Life after a brain injury can be unpredictable, at best. Some days I’m on top of the world and you have to tell me to slow down, and other days I’m apathetic and lethargic. I admit for the casual observer this is confusing, and difficult to deal with. But actually I don’t expect the public to understand, as until this happened to me, I can honestly say I didn’t either. It’s those who are in the medical/healthcare industry I get frustrated by.
Don’t assume I know where to go, and then answer in a tone that says “you’re an idiot” when I ask for directions.
For anyone hospitals can be confusing to navigate due to their sheer size. Poor signage and corridors that all look the same, doesn’t help either. But I’m amazed how often staff can be dismissive of you when you ask for help. I know hospitals are busy places where everybody is under immense pressure, and it’s a challenge to remain patient with everyone when it feels like you spend all say having to go the extra mile for them. But I’m an individual who doesn’t want to be a chore, I’m not stupid I just need of minute of your time and a friendly smile would go a long way.
I’m sorry but sometimes the standard communication procedure doesn’t work for me.
If I’ve just answered a standard question like “what’s your reference number?”, with “I didn’t know I had one, I’m sorry I have a brain injury and I probably missed it”, don’t continue to tell me off as “it’ll always be on everything we send blah blah blah…..” with that disapproving frown on your face. Would you behave the same way if I said “I’m registered blind so I couldn’t read it”? Sometimes I can’t concentrate enough to see there are details I need. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I thought I’d received the same letter twice from the hospital. It would take my partner to point out it’s completely different from the previous and about a different matter.
You’re the expert, don’t ask me “what do you want me to do?”
I had one appointment with a Neurologist who had never met me before. He took one look at me when I was explaining about my double vision. He leaned forward and said, “Yes but want do you want me to do?“- I don’t know what I want you to do, because I don’t know what you do! He officially discharged me after this one meeting. Also he cancelled further follow up appointments I had booked with the ophthalmology department. He was so arrogant he felt sure it was nothing to do with my eyes. I mean I wouldn’t want to waste anyone’s time would I!
There are thousands of amazing people in the industry who are worth their weight in gold for what they do. I am thankful for all the amazing people I have met along the way, and value their input and kindness. As for the rest of you, please try to use some empathy and see what it’s like on the other side.
Just to make sure you know I’m being fair to those in the medical industry, you can read about my examples where some tried harder in I don’t understand after my brain injury.
I’d love to hear your good and bad experiences. Is there someone who wasn’t a medic but seemed to get it surprisingly well?Share your stories.