October 13, 2008

Dain bramage

It's been 15 months since my accident. This is not the kind of moment I'm talking about in my last post, but it's time I talked about it.

Mild brain injury is categorized by whether or not you were unconscious when you hit your head. 15 minutes or less or intermittent unconsciousness classifies as Mild. You don't even have to go unconscious or need to go to the hospital to have a brain injury. You might drive away from an accident thinking you are fine. Later, you might experience symptoms that don't appear to have a direct connection to what happened to you.

I'm finally beginning to accept that my life has changed. That I'm no longer the person I was. This has some drawbacks and some benefits. Drawbacks include ringing ears, headaches, slower thought process, fine motor skills (such as typing) suffer to varying degrees. I notice that I'm less apt in judging the distance a car is down the road and whether I have time to make a turn. To the irritation of other motorists, I often wait for cars that I finally register were much further away or slower than I thought. I told someone the other day, "I'm not stupid, just slower." High level analysis of problems (and even simple math) are difficult for the first time in my life.

How could I possibly benefit from a brain injury? The easiest to point out is that I'm nicer. I'm less driven and that makes me more relaxed. I'm more tolerant of other people's behavior. This isn't something that I noticed until very recently. I also had it verified by people that I volunteered with in my community. People that have met me since the accident don't really notice anything wrong with me. The would classify me as normal. This tag alone is understandably something I have a hard time coping with.

I don't enjoy music as much. I used to never drive anywhere or sit at my desk without music playing. Music helps facilitate the thinking process, or did for me. Now, I often find myself completely turning off the stereo in my car in rush hour traffic. It's just too much noise for me to deal with. Or the volume knob is turned way down so i can barely hear the music. I recently downloaded a Celine Dion song. I told my cognitive/speech therapist and she said it was definitely my injury. lol It was a funny moment, but another illustration of new perspective at the same time.

I started downloading games on my iPhone to use for therapy. One is called Dactyl it's a simple game where there is a grid of bombs. One by one, the fuses are lit and you must tap them out. I've read people score up to 1000. I rarely score higher than 10. My high score is in the 30's. I gave the game to a friend and she scored 54 the 2nd time around. Then she taught me a visual trick to help me improve my play. The game is addictive, but it tires me out quickly. Another game I downloaded is plain old Solitaire. This game is not nearly as easy as I remember. These games are easy to play in short bursts of time and I'm looking for more. If you have a favorite, let me know.

This is not a comprehensive overview, but it's a start. And it's good for me to write it down.


At 6:24 PM, Blogger Buffalo said...

I had no idea there were such far reaching consequences. Has to be very difficult for you.

Me? I play Minesweeper, Spider, and Free Cell. Sometimes I try a few games of internet checkers.

At 8:35 PM, Blogger jin said...

I'm way into the alternative therapies so I'm just throwing this out there... have you ever tried Reiki? Could help, certainly wouldn't hurt anything.

I play scrabble against the computer.

At 10:21 PM, Blogger bikeandbeer said...

you are nicer and more tolerant of other people's behavior??? wow. i have to see it to believe it ;-) hey, you remember how we met! hehe... seriously now, you are what you are, at different points in your life. accepting yourself, AND your changes, now that's the hard thing for some people -- obviously not for you!

At 12:19 AM, Blogger Jill said...


I'd been trying to figure out what's happened but in between my own shit and yours I missed the accident.

My own was six years ago? Seven? The results weren't immediate. But permanent.

Point being, I grok.
I'm here if you need a slow but steady ear.



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