• Survivor or Caregiver

TBI One Love Survivor Amber Dougherty

Hello, my name is Amber.

I sustained my TBI 3/1/15. When I got to the hospital both my pupils were blown. They did 2 emergency craniotomy’s that night and kept the part of my skull alive in my abdomen. I was in a medically induced coma for weeks. I don’t exactly know how long. I do know that I started becoming aware of my surroundings in the middle of the month. I still didn’t realize I was in the hospital. it was all surreal. I just thought they redecorated our home lol. I know I was vented and had a feeding tube. I remember the tortious oral care... it felt like the were shoving a brillo pad on a stick in my mouth...

They didn’t think I was going to make it. A prayer chain was started by my now husband and step daughter. I had people all over the country praying for me. as I type this I still get emotional. My survival I believe was due to the power of prayer. and stubbornness. I don’t remember my fall. I was told that I had been arguing with my boyfriend (now husband) and was on the outside of his truck.

I was on the side running board. He thought I stepped off and started to drive away. he didn’t see me fall. He saw me in his side view mirror face down in the street. I was unconscious when he got to me and thankfully a neighbor had called an ambulance. I remember that day. I just don’t remember that night...

I found out that I was in fact in a hospital and was told I had a fall... I got conflicting reports from my parents about what happened. By trade I am an x-ray tech. I had never heard of TBI before I had mine on 3/31/15, I was transferred to Brooks rehab hospital in Jacksonville. I was there a little over a week. I can do all the physical stuff with therapy. It was the cognitive I struggled with and still do. I lost my full time job due to having to take additional time off and I don’t work and play as well with others as I used to. That was in July. I have a per diem job that averages about 4 hrs. a month...

Not enough to live off of. Thankfully my husband is working. We got married 4/19/15. My accident put a new perspective on us. He still suffers from PTSD from what happened. It was a stupid accident but he has horrible guilt. I get headaches and dizziness. The neuro fatigue is awful. I have to think before I speak. Not for content but for clarity. annunciation takes effort. Thinking in general takes effort. I was never a patient woman but this is ridiculous lol.  

I have found that I’m pretty much done by 230pm. While I was at my old job I had someone take a lateral x-ray of my skull. For me I needed to make sense and see what had happened. Lol I don’t know if snoopy was by design or coincidence. So when I refer to my day or the right side of my head I refer to snoopy.

Today is an ok snoopy day. I’m having difficulty knowing where to go from here. but all in all I am blessed. I m blessed to be here and blessed to have my family. My husband, three sons, a grandson and my parents. As well as all of my friends. Thank you for listening to me babble on.

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