I received word this evening that the niece of a very dear friend of mine suffered a TBI as a result of a car accident this summer.
I know that there are some folks here on HP who have experience with TBI's, and I know that there are many, many here who are compassionate people; even some who disagree vigorously about beliefs are compassionate in the face of needs they recognize.
The young woman is facing some major changes in herself as a result of the TBI, and she wants very much to get better. Even though the mother is not a believer or religious, she sent a request to my friend (the uncle) asking
"... if you know anyone who [believes in God], get them to put her on their prayer list - she said herself she wants to recover, so she knows something is amiss. thanks for your thoughts and caring"
If you feel led to do so, please pray for the young woman and also for her family. Pray that she will receive the appropriate care and treatment, that she will recover as much as possible from the injury, and that all of the family will be able to find ways to help her have the very best life possible for her.
Thank you, Brenda! Sorry that I didn't explain TBI. It was late. I know of several people on HP who have written on the subject, and I thought of them more than I did of the people like me (and you) who had to look it up to understand. Please do keep the whole family in prayer.
Hi there, I'm new again. I was here before probably as mrslisae but lost nerve and deleted everything..I'm here lurking, possibly starting again...Anyway, I myself have suffered TBI multiple times. I'm 31 now. I had a rough often violent upbringing and was involved in an accident when I was about 13. Then another incident at 15. At the age of 23 (ish?) I was shoved backwards by a man with such force that the previous injuries were triggered!
In short, I lost my right side, parts of my memory, and my ability to talk correctly, and of course walk due to the right leg not working..All I can really say is show this survivor some support. I got none. Life was one trauma after another after another and sometimes I think I survived just because I had to. It's been what, 6yrs now? Time gaps are a challenge and my short term memory is null. I can now walk and talk (quietly) and most of the time I make sense and remember where I am A good sense of humor helps.
Let me know if I can be of any help. I'd love to find a purpose in all that I've gone through.
MMH, Thank you SO much for sharing this. I can't begin to imagine what it must have been like for you and what it still must be like, and my heart goes out to you.
I believe you would be able to help many, many other people by writing a hub about your experiences. In fact, that may well be an important purpose for your life right now.
Another hubber, lifeallstar1, had a TBI, and she has written fervently about the need for school athletic departments to have the proper education and training about TBI's and the correct kind of evaluation for injured athletes before they get back in the game. Just this week I heard that this is being discussed by lawmakers (I believe actually at the national level, but I could be mistaken).
Making other people aware is an important first step; but it's also important to let others with TBI's know they are not alone. I will definitely be watching for your hubs and forum posts. Thank you so much for speaking up.
Aficionada- My heart sank when I read this. I'm so sorry to hear this has happened to this innocent girl. My thoughts and prayers are with her and her family. Please contact me at any time if I can help with anything at all. Have someone look out for Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, as well. That can be pretty common when someone has TBI which causes their life to alter dramatically. One major sign to look for is if she can't handle talking about it because she just can't deal with it at this stage. She might be able to talk about the day to day problems and pain she is having but she might not want to discuss the accident. I didn't realize I had PTSD but the people around me would notice when they brought up the accident. If anyone notices make sure they tell the doctor. Keep me posted and again, she's 100 percent in my thoughts and prayers! Jess
Aficionada, I thought twice about responding here, because I don't how serious the young girl's injury is; and maybe the one I had was "nothing" compared to it, and not worth mentioning: I was in an accident and had a "moderate" head injury. I had a day of in-and-out-of-consciousness, woke up to a non-stop nasty, nasty, headache, and couldn't eat for several days. A neurologist tested things like sense of smell and whether I could feel anything on my feet, and apparently I was OK that way. I had double-vision for weeks. At first I actually saw two of everything, but later it was more a one-and-a-quarter-of-everything type of thing.
What was frightening was that I couldn't read for months afterward. I'd look at letters, they'd mean absolutely nothing to me. After living life as a compulsive reader, I was terrified. After having been one of those kids who learned to read earlier than the other kids, and a kid who got A's in any reading-related subjects in school; I didn't want to tell my parents (I was 20/21 at the time), because I didn't want them to worry about the injury being more serious than they realized. The other injuries I had were obvious to everyone, but I just didn't want them to know that I was secretly terrified I'd never be able to read again. The double-vision had cleared up, but those words on the page just didn't register at all. I want to say it was like looking at words in a foreign language, but it wasn't that at all. Instead, it was as if any words on any page/paper didn't even exist (or something). Nothing was "being seen" by my brain at all. Well, I saw something different from the white page, but it was as if I'd never learned to read at all, I guess.
