My brain injury journey
There I was, up in the air for a lay-in during a basketball game when someone tripped and fell directly beneath me — knocking my feet out from under me – causing me to flip and land directly on my chin. Doctors said it was like getting hit in the chin by a 2×4 – it sure felt like it. That was Nov 5th, 2015.
While I didn’t blackout, I was instantly dazed, dizzy, and had a sustained ringing in my ears. I tried to brush it off after a few minutes, but the room was spinning and I could barely walk straight.
The next day I went back to work and could barely hold a thought and frequently forgot what I was about to say. I even had trouble walking or remembering the names of employees. The light in the office seemed unusually bright and every noise was loud — overwhelming to my senses. All classic signs of a brain injury.
After coming home early, my wife, who’s a nurse, asked me what was wrong. After getting her updated on the previous night’s event, she immediately took me to the ER to get looked at. Sure enough, the doctors agreed, I had suffered a pretty severe brain injury.
Everything I had been good at or was my identity was taken away in an instant.
Over the following years, I suffered from memory loss, lack of emotion, deep depression, severe vertigo, and anxiety. On top of all this, through various tests for the TBI, doctors also concluded that I’m bipolar, which was a blessing in disguise to realize (but that’s a whole other story).
At times I couldn’t even formulate a thought long enough to write an email. Or read a book because I couldn’t remember the words I had just read moments ago. Needless to say, designing apps was an impossible task. Essentially, everything I had been good at or was my identity was taken away in an instant.
After some improvement, I made it back to work at my company, Copious. However, during that time, my business partner of 10-years (who I wish all the best) split from the business. On top of all the injury-related symptoms, this was the hardest time of my life.
For the next four years, I did physical therapy, group therapy, mental conditioning, and a slew of medications – it was grueling and depressing with setback after setback – but eventually, it was worth it.
Nowadays, while I still manage the brain injury and bipolar symptoms, they’re minimal, and I’m in a fantastic place. I can read again, remember things (well, most things according to my wife), write emails and articles, design apps, and spend time with my family.
I couldn’t have made it to this point without the never-ending support and care from my wife Abbey, my family, and close friends, along with caring therapists, doctors, and psychiatrists. But above all, God provided for me every step of the way — even when I felt alone and hopeless. Looking back, I can see how the fabric of my tragedy has been woven together to make me the better man I am today.
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