeks after he got a concussion, because I told him he wasn't ready to return to his sport and I wouldn't let him on the field without a doctor's note (which the doctor was refusing to produce because the kid was still symptomatic). The fact that the kid was that emotionally out of control was actually a symptom of his illness, but of course he wasn't able to see it at the time. We also see kids lying about their symptoms in order to get back in the game, partly because kids are stupid but also because their judgement is impaired by the concussion.

    So I think it's realistic for you to have the concussion present in whatever way is necessary for your story. But bear in mind that a concussion serious enough to have horrible immediate effects will likely also have some nasty long-term effects.

    Stupid brains. Why so fragile?
     
  11. KaTrian

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Contributor

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    Self-aware perhaps, but incoherent, due to shock, the concussion, and the pain, I'd imagine? He might have memory lapses, for example he can't later remember anything from the walk home.
    I've experienced a concussion only once when I was hit by a baseball bat. I was untalkative and I couldn't remember later what the paramedics said. I'm not sure if I said anything coherent to them. Basically I was aware and awake, but I don't think you could've gotten a long-winded response from me if you tried to have an actual conversation. I'm not sure if it was mainly because my brain got rattled or because of the shock.
    I think you have a lot of leeway here, so I'd go with what @BayView suggested and do what best serves the needs of your story.
     
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  12. Dnaiel

    Dnaiel Senior Member

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    I think that the more impervious an organ or anatomical feature is to damage, the harder it would be to heal, or even develop/grow at a pace that would keep it alive versus predators. That's probably why the skull comprises 22 bones which are fused together when the individual is done growing.
     
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  13. Dnaiel

    Dnaiel Senior Member

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    I'm sorry to hear that. And I greatly appreciate you sharing this because it might explain some things I've been trying to understand personally.
     
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  14. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    Sorry to hear about that, Spence. Concussions are no fucking joke.
     
  15. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

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    Thanks man.

    It was crazy. I never really gave much thought to concussions other than what is said in the news about the NFL. I've even had a few myself. Then that happened and it hit me like a sledgehammer.
     
  16. Frostbite

    Frostbite Member

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    I've gotten multiple between age 7 and 12. I wasn't a very careful kid...

    Well, one I fell down 2 meters with the back of my head against a brick wall. I didn't feel anything. I tried to walk afterwards, but collapsed after a few steps and the pain kicked in.

    Another one someone threw a chair against my head which was a very weird experience. first I first felt everything was far away. Like I viewed the world from a different place I saw people panicking and getting to me, but I wasn't there. I can't recall any sound but a buzz. After that I felt my consciousness slipping, almost like it was a deliberate choice to let it slip and fell to the ground and when I opened my eyes I saw people standing around me. After that everything returned and I felt an incredible pain.

    Those are the ones I can remember in detail.
     
  17. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    During the fight I'd expect the adrenaline to counteract the concussion to some extent - as I've mentioned before while working club security some 20 odd years ago I got leveled with a bar stool , I got straight back up, decked the guy who'd hit me, and with the help of other security officers ejected the lot of them.

    5 minutes later we're standing around bull shitting about the fight and I start to feel a bit dizzy, so I go to sit down and pass out... I wake up in hospital several hours later with doctors telling me I've got a fractured skull and by rights ought to be dead.
     
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