As part of Headway's See the Hidden Me campaign, Iona shares her experience of living with the hidden effects of brain injury.
“I try and fit in. But fitting in is rather hard.
“My short-term memory has gone. It’s been getting so much better over time, but to anyone else… it’s terrible.
“It’s awkward sometimes when you’re having a conversation with someone, and they talk for ages and you’re like… ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about’ because you can’t remember the subject, or how it started, or you just can’t concentrate and follow what’s being said.
“And just talking to people causes me fatigue… When I get home my head doesn’t want to work, and my brain doesn’t know how to function. I won’t be able to find the words, or I’ll jumble them up, and I’ll have to go into my room, shut the curtains and just lie down.
“I don’t think people understand the hidden effects of brain injury. I’ve got friends who’ve read up on it, and I really appreciate that and find it so helpful. My mum and uncle as well, before I got home from hospital, had done so much research and had learnt the things I might struggle with, so they understood the difficulties.
“That would be my advice to anyone who knows someone with a brain injury – go to the Headway website, which is brilliant, and read up.
Without that understanding, friendships and relationships end.
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