Thursday, May 21, 2015

about my traumatic brain injury, my disability

[this was mostly taken from an email to a friend who didn't fully understand about my traumatic brain injury and why i'm not able to work a regular job anymore]

on my being disabled ... traumatic brain injury is a tricky thing.  the LOCATION of the injury is crucial:  if you badly injure the *front* part of your brain (directly behind your forehead), you can lose a lot of who you are and be pretty badly off.  fortunately, my injuries were to the right side of my brain, a little toward the back -- just behind the right ear.

since i hurt *that* part of my brain, my chances of recovery were much better (especially given that i was 21, and not 31 or 45 -- the younger you are, the more your brain is still plastic & changeable).  i was still young enough that i could "rewire" around a lot of the damage (which in my case was to a part of the medial temporal lobe which coordinates between different parts of the brain & helps put things together -- that's a simple picture, at least).

so my purely intellectual stuff was mostly untouched, as well as my personality.  but the injuries were still severe, and even though i recovered well from them (well enough to finish my degree, for instance), i wasn't as emotionally strong anymore -- i couldn't last nearly as long at a task without needing a break.

most people can work an 8 hour day, plus some commuting, and still have even a tiny little bit of energy left to cook & clean & relate to their spouse and kids.  not me.  on a given day, i’m good for a couple hours of quiet orderly work in a quiet environment, and then i'm pretty spent.

that's why the doctors and Social Security OK'ed my disability without too much question -- they knew how severe the injuries were and that i probably wouldn't be capable of much “work” afterward.

i can't handle much noise & disorder & stress.  most people are OK when they over-do things a bit or are stressed out; maybe they're tired and a bit irritable and cranky.  not me.  when i push too hard, i have seizures.  (or i begin to feel the pre-cursor to the seizure, and i have a chance to stop, meditate, and relax my way back to normal.)

so i can't work at the same hectic pace as some people, but i'm still capable of high quality work.  maybe i can't work a full-time "job", but i can still participate in some good academia ! ! !


Monday, May 11, 2015

Help Me Finish Overcoming Traumatic Brain Injury

Please help my campaign not stall — i would love for it to be over!

(And a GIANT thank you to everyone who has already given.)


(Click on link below, not on the picture—thank you.)