Energy after my TBI has big my biggest side effect. I wake up exhausted daily. I never feel rested. But I always try to look at the positives from this, I should be dead or in a comatose state to seeing tired is no big deal. I will deal with it.
But with this comes a lot of changes to life and daily awareness and planning. Yes I can still vacation, which is amazing but what people don’t see is one week of vacation puts me down for a good 2-3 weeks or more to recover. But it is for vacation and that’s worth it to me so I do it.
Working- I know I can do one four hour shift a week (with 1.5 hour transportation on the bus each way) and still be functioning. I have done 2 shifts in one week, and it was not the best but I can do it. I cannot do more than that. My speech, my thinking, my mood all becomes a mess. I all of a sudden can’t do what I have done before, I can’t do simple counting, I forget processes and procedures and get extremely frustrated. So we have learned one shift a week is ideal for where I am at and for being the best I can be.
I went for a hike on Thursday, it was uphill and 6.4 miles round trip. It was hard. My heart rate skyrocketed, I had to take some breaks along the hike up, but I did it. I’m writing this 2 days later and I’m still completely wiped from it. Just plain exhausted and have been recovering by not doing anything. It’s stuff like this that I am still learning 2 years later. I won’t attempt to do a hike that strenuous again, I will stick to a flatter hike and maybe not as many miles, but if so at least s flat hike.
The one thing that has really helped me is my one thing a day. To save my energy, not exhaust myself but to feel like a contributing member of my household I try to do one thing a day to contribute. Some days that is loading the dishwasher, some days making a family meal. I also use this one thing a day in general too. If it’s a day I work I do nothing else, if I go somewhere for the day like a shopping trip, that’s basically all I do. I cannot push myself to do all the things. It just doesn’t work for me and it does not create the best me. So we find ways that work. Like one thing a day, one big thing a day, or one contributing thing at home. Like i can totally load the dishwasher and still go grocery shopping. One big thing per day and one thing for my home and family to contribute to helping.
Basics in the brain injury world- you have to find what works for you and what is best for you. Everyone is different, every brain injury is different. You may want to do all the things, but just remember do what’s best for you and your health and those in your life. I know people with a severe TBI and Diffuse Axonal like I have who don’t have the same energy issues. Like I said, every brain injury is different. If you have seen one brain injury, you have seen one. And comparison is so unnecessary in life and especially in the brain injury life.
Your 🧠 is kind a big deal. It controls everything for you. So having a brain injury is no joke, sadly it’s an invisible illness and people may think you look fine, it’s been a couple years people wonder why your not over it yet and still talking about it but it’s a big deal. I came out of my brain injury pretty amazingly, but it does not mean daily I don’t have side effects, all day every day. I have life long effects that will never go away. I wish it was just normal tired but it’s not, neuro fatigue is a whole new version of being tired.