i had never really HEARD of an ABI.
an acquired head injury.
Its what you can “acquire” without having a trauma like a car crash.
So it’s NOT necessarily a dramatic thing.
An Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is brain damage caused by events after birth and can result in cognitive, physical, emotional, or behavioural impairments leading to permanent or temporary changes in functioning.
Acquired brain injury covers :
- removal of tumour
- and many more. Am not a specialist.
ALL new to me – even after leaving hospital.
BUT i have since discovered the similarities in some of the residual effects.
and i have to say i am not for a second equating ME with someone i a very serious situation. They do not compare. I am not in ANY WAY minimising ANY situation. Am talking only about mine.
my shock was to find out the similarities (although at much less levels in most cases).
i can only speak knowledgeably about me.
i walked up to neurosurgery ward to have 2 surgeries-
- a posterior fossa decompression for a lifelong condition of brain
- a removal of a small “thing” “cyst” – wasn’t a cyst but was thankfully a benign vascular mass.
- i had always it seemed had too much fluid in my brain given the state of my dura.
- i DID develop meningitis.
So pick a reason for the ME we have now.
- the FATIGUE is incredible.
- thinking exhausting.
- my moods have become more unpredictable and much faster to change.
- i need a wheelchair as my legs are absolutely exhausted – or so they think.
- my eyes no longer communicate as a pair.
- i am in CONSTANT pain.
- my social life is mainly my appointment load – doctors and clinics 🙂
- i get confused – stupid things. Which colour is my toothbrush. Which door frame is the light switch at. Names don’t happen quickly.
but i am still ME.
- i am still musical perhaps even more fascinated by musical details and minutia. i LOVE it. study it!
- i was always quite a straight speaker. NOW? if i wanted to hold back, i don’t think my brain would have allowed me to. it would be said and OUT there.
- i get my mails and hair done- so i look like ME on the outside . but a BIGGER me, as a static life causes weight gain.
- i STILL have my sense of black humour- and i am quite sure i NEED that. 🙂
my ME now involves ongoing ACCEPTANCE.
ADJUSTMENT to ME- and explanations of ME…and negotiations of ME in house and outside.
learning that my BRAIN requires preparation and recovery for EVERY activity…..that has NOT been easy to accept.
but i AM alive.
very much ALIVE.
i am still MUM although no longer the cooking, laundry doing one, still the mum.
i PICK the activities which give me the best HUMAN feedback, and try to make THOSE my chosen activities. i will be in pain, an exhausted after them, but that HUMAN – old me buzz will make it worth it.
i make choices not to do many things in order to do those i want…. so this is my new life…
but i WANT it.
i WANT it- and would LOVE it to get better.
but i can manage if it stays as it is.
Brain Injury and beyond….hopefully waaaay beyond.