Acquired brain injury: Is it really the end? – Part 4

News May 04, 2016 by Jesse Ferguson Brant News

This story is in part dedicated to the memory of Josh Demeulenaere, who lived with an acquired brain injury. He passed away last September in his 30th year from complications resulting from the injury.

One notable struggle Josh, Chris and myself all experienced following our acquired brain injuries was the pursuit of love and relationships.

Simply put, we had or have a substantial problem finding a woman good enough to take us on. We’re too intimidating for most it seems. I know I tried rather hard, and typically, failed rather miserably.

On this subject, the Metallica song The Day That Never Comes rings in my head: “Love is a four-letter word that never focuses. Love is (just) a four-letter word, here in this prison.”

In our cases, the prison referred to is brain injury.

I believe that speech deficit is the key factor in our struggle. I’m afraid that we don’t even register on most women’s radar...

I went to the bar more often than I’d like to admit. If I was seen in still frame, you’d think I pick up all the time. I have, but only marginally.

We really need someone divine to see past the injury that envelopes us.

Finally, after 10-plus years with brain injury, I found my true love.

                     ~

All three of our lives took unreasonable turns thanks to our accidents, and made us beings we never thought possible. We started as naïve adolescents only to be swept up and devoured in the riptide of brain injury.

However, where did we go following our injuries? Josh went on to live on the family farm, where he said he would have been anyway. Chris said he would be in the area, too. I don’t know where I would be if my injury hadn’t occurred, but since I grew up here and my family lives in Brantford (and area), I could also be here.

While our locations may not have been displaced, our everyday lives are. However, with the loads of bad ramifications that our accidents have brought, there are also positives...

“I actually wouldn’t change a thing (about my life),” Chris says. “I wish I didn’t have the accident, but I have a lot here that I didn’t before.”

Such as, his own house. His mom is nearby, but not with him. In a way, his accident seems to have regulated his life.

Josh also had personal gains. Before his accident, his sister, Megan, reported he was reckless.

“Josh always did what he wanted and if he wasn’t allowed he found a way around it. Even if it meant getting in trouble.”

But following his accident, Megan said he wouldn’t take this path. His parents, Joe and Irene, agreed that he was calmer.

As for me, despite a profound loss of physical ability and athletic dominance, my life after my brain injury is not without silver lining. Before the accident, I always worried about what everyone thought about me, even though I was perfectly fine. A song that speaks to my life on this subject is Frantic by Metallica: “I’ve worn out always being afraid. An endless stream of fear. Treading water full of worry; this frantic-tick-tick-tock.”

But now, even when I am not as fine and should be insecure, I am not. Why? Because I have come to grips with my life.

That’s what makes me think I’ve won this battle, if there is any way to differentiate the winners from losers (but I’m pretty sure we all lose). I’m not saying that cancels out my challenges, because there’s no way it does, but I can see in this way how the injury was for my benefit. I have no more frantic angst in social situations, which is amazing.

Like a metal that can only achieve its peak hardness when subjected to a maximum temperature, I think I’ve only become this way because I’ve been put to the ultimate test. The song The Light by the band Disturbed says: “Sometimes darkness can show you the light.” As a result of the accident I may have temporarily lost the ability to walk, but now I walk with a new metaphorical swagger, as well.

I come from a background where my friends may label someone. Unjustly, I am now on the receiving end of such labels. Therefore, I should increase awareness of this “hidden” disability.

The swagger I now have comes from knowing with enough hard work, belief in oneself, as well as the support of family, friends and professionals, even something as devastating as an acquired brain injury can be overcome.

Through hard work, putting myself out there and relentless resilience, I have defied the doctors. I have a great social life and friend infrastructure, too. I also graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with my journalism degree.

Ultimately, amidst struggle, I’ve fought to create what doctors said I couldn’t have: a great life.

Not bad for a supposed-to-be “vegetable,” eh?

Brain injury, you’re not the end of me.

Contact Jesse at lostprophet_04@hotmail.com.

