Kara Swanson's Brain Injury Blog

October 16, 2019

How Much Time Does Brain Injury Take?

Filed under: Uncategorized — karaswanson @ 9:02 am

I routinely spend a few hours a week on a couple of TBI support group sites on Facebook.  There I try to lend support to those, especially, who are early on in their recoveries and who are struggling with the overwhelming time this injury gobbles up.

I looked at my own life and my own routines just to loosely tally the amount of time still spent on my brain injury.    After more than twenty years, it isn’t much.

How much do you spend on your injury?  How much in a day or a week?

In that first year or, even, two, we spend a ton of time on our injuries.  We are measuring the lost and counting the cost.  We are seeking help and going to, seemingly, endless amounts of doctors’ appointments, rehab and such.  We are researching and learning.  We are struggling to keep employed or start paperwork for disability benefits.  Our people are still invested and interested and helping.  We are talking about it and, really, living the brain injury life.

But, for those of us who are fortunate enough, that early overwhelming time loses steam as we begin to know our bugger injuries.  We heal some.  We recover some.  We adapt and change our paths and our routines in order to make things work.

After all these years, maybe I spent a few hours a week on those TBI sites.  Some time invested in other people’s injuries and in supporting them.  I spend time each day creating a list when I’m rested and clear-thinking of things I have to do and carefully allotting the time needed to do them.  I plan.  Maybe that takes an hour?  Maybe.

When I announce football during this fall season, there is a little extra consideration when I walk up those bleachers because of my balance.  I spend extra time typing up my announcing scripts because I don’t trust my memory when there is a lot or late in a game when I’m cognitively fatigued.   Maybe my consideration of my injury is another hour then, on those days?

I guess my point is that….as we get better at these injuries….As the years go by and we have made changes to how we live and what we do in order to find happiness again….We need to be mindful of all the time we have freed up so that we don’t keep spending all of it on TBI.

We can spend that freed-up time living happy, successful lives.

I think it’s important for each of us to take a look every once in a while to make sure we aren’t still giving too much time to TBI.  For me, because I use that time early in the morning to map out a smart, efficient cognitive day, I don’t have to struggle with my injury much later.  I trust the plan I made and I go out and execute it.  That way, I rarely get caught in situations where I’m too tired and can’t think and get myself into an awkward, stressful or, worse, a dangerous situation.

See if you have or can now pare down the time spent on TBI each day.   Focus on what is still prickly to you and see if it is time to tackle that particular issue.  Continue to assess and trim off that TBI wherever you can.

And then enjoy that freed-up time on a good, happy, successful life.

Reconnect with people miss or strike out and find others if you are feeling lonely or left behind.  Invest in the lives of your people.  Do for them.

Start to identify what parts of your day are TBI parts and gift yourself the determination to enjoy all the other hours each day.   Challenge yourself to spend less and less time on that injury that stopped you and more and more time on all the ways it cannot.

Love you.

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