Monday, 14 July 2014

Rehab DIY

I may get a little flustered at times.  I may come off as inconsiderate.  I may sound angry.
One could point to what else, my brain injury?
When it suits you, I have a brain injury and not just an opinion.
If I suggest my behavior is in  direct relationship to the loss of brain wiring, you are doubtful.
Your expertise is that you have lived as long as I without a TBI, therefore you can state inequitably that my short term memory loss is not that bad.
My inability to hold a conversion or get a joke is nothing more than an inconvenience that I should get over it.
My lack of compassion for the passing of a loved one means I am a psychopath.
When I cry at another person crying, I am over sensitive.
When I forget a name, I am rude.
When I forget an appointment, I am irresponsible.
When I apply for a Job that requires an aptitude test that is timed, do I state I have a learning problem.  Do I lie and say I am dyslexic?  Do I say I have a permanent disability?
Will I get hired if I do?
Yeah, I have a right to be angry.  I am high functioning disabled however the key word here is disabled and that is my dilemma that has haunted me for 40 years.
Help?  I had none in 1977.
None in any years since even with 2 neuropsych tests in 78 and 1994.
Its ironic that the tester of the neuropsych test knew I was disabled but could not refer me to someone who might help.
My rehab was simple. DIY.

Ignorance! Alive and Well in 2014

As a member of a couple of brain injury groups on the internet, I find the all too prevalent misunderstanding surrounding TBI/ABI, still persists.  I recently read a story of a woman forced to move back with her senior citizen mother who, by grace of her age, doesn't grasp the depth to her daughter's brain injury.
Now this I can fully appreciate, and would not expect a senior citizen to fully understand brain injury especially when in her days, "One flew over the Cuckoo's nest" mentality and Lobotomy were the only recourse to mental abnormalities; But come on, this is the 21st century, isn't it?
Her struggle isn't so much with her mom but with those who by grace of their position should know better; Her church, pastor, and congregation.
This ignorance towards the most vulnerable of our society, the brain injured needs a voice and the church and the medical community need to put their mouths where their experience should be.
I am not surprised, however, there is no excuse for those in positions to help educate society with regards to the struggles of brain injury.
I was given a golden handshake in 1977 when it came to brain injury.  My neuropsych test stated I was disabled.  I scored in the 7 percentile of the population had my memory ability. In other words I went from 4 point 0 down to an E average.
I have, over the past 40 years, adjusted for my short term deficit, but the score remains the same.
Our struggle is made more difficult with statements of, "We all forget, so get on with it" or "You're not that disabled." Or"At least you can walk."
Yes, I have heard all of this.  I cannot emphasize how crushing this is to a brain injured whose struggle back may be a life long journey.  Brain injury is an assault on self.  Brain injury is an assault on the family.  Brain injury is an assault on friendships.
Your help and understanding can and will make our journey back easier.  Please take the time to become informed.  You will not find it in a book but rather from a brain injury support group online so join, immerse and have a change of mind.