I was diagnosed with what is known as Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) or Traumantic Brain Injury (TBI) following a car accident in March 2000. I was stopped at a red light when I was rear-ended by a truck whose driver was looking down at the floor of the truck searching for a cell phone battery that he had dropped.
The years march on but more than a decade later I still suffer from problems and challenges on a daily basis. But I am a lucky survivor.
ABI/TBI is an invisible illness.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
An insult to the brain caused by a direct blow to the skull via closed or open head injury.
Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)
An injury to the brain secondary to trauma, stroke, post surgical complications, and/or certain disease processes (tumors, aneurysms)
This invisible illness can be devastating to the victim as well as family and friends. Most doctors do not have a clue about TBI/ABI.
Acquired brain injury (ABI) is brain damage caused by events after birth. It is not caused by being part of a genetic or congenital disorder such as fetal alcohol syndrome, perinatal illness or perinatal hypoxia.
ABI can result in:
- cognitive impairments,
- physical impairments,
- emotional impairments, or
- behavioural impairments.
ABI impairments can, and often do, lead to permanent or temporary changes in functioning.
These impairments result from either traumatic brain injury (e.g. physical trauma due to accidents, assaults, neurosurgery, head injury etc.) or nontraumatic injury derived from either an internal or external source (e.g. stroke, brain tumours, infection, poisoning, hypoxia, ischemia, encephalopathy or substance abuse). ABI does not include damage to the brain resulting from neurodegenerative disorders.
While research has demonstrated that thinking and behavior may be altered in virtually all forms of ABI, brain injury is itself a very complex phenomenon having dramatically varied effects.
No two persons can expect the same outcome or resulting difficulties.
The brain controls every part of human life: physical, intellectual, behavioral, social and emotional. When the brain is damaged, some part of a person's life will be adversely affected.
Consequences of ABI often require a major life adjustment around the person's new circumstances, and making that adjustment is a critical factor in recovery and rehabilitation.