By Angela

Something’s Wrong…I Don’t Feel Like Myself

For me, brain injury was not an immediate event which I connected to the incidents which caused damage to my brain. Partly because I was focused on my neck, shoulder and shoulder blade which were causing me the greatest physical pain. Another reason was because it took time to give words to problems I was experiencing. As many brain injury survivors say: “You don’t know what you don’t know.” All I knew was that something was wrong and I didn’t feel like myself.

I had never felt like this before and could not make sense of what I was experiencing. I began to keep a journal thinking that this information might make sense to a doctor. Treating myself like one of the children I used to work with, I looked for correlations between certain symptoms and things that I did or ate. My many and varied symptoms included:

Dizziness and vertigo
Frequent crying
Neck & back pain
Numbness in legs and arms
Muscle spasms in eyes and shoulder blade
Extreme fatigue
Weakness on L-side
Difficulty walking
Frequent headaches
Easily distracted

of forgetfulness
Get lost easily
Can only say a couple words at a time
Slow to think
Difficulty reading and remembering
Difficulty following conversations
Extreme sensitivity to light, sound & touch

Amazingly it would be 50 doctors & therapists, 232 appointments and more than 3 years later before someone would finally make sense of all my symptoms and what happened to me. Based upon my journal of symptoms and treatments, interviews of people who had frequent contact with me, medical tests, and the clinical course of events, some doctors believe that I:

1) suffered a brain injury from the car accident and

2) suffered damage to one of the arteries in my brain from chiropractic manipulation I was receiving for neck pain from the car accident. This damage cause a lack of blood flow to my brain stem which then resulted in permanent and ongoing problems.

I am appalled and disgusted by the whole medical professional. Something has gone terribly wrong and needs to be fixed. Too many doctors fall back on “If I don’t understand it or can’t explain it, it’s got to be psychological.” If someone has been hurt through the negligence of another person and is involved in a lawsuit, many doctors are quick to assume that the person must be faking, lying or malingering. Far too many doctors are arrogant and so full of themselves that they treat patients in extremely unprofessional and disrespectful ways. What sickened me the most was discovering that there are doctors who are paid to lie, and that they do it so well and so easily.

When I first began this journey into the unknown, I held onto the belief that truth and justice would prevail. I thought the kinds of injustices that we see so often on TV movies and shows are largely just fictional; I hoped that if these things were plausible, that it happened in the minority of cases.

After going through a lawsuit and talking with many others, I no longer hold that illusion. Our legal system is terribly and horribly flawed. It is not about discovering the truth, punishing the wrong-doer and looking at appropriate compensation. It’s all about big law firms who have the financial backing of large insurance companies who pay to “spin” the facts in order to avoid taking financial responsibility for the negligence or wrongful doing of their clients.

This experience has also opened my eyes about the unjust and tyrannical disability policies which govern some educational retirement systems. People talk about the frustrations they have with getting disability from the social security administration. These stories pale when compared to my experience with obtaining disability through my school employees retirement system (SERS). Yet another corrupt system which is in desperate need of reform.

I have written about my experiences with the medical, legal and disability systems under the titles Doctors, Lawyers and Disability. I hope those of you who come to my site will share your experiences as well. It is my hope that sharing our stories will not only be therapeutic to ourselves, it may also serve to better educate the public about brain injury, chiropractic stroke and/or unjust educational retirement systems.

© Angela Cramer, 2008

Photo is the property of Jupiterimages made available through subscription:
© Jupiterimages Corporation, 2008

Tags: TBI, Traumatic Brain Injury, Acquired Brain Injury, Chiropractic Stroke, Post Concussion Syndrome, Car Accident, Chiropractic Treatment, SERS, School Employees Retirement System, Symptoms


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