Teaching Compassion

Yesterday I was introduced to a woman, who was told I just finished a book about my life with a TBI. She asked when it happened to me and I told her it was 20 months ago. She then said, “Oh, so you’re all recovered now!” and I responded back with “no, but I am recovering.” To which she said, “but you’ll make a full recovery, right?” and I answered honestly, “Hopefully, but we don’t know for sure.”

I know she didn’t mean any malice when she made her statement, but I wanted to share this conversation to enlighten others. No two TBIs are the same. There is no “formula” for recovery. One person may have a simple bump on the head and be forever changed, while someone else may take a 10 foot fall and essentially be “fine” in no time. There’s no rhyme or reason, and this is why it is so important to bring awareness. It can take YEARS to recover, and many may never make a full recovery.

Just in the past month, FOUR high school boys lost their lives playing football. In each of the cases it was reported that they took what looked like a “simple tackle” ….. yet they died from a head injury. TBI is a very serious injury, and unfortunately some of these boys may have walked off the field looking seemingly fine (I know at least one of them died on the field).

Because I can walk and talk, and I look “normal” people make assumptions that I must be fine. But i’m not. I am a LOT better than where I was just even 6 months ago, but I know I still have a road ahead of me. I may never get back my working memory, and that’s a reality I have started to prepare myself for. I may never get over the fatigue (I still nap almost every single day…. because I have to…. and sleep 9-10 hours at night) and I’ve come to terms with that. I may never get back normal vision in my left eye (which is actually one of the hardest symptoms for me to adapt to) and the headaches and pressure in my head my continue for the rest of my life. We don’t know. There are no clear cut answers. It’s a waiting game, and one that I hope I win in the end…. no matter what the actual ending is.

Concussions and brain injuries are a HUGE epidemic throughout the world. They are an invisible injury that the survivor struggles with, while the world goes on as normal around them. It’s frustrating to have a vivid memory of what life was like before….. while living with the “new” way of life.

Compassion goes a long way in our world. Begin using it more generously. We each have a never ending supply.<3