I’ve fallen in love. I’ve been in love. But I’ve never thought about what it is to be in love. My girlfriend of over 10 years now quit her job and it’s a grad program early and flew home to be a full-time caretaker for me when I first had my TBI in late 2015. Things between us are so much different now, she and I are both so traumatized; we are so scared for the future. We don’t often sit and exist to gather like we used to, just having fun and being in the moment living life.
Now, I know she has become resentful because we have had to watch all of her friends and the people around us move forward and onward with their lives, while we seem to stay stuck on the sidelines -waiting for a breeze to lift us up and back into the night; padded softly between the aspirations and dreams we shared and held together. None of them may even come in the slightest given reality. But the dreams we held were never as inportant as the bond of love we held together. While this recovery process threatens to rip us apart, it will never leave us truly separate. Dreams will form anew, and this wake up call has shown me they’re just celestial symphonies playing to us each and setting us up to want and expect to figure out the path, to reach the dream, to settle at last and know the universe is a puzzle we’ve figured out. But the problem is this sojourn towards the skies, towards dreams of reverence and feeling special sharing the lies that achievement ends our search and breaks some finishing line at the outer bounds of the universe. Every time you reach those Outabounds the universe will expand once again, new dreams will be there for you to follow in the dreams of the past whether you cheat them where they fell to the wayside will never let you settle yourself; you’ll never rest when we light our life’s satisfaction like thousands of fireflies cauught in a lantern. Brief sparks of beauty and the inevitable opposite experience. But there is one way to be sure life held you right – to hold your love for another human being and feel, in every moment that you remind yourself, the person changes and the world around us will never stop for our selfish wish. So I cherish my girlfriend’s compassion and companionship like the grace of a sunset. Even right now, she is in my head and in my moment, and that’s all I need to feel alive. That’s all I need to feel fulfilled from life and all its spirals of defeat and oppositely wonderful grandeurs.
So tomorrow I’ll go back to battle; but now I’ll be thinking about how fortunate I am to have all of those years with my lover; to be in love with such harmony and meaningful purpose too far in the mysteries of the depths to understand why life is love; why it is that life is to be in love. If we can remind ourselves of that, none shall lay buried with the loneliness of a single headstone. But instead we may all become dreamers again, sleeping in our new bed of flowers.
Years worth of personal growth and change captured here in this young man’s precious moments post TBI. This inspires me and shows how mature and evolved many TBI patients are, even if it’s clouded by impulse or behavior issues. The heart stays true to itself; it stays strong while the brain has its time to rest and renew itself. Thanks for your post!
I know it’s not a huge step but I went into my social media accounts and signed out. It’s very hard to do, I have bad impulse control and that has exacerbated my thought process and decision making. I can only look at it as another thing to improve on. This is my life and I need to put in more effort and show people that I really do care about my life. It is just not shown due to the aphasia cause by my anoxic brain injury. The type of brain injury that I have was caused by lack of oxygen to my brain, not any external force hitting my head. So there are a lot of things I need to improve upon.
Tritos NA, et al. Endocr Pract. 2015.
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OBJECTIVE: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is now recognized as a major public health concern in the United States and is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality in both children and adults. Several lines of evidence indicate that TBI-induced hypopituitarism is not infrequent in TBI survivors and may contribute to the burden of illness in this population. The goal of this article is to review the published data and propose an approach for the neuroendocrine evaluation and management of these patients.
METHODS: To identify pertinent articles, electronic literature searches were conducted using the following keywords: “traumatic brain injury,” “pituitary,” “hypopituitarism,” “growth hormone deficiency,” “hypogonadism,” “hypoadrenalism,” and “hypothyroidism.” Relevant articles were identified and considered for inclusion in the present article.
RESULTS: TBI-induced hypopituitarism appears to be more common in patients with severe TBI. However, patients with mild TBI or those with repeated, sports-, or blast-related TBI are also at risk for hypopituitarism. Deficiencies of growth hormone and gonadotropins appear to be most common and have been associated with increased morbidity in this population. A systematic approach is advised in order to establish the presence of pituitary hormone deficiencies and implement appropriate replacement therapies.
CONCLUSION: The presence of traumatic hypopituitarism should be considered during the acute phase as well as during the rehabilitation phase of patients with TBI. All patients with moderate to severe TBI require evaluation of pituitary function. In addition, symptomatic patients with mild TBI and impaired quality of life are at risk for hypopituitarism and should be offered neuroendocrine testing.
PMID 26172127 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
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Endocr Pract. 2015 Jul;21(7):851-3.
[Neuroendocrine dysfunction and brain damage. A consensus statement].
Leal-Cerro A, et al. Endocrinol Nutr. 2009 Jun-Jul.
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This consensus statement aims to enhance awareness of the incidence and risks of hypopituitarism in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and/or brain hemorrhages among physicians treating patients with brain damage. The importance of this problem is related not only to the frequency of TBI but also to its prevalence in younger populations. The consequences of TBI are characterized by a series of symptoms that depend on the type of sequels related to neuroendocrine dysfunction. The signs and symptoms of hypopituitarism are often confused with those of other sequels of TBI. Consequently, patients with posttraumatic hypopituitarism may receive suboptimal rehabilitation unless the underlying hormone deficiency is identified and treated. This consensus is based on the recommendation supported by expert opinion that patients with a TBI and/or brain hemorrhage should undergo endocrine evaluation in order to assess pituitary function and, if deficiency is detected, should receive hormone replacement therapy.
PMID 19695511 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]