I have brief spots of memory from that day;’
On that day my left brain was damaged. You see, the left half of the brain is responsible for verbal and cognitive functions including language (listening, reading, speaking, and writing), balance and coordination skills, thought and memory involving words. It helps a person with decision making, logical thinking and reasoning most people take for granted. These are controlled by left brain. It is your memory also. On this day, I lost big blocks of memory back to childhood. I cannot remember whole vacations, or things I did with my older kids when they were little, their first day of school or even their graduation from middle school. It’s all gone. I can see myself with the family during vacations, or photos of myself and my children, and I feel so strange because in my mind I was never there. That is probably the most difficult part of dealing with a TBI. It affects many areas of our lives.
The physical effects were so great. I was diagnosed at the time of the fall with a severe concussion. But I had all these strange things happening like the loss of memory, the dizzy spells, and physical weaknesses that I’d never dealt with before. I would go to say something and couldn’t find the words. They were in my head, but I couldn’t speak them. I would type and it would be gibberish. My brain couldn’t communicate with my fingers.
Seven years passed before I awoke one morning and physically could not get up and on my feet. I was stuck. Marc and Brittany had to help me get to the bathroom, shower and dress. I would walk into walls, and my head would drop and I’d go to sleep at computer when not tired. I was afraid to drive because I would go to sleep so easily. I still had the issues where I just couldn’t stand and walk.
The doctors tried at first to label it fibromyalgia, or Chronic Fatigue syndrome. But it just would not get better. Medications did not help. They finally sent me to a specialist and after a Cat Scan, and MRI, they found the severe damage on the left side of the brain. The effects of moderate to severe TBI can be long lasting or even permanent. ... Because polytrauma is common with moderate to severe TBI, many patients face additional disabilities as a result of other injuries. Even patients who appear to recover fully may have some long-term symptoms that never go away.
In my TBI it was determined with time to be permanent damage, and that I would need to learn how to live with it. This meant months of physical therapy and retraining how to walk with a focal point, and how to recover from a dizzy spell. I also had to strengthen my body as I was down a year by this time, most days unable to get up by myself, so I lost muscle tone and had to work on strength. I have PTSD due to the TBI, and still have episodes of dizziness where I have to stop and refocus, and if I’m tired these symptoms are worse. Stress, timed pressure, and expectations, always make it worse. :)
I was taught to use a focal point to walk a straight line. I walk, always looking ahead to where I am going. If I’m having a bad day, Paite goes with me to stores. She is my block, and keeps a cushion of space around me when I get dizzy to allow me to regain composure and get moving She is very good at her job and keeps me safe.
These are the things I deal with on a regular basis:
I thought if I put it all in writing, and share, this may be my first step to coming to terms with this, and living my life the best way I can. And just maybe I can help someone else in the process.
I do have to add that Marc is my Rock. Sometimes he has to help me pick up the pieces when things don't go as planned (or are mistakes on my part) and I am very grateful for my best friend.
Thank you for reading,
Wind whispers family farm
Farm life is being self sufficient, and living our dream. It's learning something new every day. Also, it's family, and family isn't always blood. It's like minds uniting and making up a strong community of people willing to work together and "BE" a family. Thank you for sharing our joys, struggles, work, recipes, and way of life.