I now become way obsessed with ONE particular thing at a time. It is as if I cannot stop thinking about that thing. I do not rely on the “excuse” of having brain damage (nicer way to say it is, “a brain injury”…but most of the time, I don’t care about “sweetening” it for the sake of others being uncomfortable. I have accepted it, other people should as well). It seems that EVERY problem/issue I encounter is predicated by the fact that I have a head injury.
“I don’t remember what just happened yesterday right off the top of my head. I realize it was a major thing, but please, give me time to think it over; I have a brain injury” “That emotional outburst happened over something so trivial because my brain has been messed up; my brain is damaged”
“Today is a very bad day for my coordination; I cannot walk with that full glass of water because I will slosh it all over the floor; my head is messed up.”
“Sometimes, I will need your help walking down a short flight of stairs; my equilibrium makes me think I’m falling. The brain injury is to blame for that.”
TRUST ME, I am sick and tired of saying/experiencing it probably more than you are at having to hear the “excuse.”
I realize that it is frustrating for those who have to deal with the minor things leftover because they are in my life. Believe me, the things WE experience are very minor comparatively and the majority of other TBI victims; they would start a riot if they were to hear of my complaints. I have short-term memory issues, my speech has been affected severely, my ability to concentrate and focus has been ultimately changed forever–I can not be distracted in the SLIGHTEST way. I become insanely obsessed with something until the desired result has been achieved; I repeat myself without even realizing that I have said that before, etc…
I get massive headaches when the weather is going to be bad (I predict bad weather before meteorologists). My stamina has gotten much better, I don’t need to nap every day like I once did. I went from taking SEVERAL naps during the day, to 2-3, to 1, then to 1 every other day (while still getting in bed “early” at night)…now I rarely need naps. But when I need to sleep…DO NOT MESS WITH ME (although, it was the same before the head injury)!
The main thing I am disgusted with is the fact that I am not able to think as logically as I once did. I do not realize when I am over-doing it by asking about the same thing…even though I’ve already been answered. I recall the answer, but I feel as if I must continue mentioning it so the other person will not forget. Honestly, I think it is so I do not forget. As mentioned prior, I have to stay focused on one thing. And that goes for “bugging” someone about something, too (if you are reading this…again, I am INCREDIBLY sorry, I do not realize I’m doing it. Even if you claim that it has not bothered you).
I am not using the TBI as an excuse and I do not believe others really feel that I am…so why do I think somewhere in their minds that other people believe I am fibbing about my brain no longer being able to do the things the way it was so easily before. I feel alone and as if people say that they “get” it…but really those people have doubts in their minds because I am “normal.” I have baaaaad days and then several weeks where it is almost indeterminable that I have a TBI (aside from my voice, and my coordination).
I do not expect “special treatment,” in fact, I get aggravated (only at certain times…strange, I know) when others try to give it to me. I want to be “normal!” The little things frustrate me the most. I am just happy that I am alive and able to “complain.” Even if I rarely complain because at least I am here and alive and able to understand the reason I want to complain because things are not at all the way they once were. My voice is the one thing I have the most difficulty with accepting…but, at least I am able to talk (and know what I am trying to express…and I am able to be understood).
Hello, Barb. Thank you for visiting my blog/site. Fortunately, I do not suffer from any form of seizures; it was thought that I would for a while after my injury occurred 11 1/2 years ago. I understand the coordination disorder; albeit, I only experience (what I refer to as) “coordination issues.”
This injury has helped me to realize I have A LOT of difficulties that I cannot help…but, I am blessed to be able to work through those difficulties. Meaning, I may not be able to perform certain tasks in the same manner as “normal” people; I try to focus on the fact that I CAN perform the task.
Try to remain positive with your son, and don’t “allow” him to realize the things he “can’t” do. My parents both helped me tremendously when I was in the stages of TRUE recovery that is what both of my parents did (11.5 years later; I notice little things are better for me…almost daily. So I am still recovering).
They did not dare give in to my “feeling sorry for myself” when I was convinced that I could not do something. Instead; they lovingly pushed me, and told me that I “could”…I credit them mostly with the fact that I simply would find a different way to achieve my goal. The way I would find to do something, may have been “harder” and taken longer…but, I hear them in my head to this day, “at least you can…” I was never able to wallow in my own self-pity; for neither of my parents would allow it.
My unsolicited advice to you is to treat your son the same. DO NOT let him have a negative outlook…focus on the things he can do / the things he has done and is still doing. I know this may not work for everyone…but I used to have major problems with my memory. I still have “issues”…but even then, when I would start to tell a story (THAT NEVER HAPPENED)…my Dad would listen to the entire story…then say something like, “Are you making sh!t up again, Brandy?” when I would have a confused look upon my face.
My parents both still do that to me now…”poking fun” of what I do not purposely do helps me to “deal” with the “leftovers” better. Now, you and your son could come up with a light-hearted way to refer to his seizure’s…I’m unsure if that will help both of you the way poking fun at my issues did/still do help me and my family; but I have found that if you learn to laugh at the things you can not change…it truly helps you and those who love you learn to deal with it / accept it.
As for the memory problems…I am in no way trained to give medical advice, but I will tell you the things that help me and perhaps you can think of things that may help him as well. When I meet someone, and I do not want to forget their name…I will associate their name with a fond (or less often [because I do not wish to dislike the person for something that is not their fault] an unpleasant]) memory. I’ve always been good at spelling–so, after I meet a person, and i want to remember their name, I often ask “How do you spell that? / Do you spell your name with an “I” or a “Y?” I’m not sure what problems your son encounters with his memory, but if you share some of them with me, I MAY have a way to offer assistance with what helps me personally.
AGAIN, thank you for taking time to read (I’m rather “wordy”) my ramblings and also for checking out my site.
Hi…I don’t have a brain injury, but my son does..one he received from his mother at 10 months old. It left him with a seizure disorder that continues to kill of portions of his brain,and coordination disorder. Things have been hard for him with his memory and learning developmental skills, but now that he is 16 he has learned his own process to deal with it.