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Traumatic Brain Injury - returning to my life - Update page two!!

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  • #21
    This can help - Neurofeedback

    Go here:
    www.zengar.com and look for a practitioner near you. If there isn't one, then consider traveling to see one. I have personally seen nearly miraculous recoverys using neurofeedback OF THIS TYPE. I cannot recommend practitioners who use other types of neurofeedback.
    "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

    "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x


    • #22
      I've lived with the cumulative effect of too many concussions, and know that it is just so lousy that one has to experience it to comprehend the devastation it can cause. Luckily I got back most of my cognitive abilities.

      I am still missing a little bit of vision in one eye, and still get afterimages of lights (especially brake lights at night, which can be challenging), but feel mostly myself these days.

      My concussions were from being in a truck that rolled four times in the late 70's, a few other small ones in the intervening years, and then being launched from a bolting horse in 1999.

      Someone mentioned doing puzzles in this thread--that is what I feel got me the remaining portion of mental sharpness that had been missing. I do at least one Sudoku every day and it really helps. It improved my memory, got my math skills back (even though it doesn't take math skills to do them), and helps keep my brain organized.

      The other thing that got me back my brain was time. I know you don't want to hear this, but it does take significant time.

      Now, if someone would just come up with a cure for the brainfog that comes with rheumatoid arthritis, I'd really be happy! Can't blame that on the various head whacks.

      Best of luck with your recovery.



      • #23
        Originally posted by stryder View Post
        Your brain can continue to heal, long past what you'd expect. It's on its own time-table. You're young and in good shape - this should help.

        Rest is very important. You're a busy student and used to long hours, but your brain heals best while it's at rest. It's time to think of your energy as money, a constrained resource, and save your "money" for highest-value activities. You're used to having boundless energy and perhaps you will regain it, but you don't have it now..
        I cant say enough how important it is to rest. I had a serious concussion and recovered fully, but was soooo tired for weeks. You really might consider taking the semester off. Think of it as an investment in your future. And please dont hesitate to use whatever services that your school as to offer; your medical record is your business and the service providers are bound by law not to release information without your consent. You can double check on this with them if it makes you feel better. If it helps, I interview students all the time for med school admission and no one would care at all if a student took one semester off for health reasons and then came back and did OK.

        it was scary to hurt my brain! that is how I make my living. I was pretty lucky. PLEASE take heed of the warnings that you have no doubt been given and take a break from riding until you are better, as another brain injury while you are healing could really have dire consequences.


        • Original Poster

          I did it.

          This weekend, after visiting my parents and hearing their concerns, we've decided to work with the OHSU concussion management program. They have a very comprehensive diagnostic and rehabilitative program, so I think it will be great. My first appointment is Tuesday morning.

          I also made the very difficult decision to drop 8 credit hours this term, so I am only taking 12 credits now. That leaves me with one hard class (biochemistry), my 5 credit research project (and it's about equine metabolic disease, so it's fun work!), a 1 credit self-paced statistics class, and the intro horse science class that I TA. So it's a pretty simple term, really, and I have lots of free time. I take a nap each day and I have a schedule that I stick to that helps me manage the structure and timing of each day. A few of my close friends from school know the entire extent of my condition (one of them was on course directly behind me when the fall happened) and they really help me with support and studying for my classes.

          I've been keeping good nutrition - lots of protein, fruits, veggies, dairy, vitamin/mineral and fish oil supplements, and I feel like that helps.

          I start physical and massage therapy soon to deal with my back and hip injuries and I'm still seeing with my chiropractor every other week or so. I do crosswords each day and I try sudokus, but I am really bad at those even before the TBI, I could never get more than halfway through a sudoku!

          All in all, things are going alright right now. Some days are almost normal, others are really hard, but I make it through each day with the support from my family and friends. I still don't know when I'll be able to start riding again, probably another month or two before I even sit on a horse, but I am adapting to my "new normal" - a slower pace, less physical activity, and taking more time to take care of myself. I'm still hopeful that someday soon I'll be back to my old self, reaching 90, 95, or maybe even 100% functionality. But for now, I'm happy with 75% or 80% on a good day.

