Lost & Found: What Brain Injury Survivors Want You to Know

Barbara J. Webster, Lash & Associates
Barbara J. Webster headshot

I need a lot more rest than I used to. I’m not being lazy. I get physical fatigue as well as a “brain fatigue.” It is very difficult and tiring for my brain to think, process, and organize. Fatigue makes it even harder to think.

My stamina fluctuates, even though I may look good or “all better” on the outside. Cognition is a fragile function for a brain injury survivor. Some days are better than others. Pushing too hard usually leads to setbacks, sometimes to illness.

Brain injury rehabilitation takes a very long time; it is usually measured in years. It continues long after formal rehabilitation has ended. Please resist expecting me to be who I was, even though I look better.

I am not being difficult if I resist social situations. Crowds, confusion, and loud sounds quickly overload my brain, it doesn’t filter sounds as well as it used to. Limiting my exposure is a coping strategy, not a behavioral problem.

If there is more than one person talking, I may seem uninterested in the conversation. That is because I have trouble following all the different “lines” of discussion. It is exhausting to keep trying to piece it all together. I’m not dumb or rude; my brain is getting overloaded!

If we are talking and I tell you that I need to stop, I need to stop NOW! And it is not because I’m avoiding the subject, it’s just that I need time to process our discussion and “take a break” from all the thinking. Later I will be able to rejoin the conversation and really be present for the subject and for you.

Try to notice the circumstances if a behavior problem arises. “Behavior problems” are often an indication of my inability to cope with a specific situation and not a mental health issue. I may be frustrated, in pain, overtired or there may be too much confusion or noise for my brain to filter.

Patience is the best gift you can give me. It allows me to work deliberately and at my own pace, allowing me to rebuild pathways in my brain. Rushing and multi-tasking inhibit cognition.

Please listen to me with patience. Try not to interrupt. Allow me to find my words and follow my thoughts. It will help me rebuild my language skills.

Please have patience with my memory. Know that not remembering does not mean that I don’t care.

Please don’t be condescending or talk to me like I am a child. I’m not stupid, my brain is injured and it doesn’t work as well as it used to. Try to think of me as if my brain were in a cast.

If I seem “rigid,” needing to do tasks the same way all the time; it is because I am retraining my brain. It’s like learning main roads before you can learn the shortcuts. Repeating tasks in the same sequence is a rehabilitation strategy.

If I seem “stuck,” my brain may be stuck in the processing of information. Coaching me, suggesting other options or asking what you can do to help may help me figure it out. Taking over and doing it for me will not be constructive and it will make me feel inadequate. (It may also be an indication that I need to take a break.)

You may not be able to help me do something if helping requires me to frequently interrupt what I am doing to give you directives. I work best on my own, one step at a time and at my own pace.

If I repeat actions, like checking to see if the doors are locked or the stove is turned off, it may seem like I have OCD — obsessive-compulsive disorder — but I may not. It may be that I am having trouble registering what I am doing in my brain. Repetitions enhance memory. (It can also be a cue that I need to stop and rest.)

If I seem sensitive, it could be emotional lability as a result of the injury or it may be a reflection of the extraordinary effort it takes to do things now. Tasks that used to feel “automatic” and take minimal effort, now take much longer, require the implementation of numerous strategies and are huge accomplishments for me.

We need cheerleaders now, as we start over, just like children do when they are growing up. Please help me and encourage all efforts. Please don’t be negative or critical. I am doing the best I can.

Don’t confuse Hope for Denial. We are learning more and more about the amazing brain and there are remarkable stories about healing in the news every day. No one can know for certain what our potential is. We need Hope to be able to employ the many, many coping mechanisms, accommodations and strategies needed to navigate our new lives. Everything single thing in our lives is extraordinarily difficult for us now. It would be easy to give up without Hope.

Posted on BrainLine July 28, 2011. Reviewed July 25, 2018.

Excerpted from Lost & Found: A Survivor's Guide for Reconstructing Life After a Brain Injury by Barbara J. Webster. © 20ll by Lash & Associates Publishing/Training Inc. Used with permission. Click here for more information about the book.

