The WEGOHEALTH Activist Writing Challenge Day 1
“What drives you to
write about your health? What do you want other
Health Activists to know about your condition and
your activism? Reflect on this for 15-20 minutes
The thing that drives me to write about my conditions ( TBI and it’s never-ending list of life-long problems, like dystonia and vertigo) is to raise awareness and understanding not just in the pubic eye, but in the medical community. People with brain injury just aren’t getting the help they need on a consistent basis. The education in medical training in regards to any kind of brain injury is pitiful. It’s true, that in recent years, there has been a push for funding, research, diagnostic testing and treatment, but right now, if you go to a ER because you “got hit on the head” well, things haven’t changed much at all. And the truth is, any hit on the head is serious. Personally, I know of a case where a man was in a car accident, hit his head, cracked it open, lost consciousness and had a brain bleed. He had surgery and spent two weeks in the hospital. He was then sent home to recover and did remarkably well. His doctor was amazed at his progress and said he could go back to work. However, he would have to live with three things for the rest of his life; short-term memory loss, migraines and mood changes. “Nothing you can do,” said the doctor. Because he was hit by a young man who was speeding, on drugs, and driving on a suspended license, the insurance settlement was fast and large.
That was a best case scenario for a brain injury victim turned survivor. But in the years to follow, this 40-something man will continue to be at risk for tragedy. He may be plagued with issues that he and his doctors may never link to that day. The truth is everything about his life until he dies, will be linked to that day, including his increased risk of dementia, AD, divorce, depression, suicide, chronic pain, insomnia, drug dependency and chronic problems such as financial, behavioral, mental, emotional and physical. And it won’t be solely his fault. So don’t judge him. The options and help aren’t being given to brain injury survivors in the places they are going for help.
A brain injury can be a simple bump that turns deadly, or in the case above, be very scary and turn out amazingly well. For a brain injury. Some brain injuries are barely noticeable. Others, result in post trauma syndromes. Every brain injury is different. Because every person is different and depending on where you hit your head, your outcome is different.
Brain injury is a societal problem. It is rooted in the high cost of insurance, health care, crime and homelessness. Until brain injury is looked at as a serious life-changing event, the suffering that it incurs, often in the dark, late at night, behind the bedroom door where the muffled cries of pain and despair are heard only in prayer, people will continue to go undiagnosed, uneducated and unsympathetic to the agony of the injuried brain.
That is why my fellow WEGOHEALTH Activist nominee Trina Chambers-Bradlee and I created The Traumatic Brain Injury Resources Page on FB. It helps make finding financial resources available to those who are trying to navigate the system. https://m.facebook.com/Traumatic-Brain-Injury-Resources-608238092646488/
The comments in this blog are my own thoughts and opinions and as such are not to be taken as medical advice.