This isn’t an April Fool’s joke, but I wish it were!I was told this was a new step stool! Take a look at this picture. Unless it was a recent purchase from a thrift store it definitely is not a new step stool. It’s all about perception.It’s at least 15 years old, and the wear and tear is obvious. I’m learning how fortunate I am. I have a date and time when my problems began. Since this has been brought to my attention I now realize it is not me, not my symptoms of TBI, rather I’m learning this is not deliberate at all…but an entirely different neurological process of my spouse. I wonder how long has this been happening? I come to realization, it’s been too long.
This isn’t early onset of anything, it’s been happening a very long time. I can pray, I can laugh, and I can hope! I’m choosing to laugh or chuckle at the things that use to frustrate me and I will hope for answers and a cure for him. It doesn’t matter what happens, because I will always be there.
Actually, it’s helped guide me in a direction to make sure he gets the proper help. I’m finding that I have more patience, laugh instead of becoming frustrated, and talk with others about the situation.
TBI is similar and yet very different to those who have memories problems for unknown reasons or aging health related issues. I can’t imagine how disturbing to know you are having problems and yet everyone that interacts with you also recognize problems. You simply don’t know why or how you have these problems!
Most people with TBI appear totally normal and for whatever reason others usually can’t see any problems. People are very superficial! Is it that the average age with TBI is 25 and other brain dysfunctions is much higher? Most people look good at 25, so is it appearance versus cognition?
What is it that they see in other people suffering from brain dysfunction versus those with TBI? Is it appearance? Age? Is it that TBI automatically compensates? Is it that they blame others, so the focus is not on them? Is behavior different from TBI? Or is it simply how the brain is damaged? Youthfulness versus elderly? This poses so many questions.
Brain injury is perceived as an injury that happens once, is done and over instead of the chronic injury that one lives with daily. TBI is being considered as a chronic illness.
Memory problems would truly be frightening without knowing a cause. That’s very different from traumatic brain injury. I’m in it for the long haul to support my spouse regardless of the underlying problem. With brain injury one compensates immediately, at least I did … I was never dependent regardless of how ill I became from massive subarachnoid hemorrhage. I also had formal education, training, and knew rehabilitation techniques in neurology from my nursing career. The brain can be shattered, but you can’t take education out of the brain!
I might say I had a huge advantage to self rehabilitation. I think most nurses have this same advantage! I understand this far more than I ever wanted to, but in the end if this helps just one other person my life has not been in vain. I just hope I make a difference!
So, I’ll go along with the “new stool” and all the other daily things that come up. The most important thing is to laugh daily … and now I know it’s not me!
Of course now, I rate my memory a 10 out of 10 … but it took nearly two decades before treatment and many ways of compensating with self rehabilitation. What about others that have no idea what’s happening and why? Many people have no recall of a specific brain injury or event. Things just seemed to be strange, but eventually it involves every aspect of his life.
Under all this, the spouse may have been providing healthcare professionals inaccurate information pertaining to the TBI survivor. How do you separate this? It just seems impossible until finally someone else points out the obvious. When that happens you realize it’s not all you! Now that is definitely a frightening experience! Who was listening to who?
While expressing my husband’s comment: “this is my new stool” to my sister she said: “If that is a new stool you need to return it and get your money back!” Gee, that was the best laughter I had! Oh, Humor and Laughter play such an important role in life and healing our soul. I’m sure I’ll never find the receipt to return after 15 years! So light heartedly I’ll laugh with my closest friends and family and hug and love my spouse regardless of what is happening.
At least now I know it’s not all me! Actually very little is and I’m proud of that! I’m taking the blame regardless, it’s never worth arguing. I’ve been there … and learned so much! My heart breaks because of this, but it’s just another path in the journey of life.
I’m the best of all four of us! I’m sad he was able to shield himself behind my TBI, placing blame onto myself. It’s all good … we’ll get through this together. Our journey has taken so many different paths, but I’m learning from each experience. Each path gets easier, simply because experience.
On April 2, 1972 I said: “Yes I will marry you!”. No one knows what will unfold in their future, but loving and caring helps to overcome all obstacles.
Have they failed to recognize a problem in a loved one simply because you were the one with the TBI? What suggestions to do you have for anyone that this happens to?