Comments (768)

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

Seeing all these comments, makes it in black and white. I have had PCS since Jan of 2012. for this first few months I think I was in a state of shock and literally bedridden between the sensory issues,vertigo and vomit inducing headaches. People don\'t understand the why\'s of PCS or that you appear normal. I feel lucky to have stumbled on this site as well as other sites, knowledge is power. I recently fell due to my issues with stability and dislocated my knee and spained my back, so now on top of just functioning have to go to physical therapy before I can start stability rehab. The biggest struggle is depression and the failure factor,, but I have multiple therapists who help and I don\'t care how long it takes I will recover, these post inspire me.
Thank You. Very cleansing. I am one of the fortunate ones in that i'm able to lead an almost normal life, yet i still found virtually every one of these applies to me. It's somehow calming to see it written down. Scott.
I figured most of this out over the last year of recovery. Unfortunately while I was discovering many of these truths, I was barely capable of recognizing them, and there was no way I could communicate them. Please, do whatever you can to make this a handout at every doctors office whenever someone gets a (lasting) concussion.
My ex-friend called me saying she was too drunk to drive herself home, and all I know is that I woke up in the hospital four months later from a wreck. It's been Hell every since then and for those of you that has had this for a much longer time, I am asking for your help, because now I am stuck like this. I have lost my husband because he said he couldn't handle me, my friends have all turned on me because they can't believe I would say things that I never meant to say. I can't explain to them that even though I am thinking of the color blue in my head out loud I will say "purplish". I don't think any of them even want to understand what I am going through. I try so hard to explain it, but they just shut me out. I have been trying to go to college, but just got told by my guidance counselor that because I can't do math, then I can't get my degree to teach History, and maybe I just can't do college. Which is unfair, because I made an A or B- in all the other classes but college algebra. I just really need some advice and I want to know how can I make myself back to who I was before? How can I get ppl to realize this is a result from an injury this isn't just who I am? amber.fink22428@hindscc.edu
I am a TBI patient and I am so happy to have found this,it seems that we the ones with the TBI seem to know more than our family or friends,u would think your family would look up everything about the damage,I just went thru this this week when I seen my mom for the first time since the accident,she was agitated because I couldn't keep up with her,she called me rude and crazy,and said I needed to get off my siezure meds,this is all out of ignorance ,too lazy or just don't care.I love my mother but she caused me to have a few outburst,and for months I kept sending her several readings and websites on brain injuries,I even told her the daughter she once knew is not here that she will meet the new daughter.well it didn't go well at all she made me cry and I didn't want to be around her,pretty darn sad.I was so overloaded I couldn't wait till she left and this is sad,my two sons and my daughter in law has been my Rock,along with all my therapist and Drs. I tried my best but she only seemed to want to do things ,she came to see my eldest son graduate and had received his bachelors Degree in Science,he's in the Air Force,and all she wanted to do was go here and there and I couldn't keep up.This was SELFISH .I thank God for my two sons and my daughter in law ,they been there for me 100%,and as for my mom and the siblings they have no time to read or even try to understand,just how I feel and really went out of their way in everyway possible,I thank GOD FOR MY SON AND MY SONS WIFE,I know it was a very hard year and I still have many challenges but I try my best.It is very sad the one u would think to understand,my mother,was the one who really doesn't think how hard this is for me just to get up and try to make the best out my day.I pray for all those who are ignorant to TBI people.GOD BLESS ALL.
I suffered a brain injury in 1983. I am 52 now and by the grace of God I am in college and passing. My partner does not understand me at times and she says I confuse her.I don't know how to really explain to her what I mean and why I do the things that I do the way I do them. I just thank-god he is with me and he has stayed with me all this time.
This is AWESOME!! As a mTBI survivor I too think every discharge packet should have this info. It will help when your thinking... what a long strange trip it's been
THIS PAGE IS AMAZING, IT HELPED ME UNDERSTAND THAT MY WIFE WHO IS RECOVERING FROM TBI NEEDS AFFECTIONATE BEHAVIOUR FOR THE WHOLE LIFE AND NOT ONLY FOR THE TIME BEING.
