I was diagnosed with a TBI in summer 2008. In Feb 2007, doctor's discovered I had a cavernous angioma nearly embedded in my brain stem after I had a bleed. I had surgery 2 months later and the doctor's were very excited with the results. I went back to work 6 months later full time as a sixth grade math teacher. Although during my recovery time, I thought things were a little different, it was being at work that revealed major deficits.
During my search for answers, my parents reminded me that I had suffered a serious concussion when I was in sixth grade, over 35 years earlier. I was running down a slide (brilliant) in a playground and I tripped at the bottom flying forward and bumping my left temple on a cement turtle. I do not know how long I was unconscious. There was little supervision in the yard of my overcrowded public school. I had only been at the school a couple of months but my regular teacher was also absent that day so I spent the afternoon drifting in and out of sleep on a couch in the classroom next door.
When my father picked me up from school, I vomited and then he brought me to the emergency room. They made my parents wake me up every hour that night and look out for any liquid from my nose or ears. That is all I remember. Then I went through puberty. If there were personality changes who could tell?
My father who remembered the incident best died in August 2008 and with him I lost the chance to learn any other significant details. My search for medical records was futile because of the amount of time that has passed.
It is mind-boggling to me that some of the obstacles that have plagued me my whole life might have stemmed from this. I have always been extremely impulsive physically, acting in dangerous situations. This resulted in many more injuries. Despite my lack of coordination, I felt compelled to climb over a wall if it was a short cut, lunge on tennis courts, and run and trip while trying to catch subways. More stitches, bumps and bruises to my head. My husband used to call me Action Aly before the surgery (well, he still does sometimes right before he insists I show restraint).
10 hours ago