Acquired Brain Injury

Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (Glascow Coma Scale core 9-12)

A moderate traumatic brain injury occurs when:

* A loss of consciousness lasts from a few minutes to a few hours
* Confusion lasts from days to weeks
* Physical, cognitive, and/or behavioral impairments last for months or are permanent.

Persons with moderate traumatic brain injury generally can make a good recovery with treatment or successfully learn to compensate for their deficits.

03052010

Inspiration is a strange thing. The shear horror of all of this makes me want to ensure no one experiences any thing of the sort.

Living in poverty sucks. I’ve lost about $140K in wages. I am on state-provided health care, and up through December I have been on food stamps.

I totally changed directions in an attempt to adapt to my changing circumstances: I am in grad school to account for my time off work, to help my mental acuity, and for the money (sadly). Not only am I out wages, I am accruing debt. The plan was to be out of debt by the time I was 40.

Going from 60 mph to a full head-on collision is devastating beyond words. I can laugh at some of it now, but at the heart of it, I am PISSED OFF and scared.

I know some things were real, as bizarre as it all seems. I can only hope that somethings come to the surface to help me clarify events and to help me place context around others.

Face to Face With the Stigma

Two issues here: one – a lack of family intervention, and two – the stigma of the schizophrenic diagnosis.

I’ve been struggling lately with the lack of support demonstrated by my family during my illness. I’m not certain if my family was in denial or if they were simply unaware of how debilitating this illness is, but I am heartbroken that they didn’t intervene at all. More than a year and half went by before I began to feel any real relief of symptoms, thanks to medication. Were it not for that and my own drive to survive, I would not be functional today. I may not be here at all.

I went from a high-functioning normal 37 year old with no prior problems to a homeless woman, living on my mother’s sofa refusing to shower for three weeks. My family now says they knew it was schizophrenia because they were able to research it on the internet based on my self-reported symptoms, and yet at the same time my mother refuses to admit now that I have this diagnosis. She continues to call what happened “a nervous breakdown” and is very concerned with appearances.

Focus

I am so focused on the present moment, I’ve given myself little time to write about what did happen. Pushing my way through the worst of it I have found has been very helpful, but I am coming to a juncture where I no longer need to push and I am finding it easy to fill my leisure time with productive activities (productive to me, anyway).

One of the ‘gifts’ of this illness for me has been an appreciation of how quickly time passes. Determined to make the most of my free time, I have a hundred projects in the air. We’ll see which one comes to fruition first.