It's been years since my brother's brain injury and this is still helpful to read even though we know most of this already. Partly its good to be reminded that rehabilitation takes years and that even though he is so much better than right after the injury happened he isn't totally better. We all have to continually remind ourselves that while he looks fine, my brother's brain doesn't work the same way it used to. When I find myself saying "Why does he do that?" the answer is that his brain is injured and this is one way he copes with it.
i love this so much. it makes me feel so much better. its good to remind myself of all this.
Thank you so much for giving all of us TBI survivors an outlet where we can see that we are not alone. Thanks!
hi all.i had a car crash in aug 2008, i walked away without a scarch and worked for a week fell and hit the side of the door then went to my GP who gave me a sick note for two weeks,i payed for a mri scan and was told i had all the signs of post concussion sydrome and left to get on with it.i felt my head was to heavy,poor balance,did not feel hungry,was confused,couldent stand noise,have short term memory,feel tired all the time,have problems when there is more then a few people around me. i was sacked from my Job that i loved,and my family could not understand my behaviour
I am a TBI survivor and this fits me too the T. Thank you so very much, and keep up the great work!
I was really grateful for this article. I've been trying to explain some of these things to my family and aides, but I feel like I am being dismissed and then nothing changes. It is soooo great to have something in writing to give my words some authority (though, in a perfect world, I wouldn't need an article to validate my experiences).
I have a brain injury from a person who ran me over I truly can\'t believe how my life is and truly people who do not have this injury do not understand how we are or the things we deal with it truly It is bad I truly hate I lived threw this...
It's good too feel that other survivors feel like this, too. Everyone thinks I'm nearly back to normal. It's good to know that other people have the same oddities, it is not just me.
thank you for this info..i had tumor and surgery gong on 5 years in october..so hard for me to explain to my family and friends and doctors because i couldn't put it all together what's happening in my head and how hard simple things can get..i call it hitting a wall and even get nausus..this articla put it all into words that are now understood..God bless the panel and this foundation for the words...
I am 23, I got into a car accedent when I was 10 years old.... I get so frustrate with my feelings and emotions that I can never seem to describe how I feel.... My girlfriend is very negative and is always getting mad at me for forgetting things, and having to remind me of stuff... I really hope that when she reads this things will get better. I am going to get my dad to read it too.
Thank you so much for this article. I cried after reading it. I am going to have some of my loved ones read this as soon as I can. This article gave me words which I cannot find to tell them what is going on in my head. I was injured while on duty as a correctional officer and had my nerves severed in my jaw in two locations due to two punches to the face. It is 7 or 8 years later and I am on disability. I hate it and the fact that my ability to do things seems to be getting worse. I miss working, being able to work, and other things I seem to not be able to do anymore. I am taking my girlfriend with me to my first neurologist/neuropsychologist appointment next month. I have to know what I am dealing with because I am scared that this thing will progress and one day I may not know what I am doing as I am doing it.
I had brain surgery almost 3 years ago, and these are my thoughts exactly. Now I won't have difficulty in explaining what I'm going through. Thank you!
I love this site. I was brought here through a homework assignment, researching TBI and memory loss. I became a student of psychology in 2009. On October2, 2010 my husband was jumped by several men and was in a coma and in the trauma ward of the hospital until the end of March 2011. While hospitalized he suffered many surgeries including a tracheotomy.When he was released he was incontinent and on a puree and thickened liquid diet. He was in a wheelchair, and heard voices, and was up all hours of the night. In 3 weeks of him coming home,I was able to get a total of 20hrs of sleep. This made me manic and I had a hard time coping. He still suffers with balance issues and memory loss. But he is able to walk with a cane and has made leaps and bounds in his recovery. He no longer hears or sees things that aren't there. He does however have a hard time focusing on things and cannot attempt the internet yet; however, I read him this article and it made him excited and moved. He said that it "hit the nail on the head". We will definitely continue to visit this site, as it has helped him to understand why he feels compelled to do things almost in an OCD fashion at times. He also has trouble with feeling "drunk" at times, and was wondering if anyone else has had that experience? We enjoyed being able to read and comment without having to join anything as well. Thank you for this site!!!
