Lucy loves to torment Charlie Brown by having him run toward the football to make a great punt. Each time, Charlie Brown thinks that this will be the time that he will do it, but each time, at that crucial moment, Lucy pulls the ball away and Charlie Brown ends up flat on his back.
Maybe not after the first time, but definitely after the second time, most individuals would give in and call it a day. But Charlie Brown keeps after this, year after year after year.
I sometimes feel like Charlie Brown and Lucy is holding the ball that keeps being pulled away at that crucial moment. Why? You ask. I am recovering from a Brain Injury.
On June 13, 2014, I had brain surgery because I had been diagnosed with a cavernous hemangioma. Unlike some individuals that suffer with a brain injury, I knew the date and time of surgery, I just did not know that the carpet was about to be pulled out from under me. Surgery left me with aphasia, hemiparesis, and hemisensory loss.
Through time, much therapy, and support from family and friends, I went back to work 6 months after surgery. Knowing what I know now, I pushed it a little too hard. Have patience with your rehabilitation. IT IS IMPORTANT. I was impatient and it cost me some valuable time. Two months after returning to work, I ended up having a transient ischemic attack (TIA), also called a “mini stroke.” My body was not finished healing.
I returned to therapy, sought out more support groups, and started learning how to have patience with this process. It is not easy. It is not without setbacks. It is not without much trial and error. But, it is a step in the right direction.
I became part of BIND, The Brain Injury Network of Dallas. Through my membership with BIND, I was able to slowly return to work. I learned many valuable lessons, especially when it came to having patience with myself.
BIND provided me with opportunities to try out skills, like talking in public; after all, I need that skill to go back to teaching. Through the friendships that I formed, it helped me realize that I wasn’t in this alone. I have my husband and kids, but having someone to talk to, to laugh with, and to socialize with that has been through their own brain injury helped me put everything into perspective.
I am happy to report that I have gone back to work, but it is not easy, not without setbacks, and not without trial and error.
Brain injuries affect everyone differently so family, a support group, doctors, and therapists are very important, especially when talking about moving forward with your recovery.
Are you as persistent as Charlie Brown? Will you keep trying? BE CHARLIE BROWN!!