I have written on this blog quite a bit about concussions and the potential damage they might cause long term, especially to athletes who face greater risks of not only concussions but sustained trauma to the brain, which some have speculated might be even worse long-term than just concussions. But I saw two very positive signs this week that maybe things are in fact changing.
The first was a friend I grew up with who posted this week that her son had gotten a new helmet that is better at protecting against concussions. She is in the deep south where football and "manliness" are a religion so this was a huge sign that people are paying attention.
The second was a little more subtle. I have been reading through the Hunger Games trilogy, and in the third book, Mockingjay, Katniss Everdeen, who is the main character, has suffered a concussion. Because of this she is kept from doing some things that she wants to do. She would probably prefer to be out doing them even though she still has headaches and dizziness, but her doctors keep her from doing so. After she does go out again, she sustains some more trauma, which aggravates the concussion, and she is again shut down.
How awesome is that? Concussion awareness and protection are making their way into literature. Now they cynical part of me wonders if the same thing would have happened if the main character had been male, but I am just as happy that it happened at all. Now if we could just get similar things to be modeled in television shows, movies, etc., so that they will become even more acceptable and be modeled in real life.