Thank Jesus for this page, this has answered some questions about myself who is also a TBI survivor, my stress has been high because I've been asking for two years now why I'm so emotional now, why my head has little pains where my scar is,
I to have had a severe brain injury as a result of a motorcycle accident 20 years ago. Today I still suffer from Migraines and short and long term memory and seem to be a little more emotional at times along with being afraid of things. I used to swim really well and now if my face hits the water my brain says I can breathe well I now have a fear of water because of it. It has taken me 20 years to rebuild my life and glad I found this site because no one understands what it is like for TBI people. I was in a coma for 3 months and prognosis was not good. I was told I would be in wheelchair and not be able to do anything again. Well my faith in GOD has proven all wrong. I today own with my husband a trucking company and I do all the dispatching for the company and manage a house with 2 children and I have raised 2 other children. My hubby still has concerns why I act like I do with one things but this site will help him understand a little. I have had to relearn how to walk, talk, read, write. I still have some balance problems but the last fall I took was over 2 years ago so it is getting better. I have faith that we all will be cured if we have faith.
I was working on demiling rocket as a government contractor when a piece of it blew up on shot an object into my brain. Took a piece of skull with it... I do well most days I have a great family for support so I am very blessed. I do find comfort in reading about others. It helps me understand where I stand and my weird actions and words that I do! Thanks for the site!!
I was thinking that I was the only person, who lost all of their friends as a result of their head injury. It makes me feel better, seeing that I'm not the only one!
what a wonderful list. I'm 4 yrs post op for a frontal lobe tumor. Have lost all my friends, my parents and brothers no longer speak to me, and my career is ruined. Actually people have said I am selfish now and use the brain injury as an excuse. Feeling rather hopeless at this point. So I'm ready for a change. I've fought so hard but its time to move away and start over. I know these problems will persist, though, just glad I'm not alone
I am so happy and comforted to have found this site(now bookmarked!!).I have a TBI, from a head on collision on April 20/2008. I was in a induced coma for a week and my frontal lobe brain damage was accompanied by numerous fractures.My post-traumatic amnesia was 16 days and i am still recovering and rehabilitating from solely the TBI. The hurdles ive had to overcome have been massive. Apart from moving a lot slower my mood is ever-changing. Ive had to do 2 IQ tests to be able to work again as a high school art teacher and only work 8 of the 10 day work fortnight.My family have been my main caregivers and i have lost most of my friendships since the accident-but the ones that remain have strengthened.It really did seem like no-one understood anything i was telling them about the TBI and now i am moved to tears reading other peoples accounts of their own TBI-suddenly not alone!!Not only that but i feel more informed about TBI now and will continue to come back here for more info and insights.Packwood-Australia
Thanks to put all these helpful tips for the brain injury family.
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This is absolutely amazing. Honestly i never thought this could be put any better understandable way whatsoever even better its just one of those things i thought would never come out. It makes life a lot more appreciateable for TBIs when you find it hard and think that noone will ever understand you or anything unless they have experienced it for themselves (touch wood nothing happens..ok as im on the laptop touch metal/plastic/glass and cant be bothered to put laptop down and touch the floor hehe). I greatly appreciate this site and give many thanks who got up and did this...much loved. Peace Out n Spread the Love. Also i have come across these sites that i find useful "http://www.tbiguide.com/index.html", "http://secondchancetolive.wordpress.com/tag/coming-out-of-isolation-as-brain-injury-survivors/", "http://main.uab.edu/tbi/show.asp?durki=50770",
I have a traumatic brain injury I suffered 3 years ago. I had 3 surgeries, I have dystonia, I had a hole in my head, I have deep white matter damage, frontal lobe damage, on both sides, I have seizures, autonomic dysfunction and many other problems. This article describes me in so many ways and it is so amazing to hear other people's stories.
