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Features Editor

Colleen Connolly

I survived brain surgery... now what? nt brain injury, ce re a m o fr g rin ve experience. ce while reco er n h se e ar ab f sh o d to io rd er o p C a e er Aft ullum is back with Th C yn el at K er rt o ep R Lead changes, nothing. And before. No personality

But being on a neuro e, but it was a thought I’m so thankful for that. encounter a lot of just makes me worrisom mind. .” me to en pp ha did uld on my ward for two weeks, I “I never thought this wo everyone’s mouth af- that was constantly histor y student, foregofortunately, are suffering t of -year rth fou a ing other patients who, un Be Those are the words ou afld No d. cou I ba ing ing eth eth their brain injury. som som t gh from and are defined by are just considered ing the semester was no I knew the obstacles ter they have gone throu pared for it and no e, pre To most of society, they s that, but most seford. But at the same tim one expects it, no one is th it. nk wi al de to . w ing ho s fac “dumb.” Not everyone thi r intelligence, the I’d be one know dings words at rea r ice ina cho you se sem er d tho alt sse ke es mi uri spo on I vere brain inj Catching up Unfortunately, d we perceive but wanted to conquer. er, when I woke up in an think, the way you act an m as less you y wa was something I feared the beginning of Octob from a medically ins sor fes the amazing pro fered from U) Thankfully, I have three rstanding and willing people who have suf us. Intensive Care Unit (IC in surger y. de of t un y bra res tel my the ple n to e tha com du al a re rm no that we duced com er. est sem s thi d IA, brain injuries are the cee OB ? suc the eh to to g Accordin to work with me Loaded sentence, ds. en ry ss sto d ine cke eas wi abler of people under the a dis th ere d wi er one killer an mb nu That is essentially wh I wish I could follow it up and dangerous, but the m fro to be more aware of inll swollen l 44. So clearly, we need Because my brain is sti that makes me seem coo I went with my friend s eye my on ng shi real and they happen to pu re se ternal injuries. They’ surger y, the front part is focused. My eyes are this all happened becau d because I saw him un nte students. and making my vision to get a piercing and fai ople are so active, al now but after I got rm no to ck ba lly pecially since young pe tia Es en ess flinch. ad . he ple tri my n of rts are common. Acdouble, eve in the back brain injuries during spo in five sport-related discharged I was seeing in the Concourse is I ended up with staples d was transferred to e ng on an cording to the OBIA, Seeing double and bei because I had cut it open so my brain could be ause since it’s already uries. tal especially terrif ying bec ryone is multiplied I injuries are brain inj Hamilton General Hospi se I had an epidural eve cause of brain injuries is n au en mo bec wh s ce, com wa er pla is sy Th oth bu d. An a h suc d monitore she od pu blo be of to t n . Fontaine expressed cert abou accumulatio motor vehicle accidents , is “highly susjust feel like I’m at a con hematoma, which is an skull and outer coverup gro that the 18 to 22 age into a mosh pit. between the inside of my r the label of de un of injuries and urged be r es eve typ se for tho I’ll t So now tha ue ceptible” to ing of my brain. tin con low to fol w the ho d ow an kn ay nd n’t precaution. “brain injury girl,” I do I was admitted on a Mo o emergency sursomeone acting d int So the next time you see my life. ing Saturday I was rushe oval of a portion of ng thi ole wh s ge. Don’t assume thi jud of rt to don’t be so quick t, ou For me, the hardest pa ger y that required the rem zure since my brain iser ury inj dumb and remember erity of my a sei that they are just being ry like mine and just has been taking the sev ember any of it. So my skull because I had . sto a ously because I don’t rem fact that I had brain that they could have e in 26 Canadians are livwas swollen and bleeding ember any of this t the didn’t get as lucky. On when I tell people abou Fortunately, I don’t rem injury, according to to be Homecom gh. ed lau t en bu pp lp ha he o ’t als y can I da y, with an acquired brain tur ger ing sur y (that Sa the y da ow t kn tha I injuries, remember OBIA. I’m not laughing at my and I appreciate all ing, so I know none of you ICU