It’s apt that my 1800th blog is about traumatic brain injury and The CP Diary was borne out of me discovering at the age of 46 that I had Cerebral Palsy, brought about through a brain injury at birth.
TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) is not tangible; you can’t touch it and in some cases, it’s not always obvious to the person next to you; but it’s there and it’s real. Unfortunately, it’s taken me many years to understand my own difficulties.
When different parts of the brain are affected, physiological and physical symptoms will always differ from person to person and this is what makes Cerebral Palsy so difficult to research.
Unfortunately though, brain damage isn’t just something you’re born with. Brain damage can occur through medical negligence in other circumstances and through a sports injury and concussion that can last anywhere from months to years, depending on the type of injury sustained.
It’s not something other people will understand or at least try to understand. Not knowing for the main part of my adult life meant I would struggle to understand the correlation and how what I have to deal with gets played out in my everyday life. I’ve only just begun to scratch the surface on that one.
As we age our cognitive abilities will decline and this will be even more so with someone with CP. My Neurologist once told me that the older we are, the more obvious the impairment will become when healthy brain cells begin to die and I believe that to be true.
For those of us who deal with brain injury, below are some invisible indicators:
- Problems with confusion;
- Problems with organisation;
- Poor performance at school and at work;
- Attention problems;
- Difficulty with multi-tasking and solving problems;
- Difficulty with reading and hand-writing;
- Problems with concentration;
- Problems in identifying objects;
- Difficulty in completing tasks once started and in sequence;
- Problems with planning;
- Memory impairment;
- Difficulty with making decisions.
- Difficulty with dealing with energy levels.
Unfortunately, anyone who is born with brain damage or sustains a brain injury may struggle with some or all of the above indicators. On a daily basis, I struggle with all of the indicators above, but through necessity on my upbringing, I have learned how to make decisions and solve problems.
Although I have found an acceptance on my cognitive difficulties, others simply struggle to understand and bring their own acceptance on how to deal with what I deal with.