Thank you for this web-site. I suffered a frontal lobe seizure in Nov of 2013 and have suffered from everything you have posted on this web-site. I have been told I am crazy and there is no reason for me to be having these problems. Thank Goodness I am finally getting an appointment to see a TBI specialist. I want to be the person I was not who I am now. I am glad to know I am not crazy. This web-site is so supportive as no one else understands the after effects of a brain injury unless they have been through it.
These stories are so familiar. I had a TBI from a subdural hemorrhage in my right frontal lobe in 2008(5 years ago). I had bacterial endocarditis and subsequently had a brain hemorrhage. After an AVR and Craniotomy, I spent 45 days in the hospital and another 50 in two rehabs; my wife filed for divorce in the middle of these health events. The infection caused another valve failure in late 2008 and I spent another week in the hospital for 2nd AVR. These circumstances were compounded by the death of my father and termination from my job pre-illness. It has been 5 years and I spent the 1st 3 1/2 in a protracted property custody legal proceeding. I spent 3 years in psychotherapy being diagnosed with PTSD and ceased therapy when I felt it was not helping me. I still ruminate about these events and am devastedover the loss of my intact family. I remarried in 2010, but find the love/hate relationship I have with my ex prevents me from loving my current wife as intensely as I should. After 5 years, I want to be over this. I too, have short term memory loss, but my intermediate is functional and long term perfect. I had epilepsy from this injury and suffer from major depression constantly. I am on SSDI, although I am embarrassed by the situation. Having worked for over 40 years in white collar executive jobs earning 6figure salary, I feel useless and not contributing as I once easily could. I'm at a loss how to continue to live under this stress.
This site is now bookmarked, I found it said exactly how I feel. I cannot remember my accident but just to say I suffered 3 areas of damage on my brain. My partner is struggling to cope with my moods, a 3 year old and studying to be a nurse. My job is lost and I feel so helpless that I have healed the broken bones but cannot seem to do anything about the TBI. But reading this site lets me know I am not alone even though I live in scotland. God bless
I have had a brain injury aug 16 of 2012 and out of the hospital on sept 26. I was in a motorcycle accident helmet-less and I was out. Even when my body woke up I still did not. This was a great help and I do wish everyone read it so they know what was going on. It is hard don't get me wrong and I have short term memory loss sometimes and my mood changes ever so often. I will live with it, I must have lived for a reason. Thank you so much with this, it has helped me so much in life and something I will live with FOREVER.
Hello all, my husband suffered from tbi on 1/1/08 and we nearly lost him. He was in the hospital for approx 45 days, surgery, therapy and readmission due to another bleed. My questions to you are. 1. do you or your loved ones seem to wander around around the house and being restless. Also sleep habits are nerve racking, making all kinds of noises in his sleep making no sense at all. Has this happened to any of you. Your reply is greatly appreciated.
Thank you for this. I read it when my dear lovely friend was first injured, and, a year later, it still helps me deal with his periodic bursts of anger. He is still a dear, lovely, man. He feels terribly frustrated sometimes, and needs patience and understanding. Rereading this helps me give him what he needs.
All of these statements are so true. Even two years after my brain injury, I still have some of the same issues mentioned above. Add in being more emotional and being overwhelmed and shutting down when someone does something or makes a critical decision without your knowledge or advice. It is as if they think you do not have a brain to make your decisions....it is just that you cannot process things as rapidly as you did before. Life changes. The fatigue..the narcolepsy...the total overload of the system so you just have to STOP. Retraining takes time and some things may never come back. Patience and understanding is the best medicine!
I wish somehow I could get everyone in my life to read, believe, and follow the suggestions listed. It is very lonely not being understood by family and friends. Thank you for listing these points.
I recently not to long ago maybe like six months ago now suffered a brain injury.i lost my sense of smell almost completely..my left ear is no longer working i\'m deaf from it.and my taste buds have never been exactly the same as before. i am always tired i sleep more because i feel like my body needs it im not lazy i cant play soccer for my college anymore like i wanted too.my balance isnt the same i have slower reflexes im not as good in soccer as i was before.my question now is if my balance will ever be the same as before will it go back to normal one day?i hope soo
Thankyou soo much for writing this it explains so much . Last year I hit my head and had a stroke and a concussion . I was 16 years old when I had my stroke . I cryed when I read this it explains soo much . It is still hard to do stuff and I know now that it is normal for me to do this .
