BY: SABA RIZVI
Most people don’t understand what a brain injury is or means, especially if the person doesn’t appear to have a disability.
A brain injury is kind of like how older adults might experience memory loss, or other cognitive deficits. A lot of people share stories about loved ones going through dementia or Alzheimer’s, for example, and the impact this has on the whole family. They’re generally upset regarding the situation, but find solace in knowing that they’re too young to be experiencing something like that, and have at least the next 30 to 40 ears to live a ‘normal life’.
A brain injury is similar, except that it can happen to anyone, at any age. The effects of a brain injury range from someone appearing to absolutely ‘normal’, to someone in a coma. The person with a brain injury can have memory loss, difficulty eating, sleeping, reading, writing, and just carrying on normal activities. Most daily functions that people without brain injury take for granted, are a luxury for those living with ABI.
The other day I forgot what a selfie is, or that our phones even have a front facing camera. Today, I went through my contacts list, and I don’t remember half of the people on there. The memory comes and goes, or just goes for good, and every day is an adventure.
Living with brain injury is hard enough on its own, especially if you don’t look like you have a disability. As hard as it is now to avoid technology and overstimulation, both of which cause those with a traumatic brain injury immense difficulty, it helps to utilize technology to educate others about what is going on. The use of the ever so popular memes is a great way to spread awareness and include humour when educating about brain injuries. Others are more willing to learn slowly, and with a few laughs.
Here are two examples I have used to educate others about the symptoms of brain injury: