PinballGuy

733d

Living with Traumatic Brain Injury: Challenges and Questions

In 1994, I endured 2 gunshots from a handgun within a foot of my face to the right side of my forehead just at the hairline and a few inches above. One bullet ricocheted into the ceiling and the other penetrated my skull, traveled along the top, down the back and came to rest in the rear of my skull on the right side of my head. As a result, I was paralyzed on the left side. I regained full use of my arm and down to my hip. My left leg is partially paralyzed - essentially 100 percent below the knee and the left hamstring at least 90 percent. My thigh is strong enough to support me, but uncoordinated. I have diminished sensory perception throughout my left leg. I also suffer from non epileptic focal seizures that are controlled by Depakote and other TBI related symptoms. What experience does anyone have with changes over time that they think may be related to their traumatic brain injury? Does anyone continue to gain physical functionality through exercise and/or physical therapy? Does anyone experience increased emotional responses and find it difficult to control their emotions? I tend to try and control how much I let myself feel due to fear of becoming inappropriately, sad, angry, happy, etc. I get frustrated with what I perceive to be the lack of understanding from society in general to the difficulties that people with any disability deal with on a 24x7 basis. Does anyone experience side effects from seizure medication? I believe Depakote has made it much more difficult for me to maintain my weight as well as affect energy levels. It takes me a lot longer to do everyday tasks due to my physical limitations and sometimes also the requirement that I need to be careful, concentrate and singularly focused on simple tasks even such as walking. This can affect my efficiency in everyday life from normal tasks, recreation and work. When others with any limitations from a TBI have similar difficulties, do they have trouble relaying these to people, or if they do, experience a lack of understanding? How often do people encounter a lack of accommodations in public? Work, shopping, recreation, parking, etc. I was and continue to be lucky to have supportive family and friends as I recovered and live with my TBI. How has others' experience been related to support from family and friends? How have relationships changed as a result of your TBI? I lost touch with many friends after my TBI and others stepped up and became closer to me.

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