30-50% of traumatic brain injury survivors still feel fatigue 7 years after their injury, according to a recent article by HCP Live.
My first reaction?
Duh, my brain injury was 20 years ago and I still have fatigue, daily. The fatigue, often comes from the soreness of my head whether it’s headaches, discomfort from my shunts, feeling cloudy and lethargic or my double vision which increases headaches, eye strain and dizziness. I also feel fatigue from my left side paralysis in my left arm and left leg. It’s exhausting to function without 100% full use of your limbs, especially when the people surrounding you typically have full functioning bodies, but I never back down from a challenge!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining or whining because I will outwork and out use my mind to win most battles in life.
I’m surprised only 30-50% of the brain injury survivors reported having fatigue after their severe childhood TBI. I would have expected the percentage to be much higher. I feel this way because most of the brain injury survivors I talk with, whether they had a traumatic brain injury or an acquired one, say they have fatigue due to their brain injury.
Anxiety and depression
The author added in the article, both anxiety and depression symptoms frequently occur following a traumatic brain injury and this increases the need to evaluate the effectiveness of psychological interventions and the factors influencing response to these interventions.
Following my brain injury I remember when I first discovered anxiety. I would stir up in my head while riding in the car to therapy that if a car beside us didn’t didn’t drive past us, I would get sick again. And even to this day if I have an odd feeling in my head or left side like a sudden or unusual numbness, the first thought that runs through my mind is that I’m having another brain injury. Luckily, I’ve learned over the years that it will typically go away and this is my new normal. Even 20 years after my brain injury I’m still trying to feel comfortable with how different my new body operates.
So, if you’re a brain injury survivor and have increased fatigue, I want you to know that you never really get used to the new body you live in after your brain injury. But it will become all you are familiar with and it’s important to know that the fatigue or the headaches, the double-vision or the tingles and numbness are all normal and you’re not alone.
It never feels right when I say it to myself but, there’s typically always someone out there who has more challenges than you so appreciate what you do have!