The optimist sees the opportunities in every difficulty and the pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity.
It may be hard for some to imagine that there was a point in my life when I had no idea what a TBI meant. The diagnosis is Traumatic Brain Injury. This devastating diagnosis is complicated because of the complexity of the brain. On one hand the patient may look normal but inside his or her head there are 1,000 alarm clocks going off at the same time or an individual with clear physical limitations and just wants to think independently. TBI’s are undoubtedly the scariest diagnosis to be delivered in the medical profession.
Unlike most cancers, heart or lung diseases a patient will have one or even three of her or his cognitive, physical, or social abilities in tact to remain sane in this complex world. However, with a TBI, the first thing to see a decline with many others is mental functioning. Short-term memory loss is inevitable. I have to laugh at those who fall in the standard bell curve of cognitive functioning.
More severe trauma can leave victims with more and longer lasting physical disabilities. I often lose my balance and have hyper muscle tone. In other words, as a result of the TBI I am left with an unstable gait and excess muscle tone. I am dependent on a walking support and a night time arm splint and ankle cast.
My TBI also impacted my social life. I used to be a confident well- spoken extrovert who thrives on people- to- people interactions. My TBI has stuck me in what is possibly the most dismal place in this universe. I fought tooth and nail to extricate myself from those dark depths but acceptance after my traumatic episode has been patchy. I have lost many many friends and I gained a few new ones. Look at how people squander away their blessings or moan about “misfortunes” these days, I cannot help but realize I have become their biggest critic. If only they knew what I go through everyday.
This book aims to acquaint, my readers, with the tip of the TBI iceberg. What is known at the time of writing this book remains modest, given the complexity of the brain. We might never understand the full spectrum of TBI symptoms and their cases. Our current knowledge of the brain consigns us largely with a symptomatic treatment of TBI injuries. One of life’s greatest ironies is how much more energy gets devoted to milder brain injuries because people know these relatively more, as opposed to focusing more attention to more severe traumatic brain injuries victims who are truly worthy and in need of more help.
There are no percentages, no miracle cures, no accurate ways to predict how well a person will or will not recover. There is no timetable for when a patient will wake up from a coma and no way to assess what he or she will be left in terms of, “his or her old self” or “quality-of-life.” Having a TBI, or being connected to someone who suffered a similar incident, is an exercise in extreme patients. The slow process of recovery makes, “watching paint dry,” feel like the speed of light. YES, it is that slow. Thank you for your time and here is my journey…..
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