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TIA, ABI, MCI and Sickle Cell Anemia

You might be thinking and wondering what these acronyms have to do with each other; well my post has covered all except one. If you are new here let me re-cap a little.

Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) is often called a mini-stroke TIA – Click the acronym to see my post on this. This was the main reason for the day I went to sleep (coma).

illustration of the vessels of the brain and a brief description of the causes of stroke. When your Neurologist tells you your entire brain is damaged – my vision looked like this:

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)

An acquired brain injury is defined as:

Damage to the brain occurs after birth and is not related to a congenital or degenerative disease. These impairments may be temporary or permanent and cause partial or functional disability or psychosocial maladjustment. – World Health Organization (Geneva 1996)

Acquired brain injuries are caused by: just to name a few causes, in my case Hemorrhagic strokes. A friend describes it as “fireworks in my brain”

– stroke

  • Embolism
  • Thrombosis
  • Aneurysm

– bleeding in the brain

  • Intracranial surgery
  • Hemorrhage
  • Hematoma

Acquired brain injuries can result in changes to how a person functions in the following areas:

Physical Changes

  • Problems with walking, sitting, transfers, bathing, household tasks
  • Slurred speech
  • Chronic pain including headaches
  • Fatigue and sleep difficulties

Cognitive Changes

  • Takes more time to make sense of information
  • Problems with planning, organizing or starting tasks
  • Problems with vision
  • Problems understanding conversations, coming up with the right word, talking in grammatically complete sentences
  • Easily distracted
  • Poor memory
  • Difficulty with judgment and decision making
  • Preservation “getting stuck” on a topic, idea or activity
  • Confusion – may not know the date, year, time of day, where they are
  • Impulsiveness – act before you think
  • Dis-inhibition – no “social filter” to tell you when you shouldn’t do or say something

Emotional Changes

  • Irritability “short fuse”
  • Mood disorders like depression, anxiety, anger management problems
  • Emotional liability – crying for no apparent reason
  • Emotional or behavioral outbursts
  • Normal emotional responses to the incredibly devastating impact of the brain injury
  • Sadness, anger, frustration, loss of sense of self, anxiety about having another stroke or injury

Social Changes

  • Awkwardness or inappropriate behavior because of difficulty reading social cues
  • Isolating yourself because you feel different and therefore leads to being treated differently
  • The trouble with social and work relationships because of awkwardness and poor coping skills
  • Family breakdowns
  • Loss of privacy, independence, future plans, income
  • Change in roles – (was a caregiver, now has to receive care from others)

Finally, yesterday’s post on MCI. When all this is rolled up together my entire coma was caused by Sickle Cell Anemia. Sickle Cell is a blood-related disease that causes the travel of blood through the body very difficult to travel. When that travel is stuck a person will be in excruciating and unbearable pain, it will kill your joints and cause strokes in your brain.

Live Love Laugh Learn…. stay tuned the journey continues.

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