This is a story of a Former Linebacker on the 49ers, who ended up homeless because of a TBI he sustained during his career on the NFL. Unfortunately, I encounter this painful scenario too often in my office. It doesn’t matter who you are: a famous athlete, veteran, or the “ordinary” guy next door- this devastating outcome happens too often.
It is time for people to wake up and take brain injuries seriously!
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Even if a person is injured and is taken to the emergency room, initial tests, including x-rays, CT scan and MRI of the brain often come back negative.
Individuals are discharged with Tylenol and told to follow up with doctors on an as needed basis.
NO ONE TAKES IT SERIOUSLY.
“I wish someone, anyone, would have taken the time to explain the injury to me…”
Many individuals do not know they had a traumatic brain injury until much later.
Here are actual quotes of individuals who are currently undergoing treatment with me for their TBI.
How many of these apply to you?
o “I don’t feel like myself…”
o “I’m tired of hearing it’s in my mind!”
o “It’s difficult to be treated like a kid…”
o “Stop telling me to move on!”
o “I am worthless”
o ”I feel paralyzed. Everything else carries on normally…”
o “Even my doctors are ignoring my symptoms…”
o ” I don’t enjoy being pitied…”
o “Anything pisses me off…”
o ““I’m tired of hearing people say -get over it!”
o ”I can’t focus or remember things…”
o “I can freeze (or panic) when I don’t understand something…”
o ”I have severe headaches …”
o ”I am always exhausted…”
o “I don’t know from one moment to the next what is going on?”
o ”I am very grumpy and frustrated all the time…”
o ”I am drinking more alcohol and taking more medicine than I should…”
o ”I’m truly alone in the world…”
o ” I even thought of killing myself…”
o “I’m losing hope that things will ever be normal again…”
o “I need my seclusion.>> Read more
My name is Ron. I was a bus operator for 10 years. I would like to share my stroke experience with you.
On September of 2011, while driving my normal bus route, I realized that something was not quite right. The traffic lights ahead were blurry and “doubling up”. At first, I removed my sunglasses thinking my shades may be messing with my vision. Things deteriorated quickly to the point that I could barely see anything at all.
Intuitively, I put the emergency brakes on and pulled the bus over to the side.
I was feeling very weak and frightened. I didn’t know what was wrong with me? I remember that my words were “dragging” and not coming out right. I had a medicine taste in my mouth. My lips felt like they had needles in them. The whole left side of my body could not move. I was in and out of consciousness.
X-ray revealed that I had a blood clot in my brain. I was given some type of injection to dissolve the blood clot, so I would not require brain surgery. The doctors also discovered that the blood clot originated in my left leg. They also found that I have a heart murmur (whole in my heart).>> Read more
Last night, as I was flipping through channels, I came across a show entitled: CNN Heroes; Everyday People Changing the World.
The show featured Mary Cortani. She founded a nonprofit that matches war veterans who suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), anxiety and depression with their own service dogs.
Afghanistan war veterans have to start their lives all over again. Their disability does not get the proper recognition it deserves. Unwanted dogs (from rescue and shelters), help in ways that are beyond the scope of human beings. As I was watching the show, I was deeply struck by the strong bond between the veterans and their dogs. I am a dog lover myself and understand the boundless strength I get from my dog Nelly.
My thoughts go back to a veteran by the name of Teddy who I met in my office. Teddy had just returned after serving as a commander in Afghanistan. Like many returning veterans, he suffered from PTSD and TBI.
Here are some actual quotes from my first sessions with Teddy:
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“ I’m a mess and on edge about everything these days…. “
“ I feel paralyzed and I can’t do anything….”
“I wish I had lost my legs in the war instead of a TBI.