Feeling dizzy can be an odd feeling at times and a scary one, especially when you’re standing in the middle of a room full of people. I don’t know about other brain injury survivors but when this happens to me the first thought that passes through my mind is that I’m hemorrhaging from my brain again. The reason this thought comes to me is because the dizziness is often followed by my left leg falling asleep and becoming tingly. This scared the living day light out of me when I was younger and discovering my new body following my brain injury.
At some point I had to learn how my “new” body and mind works, and it took trial and error to get there.
After returning home following my first brain bleed, I remember how different and scary it was discovering my new body when I did something as simple as lay down to go to bed. Fortunately, this didn’t happen for too long but every time I would lay in bed and get cozy and ready to sleep the night away something would happen. This thing that happened scared me and led me to praying every night that I’d wake up alive the next morning. I remember having fear I wouldn’t be alive in the morning.
This became a new normal of my life which I was in the beginning stages of discovering my new and different body as a brain injury survivor left with aftereffects. What happened is that my entire left side would go tingly like it fell asleep, like the symptom during the day of my original brain bleed.
It may seem like a stretch praying every night that I’d wake up healthy and alive the next morning but after being in a hospital and a coma, unconscious for 6 months you might assume I was left with a few post traumatic insecurities.
Later on – The occasional left leg falling asleep or dizziness when I stand up too fast after sitting down for a long time became something I’m used to. Like, if I’m with a group and everyone stands up together to relocate there’s been a few occasions where I didn’t panic because my foot fell asleep but rather just say to the group, I’m going to need a minute, I’ll be there soon.
I’ve feared this happening during an actual fire alarm emergency but luckily it hasn’t happened yet. If it did happen, I know I’d figure something out and survive. I mean, I survived a brain hemorrhage for god sakes. Not much can take me down. I’m not sure if the apocalypse was to happen that I wouldn’t survive. Surviving what I went through has left me feeling invincible.
Feeling invincible- It took me awhile to get there and while I don’t always feel invincible, I was only able to have this feeling once I understood what I had overcome and was familiar with my new body and mind. Now, when I have a dizzy spell or tingly feeling in my leg, I’ll say to myself “I’m okay but if I was getting sick again, I’ll survive. I’ve already beaten it twice!”
For myself it was about becoming comfortable with the occasional dizzy spell or numbness in my left side. I just had to remember this is my “new” body and mind!