Since starting this blog I have come across a range of injuries to people of different ages and I began wondering whether I was ‘lucky’ that mine happened at 29.
I suppose as with most things in life there are pros and cons to everything but I could not help myself from feeling almost jealous of young children with brain injuries as they have not experienced ‘normality’ and so in theory may not feel the frustrations that those of us with previous life experience.
However at the other end of the spectrum having a brain injury later in life means you remember what you can do and so you push yourself to regain that. I imagine it is extremely difficult for someone to learn something they have no comprehension of and therefore probably hugely lack motivation to achieve these things. I’m absolutely sure one cannot generalise about this but objectively I think this is quite a rational concept.
I met an incredibly intelligent doctor last week and whilst discussing the recovery from a brain injury we joked that the best rehab is probably to have a young child to run after as you have to do it. On reflection it must be insanely difficult to motivate yourself for rehabilitation if you don’t have a direct purpose.
The emotional side of a brain injury is probably one of the most challenging areas. Until very recently I was extremely focused on me and how I had experienced things but then I came across a concept that on the day of your injury your friends and family lost the old you. This hit me like a bolt out of the blue because I realised that the old me had vanished and a new me is developing day by day. I look the same but practically everything else is new and loved ones have to learn these things good or bad. I can only imagine this is wierdly difficult.
Again this throws in the question of what age is best to have a brain injury. The very young will not have formed their true self so carers won’t get to see their original potential. The young will have shown their potential and so carers are left wondering what if? The middle aged have lived and need to continue to live. They have probably influenced many people so the consequences of a brain injury are widespread. The elderly will most likely be written off as the are older and inevitably suffer deteriorating health.
Above is a general tick box exercise putting individuals into boxes when in reality it is impossible to do so. Brain injuries are first and foremost life changing for young and old, sufferers and carers. In my personal opinion I wish I had never had a brain injury. If I had been born with this condition I wouldn’t have wanted to have been saved and I fully stand by my conviction that I would not want to be kept alive should further damage occur. This sounds ridiculously draconian but I think I have shifted from a pro lifer to a realist.
Thankfully I do have an incredibly positive part of me that is actively looking for any ‘new’skills that have occurred since the damage as apparently this can happen! I can pretty much guarantee olympic gymnast is off the cards but doing something amazing is a possibility. I am agetting on with it and learning to live with the damage as I have to and one day hope to want to. Thank god for family, good friends, prosecco and salt and vinegar Pringles!
Stay safe people, in conclusion it’s quite clear there’s never a good time to have a brain injury x