“It’s hard to believe my own story at times when I start thinking back. Many have known me through the years with numerous injuries resulting in broken bones, I think most thought I was either a bit wild or clumsy. But truth is I have a bone disease & have broken over 100 bones in my 46 years. I think we have 204 bones total. Osteogenesis Imperfecta is what it’s called. This is a genetic disease & I broke my first bone at 1. I have fought & beat the many obstacles that have been against me since birth. Not saying without tears, sacrifice, loss, growth and with determination. Most of them causing mental and emotional struggles along with the physical pain, which usually healed in 6 to 8 weeks when the cast came off. I've always been different than all the others. Yes I'm very short was 4'10, petite, fragile… The metal holding my body together should make me bionic. I have fought the tears, dealt with extreme pain & been humbled by every break, most of them life altering somehow.
BUT.... it’s the silent injuries that are the hardest and hurt all aspects of life the deepest. They hurt the most, heal the slowest, and make you feel the loneliest.
I have had 2 TBIs that I am aware of. Back 20 yrs ago I fell down a flight of stairs, (fracturing both wrist terribly & having a huge black eye) didn’t have a positive impact on the noggin. Nov 2013, I fell about 4ft to concrete. I only was able to take 2 wks off work due to being a single mom with kiddos at home. I shrugged it to getting older and this and that.
Life changed but never heard the term TBI. Went to counseling for depression with some relief. So eventually just chalked it up to life was rough and getting the best of me slowing. Sept 2016; the night that changed life as I new it. I fractured my skull busted my face up & had a brain bleed. 4 days total in the hospital. They were shocked how the bleed resolved itself so quickly. (So they tell me, I don’t remember much) Never heard the word TBI. I was sent home with the instructions, from what I gather, she will have some headaches and may be a little emotional. With them saying that, my amazing daughters were relieved and hopeful. But that was not the reality of my recovery.
Then it all began... the uncontrollable emotions, outburst of anger, not able to get up for days, extreme weight loss, I could go on and on... I lost everything it seemed. My jobs, my friends, my home, my cars and so much more gone and I couldn’t help it or stop it.
So here I am almost 2 ½ years later and I am still struggling but haven’t given up the fight. I am a definite work in progress and every day is a new one with new blessings and new obstacles. I'm still seeing specialist with so many unanswered/unresolved concerns and issues that need some work. I could consider myself a victim of this brain injury; I choose to look at it as I'm a survivor.”
-Melinda, TBI Survivor