Wednesday, July 23, 2008

TBI, no one box fits all to describe it.

Click to enlarge

Here is another account of traumatic brain injury, again intended to help others understand our issue's better. One of the points I want to make with this one is that every brain injury is different, there is no "one box fits all" way to categorize our injuries.

It's been more than two years since Dalton's Saul Raisin crashed in a professional bicycling race on April 4, 2006 and was left comatose with a traumatic brain injury at age 23.

Raisin is one of the luckier ones to have recovered from his injury, but he notices many differences in his post-crash life — some subtle, some significant. The latter keep him from returning to cycling, despite the nod of approval from doctors to do so.

"When tests are run on me, everything is normal, and physically everything is normal," Raisin said. "But mentally, I have lapses. Sometimes I'm not able to read facial expressions. I can't feel fatigue, so I don't know when I'm getting tired. That's dangerous and that's why I won't race (professionally) again."

His parents, Jim and Yvonne Raisin of Dalton, also see a difference in their son.

"Some of his bad habits are worse, and some of his good habits are better," Jim said.

"He's more affectionate," Yvonne said. "He struggles with his executive and social skills. He's very impulsive. For example, if he's hungry and someone is talking to him, in the middle of the conversation he'll go straight to where the food is, even if he's the one who started the conversation. Whatever is on his mind. But he's getting better."

While his days as a pro are over, Raisin rides his bike and also runs anywhere from 14-18 hours a week. And he still has a home in France, where he was a member of the professional cycling Team Agricole. On Sunday, his former teammate and neighbor in France, Simon Gerrans of Australia, won the 15th stage of the Tour de France.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Bob, great story and great image. Thanks for sharing.