Acceptance of TBI’s Hard News: Words Nobody Wants to Hear!! by Pamela Taylor Hearing words nobody wants to hear! Yesterday, I heard the words that nobody wants to hear. “Pam, you have known that you have a traumatic brain injury. We have tried therapies and medication. Your progress has been good. But, we are at […]
Losing your sense of who you are – or your sense of self – after a brain injury can feel devastating. So many TBI survivors ask the question, “Who am I now?” These blogs explore the meaning of sense of self and the impact of losing your identity when physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral challenges affect not only daily life but personal relationships.
Brain Injury Adjustments: Self-Reinvention by Rodney Smith The “A-HA” Moment At some point adjustment occurs during the brain injury recovery journey, and there usually is an “a-ha” moment, if you will, where we realize that big and small changes have taken place. It is time to make the best of things as they are. Some […]
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.
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.
Mike Strand thought his speech was not affected by his brain injury. But when he listened to himself on a video and radio interview, he was shocked by how he sounded. Improving his speech became an ongoing goal, even after many years since his TBI. His experience shows the complexity of speech and communication in its various forms of answering questions, holding a conversation, and making a formal speech.