about three days s whole thing ing en the eat in thr up life ke d wo e really sweet part of thi campus you an d l On an rea are either) t Bu ve. ali me see me on to keep the work my doctors did ger y” out loud, it feels though, and when you my skull is still at Hamlater. l fee you ke ma to sur d of can ask, is that part try saying “I had brain a university student. This story isn’t intende thing I want. But I They took it out in suras last ilton General Hospital. continued to swell, weird right? Especially I’ve done the past sorry for me, that is the because I know that in s bra s ger y. And since my Of all the stupid thing do want to talk about thi That is what defines a experienced a brain in- three years, drunk and sober, I get this injury they didn’t put it back in. other young people have want to express how e tak to e lik I’d d, sai ng dI bei craniectomy. jur y similar to mine an s, from fainting. That all to just think through head that is soft and into the swing of thing e you vis ad to e So there is a spot on my y, I don’t let peotim s thi difficult it is to get back say t an h no suc I’m . th do wi usl all hit vio you ’re Ob s you and so cool. all the precarious thing especially school, when but the brain squishy r, fea interested in feeling in ’re life you r if t you e bu liv it, ple push on ing you should event. go . lot for a ate to ask, and you ed is sit car re he be the n’t , is important and should e preventive measures a skull-less head, do it. “It goes without saying ar La Fontaine, the d Jay can run your hand over When asked how to tak Azim Ahmed, coming on in the brain,” sai nadians will sufnavigator at the es, tem uri inj sys in ury bra inj to in s thin the next hour, six Ca r that is from bra ard Wi ed reg in acquir at It’s . cer ces offi rvi nt Se Whethe velopme Resource fer from a brain injury. p, or in another accimunications and fund de Association (OBIA) Community Head Injury damaging it can result sho ng ury d rci Inj an pie an ain a Br org in io ed ng tar cat nti On pli fai the a com urrence. and obstacles. st important thing is bedent, it is a common occ their website, an acin serious consequences rden; I won’t say that stressed that “the mo und you.” on As the OBIA stated ing aware of what’s aro obviously it’s imposI don’t consider this a bu but I’m a firm bees more common to me say that to on nt we ired brain injury is 15 tim times more comqu He t I’m glad this happened bu , ng ing thi en ery pp ha “ev t m 30 , tha fro e ury nts ras than a spinal cord inj sible to prevent accide liever in the common ph being and 400 times more your surroundings and ridof are aw ng mon than breast cancer . bei happens for a reason.” n life he my “w o e int lik , le ns op DS tio pe AI ua common than HIV/ logical in common sit This injury brought old cerned about me. sense that it’s not lmets are important,” is re con But it’s uncommon in the could be suffering ing a bike, obviously he t you should “really again, because they we o my life because they le op pe tha d visible. Many young smart. Fontaine adde It brought new people int two weeks in the hosare taking.” from a brain injury. think about the risks you difficult with this had to take care of me for lize just how lucky I ed my life, but for the nd rea fou e me I’v de ng ma thi o er This accident has chang outpour of love als oth It An pital. ng azi am in d an bra all the since a ul people better. I’m grateful for , and adapted a new whole situation is that, only thing that tells am to have such wonderf eived the d rec . e an I’v life al rt ern my po in int sup is ips d an ury dsh inj frien vived death. hidden scars and the g this, I’m talking outlook on life since I sur hair and have to wear people I have one is my To all my friends readin the back. ben’t do le op pe st rt mo sho , on lf ad Now, I have really about you, so pat yourse ng I asked about when shaved part of my he reads “partial right dical alert bracelet that me a lieve it. Apparently the first thi g my dad promise s thi gh ou th me. thr wi get ss to me gh kin n’t skull missing.” Do I was fortunate enou I woke up (aside from ma 5. Yes, I’m a brat) was person I was e sam the y e all on sic iPh ba w as whole thing to buy me the ne that makes me a dork or school. I don’t know if


Nov. 14, 2012  

Vol. 53, Issue 14

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