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.
There is nothing “mild” about a mild brain injury. The effects can range from headaches and fatigue to difficulty concentring and changes in vision. Fortunately, these effects are usually short term but for some, the consequences can be more serious and long lasting. These blogs on mild brain injury provide information and support.
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.
Ann Zuccardy relates how even a mild brain injury from a simple household accident can change the nature of how one deals with day to day events.
Catz LeBlanc describes the impact of a concussion she sustained as a sports injury that was soon after compounded by a car crash leaving her unable to work or function from day to day. Suddenly she was not the competent independent woman she knew but found herself struggling to understand what had happened to her. Losing her friends and family and her job was tough enough, but losing her ability to think clearly and negotiate the cognitive challenges of daily life was devastating. Her reflections and insights about what it means to have a brain injury and the misperceptions of others about “what was wrong with me” have led her to asking many new questions.
On Saturday March 9, I woke up at 6:00am to take the infamous test that would decide my future…the SATs. I have been preparing weekly with a tutor for this test since January and it was a lot of hard and extra work. Going into the test, I felt very prepared and confident in my knowledge and ability. However, unlike someone without a concussion, I had to worry about more than just the test; I also had my symptoms to be concerned about. I also chose not to have extra time or accommodations for this test.
On more than one occasion along my journey with my mild brain injury or MTBI, I was told that the average person is at this point, and so therefore I should be at that point as well. I was told the average person who has a MTBI, might have certain symptoms, but does not have symptoms such as speech changes so therefore I was told I was “unusual”. I began to reflect on what average means, and how many of us actually fit in to the average category after a MTBI.
This month is brain injury awareness month. I read it on a brain injury resource website. Ironically, most people who are going to that website, are quite aware of the impact mild or severe brain injuries can have on our lives. Where is the awareness in the media? Where is the awareness that everyday people like me suffer brain injuries just like athletes and military personnel?
Your buddy or teammate or family member has sustained a concussion. Maybe you don’t believe it. Maybe she doesn’t believe it. Listen up: BELIEVE IT. There is no way to prove that someone has had a concussion. The only way for her to recover quickly and fully is to Rest.
I watched her sleep today. Always the first one up in the morning, my brain often waking up an hour or more before I do, today I had the luxury of not jumping tight out of bed.
And she was smiling in her sleep.
And I was glad… glad that she was able to find a measure of peace away from the daily challenges of life.
We’ve all heard that old saying about a picture being worth a thousand words. But looks can indeed be quite deceiving. A face smiling back at you as you look at a picture tells you so little. Rather than a using picture to tell the tale, today I opt for the Thousand Words.