Acquired brain injury: Is it really the end? – Part 4

The fourth instalment in a four-part series chronicling writer Jesse Ferguson’s experience living with an acquired brain injury.

News May 04, 2016 by Jesse Ferguson Brant News

This story is in part dedicated to the memory of Josh Demeulenaere, who lived with an acquired brain injury. He passed away last September in his 30th year from complications resulting from the injury.

One notable struggle Josh, Chris and myself all experienced following our acquired brain injuries was the pursuit of love and relationships.

Simply put, we had or have a substantial problem finding a woman good enough to take us on. We’re too intimidating for most it seems. I know I tried rather hard, and typically, failed rather miserably.

On this subject, the Metallica song The Day That Never Comes rings in my head: “Love is a four-letter word that never focuses. Love is (just) a four-letter word, here in this prison.”

Related Content

In our cases, the prison referred to is brain injury.

I believe that speech deficit is the key factor in our struggle. I’m afraid that we don’t even register on most women’s radar...

I went to the bar more often than I’d like to admit. If I was seen in still frame, you’d think I pick up all the time. I have, but only marginally.

We really need someone divine to see past the injury that envelopes us.

Finally, after 10-plus years with brain injury, I found my true love.

                     ~

All three of our lives took unreasonable turns thanks to our accidents, and made us beings we never thought possible. We started as naïve adolescents only to be swept up and devoured in the riptide of brain injury.

However, where did we go following our injuries? Josh went on to live on the family farm, where he said he would have been anyway. Chris said he would be in the area, too. I don’t know where I would be if my injury hadn’t occurred, but since I grew up here and my family lives in Brantford (and area), I could also be here.

While our locations may not have been displaced, our everyday lives are. However, with the loads of bad ramifications that our accidents have brought, there are also positives...

“I actually wouldn’t change a thing (about my life),” Chris says. “I wish I didn’t have the accident, but I have a lot here that I didn’t before.”

Such as, his own house. His mom is nearby, but not with him. In a way, his accident seems to have regulated his life.

Josh also had personal gains. Before his accident, his sister, Megan, reported he was reckless.

“Josh always did what he wanted and if he wasn’t allowed he found a way around it. Even if it meant getting in trouble.”

But following his accident, Megan said he wouldn’t take this path. His parents, Joe and Irene, agreed that he was calmer.

As for me, despite a profound loss of physical ability and athletic dominance, my life after my brain injury is not without silver lining. Before the accident, I always worried about what everyone thought about me, even though I was perfectly fine. A song that speaks to my life on this subject is Frantic by Metallica: “I’ve worn out always being afraid. An endless stream of fear. Treading water full of worry; this frantic-tick-tick-tock.”

But now, even when I am not as fine and should be insecure, I am not. Why? Because I have come to grips with my life.

That’s what makes me think I’ve won this battle, if there is any way to differentiate the winners from losers (but I’m pretty sure we all lose). I’m not saying that cancels out my challenges, because there’s no way it does, but I can see in this way how the injury was for my benefit. I have no more frantic angst in social situations, which is amazing.

Like a metal that can only achieve its peak hardness when subjected to a maximum temperature, I think I’ve only become this way because I’ve been put to the ultimate test. The song The Light by the band Disturbed says: “Sometimes darkness can show you the light.” As a result of the accident I may have temporarily lost the ability to walk, but now I walk with a new metaphorical swagger, as well.

I come from a background where my friends may label someone. Unjustly, I am now on the receiving end of such labels. Therefore, I should increase awareness of this “hidden” disability.

The swagger I now have comes from knowing with enough hard work, belief in oneself, as well as the support of family, friends and professionals, even something as devastating as an acquired brain injury can be overcome.

Through hard work, putting myself out there and relentless resilience, I have defied the doctors. I have a great social life and friend infrastructure, too. I also graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with my journalism degree.

Ultimately, amidst struggle, I’ve fought to create what doctors said I couldn’t have: a great life.

Not bad for a supposed-to-be “vegetable,” eh?

Brain injury, you’re not the end of me.

Contact Jesse at lostprophet_04@hotmail.com.

