Can TBI be better understand as a plethora of holes? Hales dramatically effect life with TBI. It is stunning how many types of holes there are and how various and deep their effect can be.
First there are holes if ignorance, starting with our own. Learning what is happening to us that makes the world so much harder and harsher a place than it used to be. What effects us, how, why, where, for how long? What are the best ways to recover? Will my head always feel this way? Even talking with other survivors, while a great comfort, offers less answer than it ought because … Every. Brain. Is. Different. So while we survivors can share generalities and concepts, we’re on our own discovering the details.
On our own. Och! How many people fall away, run away, or slowly fade from our lives because of their ignorance of brain injury, including the oft rude way we treat them, not because of them, upon reflection, but because we are cornered, wounded animals being attacked from all sides by the bombardment of the world that no one sees and sometimes we attack those closest to us who are trying to help.
Then there is the ignorance of the medical world. Doctors who should know better, should be aware of the most recent knowledge (or at least not be 25 years behind!) and certainly should be aware not to treat a patient, who has run the gauntlet to see them seeking their help, as through they are making this all up. As a whole, their ignorance of chronic healing is sinful, as is their tendency to hide their ignorance by claiming we are faking it, when it is they who are faking being doctors following the path of Hypocrites.
Gaping holes of ignorance by the world at large, but most especially family, friends, and neighbors who see our outer injuries healed but are blind to our far greater invisible injuries of sheered and broken synapses, and their ignorance leads to vanishing, judging or simply avoiding their own discomfort at seeing us struggle for no visible reason.
Through it all, despite it all, there are the wondrous holes, the arms of our loved ones who hold us up and hug us tight and without whom we’d be in a horrible fright! Oh! Our beloved caregivers — thank you and thank God for you! May we fill the holes in your arms anew and anew!
There are, of course, holes in how our brain works. Holes that swallow trains of thought, vast and sudden rents in the earth that open before us, erasing all hint of where we were going, what we were doing, or even who we are with. One moment running fast and true, the next standing on the edge of oblivion without a clue!
Holes in my head that really are there, but make no sense until one realizes light, sound, scents, touch, taste, sudden and startling are spears, axes, bombs and worse all dinging, denting, cleaving, flaying, and carving my brain, causing incredible pain, and all brain energy to drain int he span of a beat of the heart — al because a diesel truck drove by and decided to fart.
Holes that are pits or craters into which I am spit, and have to climb out of on walls that crumble at the slightest misstep, sending me careening back to the bottom yet deeper than before, all because of sensory overload or adrenaline’s hair trigger (which is always more twitchy when climbing the walls of a pit).
Holes that reveal to me and make it quite clear, I can’t believe my previous illusions that I can do this life stuff alone, and not succumb to fear! Instead I see plainly how essential God is and what wild abundance He gives me that I can do all that I do despite (and sometimes because of!) these holes!
What holes do you experience as part of your TBI? Or as a caregiver of one with TBI?
May God startle you with joy!