Brain Injury Blog by Nancy Ludowese
May 7, 2013
The Near Normal after Brain Injury
Four years ago, I survived two Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries, one from a car accident in which I was broadsided while idling at a stoplight. My driver’s side and curtain airbags deployed. Contre Coup. Less than a week later, I slipped and fell on the sidewalk at work; ice disguised beneath the snow, and hit the back of my head. I coined the term, “the near normal,” instead of “the new normal,” in relationship to the way in which I function today, four years later.
I had suffered a multiple of injuries, some were obvious at the time, however, other injuries remained a mystery, until discovered one to three years later. I knew that some things were different, and I didn’t understand why I would cry for no reason and why I couldn’t stop. Or, I asked myself, how could I be so tired after driving for an hour and have to take a nap. If I planned on driving to a location other than work or church, I would have to think about the route, instead of just driving there. I couldn’t read for long periods of time without getting tired. I would miss lines or words on a page. Music seemed so loud in stores and restaurants. Fluorescent lights seemed so much brighter. I found it difficult to follow the steps of a recipe. I isolated myself from people. I had difficulty retaining information that I read or that was spoken to me. I wanted to name just a few. At the time, I thought I was going crazy. After much rehab, as well as my own research, I began to understand why. I recognize that I have improved since 2009; however, some things will remain the same. The key for me is self acceptance of my “near normal.” Perhaps you know what I mean.