Because I had fractures that meant I couldn't do much (and because I was a drawer anyway), I'd draw pictures of ballerinas and ice skaters with colored markers. I was able to do that much because I've always been able to do figure drawing without looking at a photo or a model. I don't know if doing that helped my brain at all, but it's what I did - relentlessly. My parents just thought I was keeping busy while I couldn't go out.
About two months (I think) after the injury I started to be able to see/register some things - a word, a few words, a few lines. Later I got so I could see a whole page of words, but I still couldn't make it register (reading-wise). I think it was at four or five months that I realized I was starting to have the words register.
In the "scheme of head injuries", mine was a fairly minor one; but I spent so much time imagining living the rest of my life not being able to do the very thing that I most valued and enjoyed doing - reading. I was so, so, terrified. I was a kid, and I was thinking about how there were probably ways I could find aids that would allow me to read somehow, even it meant something like audio books.
Looking back, I know I didn't want my parents to know because they'd already been so horrified at the injuries (and the fact that my friend, who had been a "fixture" in our lives for years) had been killed. In my own thinking, I couldn't add yet more to what they were having to go through. So, I went through it alone and got through it alone, which isn't such a bad thing for a young person to figure out how to do. Still, I'm thinking that if this young girl has an injury worse than that, there's a good chance she could be terrified in her own ways; and there's probably a good chance she may not want to frighten her parents/family by being candid.
Looking back, I suppose if my parents had something like, "Look. We don't want you hiding any signs of anything wrong that are bothering you, because we know that there are lots of 'side issues' that can go with a head injury," maybe I wouldn't have been so reluctant to tell them. As it was, they were dealing only with what they knew (and I guess they just kind of assumed if they couldn't see a problem there must not be one).
For what it's worth (even if the injury wasn't all that "dramatic" a one), I eventually was back doing my compulsive reading as I'd always done. It took a few extra months at least (after starting to be able to read at all) before I really was reading more than single pages, business letters, etc. here and there. What was almost the biggest challenge to it all was dealing with finding ways to hide the problem from my parents. Looking back (and knowing more now than I did then, as someone so young), I realize if I'd told someone there's a good chance they could have told me, "Don't worry about never reading again. This happens in a lot of cases, and it can clear up eventually."
I guess what I'm suggesting (if the girl is conscious now) is that her parents learn what to ask her to encourage her to admit any problems or fears. (On a side note, my son had a fractured skull and concussion when he was a tiny infant, and he turned into a Little League AllStar, a talented break-dancer for a short time in the 80's when it was big - and this week he's getting a "producer of the year" aware from an organization that puts on a cable tv program.)
My point is (and I know it doesn't always happen this way), people so often can, and do, come back from head injuries good as new. It's kind of like earning on HubPages, though, - people need to know that they can't become discouraged if/when improvement doesn't show up in a month or two. (I know nobody needs me to mention that, but just in case someone out there doesn't realize it....).
Thank you, Jess! I will send the aunt and uncle the link to this discussion. I believe the details that you, momsmanyhatz, and Lisa HW have shared will provide a great deal of insight and awareness into what actually goes on with TBI's and the multiple issues that can arise. And it's so encouraging to see (from Lisa) that there can be improvement, even if it is very slow in coming!
Lisa, thank you! for sharing your story - all of this detail. The young woman is close to the age you were at the time of your TBI. She is indeed conscious - in fact, she has been able to pick up her education once again, but she experiences some specific, extremely frustrating difficulties related to the accident. I don't remember what time in the summer the accident happened, but at this point, I'm guessing she would be at least 2.5 or more months past it. At any rate, I will pass along the possibility of fears that she may not feel she can share. Your post is very eye-opening, and I really appreciate that you have shared so much about your experience. Thank you!
Our body is extremely resilient. Sometimes it is just a bad luck, but with extensive therapy and support she will be better. Usually undamaged parts of your brain take over damaged part's functions. Then "amazing" recovery happens.
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