“Normal” is No Longer So Easy after My Brain Injury

Brain Injury Blog by Matt Brown

September 6, 2012

“Normal” is No Longer So Easy after My Brain Injury

With a Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI, “normal” daily activities become huge tasks. These are the things I do every day that I used to take for granted – things I never thought would be hard to do. 

I’m lucky because my TBI is a mild one, but I still struggle some days. There has been a time or two that I just sit and stare at my shoes. Racking my brain just to remember how to tie them. It’s something I have done hundreds to thousands of times before. I just sit there looking – growing angry. At myself, at my shoes, at my brain for not remembering. 

I just have to take a deep breath to try and calm down. Sometimes I try a few times then I remember, but there are other times that I just wear my flip-flops. Now when I get them tied, I just leave them tied and just slip my shoes on. Never thought that this task would kick my butt! 

Now I have to try my best to remember how to do this so I can teach my children. I just have to learn to cope with this “new” life. I teach them something, they teach me something. We never stop learning no matter how old we are. It’s just now I have to relearn some of the information that I have forgotten.  

Recommended Reading

Read more by Matt Brown and his deployment in Iraq in The Triumph Book Heroes

4 responses to ““Normal” is No Longer So Easy after My Brain Injury”

  1. Bo hansen says:

    I recieved my tbi almost 14 mths ago while in iraq. I have had a hard time focusing on some tasks that are simple to even hard tasks. I can remember some things and even some things my fiance, or other people tell me a few days ago i have the blank stare. I used to have the best memory now if i dont write things down i forget. I keep being told just give it time from the va and its been a little over a yr and hasnt been improving. Im afraid it will destroy my relationship with my fiancee. Some days are tougher than others but i have a little boy who keeps me on task keeping up with him, plus we teach each other every day so it helps. Is there any way direction you can help send me for some help to deal with this since the va doesnt want to help, and info or advice for my fiancee. Any help be greatly appreciated.

  2. Faith McVey says:

    I served for 14 yrs and am almost ashamed that I was never in combat – you guys offer more than your lives, you offer to live the rest of your life as a different person – not the competent, go-getter, handle-anything strong person you remember being. I have been dealing with PTSD (obviously not combat-related) and it has changed the way I think, function, emotions, and worst, the inability to continue with a kick-ass career…. I miss my old self sometimes to the point of wanting to give up (why bother?)
    I so admire your fortitude, even though those who don’t know you don’t recognize the amazing strength you have by facing every day and functioning to the best of your amazing ability.
    Keep going, Matt, you are an inspiration that is keeping veterans alive and trying to cope. Not all, but even those few have value beyond measure.

  3. Bob Cluett says:

    Matt, Enjoyed spending time with you at Sempermax and a few weeks ago. I wear loafers all the time and never hardly tie my shoes. Stay in touch… Bob

  4. Eileen says:

    Bless you Matt. For serving our country, for enduring the ordeal of your injury. I am proud of you and admire you. Please know you are thought about and prayed for.

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