Recently, a situation arose with a friend who had a brain tumor removed several years ago. It prompted me to write something about behavioral changes after brain surgery. When you or your loved one is first diagnosed with brain cancer, your focus is entirely on survival. Each time you get a clean MRI report, you are so damn happy that your loved one is still able to spend another day with you that you overlook personality changes, and doctors are so surprised that the patient is doing well that they don't really discuss possibilities of personality changes. The most our surgeon told us was that Ted might experience wild mood swings, fortunately that didn't happen with Ted, but there were some changes. I haven't gone into them here because even I have limits on how much becomes too much information, but for our friend, the consequences were more drastic and have caused major issues in the family.
I decided to do a little research and found a couple of websites that give general but good information about the kinds of things you might experience after a brain injury. One thing I noted throughout my research was the need to speak with and get an evaluation from a neuropsychologist who specializes in brain injury.
For me, I found it emotionally helpful just to read the list
of possible changes a brain patient may go through. There was something about seeing the changes
in print that made me feel like I'm not alone.
One site discussed something as simple as how to deal with someone who
can't finish a task. Imagine one day you
are married to the energizer bunny who can't stop fixing every loose screw and
floorboard in the house and the next day, after brain surgery, even the
smallest of tasks build up and overwhelm him.
I think it's important for caregivers and patients to understand how to
deal with issues as they come along.
Your loved one doesn't love you less or is suddenly lazy. He or she has had an injury to the brain that
makes tasks overwhelming. There are ways
to deal with it. You aren't alone and knowledge
is everything. Check out these
sites. I hope they provide you with
information to help you and your loved ones.
Brain Science Foundation