To look at me, I look like everyone else in the crowd. I am a person, just like everyone else. I have my good days, bad days, and I may seem all around normal to you. What you don’t know is that 4 months ago I was in a severe accident that changed my life forever. I suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), a basilar skull fracture. The kind that 99 percent of people who suffer it do not survive. I am one of the lucky few. I spent the night in ICU with my loving wife by my side. My family and friends hoping and praying. Their prayers worked. That day though changed my life forever. Something inside me broke that day. Broke in a way that makes me see the world through brand new eyes. Things that were once seemed so important to me are no longer. I live for the simple things. The smile of my wife. The laughter of friends. A gentle kiss. A stranger saying hello. These things are what seem to ground me and keep me feeling “normal”. You see my injuries left me with no smell, no taste, no hearing in my left ear and most of all lack of a short term memory. I can look at something and two seconds later forget what I looked at.
This is hard for me because I have always been one of those people with a photographic memory. I good look at something and just know it. Like a camera taking a snap shot..now it seems my camera is slightly broken. Every day I wake up, as soon as I open my eyes it is like a stake is being driven through my head. If you have ever had a migraine, take that pain and multiply by 20.. that is my head everyday. Now go out into the world and add, noise, chatter, cars driving, lights, sounds, blaring music and list could go on. There are moments that I just want to argue with my wife for no reason, I just want to lash out at something and unfortunately for her, she is the one most next to me all the time. This was all new to us, this injury, this new me. It has helped us grow and I think become a stronger couple. We now know that when it seems like I want to pick an argument it is my brains way of saying, “STOP! Too much stimulation! I need a break. Please rest!” and so I now do. Each day I am getting slowly better but more than that we are learning how to deal with this new version of me. You see TBI’s are the disability no one sees but yet there are many of us out there. It can lead to depression, and in my case there have been days where I feel like I am barely keeping my head above the water. The depression comes from feeling like no one really understands. People pass judgement and say, ” You look ok so you must be doing great.”
The thing is looks can be deceiving and what we want more than anything is for people to take us seriously when we say we are hurting or this is happening. So when you seem someone in line struggling to come up with the right amount of money, hav patience. When you seem someone squinting from the noise, or being lead into a store by the hands of their caregiver, have patience. When someone seems to be asking you a dumb question..please have patience and try to refrain from judgement. These people are trying to do the best they can with what they have and we as a society have learned to not have patience and just push people aside as stupid, losers, and pains in the asses. Please don’t pass judgment on me or anyone else…. because it is already a struggle for me to come to grips with this new version of me without the added criticism.
To be honest I am learning that I like the new me… I maybe a little battered and broken but my heart couldn’t be more full. I have come to find the real meaning of life through my injury and with the amazing help of my caregiver, my wife. This injury has taken its toll on everyone around me and I am grateful that I have a life filled with such amazing friends and family. I have watched my wife, lay next to me watching me, hoping and praying I don’t fall again or hurt myself in anyway that may take my life. She never left my side in the hospital and has helped me find news ways to “treat” my illness. We are not bigger medication people and we did tons of research on how to help my injuries the natural way, with food, yoga, meditation and now plexus. All of these things have been HUGE resources and are helping me each day with micro steps to get better. Plexus alone is helping me in ways I never knew were possible. We believe so much in it we are now distributors of it, which work two fold for us. I still cannot work but now I get to do something that not only helps me heal but helps others get healthy as well. (if you want more info on it you can check it out at http://www.conscioushealth.myplexusproducts.com it’s not just for TBI but for all kinds of illnesses as well as weight management) Gratitude. We had a donation of a hearing aid so now I can hear and my brain doesn’t struggle so much. My amazing friends and community threw a fundraiser that raised a good bit of money and helped me spread the info of TBI’s and each day I get closer to paying some bills and getting the treatment I need. TBI is something that strikes someone in this country every 18 secs. I have 5 friends I know of that suffer from them and that is just my circle.
They say it will take me 6 months to a year to full recovery if at all. I don’t know if my smell and taste will return which stinks for someone who loves food! Lol That being said when I open my eyes each and everyday I say thank you. Thank you God, universe for allowing me to breathe one more day. I don’t know why I was saved that day but I know that there is a reason and I ask everyday what is mine to do today? I hope to be an inspiration for people, to help people to find a way to overcome their darkest moments, not being just being positive but by being real.
I am grateful for life. We are so beyond blessed with what we have.. in fact my wife and I are on a journey to simplify our life even more. We are looking even into building our own tiny house. We want a life that we want to live and have more time for our friends and family. We want to do what we were put here to do.. whatever that is. I know this injury is one of those life changing moments of impact and I plan on writing along my way to share with you what I find. May you find some bit of hope, or inspiration or may it spark a light in you to do something different, either way know we love you. And if you suffered a TBI or are suffering please know you are one hell of a strong person and the universe will carry you and your loved ones through it!! That is my prayer and wish for you. Love and light always to you all!!