Survivor or Caregiver
TBI One Love Survivor Gina Crotts
Hello, my name is Gina Crotts. On January 2nd of 2016, I suffered a severe concussion. I fell roller skating and hit the front left side of my head on the roller rink floor. I spent the following three days in horrific pain and confusion. I cried all the time. I will never forget the first time I tried to meditate, to help with the pain that I was suffering, but it was impossible to do so. My mind could not think a full sentence. The panic that built up in my chest made me feel like I was drowning. I couldn’t find the air to even take a breath. The two words that continuously went through my mind those first months were, “concentrate, meditate.” Before My concussion, I had been attending Bikram Yoga four times a week. One of our teachers would repeat these two words during class repeatedly. It brought me the only comfort I could find. After seeing our family practice doctor I was told to “rest.” I did rest, for 2 months, and nothing seemed to be getting better.
I didn’t have any bleeding on my brain and everyone expected that I would get better with more time. I saw a neurologist who said similar things to my family practice doctor. There wasn’t much they could do for me. I am a mother of three, 15-year-old, 12-year-old and 6-year-old. I couldn’t “rest” anymore. I also had a full-time job before the accident. My whole life was on hold as I laid in bed staring at the same ceiling and window. Over time I could meditate and on most days, I would do so three to four times a day, to help me stay calm and out of my reality.
My symptoms were severe headaches/migraines, anxiety, depression, PTSD, trouble speaking, difficulty with all cognitive functions. I couldn’t be around my family for long periods of time, the noises of the day felt like explosions going off in my mind. Over populated places were a complete nightmare. I was terrified to be around people, the sounds of people talking, the music playing in a store, all of it made me anxious.
In June 2016, 6 months after my accident, my husband and I decided something had to change. I was desperate for help. We reached out to Cognitive FX and met with Dr. Fong. She was the first one to look me in the eye and say, "I can help you." I was in treatment there for a week and saw immediate results. They could pinpoint the parts of my brain that were still sleeping and help me wake them up. I now play brain games 20 minutes per day, do eye exercise to help strengthen my muscles, and go to PT as often as possible.
Today, a year and a half later, I am feeling very grateful to be happy, healthy and thriving. I still have limitations, but I no longer see those as weaknesses. I rarely get headaches and when I do they are bearable compared to the pain I had before. I feel more like Gina, with a few positive changes. All those days I spent meditating opened my eyes to a new passion of becoming an author. I now write about my story of being a birth mom and my TBI story at ginacrotts.com. It’s a very healing and gratifying experience.
I am honored to be here with you all, reading and learning from your stories. Thank you TBI One Love!