Let’s end misconceptions about TBI!

 

 

Last Sunday (5/5/13), I watched a segment on 60 Minutes entitled: “Invisible wounds of war”.  The show focused on veterans who sustained traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

Public awareness of TBI is slowly increasing, primarily as a result of greater exposure by the media to sports and combat related injuries.

Yet, we still have a long way to go!

Most people with mild traumatic brain injury are still subjected to misconceptions about their condition.  The general public still believes it is easy to fake a brain injury.  Surprisingly, symptoms of brain injury manifest long after the initial event.  Even doctors (and other professionals) often do not appreciate the multiple symptoms associated with mild TBI and fail to give it the recognition and legitimacy it deserves. Routine conventional imaging such as CT scan does not always indicate evidence of brain injury, even though it exists.

This was dramatically brought home in the 60 minutes segment, which showed the latest brain scanning technology, which is unavailable to the vast majority of individuals.  This new technology often displays evidence of brain injury that was not evident on conventional CT scanning.

For me, the most moving part of the segment was when retired Army Major Richards, who suffered from brain injury, was shown his scan.>> Read more

WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME?

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