I was in a serious car crash when I was 16, was in a coma for about 2 weeks and inpatient rehab for about 4 months. I have recovered remarkably and haven't met anyone that has been through what I have. I had a very supportive family that went above and beyond to make sure I recovered to my fullest. I am a very lucky person but I feel alone in what I have experienced. I can carry a normal conversation just fine, however, knowing life will never be the same is still hard for me. I have constant stress that I should probably talk more with a doctor about. Putting this out there in hopes someone will understand.
You have been through a lot at a very young age. This can often result in post-traumatic stress, however mild it may be. It is very natural. Since you have a supportive family, talk to them about your doubts and apprehensions and seek professional help from a counselor or therapist. Just a few sessions will help you overcome these feelings and during group therapies you will get to meet others who went through similar experiences and have emerged a winner like you!
I suffered a severe traumatic brain injury when I was 11 after falling about 15 feet from a tree. I was in a coma for a week, had "diffuse axonal shearing" which is basically widespread brain damage that they usually only see in Shaken Baby Syndrome. I stopped breathing at one point and was put on a ventilator and had multiple strokes as a result of tears in my lungs. This caused air embolisms (bubbles) to travel up the blood stream into my brain, causing strokes. Apparently this sometimes happens in scuba divers. The ventilator basically pushed a bunch of air through the holes in my lungs. So I had 3 different types of brain injury at once: from strokes, lack of oxygen, and the force of impact.
You are lucky you went to inpatient rehab, they sent me to outpatient because I was young they said my brain would heal and I would bounce back. Everyone was just happy I wasn't a vegetable and could walk and talk and that my eyes uncrossed after a few weeks, they didn't really think about any of the long term effects.
I look normal which is the most frustrating, because then everyone assumes that I AM normal. And don't believe me when I can't do certain things (drive for instance) or that it takes me a really long time to process information. I am 22 almost 23 now, and I don't know anyone who goes through what I have to deal with on a daily basis either. "Normal" people just don't understand.
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