• Survivor or Caregiver

TBI One Love Survivor Misha Nicols

Hello, my name is Misha.

So my journey began in 2007. I had just started my second year of  a  medical assisting program. I'm a single mom of three amazing kids. At the time they were 12,9,7.  I started waking up Every morning with a slight headache. As time went on the headache got worse. I finally went to the drs about it and they did a CT scan then an MRI. That's when they told me I had a colloid cyst (benign tumor) where the spinal fluid goes in and out of the brain. The decided to treat the symptoms at that time. Slowly as time went on the headaches got worse so they decided the only option was to operate.

So January 3 2008 I went in and had the tumor removed. From what they told me they had to deflate my brain do that they could get between the two brain lobes to get to ghe tumor! Very scary surgery but it went really well! Recovery was rough but I'd say was going as good as it could. The day I got the staples out was when everything changed! Because I was training to be a medical assistant and had previous medical training I noticed that the nurse didn't put gloves on OR wash her hands before she touched me. I thought that was weird but figured she knew what she was doing.  Well not to long after that my head started to swell up like a balloon!

The pressure was horrific! I kept going back and forth to the ER/hospital, spent a couple nights in intensive care,  but they just kept saying the xray looks funny but they figured whatever was causing the swelling it would absorb back I to my body and it would fix itself. I was miserable! I just wanted the pressure in my head to go away!!  On February 4 early afternoon my dad noticed something on the top of my head where my scar was. I went to the bathroom to look and this thick brown/green substance was oozing out of the top of my head. I felt INSTANT relief from the pressure buildup! I was thinking HORRAY! Finally! Relief!! But my parents said we needed to get it checked out.

I was so happy on the way there! When we got to the ER they took me in a room right away! The nurse quickly took a sample of the stuff oozing out. Before I could react to anything they were rushing me down to emergency surgery because the worst case senerio had just happened! I had a STAPH  infection in my head!! I had no time to react! The only thing I could do was pray to God that he didn't take me away from my babies!! That is ALL I could think about! After a loooong surgery I was then in intensive care to recover. When I woke up my mommas at the end of my bed and she looked upset.

She told me that because they cut a piece of my skull to do the first surgery the bone plate was too contaminated to keep in my head. So I was missing a piece of my skull the size of the palm of my hand for 8 months! I had to wear a protective covering I put inside baseball hats to protect my exposed brain. Reconstruction surgery happened sept 2008. Slowly I was recovering and went back to my medical assisting job I had at the time. But as time went on I was noticing that things were just not right! I started getting really sick, extreme nausea, horrific headaches! Very tired all the time, depression set in, anxiety! My memory was just not the same.

The hospital/drs offices became my second Home! Finally after test after test they finally diagnosed me with a TBI in 2010. I lost my job because I kept having to call in sick or go home early because I was throwing up all the time. Things got really hard after that. I couldn't work anymore as you can imagine. So to this day I still struggle. This is something I have to come to terms with. It's part of who I am now.  

I am now educating myself and trying to better my quality of life. It's not easy but I sm so very greatful I'm still here to watch my kids grow up!  I hope my story can help other TBI survivors that life isn't over because of a TBI , you just have to learn to do things a little different! 

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