I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot.
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 since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… 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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4 thoughts on “They say it’s the brain, but it’s also the body”
The Biology of Brain Injury needs to be better understood if we are going to improve the quality of life of people with brain injuries. This will also take some of the mystery out of brain injury that often gets used against us by an $100 billion industry. .
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Absolutely. That’s one of the things I’m particularly trying to address in my work. Knowing the biology of it takes the mystery out of it — a former co-worker of mine who sustained a really disruptive concussion really got a lot of relief and reassurance when I told them about the metabolic cascade and how our brains and bodies all work together to produce those “lovely” symptoms. It took the pressure off, and it also made them feel better that there was a physiological reason for their wild mood swings and “weird” feelings. They rested. They slept. They took care of their body. And they got better pretty quickly. Last I heard (we both moved on to different jobs), they were doing great. I see them on Facebook, and they are thriving. But nobody told them about the biology, until I did.
That needs to change, and it’s one of my missions here.