Saturday, June 16, 2012

Things About TBI-ers that Aren't True

Here is a short list of five things that are commonly assumed about people with Traumatic Brain Injuries which I have found to be inaccurate:

1).  "They don't have a sense of humor."

Actually, we do.  We have to in order to be able to survive dealing with N-typs [neuro-typicals: folks who do not have any diagnosed neurology].

We no longer 'get' why you think something is funny.  We certainly do laugh.  Just because we no longer get your jokes and you don't get ours, it does not follow that we have lost our sense of humor.

You simply haven't lived until you've spent several hours in a t.b.i. chat room attempting to remember the names of the seven dwarfs.

2).  "Any major progress to be had / Any major improvement...will occur during the first six to twelve months after the injury."

Ain't necessarily so.  Substantial improvement happens as we work for it throughout our lives.  It is highly unfortunate that the cut-off for cognitive rehab is six months.

3).  "T.B.I.-ers curse a lot."

Yes, although those of us who choose to do so can learn to keep that under control.  Hint: Don't nag us.  If you want us to do something like control our cursing, you are going to have to explain the benefits involved in inhibiting our dis-inhibitions.

4).  "T.B.I.-ers have an increased risk of dementias later in life."

That depends.  Commonality does not imply causality.  The antecedent is not necessarily the cause of, a cause of, or related to a future event.

5).  "T.B.I.-ers are notoriously self-centered."

At first, extreme self-centeredness is a requirement.  It is a survival mechanism which will recede as recovery progresses.

6).  "The brain can rewire itself."

Just not exactly the way it was before.  We used to have supersonic highways up there.  Now we have dirt roads, crossroads, and dead ends.  (The neurons that re-grow and don't manage to hook up to any other neurons are responsible for my central nervous system fine tremor).

7).  "They will be impressed if we spout off all of the big names of folks working in brainology."

Uh no.  We've probably met them, had coffee with them, met their families, attended seminars and conferences with them, served on boards with them.  We don't have the energy to be impressed by name-dropping.  And we don't have the time or the desire to stroke the false egos of folks who seem to demand that sort of thing.

sapphoq healing t.b.i.