• Survivor or Caregiver

TBI One Love Survivor Debbie Walker

Hello, my name is Debbie.

March (2020) I will be 8 years post TBI. I have since discovered that I actually suffered from both an ABI (acquired brain injury) from an accidental overdose on OxyContin when I had a bad case of pneumonia, and TBI from hypoxia (lack of oxygen) when my nasal cannula fell out during the night. I don't remember very much. The sound of sirens, the feeling of the ambulance driving over bumps in the road. A vague memory of the breathing tube being removed. Vague memories of PCU, and the fifth floor.

  I was in a care center for a while. My husband abandoned me after my accident. My memory is horrible now...both long and short term. I remember events, but not details.

  I lost my home, and all of my belongings.  I've had to start over from scratch. I'm currently living with my oldest daughter and youngest child.  I'm fairly high functioning, balance and vision problems, and of course, the memory issues.

  I am hoping to eventually have my own little place. I'm trying to rebuild my life...I'm still trying to find the new me. I am a published author of poetry, and several months ago, I was able to write my first full poem since my accident. I thought that the ability was lost, as I had been trying, but only had been able to write blurbs. I still enjoy reading, when I can concentrate enough to follow the plot. I've become an introvert since my accident, as many people have taken advantage of me when they realized the extent of my memory problems.

  I don't go many places...I stay at home most of the time. I don't know many people, as I moved from the town that I had lived for years.

  I saw a neuropsychologist after my accident, but there was so much that he never told me. I was never told about Emotional flooding, for example. I only learned the term after talking to other survivors online.

  I am 44, and have 4 children, and a grandson. My second oldest daughter lives in Portland, OR. My third child lives with my father in law (I'm still legally married), helping him out, because my mother in law passed away last year.

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