Adapting to the New Reality of Life With Tbi
This is life
Adapting To A New Reality
T.B.I. is short for Traumatic Brain Injury. Most are under the impression that only those who have served their country get these injuries. However this is far from true. I am 35 and never served yet I live with this invisible illness daily. I am writing this to inform and help others like myself understand this injury and also help their loved ones. Having a T.B.I can have a big impact on loved ones, especially significant others.
What exactly is a Traumatic Brain Injury? According to the Mayo Clinic definition, Traumatic brain injury usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. An object that penetrates brain tissue, such as a bullet or shattered piece of skull, also can cause traumatic brain injury.
Mild traumatic brain injury may affect your brain cells temporarily. More-serious traumatic brain injury can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain. These injuries can result in long-term complications or death.
I have a rare brain disease called Chiari Malformation, eight brain surgeries, and a massive hemorrhagic stroke, and six months wearing a cervical halo collar has left me living with a t.b.i.
Learning to live with this has been nothing short of a fight. Not just for me, my girlfriend has had to deal with what it has done to me as well. It has caused changes in my moods and reactions to things. Most days I feel like Jeckyl and Hyde. I have a severe t.b.i. Here are the symptoms that go along with moderate to severe.
1: Loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours
2: Persistent headache or headache that worsens
3: Repeated vomiting or nausea
Convulsions or seizures
4: Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
5: Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
6: Inability to awaken from sleep
7: Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
8: Loss of coordination
Cognitive or mental symptoms:
1: Profound confusion
2: Agitation, combativeness or other unusual behavior
3: Slurred speech
4: Coma and other disorders of consciousness. Which in any case is life threatening. Please see a Dr if you realize you ate having any symptoms as listed above.
Agitation, combativeness, or other unusual behaviors cause a big problem in ones life and can break up a relationship or marriage, mainly because one minute you may be happy, then the next flying off the handle at nothing, suddenly you become depressed although in your mind you can't figure out why. In some cases, for instance myself for example, I at times don't realize what I had said, or done the moments before and I'll suddenly be in a happy mood.. According to brainline.org
Mood swings and emotional lability are often caused by damage to the part of the brain that controls emotions and behavior. Often there is no specific event that triggers a sudden emotional response. ... In some cases the brain injury can cause sudden episodes of crying or laughing.
I can't speak for anyone aside from me so I will use what I went through and live with to better explain things that can happen due to a Traumatic Brain Injury. For instance, I went through a mourning period. I had a big loss, I lost myself yet I was alive.
I was having an ambiguous loss. An ambiguous loss is a loss that occurs without closure or understanding. This kind of loss leaves a person searching for answers, and thus complicates and delays the process of grieving, and often results in unresolved grief. An ambiguous loss for example is when the person is there, however maybe in a coma or frozen state, or they are no longer who they once were.
As a stroke and near death survival patient, I should have just been grateful to be alive. However For almost Three years. I asked why, I should have asked why not? Especially knowing I will always bounce back.