Have you ever suffered a life-changing brain injury that interrupted your cognition completely, and to a point where you could no longer achieve the things you once could? If your answer is yes then you’re in the right place. Welcome to the club of broken brains!
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury? (T.B.I. )
An injury resulting in damage to the brain by an external force or blow to the head. This condition is caused by severe sports injuries, motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, and violent related injuries. There
What are the symptoms?
Cognitive & Mental Symptoms:
- Inability to speak
- Profound confusion
- Loss of short-term memory
- Poor concentration
- Inability to recognize common things
- Feeling depressed or anxious
- Crying episodes
- Blurred vision
- Ringing or buzzing in the ears (Tinnitus)
- Changes in taste and smell
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness or loss of balance
Treatment & Aftercare
- Occupational and/or Physical Therapy
- Surgery (depending on severity)
The Author’s Experience & Advice
Overcoming a brain injury can be a traumatizing experience no matter how mild or serious the condition may be. My name is Holly and my life changed unexpectly in October of 2016, after a slip and fall accident while mopping my kitchen floor. Unfortunately, I lost my balance and fell head first into the oven door. Shortly thereafter, I was in the E.R. waiting for a catscan, then referred to a neurologist for further testing and diagnosis. For the first few days I suffered a relentless headache, then blindsided by the post-concussion symptoms out of nowhere. Levels of stress and anxiety, loss of my short-term memory, and Tinnitus in both ears. Most of those symptoms subsided after three months, but my cognitive abilities will never function the same way they did before the injury.
The Permant Impairments That Changed My Life.
My brain could no longer process information like it once had. I became disorganized in my daily tasks and my short-term memory no longer holds a thought for extended periods of time as it did before the injury. I grew frustrated by the minute and felt certain that my future was doomed. Several months after the accident, I picked up my tablet with the incentive to write again. I found myself staring at a blank screen with no words to fill in. A mind full of inspiration had gone dry and before allowing it to get the best of me, I forced myself to write. Instead of trying to write about one specific topic, I wrote about several different topics. That way if I was blocked from one angle, I’d jump to another and it worked. And, still does to this day! If you’re a struggling writer with the same issue, I highly encourage you to put this strategy into practice. I assure you will have good results in your writing practices.
My Own Personal Coping Strategies:
The beginning stage
- Avoid stressful situations as they will come on more often than usual, due to changes in the brain. Find a solitary place or room for when these issues arise. One of the best strategies that’s worked well in my recovery stage. Peace and quiet is essential for a healing brain.
- Follow up with your health care provider and/or neurological department for further care and treatment. Seek occupational therapy and physical therapy if needed.
- Eat a healthy diet. This becomes more critical after a brain injury as you begin the recovery process – vegetables, fruit and grains. Lean meats, poultry, fish, beans and low-fat dairy products.
- Light excercise and physical activity.
- Rest when you can.
- Find a hobby that will keep your mind occupied.
- If you’re on a medication regimen for depression, anxiety or brain stimulants like Adderall, Concerta, Vyvanse, ect. Be sure to take them at the same time each day to obtain the fullest benefits. It helps an impaired brain stay on track for cognitive function.
- If you have difficulties with remembering things, keep a notebook handy and pen in your daily obligations.
- Do brain-boosting activities and excercise your brain. Jigsaw puzzles, reading, writing or card games you enjoy playing. Like any other muscle, the brain needs a workout, too!
I come to the conclusion that I’ll never be able to function the way I once had, but I never gave up on hope. These strategies have improved my cognition tremendously and I hope it does for someone else who’s impacted by this condition.
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