Part 3: You're not alone.
Motional lability: the emotional rollercoaster sometimes experienced with Severe Brain injury. It doesn't mean that you are necessarily experiencing those emotions, for me it's typically tears. Rather I find that when my brain has "had enough" or can't take in anything more my face leaks. Of course I mean tears, ALLLLLL the tears - I just prefer to say leaking than crying because I'm not upset. I'm not sad or happy or otherwise, I'm just in sensory overload and it's the only way my brain knows how to alleviate that. Ironically those words were the first ones mentioned to me in triage, as I sat sobbing uncontrollably at the nurses desk and only mustered the words "I can't stop crying, and I'm not a cryer". The nurse happily declared "motional lability" and asked if I had hit my head.
I actually couldn't remember the word he used until now, when writing this I thought I would look it up. As awful as this experience has been, I'm so fortunate that there are finally being breakthroughs in the study of concussions and all that they entail. I'm still learning to manage my symptoms but the key in my improvement has largely been down to my ability to recognise what they were. That piece of paper from the hospital did not help. Rather reaching out to friends of friends who had suffered similar experiences as I. Finding ways to verbalise what I'm experiencing, to support why I had 2 weeks of wanting to sleep but no real reason for being exhausted [by my own standards]. To remind yourself that your brain is healing, your recovery will be as unique as you! Recently I watched a youtube video referred to me by one of my dance faculty. Rebecca Reinhart is a fellow dancer and entrepreneur, she has created an incredible "Concussion" training segment within their dance education program. Whilst aimed at dancers, the pdf can be used by all. Her guide helps identify symptoms in a non medical term way and also keep track of progress in healing. For me it was a way of showing people around me, here see this, this is how I am today. For just $10 you have full access to her concussion curriculum on how to manage your symptoms.
Hearing other people's stories and learning that It's all 'normal' is beyond comforting. Especially in a world where the gaps in our knowledge and understanding of concussions are tremendous. I haven't been ready to share my story until now and it's still very much a work in progress but I figured if I can share my journey maybe one more person will feel better about theirs too. That maybe their family and friends will have a better understanding of what is happening.
I have included some links to articles/podcasts that helped me along the way:
Read here: https://www.brainline.org/article/emotional-problems-after-traumatic-brain-injury
Listen here: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/popup/audio/listen.html?autoPlay=true&mediaIds=2696652121
Do you have insight or info to share? Let me know, I would LOVE to hear! Remember none of us is in this alone