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Living with a mild traumatic brain injury

After a car accident, you might think that you got away free and clear of injury -- except for that blow to the head. At least you don't have a broken arm or leg, right? While it is always a good policy to practice gratitude, don't celebrate too much too soon.

If you suffered a blow to the head, you may have a brain injury, even if you don't feel the symptoms immediately. Brain injuries come in many varieties and can range from affecting you like a particularly heavy night of drinking to putting you in a coma or killing you outright.

With moderate and severe brain injuries, the symptoms are usually fairly pronounced, so it is unlikely you could suffer one and not know. However, with injuries that qualify as mild traumatic brain injuries (TBI), you might not realize you have a serious injury until the symptoms begin to pile up.

Misleading terminology

Despite the disarming "mild" in its name, a mild TBI is often a very serious injury. Because it refers to a range of injuries, a mild TBI might mean you simply forget some words frequently, but it could also mean that you suffer from various physical symptoms that can come together to truly ruin your personal and professional life if you do not seek proper treatment.

If you believe you may have a mild TBI and have not yet sought out professional medical care after a car accident, you should do so as soon as possible. Should your doctor find a mild TBI, you can consult with an attorney about strategies for pursuing fair compensation for the injury and any associated losses.

The symptoms are many

Because the brain acts as the central command center for your entire body, a brain injury is similar to going into the operating system in your computer and randomly deleting files. Maybe you don't notice much of a change afterward, or maybe your entire computer grinds to a stop.

Some of the more obvious physical symptoms can include the sudden onset of seizures, which is usually a very strong sign of brain damage. You may also experience other variations of head pain, like headaches that last much longer than normal or persist indefinitely. You may also experience regular bouts of nausea.

However, some of the most destructive possible symptoms are those affecting your cognitive functions and your personality.

Interpersonal mayhem

After a mild TBI, you may lose a significant amount of your ability to concentrate on tasks or understand language. You may find yourself regularly misunderstanding the things you read or misinterpreting people when they speak to you. You may also have difficulty speaking clearly.

In addition, many people who suffer a mild TBI find they suddenly are very irritable, especially when they cannot perform tasks they are used to completing easily.

A mild TBI can also change parts of your personality, and generally make it very difficult to relate to those around you. For many mild TBI sufferers, the experience threatens to dismantle their personal and professional lives because their colleagues and family have difficulty understanding them or believing that their injury is real.

However you choose to address you injury, be sure to act soon. A mild TBI can last for up to a year if left untreated, which is more than enough time to cause irreparable damage to every area of your life.

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