By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief
Summertime — a double-edged sword for brain injury survivors.
As we welcome summer, we also welcome higher temperatures and humidity — which can wreak havoc on our brain injuries, causing fatigue and other symptoms to flare.
I found that I need to really watch my water intake and remember to stay hydrated. As soon as I forget to drink enough water, I begin to notice a headache creeping in. If I pay attention to my body’s signals, I will catch the headache early and drink extra water. Other times, I don’t pay close enough attention and will go into a full-on headache that could take me out for a day or two.
While headaches are probably my least favorite symptom to deal with, I would give fatigue a close second. Fatigue can be debilitating and interfere with work and personal life.
It’s hard for someone who doesn’t have a brain injury (or other similar illness or injury) to understand what brain fatigue feels like. I have heard too many times “oh I get tired quickly too,” or “I need to take naps most days too.” It’s frustrating to hear these comments. I know they mean well and try to be empathetic, but they truly don’t understand.
Now add in the heat and humidity, and my fatigue comes on even quicker, especially if I am outdoors. In the height of summer I find myself not leaving the house for days at a time due to the temperature and humidity index.
As I said, it can be hard for others to understand, which adds to our frustration. But it’s important to remember we hold the power inside of us to not let our injury get us down. No one else can do that for us.
As you read through the pages of this issue, I hope you feel a sense of belonging, knowing you are not alone in your journey. While it can be frustrating and feel helpless, it is important to know there are doctors and professionals who understand how to help you.