Traumatic Brain Injury Was Devastating
Four days after getting his driver's license at age 16 in 1975, Todd Bode was coaxed into joining his big brother on a road trip. The hook was that Bode would be allowed to drive.
After about an hour on the road, 55-year-old Bode said, "A drunk driver hit us head on. I remember my big brother's girlfriend screaming he was going to hit us. Then all I remember is everything going white and then everything going black."
His big brother was driving. Bode was launched from the backseat, hit his head on the dash, and was catapulted to the back seat. His heart stopped after he suffered double whiplash. A doctor driving by stopped and saved his life before the ambulance arrived. He was in a coma almost two months, and would go through three brain operations, eventually having a severely bruised part of his brain removed.
Bode experienced a traumatic brain injury, which the National Institutes of Health defines as occurring when "sudden trauma causes damage to the brain" and can result in permanent symptoms that can include headache, confusion, lightheadedness, dizziness, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, fatigue, sleep pattern changes, behavioral or mood changes, slurred speech, loss of coordination, or difficulty with memory, attention, thinking or concentration.
After the accident, he said, "I couldn't remember what I had learned in school. After I went to homeroom, my classmates would walk me over to my first class. I went to special education classes, physical education classes, and did a lot of art. I had to relearn everything, which was really frustrating. I had to relearn how to walk, talk, eat, and put my clothes on."
Today, he lives off disability income and often has severe pain in his back and neck, and has had surgery on both.
His physical difficulties aside, perhaps his biggest challenges have been emotional. He said, "There were times I felt God had abandoned me, especially when I was going through a period of deep depression a year after the accident. I thought about suicide then, but couldn't do it. The Lord brought me back. I thought about suicide again maybe 15 years ago around Christmas. I tried calling everyone I knew for help, including family, but no one was home. So I called my church. The pastor called early in the morning and almost immediately I felt better after talking to him."
LittleGiantFudge.com and Palmer Bus Service make this column possible.
Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.
Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesToyota Sienna: Reliability and Enviable ReputationThe 2015 Toyota Sienna is an eight-passenger vehicle (seven seats with captain's chairs) that offers comfortable seating, great storage room, user-friendly controls, and surprising performance
Golfweek Magazine: Clear Creek Tahoe Among Best CoursesClear Creek Tahoe, the exclusive Coore & Crenshaw designed golf course near Lake Tahoe was recently recognized by Golfweek Magazine as the No. 18 Best Residential Course
Amendment Targets Fed Water Policy in CaliforniaDrought Watch: The House of Representatives adopted an amendment by Congressman Tom McClintock to forbid federal agencies from buying up scarce water
Marides Helps Others with DisabilitiesIn both 2014 and 2015, now 50-year-old Hillary Marides, of Los Angeles, California, was first runner-up in the Ms. Wheelchair California competition.(via ATOU Cares)
50 Days of the Grateful Dead: Hell in a BucketLate winter of 1990, the Dead play Albany N.Y. and rip through an energetic version of Hell in a Bucket.
Chapa-De Indian Health Program Grand Re-Opening in AuburnChapa-De Indian Health Program will hold a grand re-opening ceremony and ribbon cutting event on Thursday, May 7
Roseville Crime Report Digest Update (5.1.15)Roseville Police crime report digest update for May 1, 2015.
Dutch Bros. Increasing Auburn PresenceOn Wednesday, May 6, Dutch Bros. Coffee is opening a new location at 405 Grass Valley Hwy.
Roseville Air Quality Fails AgainRoseville, in South Placer County has a great many things going for it. Air quality isn't one of them.
Taxpayers Save $830,000 on Bond RefinanceDuring its April Board meeting, the Sierra College Board of Trustees authorized the refinancing of its existing bond debt for Measure H in the Tahoe-Truckee region
PlacerGROWN: Farm Fresh Education On the RoadFor the first time on May 5, during the Big Day of Giving, PlacerGROWN is asking for donations to develop and operate an educational food truck.
Rotary Club Hosts Golf Tournament May 14thRotary Club of Loomis Sunset Hosts Golf Tournament. Proceeds to Benefit Sierra College Foundation Guardian Program.
NEWS: In Case You Missed It