Almosting Losing Your Life, Changes It

In 1994 I survived a car accident that could have just as easily killed me. I didn't regularly wear my seat belt, and on this particular morning I was making the 5 mile trip to work but did have my seat belt on!

I ran into the back of a large vehicle at 45 mph that had stalled on the freeway, my car did not have airbags. My head left the steering wheel mangled. Besides a crushed heel and a few other broken bone, I had bleeding in my brain (traumatic brain injury).

To this day my last memory before the accident is heading up the freeway on-ramp, my next memory is opening my eyes in my hospital room about 5 hours later with a turban made of bandages, a painful foot and a catheter that I wanted OUT!

My brain injury would be considered mild to moderate by medical personnel, but even a mild one can have a considerable long term impact on your personality, relationships and occupation. They say a TBI (traumatic brain injury) doesn't change your core personality, rather it tends to accentuate, magnify, certain aspects of your personality. For example, I've never been one to live my live based on what would be acceptable to other people, or worry about what others thought. Now, it is even more so. I say what I think, often with little or no filtering. If I don't feel like sitting through my son's little league game like a "good" mom, I don't.

I have always been loathe to hurt anyone or say anything nasty or mean to someone, and I'm still that way, but if something unpleasant needs to be said, I'll say it with as much consideration as possible. If I had been a mean ***** before the accident, I'd hate to see what I would be like now.

A few years before the accident I was going through a nasty divorce, and besides dealing with my rehabilitation, a number of other personal stresses presented themselves in the 4 years following my accident. Every time I would think, "Well it has to get better from here", I would be blindsided by something new. I discovered what a strong person I really was, I survived.

Your priorities change, what is important in a mate changes, after almost dieing. My accident, combined with prior relationship experiences, moved humor/laughter up to the top of my shopping list for a life partner. I've always been a very sensual, tactile person. That sexual spark was always important to me. The man who has been in my life the past 3 years is no Adonis, but we make each other laugh all the time, he is very intelligent, I can talk to him about anything and he is not judge mental. This is the best relationship I've ever had. I would have never dated him 13 years ago.

It took me a few years to accept that I have limitations as a consequence of my TBI. My short term memory deficits, I can't do 5 things at once anymore, I misplace things, forget things. startle easily, have trouble staying in one place for long and get irritable with interruptions. But I know these things about me and take steps to compensate for them. 

I am grateful to be alive and look forward to the future.

WittyOne WittyOne
46-50, F
2 Responses May 25, 2007

yes it does! congrats

well ur here and ur strong well done some peeps would feel sorry for themselves like me