• Survivor or Caregiver

TBI One Love Survivor Becki Roberts

I was in a minor car accident on April 1st, 2015. I say it was minor only because there was no visible damage to my car. I was rear ended at a stop light by a car that was lower than mine. He didn't hit my bumper, he slid underneath it. I went to the ER and they told me that I had a concussion and whiplash. They told me that I would be fine in 4-5 days. They told me that I could work and train as I tolerated it. I was a personal trainer at the time and was accustomed to working out 6 days a week. Although I had head injuries before this was the first time I heard the word concussion.

The whiplash was better in about 4-5 days. The headaches were brutal. I went back to the ER ten days later and they said, you should be taking it easy. So, I rescheduled my some of my clients, stopped lifting weights and thought I'll be ok now. Another ten days later, I went back to the ER with symptoms of a stroke. I couldn't remember my birthday. The finally said stop training and stop working and rest. At that time, I was diagnosed with Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS). Over a six-month period, I had 5 cat scans and an MRI. The only thing that showed was the first one saw a bruise and swelling. All the rest were negative. I am allergic to anti-inflammatory pain medicines so I just suffered through the pain. 

While trying to recover, I figured out that I had probably had four more concussions. The first one was as a kid while I was playing softball. I took a line drive in the mouth. It's the only time I've been unconscious for more than a few moments. My mom didn't even take me to the ER. All the other concussions were car accidents. What I would have thought was the worst one, never got diagnosed as one. I hit an embankment head first at 45 miles an hour. I hit the door jamb across my nose. They said my spinal cord was swelling and sent me to a trauma hospital by ambulance. I was a dispatcher and only missed a couple of days of work. I don't remember headaches, brain fog, or anything like that. 

Treatment has been hit and miss. I don't have health insurance so I've had trouble finding the help I need. After concussion #5 I was off work for a year. I may not be able to be a trainer again but that's my hope. I got another concussion a few months ago and finally found treatment. I've been doing physical therapy for about three months and I'm improving. Little steps at a time. The physical pain has been the hardest part of this, only because I can't take anything for it. I still rest a lot and sometimes forget that I have different limits now. I got married this year.

My husband has a TBI also. I'm grateful to have someone in my life who understands. This has been the most isolating experience of my life. I miss being a social person. I had to stop singing with the band at church because I can't handle the noise.

I believe in a God that restores and I'm hopeful that I will be able to sing in church again! 

Thank you for your time and letting me become part of this big family to share my story!

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