The mirror – By Bradley D. Camp

The mirror
This is a little blog sharing my experience dealing with Concussion, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Depression.

I’ve had this mirror in my office for years, I walk past it all the time. It’s a round mirror and it’s far from being small, it has a frame that is made up of three pieces of wood.

It’s not something to write about, having a mirror that is. Here is the thing, a few days ago I rearranged my office and part of what I wanted to do was move that mirror and have it cantered in a display of other picture frames that I have on a wall behind my desk. It took me a little over an hour to make room for the mirror and then arrange all the other frames around this mirror.

It’s not that it was anything hard to do and it wasn’t until after I was finished, finished taking down the mirror, dusting the mirror, cleaning the mirror, hanging the mirror, recleaning the mirror, hanging everything else around the mirror. It was not until the next day that I realized that I had not once noticed myself in that very mirror.

Years ago I was in a car accident, not a big deal. I was with my family, 6 people in total, driving along an open highway at 8 am on a nice clear Sunday morning, the sun had just broken through the horizon and was visible behind us. I was traveling at 100 kilometers per hour and was setting the cruise control while talking to my son who was sitting in the passenger seat beside me.

We both noticed a black Dodge Ram 1500 coming fast towards us from a road that was running perpendicular to us, he had a stop sign, we both noted his front end dipping as he was reducing his speed to stop at the stop sign. All of a sudden we saw his front end come back up and we instantly knew that he was going to run the stop sign and cross the highway right in front of us.

I slammed on our breaks, cranked the steering wheel to full lock to my right, and braced for impact, I recall letting out a loud swear to warn everyone else in the vehicle, our nose dipped and we connected just in front of his rear wheel.

The next thing I knew was that I was standing beside my Dodge Caravan, the airbags deployed, and my son was standing beside me, WTF.

I soon got my wits back to me and had a bunch of stuff to deal with, by a bunch I mean lots, Dr’s appointments, for everyone, Physio, chiro, massage therapy, and I was doing all of the driving for these appointments.

It wasn’t until years later that I was diagnosed with having a concussion and traumatic brain injury, then and only then I ended up in rehabilitation. Again WTF.

Now that I’ve been getting therapy, yes, Counselling, Physiotherapy, Vestibular Rehabilitation, Occupational therapy. Now I’m starting to see what is commonly referred to as an invisible injury.

An invisible injury, invisible to many in the medical profession, invisible to doctors and invisible to many lawyers, and invisible to many who are suffering from the injury.

So, how is someone to know they are suffering and how are they supposed to get help?

The first step that I would recommend is asking, Ask people who knew you before your accident and who still know you, Ask them if they have seen any changes in you, and be specific in your questioning.

Here are some sample questions.

1 Do I seem to be depressed compared to before the accident?

2 Am I more easily irritated or angered?

3 Am I more clumsy, dropping stuff?

4 Is my balance off, is it more off when I close my eyes?

5 Do I avoid communicating with people?

Now, I am getting help and I am thankful for the help. I’m starting to see some things more clearly. What was invisible to me is starting to become visible

Since putting up the mirror I’ve started looking into the mirror and seeing what it shows me. I’ve realized in the last few days that I have not looked in a mirror in years.

So, back to the questions, If you find that you are answering yes to a bunch of the questions above it could be time for you to seek out some help. Go to your doctor and explain what you are feeling then ask for a referral to get checked out by someone who can see the invisible injury.

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