What is it like to have a brain injury?

By Jean Oostrombrain

Since my brain injury in 1997 I have always wanted people to ask me “What is it like to have a brain injury?  The answer to this question changes depending where people are on their personal recovery path.

Early in recovery the answer might have been written like this?

Having a brain injury can be confusing because I can’t understand why I can perform a task one day, and not the next, so I am always thinking that my recovery must not be progressing forward.

Having a brain injury can be painful especially when I go to that place “where the brain has had enough”, and my whole body seems to be in pain and sleep seems to be the only thing that allows recovery to continue.

Having a brain injury can be lonely because nobody seems to want to talk about my brain injury and how it is affecting my daily life.

Having a brain injury can be terrifying, because no one includes me in the recovery process. People need to know that I can make decisions about my recovery.  It would be nice if people would stop “telling me what to do” and “ask me what I might like to do” to move my recovery forward.

What is it like to have a brain injury TODAY 16 years post brain injury?

Having a brain injury is still confusing but now I know that although some days it seems that recovery might be going backwards, that during those times it may be the brain resting as it tries to relearn tasks that need relearning.

Having a brain injury is still painful so sleep has become a very important part of my life.  It is ranked right up there with food.  If I fall asleep in front of the TV…it is ok….it is the best sleep I am getting.  If I spend weekends sleeping to catch up from sleep missed during the week….it is ok.  Since I have 100% incorporated the importance of sleep in my life, living with my new brain is indeed less painful.

Having a brain injury is still lonely but now I educate other people about what is happening in my brain, and provide hope to other brain injured people.

Having a brain injury is still terrifying however, now that I have learned about brain plasticity and how I can train my brain to react differently, I have turned terror into New Brain Living.

To the Brain Injured Person:  What is it like to have a brain injury?  Share the answer to this question with the people who care for you.

To the People Who Care for the Brain Injured Person:  Please ask your brain injured person!!!  What is it like to have a brain injury? By asking this question it could make the difference in recovery.

Twitter @New Brain Living

Facebook Page New Brain Living

Website www.newbrainliving.com

Email jean@newbrainliving.com

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3 thoughts on “What is it like to have a brain injury?

    1. To (both) Mark & Jean,
      As negativity surrounding said brain injury- may plummet path to recovery- I still may agree with Mark… Jean, the brain is also the Most Complicated piece of equipment our entire body needs to service! Not only does the question of what it is like, “this question changes depending where people are on their personal recovery path” But Also, it is different, due to Location in the brain that sustained injury, as well as, how a person Recognizes the brain injury itself (not to mention, availability of rehabilitation resources, people, etc.)
      I would like to invite BOTH of you, to next weeks (Monday Nov 25th) BIST Community Meeting at Orchard Library Rm 200, Toronto from 6-8pm; I will be giving a (hopefully encouraging) presentation, on stress.
      I realize this is a long reply, I am certainly Not (also) imply that people are selfishly inhibited by their own areas that require attention (as for either profit, or to sustain life); I want to point out, that people need to BElieve in themselves, in opportunity, in their own morality that provides the graciousness and respect of the ability to become aware of their own path, and possibly recognizing, there are others who need help to.
      >Thank you so much for your time!
      Shannon
      shanschill@gmail.com

  1. Hi Jean,
    Thanks so much for sharing some of your story! My name is Jasmin and my mother has a brain injury due to a motor vehicle accident in 2002; my brother and I have been her primary caregivers since it happened. I find it beautiful that you are so willing to help others understand, and to help those suffering with support. My mom shares a lot of the same qualities as you mentioned in the article, I hope that one day she will see things in a more positive light. Would love to chat more, I’m new to the group but am really happy I’ve joined.

    Many thanks,

    Jasmin T. Abbasi.

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