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Brain injury blog by survivor

Brain injury blog by survivor



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Brain injury blog by survivor

Brain injury blog by survivor



Guest post: Jeff Huxford on accepting life post brain injury

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This year I am inviting other brain injury survivors to write guest posts on my blog. That way you get more than just my experience or point of view. So kicking us off is Jeff Huxford. He kindly offered one of his published articles from his own blog for me to share with you. I decided it would be useful for you to hear how he felt about accepting the new Jeff, as he found he had some limitations and couldn’t continue as a doctor anymore.


Jeff Huxford with his family: He kindly allowed me to reblog his article

Giving up

“I gave up!”

I used to feel embarrassed for saying this because giving up meant that I had failed to achieve what I had set out to achieve. It was certainly opposed to what I grew up believing and to the lessons I learned from an American culture that stresses the need to “win at all costs.”  I was also well aware that some people would likely judge me for it. They may feel like I should have tried harder or given it more time, but I am learning to ignore these people, because I have come to believe giving up was necessary for me to move on following a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

When I started recovering from my TBI, my goal was to regain my former self and former life. Because I grew up believing anything was possible with time, hard work, and determination, I was confident I could do it. I could be the same husband. I could be the same father. I could be the same friend. I could have the same personality. I could be the same doctor. I could have the same hobbies. To support my quest, TJIJA (Till Jeff is Jeff Again) shirts were made and worn by my friends and family. But TJIJA never happened.

There are still days I want my formal life back, but I finally gave up on it. I admitted I was going to be different, but this was just the beginning step. I also had to learn to accept it, and this has been a process. Learning to accept and embrace my “new normal” has been an experience that has not only been humbling, but life changing and life giving as well.

After my TBI, trying to return to my old self proved to be a never-ending, tireless, exhausting, and fruitless journey. But I finally gave up on it. Giving up wasn’t easy for me to do, but without doing that, the process of accepting and embracing the new me could have never started.

Sometimes giving up and accepting things for what they are is the only way to win.

I think most of us can relate to what Jeff is talking about. When he mentions how the culture of the western world, the “can do” attitude, put extra pressure on him. I scratched the surface of this feeling in Don’t guess what I need – Words of a brain injury survivor, where I mentioned how I was conscious of how I should have the British “stiff upper lip”. It’s not quite the same thing as what was driving Jeff, but the result is the same. We both tried to force our way through, believing that mind over matter could make the difference, only for it to end in disappointment.

But as Jeff has proved, the key is accepting your current self and adapting to your new life. He has proved his talent in writing, and his new book will be out in just a few weeks. It is available to preorder on his website now. You can listen to Jeff and his family talk about how his brain injury changed their lives on his 5 minute video, The Huxford Family Story: “Finding normal” after a traumatic brain injury.

Jeff explains how he had to give up on returning to life as he knew if before his brain injury. As negative as that sounds, it was the start of him accepting what the new Jeff had to give...

How did you go about accepting your life post brain injury? What advice would you have for others who are going through this process right now?


3 replies on “Guest post: Jeff Huxford on accepting life post brain injury”

I suffered severe brain injury in 1984 during a head on collision! I lost consciousness for several hours and finally woke up in ICU several hours later in critical condition. Not only did I have a severe concussion, I also had a severe head laceration that covered my face from my hairline into my left eye and numerous other injuries!

The struggle to recover was just that…….a struggle! I was a legal assistant in a new position that I had only been employed at for around a month. Needless to say, I could not work for several weeks and returned to work way to soon. Trying to manage my symptoms and they were many, work full time, take care of my children and all their activities, and try to just cope with everything, was more than I could handle! Thank goodness I had a wonderful husband who really helped me to survive.

I literally thought I was going stark raving mad! Constant severe headaches, speech problems the first several months, severe depression, constant crying, always a nervous wreck and I could not cope with hardly anything! I was even sent back to the hospital when my doctor thought I had a blood clot forming. I finally threw in the towel and quit my job., I just could not manage anymore!

I stayed home for a full year and it was the best thing I ever could have done! It gave me time to simply heal….mind, body and soul! I really slowed my life down and gave me time to heal!

I never remembered the accident. I remember details that other people told me but to recollect it, never have and glad I do not remember. It was so traumatic that remembering the details would have been way to much. I do miss some of the memory loss I have had before that time but have learned to cope with that loss!

I finally went back to work after the year was over and worked another ten years. There is life after a brain injury. I am living proof to that statistic. I am not boasting or bragging. I know there are people who will never fully recover and my heart hurts for them. Honestly, I still have some residual problems but have trained myself, I guess, to function at a fairly normal level.

To anyone who has had a traumatic head injury, rest assured “ this to shall eventually pass”. Just remember, it will pass in it’s own time frame. Not your time frame! Blessings and God’s speed to each and everyone of you who are suffering.

Thanks for being so frank. You don’t come across as boasting at all. I think your message is important for all of us. The modern world makes us feel like nothing waits for no one, so we try to keep up. But in the case of your health you have to give yourself time.

Thank you for your kind comments! It is difficult to recovery and look just fine but struggling to cope! You will, with time start to see subtle changes that will give you a lot of hope!

About six months after my injury, we took our regular family vacation. I had been medicated so heavy, out of necessaity, that the side effects of the meds were overwhelming. During that week at the beach, I continued to rest but decided not to take the meds. I am happy to report, by the end of the vacation, I felt so much better and my recovery really got on course. I am not avocating for everyone stop their meds but just know it worked for me!

May you have good results with however you make it to the other side of your recovery!

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