Several years ago I wrote an article in response to a conversation that I had with a woman who was in the process of breaking up with a friend of mine whose life had been impacted by a brain injury. My friend has since passed away, however what I wrote about in that article can be applied to present day affairs.
Over the past week I have felt led to share the contents of the article with you. My hope is that in reprinting this article a greater understanding and acceptance will be gained both by individuals who have experienced brain injuries and by those who are in relationships with individuals who have experienced brain injuries.
During the past 2 1/2 years — since I wrote the article — I have grown in my own self-acceptance through the articles that I have written for Second Chance to Live. My family and close friends have also grown in their awareness and acceptance of how my life is and has been impacted by the invisible nature of my disability.
My goal is not to blame or point the finger in any ones direction. I have found that such activity does no one any good. My interest is to share with you how denial stymied my inability to love and accept myself. My goal — this this article — is to encourage, motivate, empower and provide hope to individuals who may be still in denial.
And now for Part 3.
Traumatic Brain Injury and Denial — My Perspective as a TBI Survivor Part 3
As I have shared in my post, My Journey thus Far (please read for further details) my brain injury occurred in 1967 when I was 10 years old. I was in a coma for 3 weeks and in traction to set my left femur, which was also fractured at the time of the accident. After being placed in a Spica or full body cast (for my left femur after completing traction) I was transferred to another hospital where I underwent brain and skull surgery.
Several months after the surgery I went through a battery of cognitive, psychological, and social tests. I also had 2 EEG’s done—the first was done with metal spikes. Thank God technology improved by the time I had the second EEG, which was done with electrodes pasted onto my head and not drilled into my skull. The results from these tests were shared with my parents, however they decided to keep the findings from me.
I did not find out about those results until after I finished graduate school. My Mom revealed that the test results, done some 30 + years before, showed that due to the extent of my brain injury I was not expected to advance beyond my high school education. Another piece of the puzzle became apparent approximately 3 years after I completed my graduate degree.
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