To Deal With TBI
What is TBI?
Have you ever watched the news and heard the term Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)? It is likely, as U.S. soldiers often return home with TBI’s, wounded from roadside bombs. But this is not the only way individuals get TBI. Some people get one from a car accident, others from falling. Perhaps you even know someone with a TBI. Thus, let’s explore exactly what TBI is.
First and foremost, what is a TBI? As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain, it is “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.” But once we delve beyond this simple definition, we start to realize just how unusual the disorder is.
As the Brain Injury Association of America puts it, “Brain injury is unpredictable in its consequences. Brain injury affects who we are and the way we think, act, and feel. It can change everything about us in a matter of seconds.” That said, we TBI survivors ought not to let doctors or others discourage us from hoping to make progress. As TBI survivor and author Kelly Bouldin Darmofal puts it, “Doctors are not omniscient; they cannot know how hard you will work. ONLY YOU CAN KNOW how far you’re willing to go to regain what you’ve lost” (10).
What is TBI Recovery?
And TBI recovery often requires an array of various treatments. We, for instance, may meet with a physical therapist in the morning and a cognitive therapist in the afternoon. Or perhaps a speech therapist or occupational therapist. All treatments to recover functioning. Relearning to walk, for instance. Unfortunately for some, insurance may not provide an ideal level of coverage. Plus, there are other obstacles, such as seizures post-tbi. And, as many survivors know all too well, there are the headaches.
In conclusion, TBI is a usual disorder that affects everything from our thoughts and behaviors to our ability to move. Plus, the often-experienced fatigue is an obstacle in itself; it does not take much to become tired post-tbi. Some, however, may perceive this as laziness. Yet, as Darmofal puts it, “FATIGUE IS NORMAL. Rest when you can! As you sleep, your brain continues to heal.” That said, it is crucial to maintain motivation, continually striving to progress.
Perhaps, for instance, the individual will no longer be able to move the right side of her body—a result of damage to the left-side of the brain (as the body is cross-wired that way). And, as Darmofal explained, we ought not to let anyone discourage us. I, for instance, regained movement of my left-side, regained the ability to walk, and earned my Bachelor’s degree all post-TBI. And the most important lesson to remember is: Never give up.
“Brain Injury Basics.” Brain Injury Association of America.
Darmofal, Kelly Bouldin. 101 Tips for Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injury: Practical Advice for TBI
Survivors, Caregivers, and Teachers (p. 10). Loving Healing Press. Kindle Edition.
“Traumatic Brain Injury & Concussion.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.