Teens Talking to Teens

Meet Sabrina — a teen talking to other teens about her experience after brain injury.

[Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, Part of Children's & Women's Health Centers of British Columbia] [Acquired Brain Injury, teens talking to teens] This video is for teens and young adults who are living with a brain injury. You will meet three young people who will each share their personal story. [Sabrina] [♪ slow piano music ♪] My name is Sabrina. I go to Edward Milne Community School. I'm eighteen. I live in Sooke with my family. When I was 13, September 20, 1995, I was hit over the head with a lead pipe. I was rushed to the hospital with a 10 percent chance of living. And I don't remember anything from the hospital. I couldn't speak, I couldn't walk, I couldn't eat, I couldn't remember how to swallow, I couldn't remember how to do anything. I was really lonely after the accident. I felt that nobody understood what I was going through because they haven't been through what I have been through, going through speech therapy, seeing a counselor, learning how to talk, eat, even walk again. I couldn't even, say, a popsicle in the hospital. It was really lonely, frustrating. I would cry every night before bedtime, but I finally clued in. I said, "Hey, a lot more people have gone through it. You're not the only one, so might as well talk about it and make sure people can understand what you're going through." Because, if you hold it in, you get more lonely and more depressed and you get nowhere. You just dig yourself a hole, and you can't get out. [♪ upbeat music ♪] One thing I was worried about when I went back to school is everybody would treat me different, like I was dumb, and most of the people did. [♪ music ♪] They treated me like I was a 2-year-old who didn't know how to talk or anything because I had teaching assistance with me and I had trouble talking and walking and stuff, but my true friends stuck with me and just said, "Hey, don't bug her. If you went through what she went through, you would understand." At school, when I asked for help, it's easier for me. I'll just say, "Excuse me, I'm having trouble with this. Could you please help me?" because I don't understand what they're asking. You may feel embarrassed. You get over that. You get used to asking because if you don't ask, you won't get help, and you need help. Can you turn to the side? On your right side first. I can't go out and do stuff like I used to-- go mountain biking, go hiking for a long time. I have to go see my physiotherapist, and he works on my back and cracks it and makes sure everything is fine. I can't stay up really late. My body just seizes up. [traffic noises] I think, after my brain injury, having a boyfriend, it was really hard. Some guys thought, "Hey, she has a brain injury. Maybe I can get down her pants? She's dumb. Maybe she'll go along with it?" You have to wait. You'll get one; you just have to wait until the right person comes knockin' on your door. [♪ music ♪] I've lost all my other friends, like ex-friends who drink and do drugs and stuff, I just ignore them. I've gone out and made new friends. People sent me cards in the hospital that I didn't even know and I'm really close to them now. I have great friendships now because my friends understand what I'm going through; before, they didn't. They ask me stuff about my brain injury and my friends understand. I think it's really important to talk about your brain injury. With me, if people want to know, I'll talk about it. It lifts pressure off my shoulders. It makes me feel a little bit better because people know what I've gone through. Because if you hold it in, you'll get really depressed and desperate. If I think about what I've lost, it gets me more depressed and wish I was dead, and it's hard. Yeah. [♪ soft music ♪] A lot of things have been helpful, especially my mom and my sister. They've been with me ever since the hospital. They've gone through everything, and they're still by my side. My mom's everything. If I didn't have my mom, I would be stuck. When I came home from the hospital the first day, it was October 13; it was a Friday the 13th, and it was a happy day for me. Ew, look at that one. Ew, it's going to come bite your toes. Everybody was worried. My mom was really overprotective. I couldn't go out. And now, she's given up a little bit. The first day from the hospital, everybody was happy, but scared-- scared, so much. It was a relief, though, being at home in my own bed. I felt like I was in heaven. [♪ soft music ♪] [hula hoop spinning] [off-camera speaker] Go Beeny. Go Beeny. Go. Go. Go Beeny. Go Beeny. Right now, I'm proud of myself. I'm so amazed how far I've come from not even being able to say mom, where I can go to the high school for a full day. I've come a long way, and I deserve it. [♪ beautiful music ♪] The goals I have I'll just take them one step at a time after high school, maybe go back to high school and upgrade and then go to college-- take it one step at a time. That's how I'm going to do it, one step at a time. [Sunny Hill Health Centre For Children, part of Children's & Women's Health Centers of British Columbia] [Supported by a grant from the British Columbia Neurotrauma Initiative,] [part of the National Rick Hansen Neurotrauma Initiative] [Suzann Jacobsen, Ed.D., Registered Psychologist] [Executive Producer Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children] [Pamela McElheran, RN, MSN, Project Manager Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children] [Michael Joschko, PhD., Registered Psychologist, Senior Psychologist] [Queen Alexandra Centre for Children's Health] [Robyn Littleford, M.Ed., Department Head, G. F. Strong School Program, G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre] [Shelley Stewart, BSW, Social Worker, Adolescent & Young Adult Services] [G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre] Kellie Duckworth, TRT, Recreation Therapist, Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children] [Special thanks to: Sevran, Sandra, Sabrina and their families] [fullframe productions inc.-www.fullframe.com]
Posted on BrainLine January 7, 2009.
From Lash & Associates Publishing Training Inc. Used with permission. For more information on this entire video, go to www.lapublishing.com.