Let's see I'm brain injured. My short term memory is so bad I can honestly tell you that for the past 34 years I have been practicing "Alzheimer's" and you want moi to tell you how it all began?
I learned post brain surgery, that in fact the aneurysms, a vein and artery malformation located in my left temporal region, had been leaking for up to 4 years, explaining the two old blood clots discovered during said operation. Now, math not being my forte, suggests the whole thing started when I was 14.
Thank god for calculators!
How? One may ask can I make light of what truly is a nightmare. Well it is my belief that humor, the ability to laugh at oneself is better than building up an anxiety that you have little or no control of. I recommend that both the caregiver and survivor try whenever possible, to laugh because there is not much compassion in the world when it comes to Brain Injury. There is an ignorance, in fact, to brain injury.
When you break an arm or leg, one see's your limitations. Six weeks later the casts come off and within a short time you go right back to what you are doing.
With a brain injury, once the hair grows back, the average person thinks, somehow magically, you are cured.
They do not understand that the journey back will be a very long time if ever, to the level that the person was prior to the injury.
The average person loses patience, accuses the person of faking it, and has no concept what it is like to have lost ones ability to find words, to remember things, to speak coherently. My first new medical term after the injury was "Malingerer".
Physically I was a 6'3" young man who would be asked to perform 3 tasks by the employer. I would complete 2 and completely forget the third. I was in fact considered by some to be lazy.
So in 1973 my world began to spiral downward. My concentration diminished. My teachers called me lazy. My grades plummeted and by grade 9 I was kicked out of junior high school and sent to private school. My grades continued their meteoric decline until they crashed and burned in Grade 11 and I quit school.
Hindsight being 20/20, the blood clots building up in my brain would have explained a lot to both myself and my parents had there been even a snippet that something was awry up inside my head.
I had only noticed, that when I stood up from a couch, that on a regular occasion, I would faint. My doctor diagnosed it as poor iron blood and recommended cod liver oil. The one and only chance to actually test me had slipped by and I was now a ticking time bomb just waiting for when the big event would take place.