Acquired brain injury: Is it really the end? – Part 4

The fourth instalment in a four-part series chronicling writer Jesse Ferguson’s experience living with an acquired brain injury.

News May 04, 2016 by Jesse Ferguson Brant News

This story is in part dedicated to the memory of Josh Demeulenaere, who lived with an acquired brain injury. He passed away last September in his 30th year from complications resulting from the injury.

One notable struggle Josh, Chris and myself all experienced following our acquired brain injuries was the pursuit of love and relationships.

Simply put, we had or have a substantial problem finding a woman good enough to take us on. We’re too intimidating for most it seems. I know I tried rather hard, and typically, failed rather miserably.

On this subject, the Metallica song The Day That Never Comes rings in my head: “Love is a four-letter word that never focuses. Love is (just) a four-letter word, here in this prison.”

Related Content

In our cases, the prison referred to is brain injury.

I believe that speech deficit is the key factor in our struggle. I’m afraid that we don’t even register on most women’s radar...

I went to the bar more often than I’d like to admit. If I was seen in still frame, you’d think I pick up all the time. I have, but only marginally.

We really need someone divine to see past the injury that envelopes us.

Finally, after 10-plus years with brain injury, I found my true love.

                     ~

All three of our lives took unreasonable turns thanks to our accidents, and made us beings we never thought possible. We started as naïve adolescents only to be swept up and devoured in the riptide of brain injury.

However, where did we go following our injuries? Josh went on to live on the family farm, where he said he would have been anyway. Chris said he would be in the area, too. I don’t know where I would be if my injury hadn’t occurred, but since I grew up here and my family lives in Brantford (and area), I could also be here.

While our locations may not have been displaced, our everyday lives are. However, with the loads of bad ramifications that our accidents have brought, there are also positives...

“I actually wouldn’t change a thing (about my life),” Chris says. “I wish I didn’t have the accident, but I have a lot here that I didn’t before.”

Such as, his own house. His mom is nearby, but not with him. In a way, his accident seems to have regulated his life.

Josh also had personal gains. Before his accident, his sister, Megan, reported he was reckless.

“Josh always did what he wanted and if he wasn’t allowed he found a way around it. Even if it meant getting in trouble.”

But following his accident, Megan said he wouldn’t take this path. His parents, Joe and Irene, agreed that he was calmer.

As for me, despite a profound loss of physical ability and athletic dominance, my life after my brain injury is not without silver lining. Before the accident, I always worried about what everyone thought about me, even though I was perfectly fine. A song that speaks to my life on this subject is Frantic by Metallica: “I’ve worn out always being afraid. An endless stream of fear. Treading water full of worry; this frantic-tick-tick-tock.”

But now, even when I am not as fine and should be insecure, I am not. Why? Because I have come to grips with my life.

That’s what makes me think I’ve won this battle, if there is any way to differentiate the winners from losers (but I’m pretty sure we all lose). I’m not saying that cancels out my challenges, because there’s no way it does, but I can see in this way how the injury was for my benefit. I have no more frantic angst in social situations, which is amazing.

Like a metal that can only achieve its peak hardness when subjected to a maximum temperature, I think I’ve only become this way because I’ve been put to the ultimate test. The song The Light by the band Disturbed says: “Sometimes darkness can show you the light.” As a result of the accident I may have temporarily lost the ability to walk, but now I walk with a new metaphorical swagger, as well.

I come from a background where my friends may label someone. Unjustly, I am now on the receiving end of such labels. Therefore, I should increase awareness of this “hidden” disability.

The swagger I now have comes from knowing with enough hard work, belief in oneself, as well as the support of family, friends and professionals, even something as devastating as an acquired brain injury can be overcome.

Through hard work, putting myself out there and relentless resilience, I have defied the doctors. I have a great social life and friend infrastructure, too. I also graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with my journalism degree.

Ultimately, amidst struggle, I’ve fought to create what doctors said I couldn’t have: a great life.

Not bad for a supposed-to-be “vegetable,” eh?

Brain injury, you’re not the end of me.

Contact Jesse at lostprophet_04@hotmail.com.