I had never heard of a brain injury until it happened and I had one. It’s one of the split second things I guess. On August 31st, 2013, my life changed forever.
An old friend and I were in the car one evening and she didn’t stop at a stop sign. It’s all black from there for me, but that’s when it all happened. We were t-boned on my side of the car and right after the accident she tried to drag me out of the car. People had to stop her. 13 hours later I finally made it to the third and final hospital I spend my first month at. I had a broken pelvis, collapsed lung, traumatic brain injury, and burst bladder. I was in a coma my first week with non-convulsive seizures due to the head injury. Another month later I went to a rehab hospital and I worked on getting better.
It’s been a really long road, a road I’m still on. Doctors tell me 1-3 years to recover and then I may not be healed from my brain injury and it’s scary. I lost all of my old friends after my wreck because I was this “new person”, but I’m figuring out how to cope and learn to live with the new me every day.
I use coping skills I learned from going to a psychologist and psychiatrist. When I get really anxious I just breathe in and out and count the breaths to distract myself. Another coping method I use when I am stressed is to picture a place that’s peaceful and makes you happy, like when I’m stressed I’ll picture the beach. Also, power naps can help, they’re about 15-20 minutes but when you wake up you’ll feel refreshed and it’ll help stress. And, I will say that at first I was scared about talking to someone about my problems, but it can only help you and I definitely suggest doing it. A therapist is a great person to vent your feelings to if need be. It is stress relief and they can give good advice.
Here’s a before and after from my wreck, though the brain injury isn’t totally healed yet. I have to say to anyone out there going through stuff like this – don’t give up!
written by Krist for braininjurystories.org