Now I need to make it clean that acquiring a brain injury is not like acquiring a new car or a boat or television. You do not go down to the Brain Injury Store and ask for a new brain injury. It just does not work that way.
March is Brain Injury Awareness month. To help raise awareness I thought I would share about acquiring a brain injury.
There are two types of brain injury – Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI and Acquired Brain Injury or ABI. A couple of years ago I acquired a brain injury.
Traumatic Brain Injury occurs when something outside the brain causes the injury. Being hit on the head with a hammer, falling debris from an air plane hits you on the head, falling down and hitting your head, car accident where you smash against the side window or windshield. These are all forms of TBI. As long as the injury is from something external the injury is classified as TBI.
Please do not think that I am making light of brain injuries. I suffered a brain injury. Mine was the acquired kind. I just think that the term Acquired Brain Injury or ABI is an odd way to phrase a life changing event.
ABI’s occur when the injury to the brain is not from an external source. Even to a lay person like myself that makes sense; TBI external, ABI not external.
If the brain injury is the result of a lack of oxygen to the brain it is ABI. If you sniff too much glue you can cause ABI. Drowning can cause ABI. A disease such as meningitis can cause ABI. And a stroke can cause ABI.
All of these are considered non-traumatic events. Although as a stroke survivor, I will tell you the stroke was a traumatic event. However, non-traumatic brain injuries are classified as ABI.
Brain injuries whether TBI or ABI can often be invisible to those observing the person suffering. However, brain injuries are real and they can result in long term or even life long debilitating effects.
Just for the record, if I had a choice I would not have chosen to acquire a brain injury. Acquiring a new car would have been a lot more fun. As it was, I had no choice in the matter.
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, be aware that those of us who have suffered a brain injury struggle to different degrees with many aspects of life that other take for granted. Although our disability is invisible, it is still real.
I know that Thomas always ends his blogs with keep squeaking you wheels. However, I have no wheels to squeak. I will remind you that part of my brain died. So what is your excuse?