Inside the Brain: Changes in Behaviors and Emotions After Brain Injury by Donna O’Donnell Figurski Every brain injury is different. When injury occurs to any part of the brain, there is going to be a change. The part of the brain damaged determines the kind of symptoms experienced. Because the brain is a complex organ, some damage […]
Symptoms of brain injury can range from loss of consciousness and coma to changes in physical, cognitive, emotional, social and behavioral abilities and skills. The range and severity of symptoms are different for each person as each brain injury is unique.
These blog articles discuss the variety of symptoms from the persepctive of clinicians, survivors and families. They give readers a broader understanding of the complexity of brain injury symptoms and their consequences for a meaningful life.
I began by writing a few words, then a few sentences, and then, whole paragraphs. The more I wrote, the better I felt. I wanted, no — I needed to explain what it felt like inside the lonely head of a person with a brain injury and how the world looked.
The brain is a complex and vulnerable organ. As you can see, there is nothing mild about an injury to the brain. But by becoming more knowledgeable about mild brain injury, you can become an informed consumer of health services, effective health care provider, supportive family member, caring friend or colleague. It can happen to anyone.
Waiting and watching are the two words most often used by family members to describe what this time was like for them. The stress, worry and anxiety may feel overwhelming at times. It may be hard to concentrate or do even the simplest things. This period of coma is among the most difficult for family members because of its seriousness and uncertainty.
Katherine A. Kimes experienced the trauma of a brain injury at the age of sixteen. Her mother became the primary caretaker. This is their story in brief. Katherine gives insight into her perception and viewpoint and shows there is a need for the survivor and other family members to understand the ongoing legacy of a TBI.
Concussion and survivor recovery stories told by Bonnie Nish and 19 authors, share personal experiences of support and hope. It has taken me a while to figure out in what context I wanted to frame why it was I wanted to pull this book together. Why in the middle of my own trauma would I start to think that Concussion and Mild Brain Injury: Just Another Headline was a good idea at all? Over the last few years I have had many gifts bestowed on me. Yes, some are the kind you can hold in your hand. Others however, are more cerebral and the kind you hold in your heart. Tonight I couldn’t find my keys and for an instant I could feel my stomach turn when I remembered last week having left them in the door for hours. It wasn’t that I was worried someone would walk away with them and use them later, it was that it was so reminiscent of that time in my life when I wouldn’t even have remembered putting them in the door in the first place.
C.C. LeBlanc, a mild TBI survivor, has gone through relocation stresses and suggests that before you move, carefully examine your needs for a meaningful quality of life. Almost everything you have developed in your life to be functional will be disrupted. You need to be prepared for stress, that your TBI will be aggravated, and your coping skills will be challenged. C.C. LeBlanc would like to share some guidelines based on her own experiences.
Have you lost your self?
Why is it that our reflection of our self in the mirror is not what others
see? I see a little less color, an imperfect smile, a drabby look,
while others see me as colorful, beautiful and full of life. I hear it all the time, “You look great”!
Yup… living with brain injury’s a daily struggle. I don’t see when I make progress–I just raise the bar and work harder. Eventually I’m overwhelmed and blame myself for not using strategies I know will help. And honestly, I still measure myself by my old yardstick.
A brain injury brings with it a confusing barrage of physical, emotional and cognitive changes that affects the survivor deeply and personally. The simplest expression of this is when we say, “I don’t know who I am anymore.”
This is also known as a loss of humanity. It has profound implications, manifesting itself as confusion, doubt and depression, and making our “recovery” that much more difficult. In my own situation, the hardships I encountered left me thinking, a number of times, that my life wasn’t worth living.