Where is your brain injury?

Slowly but surely I’ve been fighting back from a serious concussion this past September. Some days are fine, others I just feel like sitting and staring off into space for hours. One thing is for sure, it is quite difficult for me to maintain a good conversation for more than an hour or two. My brain gets tired very quickly.

Today I want to share with you some new information to me. I was searching around the Internet and came upon this very interesting page from the Centre for Neuro Skills on brain function. I guess I did not realize how important it is to specify where your brain has been injured, in identifying what functions are compromised.

For example, my traumatic brain injury back in 2008 damaged my frontal lobe (in the forehead area). According to this documentation this section controls consciousness, how we initiate activity, judgments in daily activities, emotional response, expressive language and assigns meaning to the words we choose, word associations and memory activities.

After being unconscious for hours after my bike accident with a serious bleed inside my brain, I struggled for at least a year with judgment, my emotions, language, word meanings, spelling and memory. I never did remember my accident, just the aftermath, and then only barely.

As luck would have it, I had just decided to become a writer in 2006 so writing became my best brain exercise. I actually published my first book by the end of 2008! I’m nothing if not stubborn!

Yes, I got very slowly better and thought that part of my life was history until this past September when I fell backwards onto concrete and knocked a small hole in my skull and injured my left parietal lobe. This led to even more problems with spelling and vocabulary. I now need to ask my husband words all of the time, and that’s very frustrating to me. In fact everything mentioned on this list rings try to me, especially “the inability to plan a sequence of complex movements to complete a multi-stepped task.”

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I see now that brain injuries on top of previous injuries are the worst in terms of trying to get things done. At first I could only stare outside for hours. Luckily the views are fantastic up here! Believe it or not, I think coloring my mandalas has helped my brain a lot. It’s so hard for me to “be here now,” but I’m working on it every day.

Not to make excuses, but I’m pretty sure this new injury is making it much harder for me to put together my new memoir about moving to this beautiful new part of the country to retire. Luckily I don’t have to go to work, but even my new volunteer position at the local veterans nursing home could be a challenge at times. At least I’ll be among understanding friends.

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