Portrait: Jodie

My TBI story began in 2021 with The Beast From The East. I fell at a train station as I was visiting my brother for a few days. I was discharged from A&E after a few hours, with a diagnosis and leaflet on concussion, as well as a diagnosis of whiplash. I was also advised to take paracetamol for any pain.

Jodie’s experience with TBI 

Initially, I wasn’t too bad, but about five days after I fell, I began feeling dizzy in the mornings. This got progressively worse until, at its worst, I would feel dizzy, dazed, foggy, and clumsy all day. I was a nurse and pushed really hard with any rehab I received. I pushed to prove that I could get back to work and could still nurse.  

Setbacks lead to stronger friendships 

After a prolonged failed attempt to do so, I was dismissed from my job. This was a new turning point in my recovery. It was at this point that my world really seemed to fall apart. All my symptoms ramped up and my mobility, instead of being an occasional issue, became a more permanent issue. As I write, I am housebound unless someone can take me out in a car, and when I’m out, I can only walk short distances. Shopping of any kind is pretty much off the cards, as is photography—one of my favourite hobbies. I can take photos for about 10 minutes around the garden, but then my legs “go,” and I have to rest.  

As a result of this, I’m no longer a registered nurse. I’m also dependent on my fantastic family and support network of incredible friends. Life since my TBI has taught me so much about leaning on my friends and being vulnerable with them. Something I would never have done before... being the friend who fixes and is always there. Who knew vulnerability was the key to stronger friendships!  

My journey along the way—and what’s next 

I’ve met some incredible practitioners along the way. I’m fortunate to have a head injury team at my local hospital. Even so, some things have required my personal research to add direction to certain aspects of my treatment. My symptoms list is as endless as anyone's with a TBI, as is my triggers list.  

The biggest trigger I’m only just beginning to learn about is my emotions. This alone can stop me in my tracks in an instant. Hopefully in time and with professional support, I will gain more understanding and hopefully also some level of improvement. I am positive about the future and incredibly excited about all the amazing work SameYou are doing for the brain injury community. 

A message to others in recovery 

If you can focus on what you do have and what you can do, life will be a lot easier. It won’t necessarily change your situation, but it will change how you respond to it.   

At SameYou, we’re on a mission to help and support brain injury survivors, because we know that brain injury doesn’t just affect the brain, but the whole person. Will you join our community today to help spread the word, become an activist and support the work we do by donating to us? 

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