Hi there folks. On August 12 I was out training on my bike and got hit by a car. The driver was charged.I don't remember the accident and also have loss of memory for about 3 days post accident. I suffered a subaracnoid hemorrhage (right front lobal area), separated right shoulder and broken right tibia. I was in intensive care for 10 days, then 1 month in a rehab hospital and have now been at home since. I had no clue what awaited me regarding this accident. I had previously been in super physical shape and totally happy and living a productive, relaxed life. I immediately, once I started feeling what I thought was normal, thought I would heal quickly, or normally. I had to learn how to walk because my complete left leg, hip and posterior was "numb" and not responding and I had no balance at all. I seemed pretty accepting about that because as I began rehab, I seemed to slowly get a feel back in the leg. I sort of poo-pooed the fact I had the hemorrhage and that it would just get better. The accident happened Aug 12, it is now December 1. The feeling in the leg is coming back slowly and I can walk about 75 % of normal with balance slowly coming back, and taking its time (so I think). With therapy, my separated shoulder is healing and has almost 85 % range of motion and slowly getting stronger and my tibia is all healed up. My brain healing, however is a different story, and one I have finally learned to accept. I have never had as severe an injury file . These all happened at the same time. I had always been physically active and I coach as well(over 30 years now at the elite level ). This situation is a huge departure from a previous life for me and I am having problems with it from time to time...I am not back to work and likely not for a while yet. I was angry, very angry at first. Then I became very frustrated at how poorly I was feeling with poor concentration, tiredness, emotional upheavals, some confusions, being put on heart pressure medication, and a whole host of unpredictable feeings constantly coming up. I am finally accepting that I have a brain injury which will take quite a long while to settle into what might not be total normalcy. I have had to accept I am dealing with an injury that is very unpredictable and has changed my life substantially. I am trying to be more patient and less hard on myself and understand this injury is not like the broken limb which will heal within a certain time limit and more predictably. This has been my biggest challenge ....to understand the injury and then how best to ACCEPT it and now, deal with it. It is helpful to see there are others out there feeling as confused and frustrated and I am and that I hopefully can relax more with this condition that is affecting me. To live life despite the injury. Allow myself to get better. I'd love to connect with some of you....
For those of you wondering about the passage of time: I am 37 years old and had a severe concussion when I was 10; Jan. 28, 1986 was the date of my accident, about 2 hours before the first space shuttle blew up. While we believed back then that the brain could not and would not heal itself, time has proven quite the opposite. True, I don't remember hardly a thing from before I was 10, I can live with that. They told me I'd have epileptic seizures for the rest of my life but, by the Grace of God, I have never had a single one. That is not luck, that is faith. As the hospital I stayed in went out of business and the hospital charged with holding and organizing their records has since lost all record of it, I have nothing to go by except memory and what my parents tell me. I remember the X-rays and my mother's description of it as "it looks like an ice-cream scooper spooned out two golf ball sized holes from my brain in the left frontal lobe and the left parietal lobe." Good times, huh? Anyway, years of migraines, years and years of being denied Physical Education classes and years of poor balance (still can't ride a carnival ride to this day or I'm in bed for a week with migraines), but now I'm pretty much fine. I am the Network Administrator for a large company with over 200 employees and 14 nationwide offices. I fly across the country to set up networks and fix computer equipment when needed or manage the corporate office most days consisting of some 130 workstations. My point is: don't give up hope! This site has pointed out to me why I repeat some things, that I may very well not be OCD, as well as my trouble with crowds or (in my particular case) my tendency to get anxious with too much auditory input. Also, you can't scare me. You can't quietly sneak up behind me and rattle me or freak me out; I simply turn around calmly and ask what you want. Hopefully, this doesn't cause me to one day lose a toe to a lawnmower or get my arm cut off by something I should have reacted to but, for now, I've done alright. My brother got in a car accident over a year ago and had the top of his skull removed for some months to relieve swelling. He was unable to walk or speak or react to anything or anybody at the beginning yet he is now walking on his own (that's a really long story shortened up for you) and types out his own blogs to update us all on his progress. It looked very grim but he has worked his butt off to recover and is doing just that. My point, again: Do Not Give Up!! Take care all and God bless you!
