Walking A Mile In My Shoes

Walk A Mile In My Shoes

I saw a meme recently that said “ Never mind ‘walkin a mile in my shoes’…Try spending a day in my head.”. It made me think how would I describe what it’s like in mine with a traumatic brain injury.

Let’s see, you would wake up early around 5:30 to 6:00 AM every day.
You don’t connect with time like you used to, so your first thoughts are to try to figure out if today is a work day or a stay at home day.

Shortly you become aware of the ringing in your ears, one of the new symptoms you are still trying to get used to.

Your brain injury brings new symptoms as time goes by and nerves fail and deteriorate.

The pain in your hands and feet is a throbbing tingling sensation this morning , another new symptom that is annoying right now, which is better then the pain from last night.


When you get out of bed to start your day you find your balance is a little unstable, easily corrected with the support of the bed and the wall.

You brush your teeth with the lights out because it’s easier on your light sensitive eyes.

Brushing your teeth can be a challenge, sometimes you have trouble figuring out what items you need to accomplish this simple task.

Often you have trouble with your balance in the shower. Getting rescued from the shower because you fall is probably not on your bucket list.

Putting on your deodorant can be a challenge too, you may find yourself standing at the bathroom counter knowing there is something you should be doing next, but you can not find the memory anywhere.

Memory loss is a symptom you will have to deal with daily. Short term loss is the worst, most every thing from the last three years is gone. Anything you experienced recently won’t stay unless you find a way to repeat it some how. Anything you do retain, will feel like a distant disconnected memory.

Eating is like a new experience every time, because you don’t remember want anything tastes like.  When you try to recall memories from the distant past, it brings on headaches.  Several times today you will be asked “Do you miss?”, it is hard to connect to something that you don’t have memories of.

You will receive suggestions and comments today like “ have you tried?”, “if I was you.” , “you don’t look hurt!”.

There is a tingling sensation inside your head, it’s almost like you can feel every connection in your brain is activating.

You’ll try to avoid bright light and loud noises because they both make you uncomfortable.

Your vision is one of your oldest symptoms. You’ve lost some of your right peripheral vision and everything is generally blurred. As the day progresses, a tension headache will start from your temples, then across your eye brows and forehead.

Fatigue will start to hit by 10:30-11:00 AM. You’ll need a nap by early evening or maybe some time in a low light room to rest your eyes and head.

Your migraines are finally under control, now that you are on the right medication, as long as you remember to take it.

You’re going to experience a disconnection from your surroundings. It’s a feeling like you are watching what is going on around you but you are not really taking part in it.

Confusion and distraction come over you, you can’t understand why simple tasks are so challenging.
Repetitive tasks set well and allow you to be productive.
New tasks challenge you, strain your thought processes and generate headaches.

You spend a lot of time in your own head but find that you don’t really spend much time thinking about anything.

Today you have an appointment with a new doctor, you are hopeful for an open mind, you are hopeful you will be heard and you are hopeful their agenda today, includes you.

You’re ready for bed by 10:00 PM but you know you won’t sleep more then five hours so you have to stay up till midnight or 1:00 AM.
You realize you’ve made it to the end of another day.

TBI is the leading cause of death and disability in children and adults ages 1 to 44. Populations that are most affected are youth and elderly who have falls. Each year about 2.5 million individuals have TBIs of which approximately 50,000 result in death, and over 80,000 suffer permanent disability.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading causes of TBI are:

• Falls (28%)
• Motor vehicle crashes (20%)
• Being hit by or colliding with an object (19%)
• Assaults (11%)
• Others (12%)

57 thoughts on “Walking A Mile In My Shoes

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  1. You made me stop in my tracks this morning. I see where you have made many connections through just this one post. You have shown people that they are not alone in their experience. And you have shown many how their loved ones may be feeling or thinking. Beautifully written and I hope writing helps you through.

    1. Because Brain Injury is an unseen injury the biggest challenge is being acknowledged by insurance, medical and those near you. Thanks for taking the time to understand.

  2. excellent description of where I was at 5 years into my reawakening after TBI w/SIS I am now 8 1/2 post and still many of these symptoms apply! when I am tired or stressed I can still hear my brain vibrate 💚

  3. This is such a powerful post. Thank you so much for sharing! I have been curious what it must be like after a TBI. I struggle with muscles that don’t want to work, and they don’t know why. It’s hard facing a struggle every day, but we’re strong and we will prevail 💖

  4. This is a great post and really inspiring. It’s amazing to know that you keep pushing yourself in these challenging situations. Thanks for sharing.

