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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



How a brain injury can make you feel like you’re missing out

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As with any life changing event, living with a brain injury means planning ahead most activities. It’s not dissimilar to having to decide if an event will be suitable for small children: what sort of people will be there, how accessible are the toilet facilities, how noisy will it be, is it safe, etc. And if the answers to these questions don’t stake up it can mean you have to sit this one out. Whilst that’s the sensible choice, it can still lead to feeling like you’re missing out on life.

I can’t just seize the opportunity.

It’s not often that my partner James decides to go to a Football match, as the team he supports aren’t local to us. (I know my American friends refer to this sport as Soccer, but seeing as the English started it as far back as the 12th Century I will be using it’s proper name.) His beloved Manchester City are the best part of 200 miles from us. However, they were playing Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, who this session are using Wembley stadium as their home ground whilst they rebuild their own. With a capacity of 90,000, it is the biggest in the country, and being in London it’s not too far from us. With it’s ample seating, James found that as long as he didn’t mind sitting with the home supporters, there were still tickets available. He really wanted to see the match as Manchester city were on the brink of winning the Premiership title.  Previously I always went with him as I hate missing out on the atmosphere. But this time I didn’t.

Why I had to watch it on TV on my own.

There are several reasons why I had to stay home for this one:

  1. No filter – Over the years I have sat amongst the rival teams supporters. It’s actually quite interesting to hear their comments, particularly on the referees decisions when it’s a difficult call. But this does require you to keep your own thoughts to yourself. I mean you are effectively sat amongst “the enemy” and it’s not a good idea to antagonise them as you’re very outnumbered. But my brain injury means at times my filter fails me, so I can’t be trusted to not give the game away.
  2. Noise sensitivity – Massive excitable crowds can be incredibly noisey. It is common for the fans at Premiere league matches to be in excess of 150 decibels. Just to put that into perspective, that is equivalent to standing 25 meters from a jet during take off and can cause the eardrum to rupture. Any overstimulation can be unbearable for brain injury survivors, but even with ear plugs, this would be a step too far.
  3. Anxiety –  Being in crowds is difficult enough, but animated Football fans are on another level. I probably would die of my own self induced stress.
  4. Mobility – Once a game has finished there is a mass exitus which is effectively a stampede of thousands of people. As I still have a limp and can’t walk fast, I would be frightened to take my chances as the throng of people rush out of the stadium to the transport links. I imagine I would just get crushed.
  5. Fatigue – I’d had a visitor the day before, and whilst we had a nice time, it takes me days to recover from anything. So I was shattered and needed to sleep, even though I hadn’t been anywhere or stayed up late.

Fighting with fatigue means you have to pace yourself. But even then I can't help but feel my brain injury means I'm missing out on some things I really enjoyed before. Even if I'm well rested, some things just aren't advisable anymore, and I don't know if I'll ever be able to join in again...

I’m glad James went, as this was the first match he has attended since my accident.

It’s been over 3 years since my car accident, and for any Englishman that’s a long time to not go to a Football match. He needs some fun in life too and shouldn’t be missing out on everything because of me. The last time he went to see Manchester city play was just one month before my accident. We had stayed at the hotel the team use and watched them at the Etihad stadium, their home in Manchester. We even shared the elevator with Gael Clichy who played for the team at the time. I do hope I can join in again one day because you never know what little irreplaceable moments you’re missing out on.

Are there activities you can't attend any more? Or do you have tactics that means you can avoid missing out on key events?


10 replies on “How a brain injury can make you feel like you’re missing out”

Thank you for this article! Very well said and similar to what I’m going through myself. I’m no longer able to attend church because of noise and so many conversations….my brain can’t keep up. Yes, it’s hard to miss out. Reading your article makes me feel like I’m not alone in my TBI recovery.

Vivian I can appreciate how much you miss attending the church service as it’s a big part of community life. You are not alone on this journey. Hugs ?

Ya missing out is something that affects me Greatly! My Wife, Son his wife and their Son are in Cancun right now. I am home due to my new Fear of having a programable VP Shunt, last time I flew it exploded causing my new four fear. I used to love flying but I will not take that chance again. They say I can however if my head is Scanned it could happen again. And yes I have a card to avoid the big scanners but these days more and more scanning is done secretly. Just don’t want to take that chance.?

That is a very rational fear. I think if I was in your position I would be scared too.

Thanks, I’m hopeful that things will get better. I just have to take things one thing at a time ?

Thanks Shelley. I am trying to help people better understand what life is like for survivors so it’s encouraging that you will I have achieved that in a sense.

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