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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Symptoms


(This journal entry was written 3-15-2012 but posted to this blog on 5-28-2012. In spite of the glaring errors, I attempted to catch errors at the time. Hopefully my ability to see those errors now is evidence of improvement. There is a strong temptation to fix the missing or substituted words and the resulting improper grammar, but I think allowing the reader to see the kinds of mistakes I was making may be helpful to understanding this condition. For writing comparison, look at my other blogs such as Big Bad Ideas where I allowed myself to get a little crazy with miscellaneous posts, or Recharge Point which was used to post my thoughts as I worked toward my master's degree in Instructional Design and Technology--specifically designing online courses.)
Sometimes I report symptoms very differently than at other times, because these symptoms bother me to varying degrees from time to time. Some of these symptoms may not be specifically related to TBI, but are associated with my experience after the bicycle accident and head injury. Also, some symptoms are difficult to track, because the symptoms affect my perception of the symptoms. 

Amnesia is a good example of a symptom that hides itself. To be aware of the problem, I have to be confronted with external evidence that I don't recall something I once knew. Examples of evidence I have encountered involve tasks I started only to discover I had already completed the task, such as the work involved in concluding my last week of class after the accident, and two weeks later suddenly panicking because I could not recall completing the previous course. Fortunately, it was a simple matter to look up the work I did, because one of the assignments was posted online. In the first several weeks after the accident, evidence of amnesia was one of my most troubling symptoms. 

Some of my symptoms are difficult to name. Since the accident, I have been confronted with evidence that I never did a task I believe I remember doing. It is my impression that I'm recalling an incomplete thought process in which I started a task with the intention of finishing, but was momentarily distracted. Later, when I review my task list, I mark the item done, believing it was done. I have learned that when facts don't agree with my recollection, that I usually recall a specific image of working on that task, which is the basis of my belief it was completed, but if I try to recall the entire scene, I cannot recall it, because it was interrupted and left unfinished. While this problem may sound potentially serious, I'm not terribly concerned because I can test my own memory and know instantly whether I have a complete recollection of the entire task. If I can't recall every step of finishing, and someone else says I did not finish, then I did not finish. If I do have a complete recollection, then I treat the issue the same way anyone else would, by presenting evidence that supports what I am saying.

Fortunately, most people are flexible enough that an occastional moment of personal reality adjustment is not terribly upsetting to them, and if they aren't upset, then neither am I (to a point).  

Prior to the accident of 6/23/2011, I never experienced episodes in which I discovered I had done work I did not remember doing. amnesia. 

Vertigo is an example of a symptom that comes and goes, and can be disabling at times, but usually is not noticeable. Vertigo can be dangerous because it can cause accidents, especially if it comes on while driving a car. Prior

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I am developing a prototype resources website at http://bit.ly/resourcesfortbi. Please review my plans and make suggestions.

I welcome comments that can help make this site more helpful to those experiencing similar difficulties, or for those friends, family, and professionals who take care of bicycle injury / brain trauma.victims.

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Helpful comments would include corrections of false information, references to local services that relate to my posts, or comments that help me to keep spelling, grammar, and word-choices appropriate and correct. As a brain injury victim, I depend on others to insure accuracy and to spot the kinds of errors that I may not recognize. Please feel welcome to contribute your expertise to make this site effective!