Do NOT try this at home

The road is long...

Yesterday someone arrived at this blog via the search  “hit head again make memories restore

Please. Do NOT do this! It only works in movies and comic books, and they will say anything for a buck. Think of all the cartoons about Wile E. Coyote surviving a dynamite blast. Or future superheroes surviving atomic blasts and other super-power inducing near-death experiences. Comic books and cartoons are not reliable sources of medical advice. Nor is Hollywood.

A second impact to an already injured brain can do even more damage than the first. You think your memory is bad now… Another injury can lead to second-impact syndrome, which is where the second brain trauma has even worse consequences than the first… possibilities: swelling… dramatic disability… death.

After you injure your brain, you need to rest it, to let it get itself back in order. During concussion, connections are broken, and also substances are released in the brain which impair/kill brain cells. If you don’t give yourself enough time to heal, the damage from a second impact can be devastating, even lethal. Some experts advise taking at least three months off to heal the brain. Others say one month will do. Once upon a time, people believed it could be shaken off with no consequence. The rash of suicides and premature deaths in professional contact sports tells us a different tale.

Even after you’ve had time to heal, another head injury tends to be worse than the one prior. Damage is cumulative (not very comforting to me, as I’ve had around 9 mTBIs in the course of my life), and each injury can bring with it a whole new slew of issues. I can attest to that.

Think of your brain as a network of highways through a vast wilderness. When some of the roads get torn up, and new roads get put in their place, they can end up going some roundabout routes that are less direct than the original connections. Also, you have to let the concrete and asphalt set before you can drive on it. And you have to let the paint dry, so you don’t end up tracking the stripes all over creation and end up with a lot of crossed signals.

These things take time. And hitting your head again will NOT restore memories. I wish Hollywood and comic books would quit telling us it will.

About brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who had falls and car accidents and sports-related injuries in 1972, 1973, 1982-83, 1995, and most lately 2004. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications for 35 of my 43 years. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained that injury at age 8… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.
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2 Responses to Do NOT try this at home

  1. Jason Pullen says:

    110% correct!
    I suffered severe tbi as a direct result of the UK government…who had refrained from teaching an UK army coach driver how to drive properly… I was hence certified unfir-for-work for life…taken abroad by my mother who had made prior arrangements to retire to Spain…and then…Robbed by the UK government because I was abroad…because of them. I want to get hundreds of people to storm the House of Commons and show these thieves they are mistaken.#

  2. Not sure you’re going to find hundreds of people willing to join you — then again, I hear things in the UK are pretty bad for TBI folks, so you might have some luck.

    I say, count your blessings. You never know what might have happened, if they’d made it possible for you to stay. Or if that coach driver had been properly trained. It’s impossible to know if your life may have actually turned out much worse, had things continued “normally”.

    As for help, I say, enjoy your time in Spain. Enjoy everything you can, because there are no guarantees, anyway, and if you turn away from the good you have because of the “better” you “might” have had, you’re only cheating yourself.

    Best of luck to you.


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