Saturday, November 14, 2015

Acquired Brain Injury Day 22

Moving Day, Colleen was transferred to the Caulfield Hospital Acquired Brain Injury Ward with no problems. She was confused by the move, but was happy to see Ryder, Danielle and Adam, who had come down from Mansfield the day before. 

Colleen was tired from the stress of the move and from seeing the family, so the fact she was confused was seen as normal. When the family was visiting she was able to talk with them and laugh but I could see that she was getting tired quickly.

Danielle and the family left, she wanted to go with them, and I stayed and tried to explain that Colleen needed to stay in the ward, to work on her rehabilitation. After all the moves and the stress her frustration with her situation started to show. Her memory had still not fully returned but enough of it had so she could remember bits and pieces. 

Although she still did not realize that she was in Australia and that she had an Aneurysm Bleed, she knew she was not well. She also believed that she had been in the hospital only a couple of days and she felt/believed she was ready to go home. 

Frustration and anger is part of the after effects of Acquired Brain Injury and Colleen was finally in a position to realize she was not in control. Frustration to me means that there is forward progress and that we are moving closer to full recovery.

Although Colleen so far, has not had all of the impacts she has had many of them, and the stress is stating to play on my nerves. I have to work hard at keeping a positive attitude when I am with her in the hospital.

Here are some of the other changes and consequences of brain injury. These are many and varied.  The ones in bold are the ones that Colleen is/has experienced. The impact can result in the following changes:

Category of change
Neurological impairment
Affecting a person’s motor skills or sensory experiences – including smell and touch, hearing, vision or taste
Motor function impairmen
This may cause changes in coordination, balance, walking, hand function, speech or swallowing
Sleep disturbance
Sleep can be difficult or interrupted, with some individuals experiencing insomnia or fatigue
Swallowing impairments 
May require a feeding tube or texture modified diets
Medical complications 
Post-traumatic epilepsy, brain swelling, irregular bone formation, respiratory issues, increased muscle tone (spasticity), sexual dysfunction
Cognitive impairment 
Memory impairment
Impaired reasoning judgement and safety awareness
Problems in planning, organising, and making decisions
Difficulty with new learning, attention and concentration; reduced speed and flexibility of thought processing; impaired problem-solving skills
Impaired self-monitoring and insight
Communication and language problems
May include difficulty finding words, impaired reading and writing skills, impaired numerical processing skills, or difficulty with comprehension or understanding new concepts
Impaired social and coping skills
Like many of the changes, impaired social skills can lead to reduced self-esteem
Altered emotional control
Poor frustration tolerance and anger management; denial, and self-centredness
Mental health issues
Anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychosis, personality and other behavioral changes
Individual may find it difficult to become motivated and experience apathy

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