I must add a note here: I was afflicted by a severe head injury in my accident and spent two years learning to spell, read, write, and walk again - so sometimes I make obvious mistakes or have trouble understanding things any other member would "get" more easily. NOTE: No, I am not retarded, nor am I crippled, or helpless (people mix up TBI --Traumatic Brain Injury-- with all sorts of unrelated conditions, such as being mentally incompetent, "crippled," etc.) Those are myths born out of ignorance. I still look the same as I did before my accident, and I walk just fine, although I have sustained "invisible injuries" to my head (as well as other permanent injuries to my neck, back, etc.).
The head injuries cause problems in learning new things, retrieving memories from the past (I still have amnesia and do not remember my accident at all. I know what happened to me only because I was rescued by an off-duty paramedic who witnessed the accident and later told me what happened).
But please do not assume things about me if you do not have any understanding about TBI. I will be happy to answer any questions anyone may have, and I would love to; that doesn't bother me at all. A brain injury is just that -an injury (not a mental illness, and not mental retardation). It's no different than a broken leg, with the exception that its impact on one's life is far greater. My TBI has been rated as lifelong (no chance of full recovery) due to its severity.
My accident occurred when my car left a steep, winding road and went over a 250-foot cliff; I was stopped somewhere on the way down by a fallen tree and I spent the next 6 months in cognitive and physical rehab, and the next one-and-a-half years learning to read again. This in itself was devastating because I was an avid reader, and a reporter; I lost my job and even my "self," and I had to grieve that loss, as before the accident, I was a very ambitious person, and after the accident, I was hospitalized and then housebound for the next 2 years. However, I now read like I used to; I have regained many of the skills I lost, but my prognosis remains the same, it will be a lifetime affliction for me and there is no cure. Despite my gains, I do have problems with short-term memory loss; and again, my editing skills aren't what they used to be. But I do consider myself a fighter, because this has been the toughest battle of my life.
I have revealed this side of myself because it truly has a significant impact on my life and who I have become, as well as extending to the simpler things, such as my edits here in the Vault.
I hope I receive understanding here and that I'm not shunned for something that could happen to anyone at any time. Most would not chance revealing information like this, but I feel TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) awareness is something that's very important for our society to know about. Many people have never even heard the term, including some medical personnel (as experienced by myself during my many hospital visits), and only in the past 5 years has any serious progress been made in the area of brain research; so others "assume" due to lack of understanding; it's often misconstrued and there are many false conceptions that need to be put to rest.
If anyone here has any questions at all about my accident or TBI, I would be happy to answer them! Or if you just want to talk about anything else, feel free to add anything to my talk page! I am friendly, I don't bite, and I enjoy talking and making new friends!
- It's ironic that had I never had the car accident, I never would have tried gaming; I was working 16-hour days and gaming really never crossed my mind. It's something I enjoy now, and though the accident is not something I would have ever wished for, I have found new interests and made new friends, and had many experiences that I would not have had, had my life stayed on the same track. Whether that's a good or a bad thing remains to be seen...