There should be a theme song that goes along with the title of this post. It would be something adventurous, exciting, with moments that are slow and seem to drag on forever. There are brass, percussion, and strings. Then, with no warning, the music turns into atonal chaos. That’s brain injury. There are times life seems “normal” again. It may be different from before but there are still times of happiness, contentment, laughter, and even disappointment and sadness. Like a “normal” life. Then, without warning, the remaining affects of the injury causes life to derail again. Chaos descends.
I had adjusted, for the most part, to the changes in my life that brain injury brought. Gradually, I started to define my “new” normal- how my life is now. I still challenge myself. However, I accepted that I have some after affects that will not eventually go away. I learn to find ways to navigate around them.
Last week, I found out that I have one more issue. Brain injury:the gift that keeps on giving. I have a seizure disorder. Only 5% of Traumatic Brain Injury patients develop seizures. Usually they develop just after the injury or around a year into recovery. I should be so “lucky” with the lottery numbers! I’m now on medication to control the seizures.
There was a fire drill at work today. At the time, we were having a staffing to discuss a complicated case. I was standing next to a short filing cabinet; one of the ones about 3 feet tall but long. The alarm rang! Blaring, loud, concussive noise. The strobe light starting flashing. I dropped my soda and was crouched down, leaning into the filing cabinet, arms covering my head, with no idea who I was, what was happening, or what I needed to do. One of my coworkers talked to me, took my arm, and led me out of the building. I was incapacitated physically by the noise. I also experienced a few seconds of lost time, where I wasn’t aware of my coworkers at all. At least my coworkers know to look for me if there’s a fire alarm. I’ll needing help getting out. This is another example of how a service dog can help.
Ironically, I didn’t have a seizure then. However, when I was back in my office 15 minutes later, I phased out totally for around a minute. I suppose my brain was re-booting after all the offensive stimulation.