Being a medical professional with an ABI

Being a medical professional with an ABI

I have just created an account based on my wife's recommendation that I should try to connect with others in a similar position to me. I suffered a severe brain injury on my honeymoon in april of last year. I was induced into a coma for two weeks and flown home to spend a further week in a critical care unit followed by a month of neurological rehabilitation.

I was six months into my child nurse degree when this happened. I had been an Auxiliary nurse for four years and I love everything about my job, it is a very big part of who I am. I tried to return to university in april of this year to continue with my nursing studies, only to find that a year after my accident was way too early for me to carry on at university. I crashed and burned spectacularly. I still have the cognitive skills that I had before, intelligence is unaffected etc. Conversely, my frontal lobe damage has left me with some personality changes that I am finding tough to live with, not to mention the usual brain injury symptoms that are prevalent fatigue, dizziness, exhaustion etc.

Is there anyone out there who is a medical professional/nurse in a similar position to me? Nursing is extremely tiring and draining both physically and emotionally for a healthy person, let alone throwing a brain injury into the mix! I would love to get in touch with someone (anyone) in a similar position to me, it would be good to know I am not alone in the pursuit of a very challenging career.


5 Replies

  • I used to work in air traffic control, now I work in school as an assistant in classes that have children with additional needs. It took me 8 years to reach this goal.

    I tried to return to work but found it impossible, I didn't have the processing ability or speed to manage simple stuff there was no way I could multi task. This was a big part of me realising that things were not quite as they had been, it was the start of a long slog of trying to fight it, trying to prove I was a ok, and then accepting and changing my outlook.

    It was not easy but none of the recovery process is.

    I hope you do manage your goal in future, good luck !!

  • Our son started an Occupational Therapy degree 4 years after his TBI. He had to do it over 4 years not 3 ( last 2 years were part time) as the fatigue was a big issue! He didnt pass his final placement so he was not awarded an OT degree but he had enough points to gain a Health and Social Care degree. At the time he was distraught but in hindsight it was a very good outcome for him as he now works full time as a support worker for a client with a learning disability. He gets great job satisfaction and has empathy having gone through his accident and ongoing rehabilitation!!

    You may just need to give yourself some more time and when you do get back to Uni get as much support from the Student Support Services! Our son had assistace in note taking, organising files, establishing work schedules information gathering and proof reading of assignments. The support was invaluable!!!

    Wishing you the very best of luck for your future and don't be too hard on yourself!!!

  • I'm not in the same position. As you but I had changed my career a few years before and the short story is my memory was completely wiped I had no knowledge of this I was even encouraged to go back to collage and relearn this, I did succeed but could not settle it needed concentration a few years on I can,t do the normal everyday jobs so I don,t work as such but I don,t claim benefits to complex but amazingly I am attempting a degree with lots of help I do it part time in small chunks and applied for DSA which helps with extras like someone to take notes books in comb bound, also put on audio instead of hand written 3hr exam, doing it at home instead of a hall but also typed on my laptop, with breaks and extra time, life is short I need to do this now not when i,m dead again! next time might be to late everyone is different

  • I am a social worker, and prior to my ABI managed two teams which was full on. In my late 40's I realised there was not time for me to get back to where I was so asked and eventually got early retirement. Since then I have returned to college as I wanted to stay registered. I found in the classroom that I was not the person I once was but as I'd registered as disabled receive maximum support and completed the course. I would suggest you do not give in, accept your not the student nurse you once was and formulate a plan to get back to being that student. Colleges will recognised ABI as a disability and give all sorts of support; additional tuition, built in extensions to essays etc. Don't give in formulate a plan, if you were at college at the time of your accident then they will recognise their duty to support you through your studies. GOOD LUCK it is possible

  • Sorry one more thing,,,,and in not forgetting that we are all different, one thing is that the younger you are the better chance of a recovery, but as we have all said here it does take time so be gentle with yourself it's ok if it takes longer and you need rests. Remember Mo Molem, she had a brain tumour and held post of MP and arbitrator for the troubles in Northern Ireland, she was allowed a bedroom in the Palace of Westminster so she could rest between debates

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