Choose wisely, stay alert and safe! After years of working with trauma survivors, one group especially stands out in my mind on holiday weekends—those who have survived traumatic brain injuries. Why this group? They too had great plans, but their lives were accidentally changed.
With a focus on holiday activities, it’s easy for people to be in a hurry to reach destinations and make less than ideal choices. Sometimes those choices can injure themselves or others. Those who survive brain injuries may have had their lives abruptly, negatively altered or shattered by automobile, boating, or sports-related accidents. The news typically doesn’t show the great physical, mental, financial and relational losses that occur after an accident. They just show damaged vehicles or shocked loved ones. With our fast-paced technological society, it’s easy to assume that an injured person makes a quick recovery and gets on with life like before. But that’s not so.
Even with a mild traumatic brain injury like a concussion, recovery can take years and can bring with it physical and cognitive issues like headaches, dizziness, foggy thinking, inability to focus, and more—which can make it difficult to work. Obviously, the severity of the injury and how many previous brain injuries have occurred can determine the recovery time. A moderate or severe traumatic brain injury may take only seconds or minutes to occur, but can bring multiple lifelong physical and cognitive disabilities which are far more debilitating than those of a concussion. In fact, it may be impossible to work. While we all know people who have survived accidents, we may not fully grasp the extent of their injuries unless we spend time around them regularly and see the struggles and the differences afterwards.
So what’s my message? Simple. Whatever choices you’re making, consider the long-term consequences in regard to your life and the lives of others around you. You are needed in this world, along with all of the skills and talents that you bring to it!
Choose wisely, stay alert, and have a safe and fun-filled Labor Day Weekend!
All the best,