Hypersensitivity After Concussion or TBI

The term "agnosia" refers to any sensory interpretation deficit. Following brain damage, many people lose the ability to distinguish between ambient noise and the primary conversation, or between the background and foreground of a visual scene. Their formerly effortless system of filtration no longer works. What used to occur automatically now takes conscious effort. Consequently, people with TBI usually fatigue easily, especially in the presence of multiple stimulation.

If you suffer from any type of agnosia, you can compensate to some degree with external aids. Use earplugs in restaurants and crowds, so you can listen more easily to the people actually talking to you. Wear sunglasses if lights bother you. Avoid places with overhead fans, or do not face them. Wear comfortable clothing.

You can also buy a big, floppy hat to keep yourself from becoming overwhelmed. I used to wear a large hat whenever I wrote in coffee shops. The wide brim tuned out distractions, allowing me to devote full concentration to my laptop screen. I no longer need the hat, but wearing one helped me write over 100 pages of my TBI recovery guide!

When selecting an apartment or house, you probably want to pay particular attention to the neighbors and any noises, smells or streetlights you might encounter. When calculating the cost of a location, consider how it will affect your health:

• If you cannot get a full night's sleep, then how will that play out in your ability to earn money the next day?

• If your neighbor's bass gives you a headache, then how does the cost of medication (sometimes up to $14 / pill) factor into your estimated rent or mortgage?

• If intense smells trigger reactions, then you may not want to rent or buy near a restaurant or garbage dump.

• If you suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia, you will particularly want to avoid places with an obvious mold problem.

Safety might become a larger concern than it was before your health turned south. Attacks cause trauma to anyone, but can you physically afford another blow to your brain? If you no longer drive, then the proximity of stores, restaurants, and public transportation will also become important.

Of course, aiming for total control of your environment will not allow you to live a normal life. Part of your recovery will include learning to tolerate other people's schedules and needs. You cannot prevent an occasional surprise, but you can maintain comfortable surroundings that help you deal with change.

Laura Bruno is a Life Coach, Medical Intuitive and Reiki Master Teacher dedicated to helping people live radiantly free, compassionate and joyful lives: http://www.internationalrenaissancecoaching.com/

Laura also authored the long-awaited book If I Only Had a Brain Injury: A TBI Survivor and Life Coach's Guide to Chronic Fatigue, Concussion, Lyme Disease, Migraine or Other "Medical Mystery," now available at http://www.ifionlyhadabraininjury.com/

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