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Payton Carter

April 11, 2024
Payton Carter

My name is Payton Carter and I am 28 years old. On November 1, 2022, I was on my way to work at about 5:30am on the interstate. I will spare you the long description of what happened, but I had a really really bad car wreck. I broke my pelvis badly and got a severe traumatic brain injury. While in the hospital, I had to have a craniectomy. I was in the hospital for 3 months, then was sent to a rehab facility for 2.5 months.
If I had to I had to choose one word to summarize my TBI journey, it would be frustrating.
My life has changed so much. I lost everything. Money, job, and most importantly, my independence. That’s is what is most frustrating. I am trying so hard to adjust to my new normal and being back living with my parents. I’m trying to get my feet back under me.
Some advice to someone that also has a TBI and is about to come home, I will say, take it slow and day by day. Don’t try to rush things, because it’s not going to happen when and how you want it. It’s going to be slow, but you have to trust the process. I am a little over a year out and I am still struggling with that.
One thing I have noticed about what people think about TBIs is that since they can’t see it, they think it doesn’t exist. But when you tell them about it, they are shocked because I’m “normal”. Like yes, I have recovered very well physically. I can function normally, but they think I should be special needs. That’s not how it works. Also, I would say if you can find someone that also has a TBI like you, it is so nice to be able to talk to them about things you’re struggling with and they will talk to you about what they struggle with. It’s just so so nice. It’s unfortunate, but so nice that you get each other.
I am extremely thankful and blessed for the doctors and my family and the rest of my support system. I have recovered well so far, but am still struggling mentally. I hope this helps someone with the same injury as me💚

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