You can sustain a brain injury in your every day life. You don’t have to be doing anything out of the ordinary. I would have described myself as conservative and risk adverse. Yet there is an irony to my story. I had always said I would jump out of an aeroplane. It’s easy to say that, but say you never had the opportunity to prove it. Well in October 2014 a few of us at work decided to do just that to raise money for charity.
Thanks to the experienced professionals who happily had us parasites strapped to their fronts, we all successfully landed are were buzzing from the experience.
So it feels perverse that I could choose to take part in a potentially dangerous activity (that most sane people wouldn’t) and yet it was my mundane journey to work that resulted in my brain injury, less than 2 months later in a car accident.
At this point you’re probably thinking “yes OK, but you were just unlucky,”and you would be right. But that’s how you could describe the majority of incidents which have resulted in traumatic brain injury.
40% of traumatic brain injuries happen as the result of a fall
You could slip on ice, fall down the stairs or even trip on your kids fire truck that was going to be your next job to tidy away. It really could be just about anyone at anytime.
But we can’t wrap ourselves up in cotton wool, so what point am I trying to make?
It’s a simple one. You only live once, so absolutely make the most of everything. I’m so glad I took the opportunity to jump out of that plane. It was every bit as exciting and more, than I could have possibly hoped for. If it had gone wrong, at least it would have been whilst fulfilling my ambition, not just going to work on a Tuesday morning.
What I aim to do is change the public’s understanding of what brain injury is. Thanks to the wonder that is TV, most think it’s when you are in a coma, but miraculously wake up pretty much fine. I’m not looking for everyone’s sympathy, I just think if there was more awareness, people would find it easier working out how to deal with a brain injured person.
We don’t come with a label, and often look the same as we did before. We might even still like the same music, and still know some interesting facts. But that doesn’t mean we’re not struggling in ways others will probably struggle to imagine.