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Keep It Simple When Living With a TBI

CNS - Center for Neurological Studies > CNS in the News > Keep It Simple When Living With a TBI

EEGOur guest author, Pamela Clair is a survivor of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).  In her article she poured a small taste of TBI, but there is so much more.

Learn her story and share a small glimpse into her life while living with a brain injury. It may help you understand what you, yourself or a loved one close to you is experiencing on a daily basis.


Pamela stressed to us the importance of remembering,

Those who fall under the TBI umbrella are all different with different problems. Even though the rain is the same, we will all experience it to different degrees.

Keep It Simple

My TBI was from a car wreck when I was 9. Two blood clots; right parietal lobe, right temporal, and later to find out frontal lobe damage. No one ever really discussed the accident and I received no rehab at the time, it was 1978.

So I adapted with whatever my brain could use at the time. I made it all the way through college and graduated. Then things got tricky…. Just taking care of daily living can take up all my time and energy. People were EXPECTING me to preform at normal speed. Then all of my TBI demons came out. Add FAILURE on top of that and you’ve got yourself into one deep depression.

I have learned at the age of 42, do what you can, when you can.

For instance I needed to go to the grocery store to get what I eat for breakfast (it’s the same thing every day so I don’t have to think about it) and each day I woke up and my brain said ‘no not today’ but a few hours later I found myself with some extra energy and next thing you know I’m at the grocery store.

My meds are important, the side effects are worth it and doable. Over stimulation is a KILLER. I used to take 3 hours to get through a grocery store with a rest stop in the canned green bean aisle. Now I put my ear buds in and put music on and can stay focused.  I don’t even need a list!

Now don’t assume I can cook, because I can’t, but I’m trying to learn slowly. My executive functioning isn’t that great.

The WORST part of having a TBI is trying to explain it to people and still have them pushing for you to do more. That’s where some of the anxiety kicks in, which you need to be able to get a handle on, or your brain gets tired then you start OCD’ing about how its never going to get easier or other terrible thoughts.

You know what you need. Have a support system of those who get it.  Manage your energy and anxiety and try to have a few laughs along the way.

Pamela Clair, TBI survivor, 925studio


About the Author:  I look and sound like a fully functioning human being. I can write essays, read books and learn new stuff. I avoid things I have trouble with: crowds, loud noises, math and science, fluorescent lighting.

I’m an artist, not because I want to be, its the only thing that works for me. Trust me I’d love to be a high powered something or other, but I’ll just have to try to change the world with less fanfare.

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2 Responses
  1. Hi everyone! Thanks for posting my tip! Every day lately has been a struggle for me but I am incredibly tenacious. Yet another blessing or sometimes a curse of my TBI.