Article Title: LIVING WITH HEAD INJURY: What It Feels Like to Have A Head Injury?
Category (key words): head injury, brain injury, effects of head injury, neuro-psychology, brain, medical information, medical resources,
Craig’s blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) is at http://en.search.wordpress.com/?q=%22craig+lock%22 and http://craiglock.wordpress.com
Other articles are available at:
http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration
Publishing Guidelines: I hope that the following piece may be informative to others. This article may be freely reproduced electronically or in print. If through sharing a little of my experiences, it helps anyone “out there in the often very difficult, but always amazing ‘journey of life’ in any way, then I’m very happy.
LIVING WITH HEAD INJURY: WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO HAVE A HEAD INJURY?
THE EFFECTS OF HEAD INJURY
There are many misconceptions and a great lack of understanding about this condition, so here is some general information that I hope may be able to help others.
Extreme fatigue. This is my area of greatest difficulty and has shaped my entire adult life (from age 15). I wake up every morning feeling very tired and washed-out. Heavy -headed…and have felt like this all my life. So I do my most demanding “work” involving thinking early in the morning and structure my day around this. I am typing this at 6.45 am.
Apparently neurosurgeons say that the effects of fatigue can prevent many highly-intelligent head-injured people from functioning fully in the formal work force. Doctors don’t even understand… so how can employers be expected to? Many people assume head injured people to be simply lazy, whereas they are just conserving energy (well how else could they avoid making judgments, when people with head injuries look so normal). That’s why it’s often referred to as “the hidden handicap”.
I get very easily muddled- so break little tasks down. Often wonder what to do with two pieces of paper in my hand. Even putting one piece of paper away, then doing the next.
I always wondered why I never spoke much in class after my accident. I had great difficulty in telling a story (even a short one) geting muddled and confused, so I kept quiet. This is called “mild dypsphasia”. I find that I communicate way better through writing… so that’s what I do.
The only way I can tell a joke or do a short presentation in my working life is by rote and repetition… and this is the method I’ve used all my life. I found it difficult telling long stories and Marie always helped me, so I was very to the point.
This extract is from a chapter from my manuscript titled MY STORY
Now let us have a brief introductory look at head injury.
This chapter details how I see my areas of difficulty and how I have overcome (subconsciously; because I was not aware that I had any problems). For far more detailed information on this subject see the Appendix at the back at the book.
Head injury is often called “the silent epidemic”. Because it is not readily visible to the general public, many head injured victims do not receive the same support from the state as other injured people in the hospital system. Note that I far prefer using the term ‘head injury’, rather than ‘brain damage’, after the strange reactions we got from people on our very traumatic return to Cape Town.(South Africa) in 1988. People just don’t understand and must have thought I had instantly become an ‘idiot’. But I still looked and acted the same as always. But even I at first was severely traumatised by the diagnosis of being labelled ‘brain damaged’. That’s why I far far prefer the term ‘head injury’.
A head injury can cause:
* intellectual and learning difficulties (ie. in cognitive functioning)
* attention (especially visual-spatial) and memory problems
* behavioural and emotional changes
* speech, sight or hearing problems. My eyesight was severely affected after my accident. I’m as blind as a bat, and I’ve been wearing contact lenses for years.
* related physical disabilities.
* N.B FATIGUE and STRESS
I had a closed head injury of what is called the ‘acceleration’ or ‘decelleration’ type. This results in my poor balance, coordination and weakness in my left side. Now let us look at the most significant physical effects of head injury.
I had great difficulty in dealing with shapes and sizes, as evidenced by the tests in Perth measuring visual-spatial ability. But I’m nothing like as bad as Michael Crawford in the British comedy series “Some Mothers do ‘ave ’em”, when he tried fitting things into various holes.
In spite of all the above, in the present I focus on my strengths and what I do best. So am very positive and happy .
Be happy too
NOTE: Some of this information was supplied by the New Zealand Neurological Foundation.
If you are interested, there’s a great detailed article by Dr Frederick Linge at http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/What_Does_it_Feel_Like_to_be_Brain_Damaged…
About the submitter:
Craig has a long-standing head injury and has been researching and studying in this field for nearly twenty years. He hopes that by sharing this information, it will make some difference in those lives affected by brain injury.
All proceeds go to needy and underprivileged children –
Craig’s blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) is at
P.S: To end off, enjoy these thoughts…
“We have it within; but we get it all from without. There is a well-spring
wisdom, courage and great imagination within each one of us; but once we draw on this truth, it gets watered from without, by a Higher Source – the Source of Life and Love, which is God, the very Ground of our Being.”“When you can see no light at the end of the tunnel, light your own candle and let your light illuminate the world, like the radiance from a window at midnight.”
That’s a metaphor, BTW
“When the world is filled with love, peoples hearts are overflowing
“The task ahead of you can always be overcome by the power within you…and the seemingly difficult path ahead of you is never as steep with the great spirit that lies within you
This article may be freely reproduced electronically or in print. If it helps
anyone “out there in the often very difficult, but always amazing ‘journey of life’ in any way, then I’m very happy.
and money management, how boring now, craig!)