TBI is what medical science sometimes calls traumatic brain injuries. A TBI can occur in many different ways. When one happens, though, your life will change.
If you’ve gone through a traumatic brain injury, then it’s worth learning about some of the ways that might shake up your life. Here are a few things about TBIs about which you should know.
They Can Be Mild or Severe
There are milder cases of TBIs or more serious ones that can result in things like long-term language disabilities. You might suffer one of these injuries from:
- A slip-and-fall
- A vehicular accident
- Playing sports
However it happens, the first thing you should do is get yourself checked out by a doctor. You might feel dizzy or be nauseous. You might vomit or be unable to remember what happened.
You also might have symptoms a bit later, such as irritability or trouble sleeping. If any of this is happening, then go to the emergency room. With head injuries, it’s always better not to delay.
You might need X-rays, an MRI, or other tests to figure out what’s happening. That’s how you can determine whether the injury is mild or more serious.
They Can Affect Your Emotions
One way that brain injuries work is that they can impact your emotions. You might be a very stoic person before a brain injury, but that could change. You might be much more emotional if the injury impacted that part of the brain.
You also might:
- Act inappropriately
- Be depressed
- Be more aggressive than you were before
The brain is responsible for your personality. If you damaged it enough, you might seem like a completely different person to those who know you.
You may be more judgmental or mean-spirited. You might be more impulsive. If these things happen, it will likely be just as upsetting to you as it is to those around you. It may be challenging for you to get control of yourself, though.
You may be anxious or moody. If these symptoms continue, you’ll probably need to see a specialist to talk about how to get past them.
These Injuries Can Affect Your Language Skills
Another way that TBIs work is that they can alter the way you communicate. You might not be able to understand people when they talk to you anymore. Perhaps you can’t communicate your wants and need to them through speech as easily as you once could.
These problems can be frustrating for you. You might need to see a speech therapist for some help. They can tell you whether what you’re going through might be temporary or permanent.
In extreme cases, you might even need to learn sign language if what happened affected your speech that badly. You might communicate with people going forward through a combination of speech and sign language, or at least for a little while.
These Injuries Can Affect Your Sensations
The brain also controls how you interact with the world. Your sensations can change if you damage certain parts of the brain.
For instance, if the right part of the brain suffers damage, it might impair your vision. You also might not be able to balance as well as you once could. If the TBI is not that severe, then hopefully, these will turn out to be temporary conditions.
For something like balance, you might go to physical therapy to relearn some of the physical skills that you once had. It might be a long road back, depending on the TBI’s severity.
They Can Impact Your Thinking
Since the brain controls thought, you might find that you’re thinking and processing information differently after a TBI. You may not remember things like people’s names, addresses, phone numbers, or when you’re supposed to be at work or an appointment.
Many people who suffer these injuries like to carry around a pen and paper to jot down important things that they want to remember for later. You might also use a note pad feature on your phone.
The way you reason things out might be different as well. You might come to conclusions about vital matters that you never would before. Because there was a change to your brain’s fundamental makeup, you may seem illogical to those around you.
The Injury Might Cause Other Health Problems
Regrettably, those with TBIs can also suffer even more severe health problems directly related to them. If you damaged your brain, then you’re more prone to seizures later in life. You’re also more likely to get Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s.
These are serious conditions, and you’ll want to talk to your doctor about them. You should try to have a plan in place for what you can do if these fears become a reality.
You’ll also want to talk to your family so that they’ll know about these possibilities. You don’t want to scare them, but you should be as upfront as you can about what TBIs can sometimes mean later in life. Bring your doctor in on the conversation so that your loved ones can get the facts from an unbiased source.
You Can Do Things to Aid the Recovery Process
Most TBIs are no death sentence, and you can recover from them at least to some extent. Rest is your greatest ally. You’ll want to take time off from your job and avoid doing anything stressful.
You’ll need to talk to your doctor about when it’s safe to do things like drive or ride a bike again. You won’t want to use heavy equipment for some time afterward. Your reaction time is probably going to be slower.
You should also take whatever medication your doctor prescribed for you. If there was ever a time to follow doctor’s orders, this is it.
You might need to learn some lost skills again. Try to be patient with yourself. This is going to be a process, and you won’t be able to get back to what you were instantly.