  5. “You realize you’ve made it to the end of another day.”

    Wow, devastating.

    I can’t even fathom how strong you are.. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    1. Thanks for sharing your day. This touch the heart. l hope my sons will be strong in every situation like you

  6. Even during these life challenging phases, you kept yourself strong. You did not let go of pushing forward. We all respect and learn from you.

  7. This must be difficult.Very thoughtful of you that you are sharing your personal experience.More power to you

  8. That was so inspiring.. Can’t imagine how exhausting it was to have a brain injury..

  9. So sorry for this. TBI is definitely a trial. I have a neurological disorder and can relate to some of these things. You will be in my prayers

  10. Thanks for sharing this. It certainly gives a different perspective to how something as simple as waking up can change so drastically for someone who has had a traumatic injury in the brain. So sorry you have to go though this. You’re so strong!

  11. I had a partial TMI from a bleed when I was 24. I had to learn to write and walk again because of the location. Luckily no residual damage. Hopefully with time, yours will get better. I find lists really help with the memory issues. Posting a list of what I need to do each day that I can check off.

  12. I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. We have diff journeys in life. It may be good or bad but one thing for sure. Everything will ok. Thank you for sharing your story.

  13. In order for each of us to be good to each other, I think it’s important to realize that everyone has their own struggles and is on their own journey. Thank you for sharing yours.

  14. Being able to share it with us and being able to fight and live up with it is truly remarkable. You are a SURVIVOR, an inspiration as well. having short term memory is really hard, at my young age I forget things easily sometimes and it bothers me a lot. Keep it up! God bless

  15. You are amazing for getting up and keeping going every day. Two years ago I was hit by a drunk driver head on and I have about 16 hours worth of memory loss that is completely blank. It’s like this big gaping hole thats there always in the back of my mind. I suffered three out of four limbs broken and was in a wheelchair for about 8 months. I have had 7 surgeries in 2 years.

  16. It’s amazing the power your mind has, isn’t it. I cannot imagine having to feel this way. Hope things look up for you!

  17. Wow, I am sorry that something many people take for granted is something you struggle to even have on a daily basis. I hope that you will make connections with as many memories as possible and stay strong.

  18. Wow, thank you for sharing your story. We should never be quick to judge how others are experiencing their lives, because we truly do not know what they are living through on a day-to-day basis.

  19. Very interesting. I see what my brother in law goes through with his neurological impairments. Not from an injury but from a sudden severe illness and he almost died. He was left completely disabled. Physically he is fine but mentally – so much has been lost.

  20. Hi I’m so sorry to hear this Blair! I also have TBI and sometimes I forget where I’m going or what I’m doing. I have to tell my 8 year old to remind to do things or ask my family what I was saying. It’s a very scary feeling!

  21. Thanks for sharing what it’s like to live with a traumatic brain injury. I think people might have an idea of what that means but not a realistic understanding of what your day-to-day entails.

  22. I am so sorry to hear of all the hardships that you have endured recently. This is such an inspiring story, I hope things get better for you soon. Thanks for sharing!

  23. sorry to hear all of this! 🙁 this was a really interesting read and something I would never have thought about. stay strong lovely

  24. I am sorry you have to go through this. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story! Stay strong!

  25. Thank you for letting us in on your head, and what's it like to be you. I can see how strong you are, dealing with all of these. Continue to be strong.

  26. This just goes to show you never know what somebody is going through and not to judge based on what you see on the surface. What you go through daily is an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story.

  27. The memory is a funny beast. Some years ago I went back to visit a small town I lived in as a kid. Nothing was where I remembered it to be. Once I was there it sort of pieced together. Thank you for sharing.

  28. Your story slightly reminds me of my aunt (in law). A long time ago, she lost her short term memory. She keeps a book to record all of her truths. Unfortunately, some of those 'truths' are written incorrectly but are now a part of her story. She cannot even remember what she had for lunch or meeting new people. Everyone is trapped in the 1980's and earlier. I think what you are doing with blogging is so admirable and honestly, pretty special. Keep it up, and thank you for sharing something so personal. Love, Christine of The Uncorked Librarian

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