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  • Writer's pictureSheila Willis

The Time of My Life

It has never failed to amaze me how I can remember small little details and names from history yet somehow I have a hard time placing what I did, or need to do, in some semblance of order.

I recently strayed far from my normal subject matter for writing; history, humour or short inspirational stories. Instead I delved deep into my brain injury and difficulties with the sequence of time. The result was a First Person story on CBC which was published on March 26, 2024

My purpose for writing it was to bring awareness. Those with brain injuries, and other hidden illnesses are often misunderstood, simply because the symptoms are beyond the realm of normal for the average person. As the injured party we look for ways to make others understand, adding to the stress of trying to live as close to a ‘normal’ life as we are capable. 

I hope that this article reaches some medical practitioners. When I was diagnosed with Post Concussive Syndrome, the doctor who diagnosed me was months away from retirement. The family doctor mentioned in the article has since left the community. In my search for a family doctor I have been told by one that he is not a brain injury specialist but he could see that what I really needed was a psychiatrist. That didn't help!

More recently in my search for a family doctor, I met with one who asked how I dealt with the symptoms. One of my strategies is a muscle relaxer for when a headache is coming on and the muscles in my shoulders and the back of my neck knot up. I don’t take them often and, apparently not often enough, as he refused to prescribe them to me as I didn’t need them. Instead he said I needed to go take a pain management course. I missed my golden opportunity. I should have said - google me - and tell me that I am not managing. While you can just look on this website to see what I have accomplished in short - I am an award winning historian, a best selling author and created an Alberta wide heritage and tourism app. Pain management is not my problem.

I think for those who live with us, work with us, and treat us medically, the biggest thing to remember is that we are people. Please listen - really listen - to what our normal is, and accept that you may not be able to understand it using your lens of the world. 

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