I am so glad I found this site. I feel sometimes I am the only one that has these problems. People including or especially family think I am faking it. The ones you think would understand seem to be the ones who critize you. I see seem improvements but it is very slow. It is a fight for daily things that use to be so easy. It is just so great to know your not alone. Also that just because I am tired or withdrawn that does not mean I am depressed. Finding good help with the problem has been hard living in rural northern michigan.
Hello my fellow sufferers. I fell off of a horse in January, I think, of 2009. Blacked out, and still can't remember the slightest thing about the surrounding 12 hours. Less than a month later a friend kicked a volleyball into my head by accident. A year later after about three other small head bumps I hit my head really hard 3 times in one day all by accident. Over the next 2 years I bumped my head at least once every couple months and then this past March another ball was kicked into my head by accident. So a total minimum of 4 concussions in as many years. I was in my freshman year of college when the first two concussions happened. I made sure to only call my parents when I was feeling pretty good so that they did not know how badly I was doing, because my muddled mind thought that I would be OK if I could just make it to the summer and then I could sleep. And then once I had made it through the worst part how could I wimp out on the next 3 years of college? So I graduated, I don't really remember the second semester of my freshman year, the semester I hit my head. My parents are always trying to give me this or that vitamin or tell me to exercise more or drink more or sleep more or less or whatever. They don't get why I spend most of my time curled up in a ball watching TV or texting my friend. I have one really good friend and the reason we can be such good friends is that she has genetic chronic migraines and I have PCS. We both feel pretty awful about 90% of the time and we both were stupid enough to stick it out and graduate from college. Thank you for this article because it makes us feel less alone when we are surrounded by the people we love the most who don't understand us. And for the brave who dare to try to share this, this is a perfect communication tool. I wish you all the best of luck. If you have PCS DO NOT GET A SECOND CONCUSSION!!!!!!!!!!!!! Live Long and Prosper, Margarite
A huge thank you for expressing and publicising what so many of us are going through. This is really helpful.
My TBI w/substantial cognitive disorder was diagnosed nearly a yr after an assult/batter/strangulation/head slamming going on 15 yrs now. I just lost one of my two best friends with an e-mail \\\\\\\"she would like to renew our friendship after I get over some paper work I have been compulsive with. I also speak too often about all the injuries from head to toe too often\\\\\\\". Can\\\\\\\'t let it go. Ex abandoned me after 32 yrs of marriage one yr prior to assault. So many problems with short-term memory, paper work. Long term-memory nearly perfect. Most lost of memory after the assault for 3 yrs. I now realize \\\\\\\"loss of friendship, close friends, is part of this horrible injury. Lots of therapy. Even a Neuro/Psych test taking 2 days due to my falling asleep during it. Results to my therapist, \\\\\\\"treat her for chronic pain\\\\\\\". Are others losing very close friendships? I know it must get OLD hearing the same old story I don\\\\\\\'t remember telling that often.
As a Irac war veteran I was involved in a blast near me. I thought I was not injured until much later. I am not the same, I cannot understand people when there is too much noise. I get overly tired and exhausted. I most of the time have little emotions and do not want to talk. I will get overloaded and become mute in public. Sometimes I think it is just my imagination and that I was not hurt. But I was. Thank goodness for this website
I was in Irac, when there was an explosion. I never knew I had Mild TBI until much later from the blast. My personality has changed, I can\'t hear when more than one person is talking. Going to Walmart is like info overload. I will in crowded areas not be able to speak at all like I just cannot function. Sometimes I think everything is in my imagination and that I was not hurt. This website is very good in describing somethings. Cindy
It's been almost four years now and I have discovered that there seems to be a "statute of limitation" on how long friends and family are willing to listen and understand. Whatever the time length of their patience is, I passed it long ago.

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