Healthcare Exec, Mom, and Partner with TBI
I have flashes of who I used to be. It’s like I’m watching a movie of a character that’s a secure, confident, altruistic, tenacious healthcare professional, mother, and partner. I don’t identify with that character in the movie that used to be my life before my TBI.
I suffered a severe subdural hematoma, two brain hemorrhages, multiple skull and facial fractures 11 months ago. I wasn’t expected to live for a few hours. The hematoma covered my entire frontal lobe. I had a craniotomy and was in the hospital for weeks preceding and following my craniotomy. I am participating in a clinical trial to extend my life. I went back to work 3 weeks after my surgery. I wanted to prove to everyone, including myself, that I could live the same life I led before my accident.
Fast forward to today. I am acutely aware of and working to accepting that everything is not “normal”. I am not myself. I do not posses the personality characteristics of who I was. I still continue to work and give my best to every relationship and situation. I am on day 10 of less than 30 continuous minutes of sleep. My thoughts and feelings are fragmented, extreme, and unfamiliar. I have allowed people and situations into my life that are unhealthy.
What does all of this mean to me? I am growing. I am FINALLY willing to ask for help and ready to accept that I might never be the character in the movie that exists in my mind as who I was. I will keep giving my best every day, even if I’m crawling. I exercise and I look physically healthy. My mind is not healthy. I accept the moments of darkness that I never knew existed with open arms because if I don’t, I might break. I appreciate the support of my family and colleagues. I am in pain and I might experience it for the rest of my life. I also experience laughter and what it’s like struggle to recognize social cues. I don’t know what my life will be, but I am alive. I’m here for it.