Exhaustion to You and Me

May Mutter

Imagine you just went for a run. You're exhausted. You want nothing but a calming shower and sit on a couch.

Imagine you just had traveled abroad for 2 weeks and saw everything there is to see. You're exhausted. You need to come home and have a "vacation" from your vacation.

Imagine you just worked a full 8-10 hour day. You're exhausted. You want to come home, have a nice dinner, and just hang out with your family.

Imagine you just came back from dancing at the club. You're sweaty, sore, and ready for bed. You're exhausted.

These may be extremes, but about every night when you're ready to go to bed because you're tired from the million little things you did during your day? Every night, you're exhausted and ready for bed.

Exhaustion. You know that feeling? Sore joints, you complain you need a massage. You space out. You want to "veg" and just play video games or watch tv. Grab a snack and lay by the pool, in your backyard, or you're burnt out from work and it's time to hit the cottage. Occasionally, you might take a vacation or sick day and do just that.

Welcome to our world. Now you known what I'm talking about, let me tell you about brain injuries:

We're having a conversation with you and 10 minutes in but the focus is too much...we're exhausted. We're spacing out and starting to fill in blanks for what you're saying. Headaches.

We're chopping vegetables for dinner but the concentration it requires to make the movement and not chop our fingers off...we're exhausted. Headaches.

We're vacuuming one floor, hell, one room, but the energy it requires to push the vacuum (even a central vac that doesn't weight much), we feel we just ran a marathon...we're exhausted. Headaches.

We want to watch a movie, a show, stand up comedy, or read a book, but the movement and the story is hard to follow because of our memory or visual's exhausting. Headaches.

We put on a smile at all times so you don't have to deal with our pain, but our brain is constantly at war with each's exhausting. We're exhausted.

Please remember to accommodate people with brain injuries, and even when they have a smile on, I guarantee you they're exhausted. Fatigue and headaches are the number one thing we deal with. You ask us if we have a headache at the moment, we do. It's not a matter of "if", it's "how bad". That feeling of sore muscles when you run a mile, that's how our brain feels from doing *anything* - even just walking to the bathroom from the next room.

If we need a time out:
  • Let us hide in the bathroom for an hour and don't poke fun about "diarrhea". 
  • Let us lie on the couch at a party or gathering and don't call us "lame". 
  • Let us take breaks if we're on a walk and don't call us "out of shape". 
  • Let us do a quick calming meditation and don't call us a "hippie". 
  • Let us haven a quiet day if we're not up to hanging out and dont call us "losers". 
  • Let us be. Let us be our own judge - it's hard enough as it is to pace because we have a hard time stopping when we should. We want to fit in, so we overdo it, then we need a week to recover. 

Please be understanding. We're exhausted 24/7 the way you're exhausted when you're burnt out. It takes you a tank of gas to drive 4 hours, it takes us a full tank to drive 10 minutes.

"Scientists have discovered that the brain of a brain injured works harder and uses more braincells. To process information more nerve activity is shown. They try to make more interconnections to braincells.
More brain areas are involved in activities than before the brain injury. Thatdifference can be seen with PET scans. Parts in the brain that normallyshow little activity in the conduct of an activity, become actively involved in the thinking process after a brain injury.
This requires many extra bypasses and energy. Therefore, the reaction is often a bit slower on a brain injured person and it requires more energy. For each brain signal between brain cells, needs electricity to be generated and that takes energy. It can make someone really tired."

1 comment

  • This should be mandatory reading for anyone who knows someone with a concussion/ brain injury. Great insight. Thank you for sharing this!


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