My Story of my Life with a Brain Injury

This is my story about how I got my brain injury and my journey through my school years. It gives background about why I began writing this blog

This post is telling my story. Please comment on any subjects you would like me to talk about on this blog.

I am 23 years old, and I have a bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science. I have lived with my acquired brain injury for my entire life due to a mistake during the birthing process. My mom got an overdose of Pitocin. That mistake caused me distress. This resulted in me trying to take my first breath while I was still in the womb. The team was unaware of what had happened. It was a rush to get me out when I got out my APGAR score was 2. I was not breathing and was blue and purple.

They whisked me away and put me on a stretcher made for infants. They put me on an ambulance and took me to the children’s hospital. I was a Children’s for a week in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I was on oxygen, had a feeding tube, and the CT scans showed that parts of my frontal cortex was dead. The doctors were warning my parents how I may not be able to walk or live on my own. They had no idea what was going to happen.

After spending a week at the Children’s hospital, I moved to a hospital that closer to home. After a few days there, I returned to go home, still on oxygen. I had seizures for six weeks and had to stay on oxygen for six months. At this point, it was just a waiting game.

After the Hospitals

As I got older, I went to my fair share of therapists before I even started school. At first, I thought nothing was wrong because I didn’t know any better because I was unaware of my story. I went to physical therapy and occupational therapy. I didn’t notice significant differences until about second grade. In second grade I began to take speech therapy. Sometimes, my sessions were in the middle of the school day which meant I took time out of subjects that I needed to learn to about. Other times I went to someone else after school, which meant I did not hang out with friends.

I had to go to speech therapy because I was able to think of what I wanted to say but it could not make the path to my mouth where I could articulate what I was feeling. In second grade I took time to take tests to ‘prove’ that I had a brain injury. The testing was for all the legal stuff that went on. The results showed a brain injury was present, that I had a brain injury. The testing process required me to take more time off of school. This made me feel even more alienated.

After all the testing and when I got to a point where I was able to stop speech therapy, my life became normal. This was nice and I enjoy this part of my story. I was able to have a childhood. I could enjoy my dance classes after school. After finishing elementary school, I changed my sport from dancing to figure skating. The ice is where I feel my best. It allows me to forget the differences and struggles in my life. This is so freeing, but sometimes it is a problem because I let myself get so frustrated at how long it takes me to learn a new skill.

My story: After School

The next time I had to face major difficulties with my brain injury was when it was time to apply to colleges. I can work my butt off in school and get decent grades, but my test scores don’t make that believable. I was lucky enough to get extra time to take a test, but that still didn’t help. It took me transferring school to find a school that I could excel in. When I found the right school for me, I was able to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sports Science.

This is my story until now and now I am waiting to find out what my next step in life is.

Welcome to Living with a Brain Injury

Hello, my name is Samantha. I have had a brain injury since I was born. I don’t know life without it. That is different from others experience. Most people with brain injuries remember what life was like before. I am stuck questioning what could my life had looked like if specific events didn’t occur. It is difficult to walk around life asking what ifs.

Everyone has them. What if this didn’t happen, what could I be doing now? The unknown is difficult to ponder, and there are a lot of factors. For everyone with a brain injury it is difficult to live and accept your brain injury, but as a kid, it is especially tricky. As a kid, all that is important is fitting in and making friends. When you must leave class to get individual help or cannot hang out after school because you need to go to various therapy sessions, friends become curious. To explain what is going on, don’t you have to understand it yourself?

The Differences of having a brain injury

What your routine is, isn’t what routine is for anyone else. My goal for this blog is to let kids know that being different isn’t the worst thing and as you grow up, it gets better. I am here to talk about my experience with my brain injury and the roller coaster of emotions that went along with it. It is possible to push past the obstacles that life throws at you. My experience has taught that everything happens for a reason, even if the goal isn’t apparent at the moment.

I graduated college a year ago and still have no idea what I am going to do with my life. There is even a reason for me not having a plan for my life right now. I know that my ultimate goal in my life is to help kids dealing with the long process of learning to live with a brain injury.