The place to come to wag more and bark less...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TBI Blog Introduction

A head injury can be defined as any of a vast number of situations in which a person suffers head trauma. The term Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, is a synonym for head injury and, for the sake of consistency on this blog, I will try to use the term TBI whenever possible. The causes of TBI are too numerous to mention here, as are the long- and short-term effects of TBI. As such, the TBI survivor personally is the sole starting point for this blog.

The Important Balance Between Education and Hope:
Despite my diagnosis as being the survivor of a “mild” TBI, my life would never again be what it had been prior to my injury. I didn't have access to many resources concerning my TBI. Even if information had been available, my poor memory and near complete isolation from family or close friends who may have been familiar with my injury would likely have been useless.

So, for many years following my own TBI, hope was all I had: Hope that I might remember things once again, and how it would improve my quality of life. Hope that, one day, I might once again have a life that more closely resembled that which I had prior to my injury. Ten years following my injury, hope truly was sometimes all I had. It's understandable if you find yourself feeling this way at times, too. But though it is difficult, don't ever lose hope.

Visit this blog, read the entries, and post an entry of your own if it helps - do whatever you can to empower yourself through the dark times. Tomorrow will be another day, one you'll be ready to face with the confidence of knowing you overcame the TBI - if only briefly - instead of the other way around. One small victory can build atop another, then another, and so on.

Perhaps I was unaware of it then, but it's become clear that my hopefulness has been worthwhile. Over the past several months, for no apparent reason, a fair amount of my ability to remember has returned. Regaining this memory has dramatically improved my ability to function well socially again which, in turn, increases my confidence to further expand my social horizons once again. I can again remember names, places, and so on, that allow me more effective participation in everyday social activities. It appears to be safe for me to once again re-emerge from my self-exile.

While I realize this recovery could have happened much sooner (and I certainly wish it had), I also appreciate how fortunate I am that any recovery occurred at all. The reality is that there are many who will not recover to the extent I have, and that many may never recover at all. Having been fortunate in this sense, I feel a responsibility to others who have also suffered a head injury, as well as to those who stand by them - from family and friends to all other concerned parties – to lend my perspective however and wherever I may.

It is in this spirit of tribute to everyone involved with a head injury survivor, directly or indirectly, that this blog is intended to serve. Comments you may have that can further this blog's intended goal are always welcome, too.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Blog Overview

Head Injuries occur regardless of age, color, gender, or nationality. Anyone stands a chance of incurring a brain injury, with an even greater chance of knowing someone who has. Brain injuries occur unexpectedly, changing entire lives in the blink of an eye with no preparation whatsoever. For the purposes of this blog, the abbreviation TBI is used to denote a head injury that allows the survivor a more limited, possibly even severely decreased degree of previously known functionality. In other words, from the outside you may seem like the same person you've always been. Inside, however, your life has drastically changed.

Whether you know it or not, statistics indicate you may often encounter more TBI survivors than you realize. According to statistics, TBI occurs at a rate of “1.4 million per year in the U.S.A.” alone. To break that down even more, TBI happens at a rate of “3,835 per day, 159 per hour, 2 per minute...”1

Some fortunate survivors may never outwardly show signs of their symptoms, though they most certainly are there. Others, however, find their entire lives changed completely and suddenly for long periods - if not forever.

I am a mild TBI survivor, and I have dealt with the repercussions of my head injury for the past fifteen years. I continue to deal with symptoms of my injury, though I have recovered enough brain power to begin a regular forum on the subject. Creating this blog will add other voices – like yours – to the discussion on the topic. It is perhaps the single, most important purpose this blog serves.

However, another critical purpose of this blog exists: To provide a sense of community and support among TBI survivors and for those whose lives are also affected by TBI. The exhausting parade of random symptoms and sometimes downright crazy behaviors can likely frighten off all but the strongest of supporters.

So, if any of the anecdotal information within – yours or mine – is helpful to someone else, then this blog has been successful. EVERYBODY is invited and welcomed to contribute, and to share their stories After all, sometimes it is from each other we can learn best.