Common symptoms of brain injury include:
 Weakness in one or more limbs, facial muscles, or on an entire side of the body
 Muscle stiffness and/or spasms
 Tingling, numbness, pain, or other sensations

For me all three of these symptoms seem to go together. It is a daily struggle to make my body strong. While my membership at the gym helps keep my mind awake and low stress, it is also a trick to keep my body fit. Spasticity is often more of a struggle in the winter because of the cold weather and low barometric pressures.

“Spasticity is caused by damage or injury to the part of the central nervous system (the brain or spinal cord) that controls voluntary movement. This damage disrupts important signals between the nervous system and muscles, creating an imbalance that increases muscle activity or spasms. “ -Web MD

I own 1978 Jeep CJ5 that is a manual transmission. The contrast of driving it in the winter from summer is unbelievable. In the summer I can hop in and zoom around with the sun on my skin and the wind in my hair. In winter I can barely climb the lift kit or have the strength to get the old girl in gear. On some occasions I have driven tandem with a passenger shifting for me, but most of the winter I don’t even want to step out of the house. I seem to shrivel under the pain and weak muscles.

Over the years some of my muscles have withered away, my right Gracilis (inner thigh muscle) and my Peroneus muscles (deep flexor muscle of the calf and ankle) to name a few. As each of these muscles weaken and shrink I work diligently to strengthen compensating muscles to slow my path to immobility. Each of these muscles is small, but play a part in grace and balance. My most recent battle of deterioration is the third dorsal interosseos muscle of the right hand (the muscle that connects between the middle and ring finger). These muscles spasm, lock up, cramp for days, and generally hurt in late fall and winter and are mostly trouble free in the summer. I think loosing strength in my writing hand is most discouraging as I use my hand to make art, write and type. While it is still cold out and winter-ish my activity is limited when my hand gets tired. It seems that the duration of recovery time from spasms and weakness is directly proportionate to my activity level.

So why not sell the Jeep and drive a more accommodating vehicle? You ask. Perhaps someday I will but for now… Summer in Moab is calling!

"Sound, sound the clarion, fill the fife!
Throughout the sensual world proclaim,
One crowded hour of glorious life
Is worth an age without a name."
-Thomas Osbert Mordaunt (1730–1809)

My level of loss is small when compared to others who have survived so much, but perhaps by reading this blog you will find strength in facing our common struggle.

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Comment by TBI Survivors Network on April 3, 2015 at 8:51pm

thanks for sharing

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