Before and After
When we speak of Traumatic Brain Injuries there is always a Before and After, this can be used in many random sentences. Having a Head Injury changes Everthing.
Before My TBI: I Was and Could:
- I could walk.
- I could talk.
- I could eat with no help.
- I had the energy and coordination to climb trees and leap fences in a single motion.
- I was Captain of every Sports team.
- I was invited to my friends house to spend the night and play.
- I could read a book in a very short amount of time.
- I loved to read.
- I could stay up most of the night waiting for Santa, wake early and be extremely excited and still have a great day.
- I could ride a bicycle with grace and speed.
- I could play a flute, or was just learning. I had played a duet in elementary school.
- I could write my name.
- I could talk so much that everyone would tell me to shut up, and then I would talk out loud whining about how I couldn’t talk and get told to shut up again. I love this one.
- I was great at every sport I tried.
- I was a good student making very good grades.
- I was popular and had alot of friends.
- I had a good sense of humor.
- I had a family that loved and cared about me and seemed always very happy.
- My brothers rough housed with me and would play and joke with me.
After my TBI this is a list of things that became the new normal:
- I couldn’t walk, talk at all at first then later it came slow, write, feed myself, dress myself, go to the bathroom alone, walk up the stairs, or run.
- I slept a lot.
- My friends came over but we didn’t really play anymore they talked to me, I struggled to talk back.
- I spoke like John Wayne, very delayed and slow, “Let’s head em’ off at the pass.” became my impression of him.
- I rode a three-wheel bike around the house and didn’t go outside a lot for a while. But if I was outside I was on the Kratz Mobile.
- I had seizures, many if I got excited or not. There was no telling when I would have them I would go down so quickly you couldn’t catch me.
- Christmas was a time of joy but I usually had a seizure. I got a Charlie McCarthy doll that scared me and I seized. I am just chuckling as I write this. The damn thing scared the hell out of me.
- My brothers didn’t hang out at the house very much after I was injured.
- There were people there a lot family and friends. They brought gifts, helped with me, and did wonderful things for us. We could never thank them all, but I try everyday by just being the best I can be.
- I didn’t go to school for almost the whole year.
- My friends’ parents didn’t want me over for fear I would seize. They had legitimate concerns; my seizures were brutal.
- We stopped going to the ocean or the bay.
- My friends soon changed as the moved on a grade and we didn’t have the same things in common any more. I made new friends and am fortunate to now have the same old friends.
- I didn’t read as much, in fact it was difficult to concentrate, that is sometimes still true.
- We started locking our doors.
- Everyone in town watched everything we did and for good reason.
- There were no tears, we didn’t talk about it, and life got better over time, for some of us for others things never were resolved, and may never be.
- I had to have a bed rail on my bed so I wouldn’t fall out if I seized and I spent a lot of time watching TV and listening to music, because I couldn’t draw, or play games easily, or read as well.
- I went to visit a school for kids with handicaps and never went back.
- I went to the hospital for injuries more and went to Physical Therapy 3 times a week for more than a year.
- A District Attorney came to my home; I had to look at pictures to identify the man who beat me. I then had to go to court in 1975. I was a witness in my own trial he’s still in jail.
- I didn’t walk to school for a very long time.
- I had three 4th grade teachers
- Some kids at school locked me the bathroom, taunting me the same school year when I got back in March or April; they told me were going to beat me up. After that, I could not be alone in the halls.
- I still had a sense of humor and told jokes and NO ONE EVER told me to Be Quiet EVER AGAIN!!!!
TBI’s and Violence are life altering, for everyone that surrounds you. Again, I could say so many more things. These happen to stick out in my mind the most tonight. </p