Shelly Gevanter

On December 17, 2020 my family and I went sledding near a friend’s house. I remember sitting down on a sled but I don't remember hitting a tree and I do not remember what happened next. Honestly, it's almost like having a bad dream. Luckily my kids weren't on the sled with me but they did see parts of the accident and my husband only realised what happened when he heard the crash.

Even though I don't remember this, my kids stayed with a friend while my husband and I went to the hospital. I don't know if I realized this right away, but I lost my sense of taste and smell, which has not returned since. At the hospital, I felt like an old woman because I couldn't get out of bed to go to the bathroom. It was disgusting! I was thinking "the bathroom isn't that far away". "I should be able to walk to the bathroom". A physical therapist tried to help me but I guess I wasn't ready to try yet to walk yet.

When I went to the rehabilitation hospital I began to improve with lots of help from physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists. I still keep in touch with one of the physical therapists who worked with me because she's so nice. I'm hoping one of these days to see her again face to face just to see her. I have also sent her a video or two so she could see how I'm doing. While I was at the hospital it was hard because my children, were not allowed to visit. Luckily we saw each other when we did video calls, but it's not the same. My mom visited me and my husband did too. I remember once when my mom visited me she brought me a box of chocolates from one of her friends and even though I couldn't taste them it made me feel a little better. 

When I went home one of the things I still wasn't used to is light. For instance, in my room it bothered me if all of the lights were on because it was too bright for me. I think it took me a couple of months to get accustomed to bright lights again. It really hasn't been until recently that I began to realize some things about myself. I feel like some things in terms of my "old self" will remain the same but I feel like part of me has changed and is still changing. Now I feel that there are many times in which some noises really bother me and if my kids are talking constantly back and forth from one room to another, it bothers me too.

I'm trying to remember to only focus on one thing at a time and not compare my accident to someone else's. I'm also trying to be patient with myself and I try to remind myself that I'm doing a good job and not to rush my recovery. I'm glad I decided to participate in study for TBI survivors which focuses on emotions. I've made friends in this group who are great! I'm also taking advantage of support groups and I feel like I can't stop reading other TBI survivor stories! I hope that I could help others too.