TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

SPEAK OUT! – Kevin Middleton

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Kevin with his granddaughter

Kevin with his granddaughter

 

1. What is your name? (last name optional)

Kevin Middleton

2. Where do you live? (city and/or state and/or country) Email (optional)

Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada     
5gemm9@gmail.com

3. When did you have your TBI? At what age?

Circa 1973

4. How did your TBI occur?

Birth defect

5. When did you (or someone) first realize you had a problem?

1977

6. What kind of emergency treatment, if any, did you have (e.g., surgery,

tracheotomy, G-peg)?

I had 7.5 hours of surgery to remove two blood clots and to clip off several aneurysms. An AVM (arteriovenous malformation) and a haematoma were removed December 05, 1977.

7. Were you in a coma? If so, how long?

No

8. Did you do rehab? What kind of rehab (i.e., In-patient or Out-patient and Occupational, Physical, Speech, Other)?
How long were you in rehab?

No. I was just sent home and told “No school for a year.”

9. What problems or disabilities, if any, resulted from your TBI (e.g., balance, perception, personality, etc.)?

Neuropsychological tests in 1978 and 1994 showed identical results. Short-term memory and recall in the 7 percentile mean that I am disabled. Anger issues ensued, born of frustration over continually forgetting.  Editing oneself is challenging.

10. How has your life changed? Is it better? Is it worse?

Since I was quite young, the loss of a photographic memory was a challenge. I withdrew from society. I have no close friends. I have many acquaintances, but I don’t like to socialize. The plus side is that my intellect increased from the removal of the blood clots. The downside is that by then I resented school. Learning took four times longer, and it was difficult to write an exam. My greatest joys are my five children and ten grandchildren.

11. What do you miss the most from your pre-TBI life?

My memory

12. What do you enjoy most in your post-TBI life?

Family

13. What do you like least about your TBI?

I dislike the fact people say they forget too. They don’t understand the frequency or the fact you lost your kids more than once or your wallet eight times.

14. Has anything helped you to accept your TBI?

Time helped. Being involved with a brain injury society has been beneficial. Even having friends who understand is helpful.

15. Has your injury affected your home life and relationships and, if so, how?

I experienced a divorce. I attribute partial blame to my not being rehabilitated professionally.

16. Has your social life been altered or changed and, if so, how?

Yes. Though I have been married 23 years, I like being by myself with my dogs. My wife socializes without me.

17. Who is your main caregiver? Do you understand what it takes to be a caregiver?

My wife is my main caregiver. It was she who said, “There’s something wrong here.” Due to her, I sought out help, which she supported.

18. What are your future plans? What do you expect/hope to be doing ten years from now?

I’m 54, so retirement is my goal. I’m so done with my brain injury. I like to help online those who are just beginning the healing journey.

19. Are you able to provide a helpful hint that may have taken you a long time to learn, but which you wished you had known earlier? If so, please state what it is to potentially help other TBI survivors with your specific kind of TBI.

It’s not your fault that you forget…it’s the fault of the brain injury. In other words, don’t take forgetting personally. I beat myself up for this all the time. However, why am I apologizing for something I have no control of?

20. What advice would you offer to other TBI survivors? Do you have any other comments that you would like to add?

Don’t get caught in the trap of chasing your past self. Before you know it, it’s 40 years later, and still your former self is bigger than life itself. My 18-year-old self had not fathered, had not grandfathered, had not held a job for 14 years, nor owned several businesses, yet he still was bigger than what I have accomplished. How ludicrous is that? Embrace who you are…a survivor…and move forward because that is where the future lies. Leave your past self in the rear view mirror where he/she belongs.

 

If you’d Like to learn more about Kevin Middleton, please visit his blog at My Broken Brain.

 

Kevin's brain.

Kevin’s brain.

Thank you, Kevin, for taking part in this interview. I hope that your experience will offer some hope, comfort, and inspiration to my readers.

(Disclaimer: The views or opinions in this post are solely that of the interviewee.)

(Photos compliments of Kevin.)

If you would like to be a part of this project, please go to TBI Survivor Interview Questionnaire for a copy of the questions and the release form.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

Ten Thousand Days

The long and winding journey after loss

Wordcrafter9's Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Tripambitions

It contains the world best places and things.

No memory of the day that changed my life

My name is Michelle Munt and this is my story about surviving a brain injury and what I continue to learn about it. This is for other survivors and their loved ones, but also to raise awareness of what can happen to those in an accident. This invisible injury too often goes undiagnosed and it can be difficult to find information about it. I will talk about things that have helped me as I continue to recover and invite others to see if it works for them too.

Everything and nothing. GM1123 😊

Bienvenue. I’m thinking this is the spot where I am to write a witty, flowery personal section that pulls you in......I got nuthin’

Teresa472002's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

The Concussion Blog

An Education and Communication Outpost from an Athletic Trainer's Perspective

Howdy Hydrocephalus

Understanding my unique gyroscope

Recoveryofthemind.com

Head Injuries Change Everything

Sheri Lawrence de Grom

From the literary and legislative trenches.

With Grace ALWAYS

...doing my best to live a life of grace...

Mild to Moderate

TBI - Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Hope for Trauma

TBI - Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Lisabeth Mackall

Finding our way back

My Broken Brain

Putting the pieces back together again after encephalitis

The Visger Group

TBI - Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

melissacronin.com

TBI - Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Inside Danielle's mind

Striving for serenity

%d bloggers like this: