To those on the outside, a brain injury is invisible. But for victims of such damage, the injury is all too real and can influence everyday life. So many situations can cause a person to suffer a traumatic brain injury in Ohio. These include motor vehicle accidents, violent altercations and workplace accidents, with each of them being capable of destructive consequences. For one man, a truck accident caused him to wake up a week later and not realize that he was at a home that belonged to his friends. Physicians thought he was recovering well throughout that first week but then the damage from his brain injury set in.
More than a decade later, the man still suffers from fatigue and forgetfulness. He spent more than two years away from the wheel of a vehicle because he did not trust his ability to concentrate, making it difficult for him to drive. When he described his weak memory, he said that it’s less like he forgets things and more like there is a black hole in his mind. His injury forced him to give up several things he once did because his new normal was getting in the way of old habits.
Another man who suffered from a workplace accident in 1998 became plagued by anger issues after his incident. According to him, he fell down a flight of stairs and was not discovered until the next day. It was then that he was rushed to a hospital where he struggled to realize where he was. After being told that he had suffered a brain injury, he became very angry. He can no longer handle being around large groups but does work with a community group doing odd jobs that he enjoys. In order to deal with his anger problems, a counselor taught him to go home and sit until he has dealt with his anger. Sometimes, he does this for days at a time.
The stories of these two men highlight the power that brain injuries have and their ability to suddenly and completely change a person’s life.
Prince George Citizen, “Living with a brain injury” Peter James, Aug. 30, 2013