After my TBI I’ve been discharged from almost every recuperation service, so I should be recovered from my brain injury, right? It’s not that simple. Some of you might have noticed I’ve had a bit of a gap since my last post. That’s not writers block, it’s brain block!If I’ve done too much, or been stressed it can really throw my poor little injured brain out.
The pain is almost indescribable and yet would probably annoyingly fall into the category of “headache”. But my brain can barely think.
The brain itself can not feel it’s pain, just report on others areas, but when you have a brain injury you do wonder if you’re the odd one out.
The only solution for me when this happens, is to go to sleep, no matter how much sleep I’ve already had. Even then I can wake up and still feel as dizzy, confused and in pain as I did before I went to sleep. This can mean making plans can be very difficult.
I often can force myself if I know it’s not going to be too long, but doing a long journey to visit someone is a real challenge. Driving for 2-3 hours can really take it out of me and mean I’m not great company even when I do arrive. This is a real sore point for me as a lot of my long time friends are from the South West of England, and I now live in the South East. So although I would dearly love to see them and try to catch up, I struggle to make it happen.
Little things that go some way to helping me.
As I regularly become anaemic (being a girl means no matter what I do it happens to me every month.) That can cause real problems for my injured brain. As the brain uses 20% of the oxygen in the blood, iron is essential. Iron is used to help the blood carry the oxygen to were it needs to go. Thus being anaemic stops the brain from functioning properly. So I have to take iron tablets. When I get really low my Doctor prescribes me to take the equivalent of 3 times the average daily dose! Too much iron can be very dangerous, so please don’t do this unless your Doctor advises it. But it goes some way to highlight how bad it is for me.
Essential oils can also assist in this process, and therefore are particularly helpful for those with a brain injury. Some have been shown to increase oxygen in the brain by up to 28 per cent. The most commonly recommended for helping those with a brain injury is Frankincense.
Essential oils, as they are inhaled through the nose, are able to pass through the blood brain barrier near the olfactory nerve. This deeper penetration can help the healing process.
The number of cells which make up the layer surrounding the olfactory nerve is little more than half that which generally makes up the blood brain barrier. This is why inhalation of essential oils can mean they will reach the brain. Therapeutic value and level of purity are important in the medicinal use of essential oils. 100% Therapeutic grade oils should used as lower qualities can have impurities which could do you more harm than good.
To use them you can either diffuse into the room. Or if you are going out you can wear a diffuser necklace with just a couple of drops.
Other oils can be used for other functions:
Anxiety : Basil, Lavender, Ylang-Ylang or Frankincene
Depression: Lemon, Mandarin, Jasmine or Bergamot
Stress: Lemon, Sandalwood, Geranium or Roman Chamomile
However if you suffer from epilepsy, or are at risk from developing epilepsy, there are some essential oils you should avoid. Rosemary, fennel, sage, eucalyptus, hyssop, camphor and spike lavender are not recommended as essential oils if you have epilepsy. This is because these essential oils may trigger seizures in some people with epilepsy. Regular Lavender is fine to used and should not be confused with Spike Lavender. For pregnant women there are also a number of other oils to avoid. For more information please visit:
Complementary therapies by the Epilepsy society.
Also your four legged friend can do you more good than you might have realised. Read TBI: animal therapy to find out more.
Other articles you might like:
- Neuroplasticity & how you can grow even with a brain injury.
- Distracted after brain injury. Feeling dejected.
- Fatigue. Wicked exhaustion backlash after brain injury.
- Game training that helped me after brain injury.
Have you tried essential oils, and do you find they help you? Any other tips on what helps you are always great to share.