My story took a drastic and unexpected turn 7 years ago this July. They say it takes seven years to recover from a brain injury, and since I am nearing that mark, I figure it is time to start telling my story. Plus, I can hardly get by myself for more than two seconds without thinking about how to put words to this. this. ...story of mine.
So, to start, it is very strange thing to have an injury that no one can see. We live in a world that values what it can see. If you can see it; it is real. So, an "invisible" injury has so many difficulties without even naming the symptoms. "Well, you look good." "Well...ummm...thanks. ? ."
I went swimming on a Friday night. A full time grad student. A full time employee. I was training for a triathlon that was scheduled in a few months. I wasn't feeling great, but went anyways. What was a little dizziness and fatigue anyways? Stress? Inner ear? Swimming was low impact, so I picked that over running.
I went to bed that night satisfied. I had just gotten back from a week out east for a dear friends wedding and time with family. Work and school were good; my relationships were deepening; life was moving. I was 25; not bad for 25.
And so when I woke up that Saturday feeling even more off than I had for the last week, I didn't think too, too much about it. "Maybe I am just really worn out.?" And so I sat down to read some and journal a bit. The page was a little blurry as I read and it was hard to write, but again...worn out...tired? I felt calm, but the symptoms were slowly becoming undeniable as my grogginess wore off. "I think my right leg feels numb...and maybe my ear, cheek..."
And so I called: my friend, "I'm taking you to the hospital;" my mom, "Please go to the hospital."
Before I knew it I was in an MRI machine.