"A beautiful June Saturday, ground driving my beautiful large donkey Banjo. A sudden wind jerked his red drive line and he spooked. He thought his only escape route was in my direction, and with the back of my heels caught I could not stumble backwards or escape the big bump he gave me as he flew by and I went straight backwards on the base of my skull on a concrete sidewalk. The sound of a bowling ball hitting the ground, the pain of the impact and my thoughts of "oh my dear God I have killed myself" are all I remember....and then his lovely soft nose sniffing my chest and incredibly devastated eye searching my face.
Short version of outcome....I've had many concussions in life but had no idea they built upon each other...I had no idea about any of it. I thought I was ok so should keep going...and when things fell apart on the third day and the doctor told me I'd have to be off work, I fought with her to reduce my away time from a month to two weeks.
I'm still in shock that it is now 21 months and I am still unable to drive, work, or leave my home very often without days or weeks of recovery time. I live in denial when I am alone at home as I get on quite well, I think, and then when I try to do normal things and my brain falls apart and symptoms hit me hard....I cry and feel broken hearted as I relive the mourning period all over again and realise all over again that I truly am very injured despite having just "taken a fall in my yard".
My message to everyone who asks how I cope, or for anyone else struggling? Love and joy see me through each and every day.....the love of and from my people, my animals and birds.....and my supreme love of music and the soul, heart and brain therapy and healing it has blessed me with. All of these things have kept my heart and soul connected to who I truly am through each and every struggle.
I now realize my split second injury didn't change ME and who I am in my heart... it only changed how I function and how I live at present. And for that I am truly blessed to still be me, and to be able to, despite it all, continue to help others (including my troubled rescue animals) and to share music and love....and each day I count my blessings and they keep the light in my heart even in the darkness of the struggles."
-Linda, TBI Survivor