          And of course, I couldn't have done any of it without you guys, especially those of you who have suffered TBIs - your support and encouragement are invaluable. YAY for HABIs (horse-addicted brain injuries )
          "The FEI is often in error, but never in doubt." - Jim Wofford

          "You do not find the happy life. You make it." - Camilla Eyring Kimball


          • #25
            GOOD ON YOU !

            really great that you are taking care of yourself and it sounds like you have great support lined up. I bet you will continue to improve steadily. yay!


            • #26
              I applaud you for getting organized and making a good plan. I hope the dropped classes don't keep you from getting into vet school for next year, but I think you have made the right decision. Giving yourself a chance to rest and recover is important.

              Keep us updated about what the TBI people suggest, and also how you are doing.


              • #27
                Well done, Vegas Sky!

                I think you'll be very happy with your decision over the long-term.

                Please keep us updated. The brain and how it works is always fascinating.


                • #28
                  let me know if you need help with biochemistry! and good for you!
                  a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues


                  • #29
                    I had one in 11/95. Keeping vertigo at bay is a fine balancing act, and everyone is right about "new normal." Where I was after five or so years was the limit of what was going to improve, but I have no complaints. I transpose numbers and my math skills are out the window, but they weren't my strong point to begin with. I was not allowed to ride for six months, and that really was a good thing because you need not to become concussed again. Hang in there, play lots of those memory games with cards too. Helped me enormously. PM if you want to chat.


                    • #30
                      Congratulations on your brave and wise decision. I suspect it won't be easy, but you've chosen a path that's manageable.

                      It's "easier" if we break a leg or arm. No one would question you dropping martial arts if you break a leg. But taking a lighter load because your brain is injured is a tougher decision, because the damage isn't visible.

                      Good for you. Very smart choice.


                      • #31
                        I also went into the ground like a lawn dart, but was airlifted, in a coma for 4 days, and then in the hospital for 5 weeks. That was 6(?) years ago - actually the day that Christopher Reeves died - they just HAD to tell me that in the ER. One wierd thing was that I craved French onion soup for weeks, and so I listened to my body and ate lots of it - maybe onions have something that your brain needs? I am fine, got everything back, ride, jump, have the same personality and IQ. I just don't push the envelope and compete, although if I weren't married I probably would compete too. (I just can't put him through that again.)
                        I think your brain can continue to make improvements forever. I still notice little things that I didn't even know weren't 100%. The bulk of the changes back to normal happened in the first 6-8 months. I joined a gym to work on my fine motor skills - just try to jump rope with a TBI, it's pretty funny! I read books and went back to school to work on my brain. That helped too. Don't spaz out if you can't remember little things - that will improve too - and nobody remembers everything. PM me if you want more info.. Good luck!


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by poopoo View Post
                          I think your brain can continue to make improvements forever. I still notice little things that I didn't even know weren't 100%. The bulk of the changes back to normal happened in the first 6-8 months.
                          This is excellent advice. A friend suffered a massive brain-stem stoke. The doctors told his wife he would have whatever he regained within 6-8 months. At the end of six months, he'd improved only a little. But they shipped him home.

                          Where he continued to show modest improvement for the next 14 years, due to his and his wife's determination.

                          We think we know about brain functions, but I think it's really only a little of how it functions, and how important determination is.


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by stryder View Post
                            This is excellent advice. A friend suffered a massive brain-stem stoke. The doctors told his wife he would have whatever he regained within 6-8 months. At the end of six months, he'd improved only a little. But they shipped him home.

                            Where he continued to show modest improvement for the next 14 years, due to his and his wife's determination.

                            We think we know about brain functions, but I think it's really only a little of how it functions, and how important determination is.
                            Personally, I think determination, desire, and work ethic are key. I don't think you will improve nearly a much if you have a lazy attitude about life. The first time they put me on the treadmill to practice walking again (I had to relearn it) I turned it up to running speed because I thought "now how am I ever going to get a workout at this slow speed!". (TBI patients tend to think they are fine even when they aren't...)


                            • #34
                              Way to keep your head above water.....Keep at it. let us know how it goes.

                              Keep up the recovery! Keep us updated. Good Luck!
                              Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

                              Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!