Kristin suffered a traumatic brain injury after getting struck by a car. She shares five things she wished she’d known at the start of her recovery journey.

While on a training run with my husband, in preparation for the Marine Corps Marathon, I was suddenly struck by a car.

As a result, I was in a coma for seven days with a traumatic brain injury as well as other physical traumas, including multiple broken bones.

The impact of the accident affected many different lobes and glands in the brain.
The pituitary gland was affected, causing a never-ending thirsty feeling, also known as diabetes insipidus [not related to type 1 or type 2 diabetes].
Daily nose spray morning and evening helped. It miraculously ended after the birth of my second son, two years later.

The doctor said that pregnancy would be tough and was not in my playing cards.

The occipital lobe impact affected my vision, and I saw double for a year until I was able to have surgery to fix it.

Thankfully, I see better now! I only have double vision when looking up or down.

Walking and balance were big hardships, as they are controlled in the cerebellum.

As time progressed, the cerebellum improved with physical therapy. 

With faith, hope and loving support, the impossible was made possible. Life. The quick medical action and God and his Angels made my survival real.

The outcome would not have been so positive without the immediate medical attention I received from the first responders and the excellent doctors at Memorial Hermann,

The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR) and my own personal inner grit completed my survival story. 

Five Things I Wish I’d Known at the Beginning of my TBI Healing Journey

Kristin Abello’s book details her TBI journey.

1. Healing is a marathon and not a sprint.

I had wanted to heal overnight. It would have been helpful to know that it would take time for the brain to rewire every cell.

My brain was working so hard to get back to what it was before.

2. Music Therapy

Listening to music helps release more dopamine and feel-good hormones. Any brain injury patient can benefit from music.

3. Equine therapy is a must.

Over the years of my recovery, I learned about horses and the human connection to them. Horses can work magic with a brain injury.

Equine therapy improves balance, posture and gait ability.

4. Proper Vitamins 

Both organic and functional, vitamins from a good vendor assist in brain and body repair process. These provide excellent healthy steps towards recovery.

5. Stay organized.

Setting a daily and evening routine sets you up for success!

And there’s one more to add to the list: Pray, pray and pray some more.

Also, make sure to choose and practice your favorite form of meditation and yoga.

Kristin Abello is an advocate, philanthropist and author on a mission to help others with TBI. Her book, “Sunrise: Life After Traumatic Brain Injury: A Healing Journey in Surviving TBI” and companion journal are available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


Top image: ©Lorra Garrick