Sorry for the two week leave of absence. Lots going on with our family. When someone is hurt or in need, our family tends to circle the wagons and give all the support we can to whoever needs it. This time it has been the Surprise. He has suffered four concussions since September. The resulting symptoms and collateral damage has been a little overwhelming for each of us. So sorry, this one will be a little more serious than I like to write, just because I think this is such an important topic/issue.
Concussions are nothing to sneeze at! The symptoms vary with each person, with the level of impact and the area of the brain that receives the majority of the impact. With four concussions, I can assure you that every area of his brain has been impacted. This is not our first rodeo with concussions. The Blonde suffered several due to car accidents and other adventures where she cracked her head. With her, there was memory loss and difficulty handling stressful situations. She also struggled to focus and concentrate was negatively effected and she lost her ability to think and act like a female. By that, I mean that multi-tasking was very difficult, lol! T the time she had her concussion from the car accident, she repeated herself over and over and over and over again! "I am in my warmups. I have a track meet today. I am going to miss it, aren't I. Where is Pook? Is he okay? I am in my warmups......."
The Surprise has had a whole different set of issues. He had loss of balance that was pretty bad. If he hadn't just finished playing a game, I would have thought he was tipsy. He had no idea where who was and who we were. In fact, The Blonde's boyfriend is now known by a new name every time the Surprise sees him. He could not recall his name and it has now become a bit of a joke. (always keep your sense of humor!) Word recall was not good, lights and sounds bothered him a lot! He was tired all the time, but had sleep disturbances. The Blonde had sleep disturbances and tiredness too, but it was a little different. You need to know that the brain changes how it functions as it tries to get a grip on things. Someone with traumatic brain injury can think weird thoughts.
As a parent, it is frightening. Your child has an injury that no one can see. Trust yourself! Fight for your child with respect to school and activities. Their brain needs to rest. Be an advocate and get them accommodations in school that allows for extra time to take tests and do homework. Get someone to take notes as they cannot listen, take notes and absorb the information. There sometimes seems to be a disconnect between the educational world and the medical world.
Be patient when they get frustrated, and believe me this will happen often. Some people with head injuries, shut down. They are afraid of their thoughts and stop talking to people. Others have emotional meltdowns! All you can do with behaviors is continue to talk, get them counseling if they need it, be patient and love them. The bottom line is that the person with the head injury does not feel normal. All they want is for everything to go back the way that it was. It can and will, but it takes time for healing.
We often forget and take for granted the simple things in our lives. Our brains are complex, we don't think about what our brain does for us, but when something with it goes haywire..... Hope you all take time this week and actually every single day to smell the roses!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!