Julie Sadler sustained a traumatic brain injury in 2014 when the car she was travelling in was hit by a lorry.
The driver of the lorry had passed out behind the wheel and the force of the impact tore the side of her car off, throwing her out of the vehicle and into the motorway.
The injury left Julie with a number of issues, including memory, anxiety, and problems concentrating.
Fatigue has also impacted on her life post injury affecting her relationships and her identity.
Julie, who is telling her story as part of our Brain Drain – Wake up to Fatigue campaign, said that fatigue had impacted her relationship with her husband.
She said: “The fatigue has put pressure on our relationship because we have very different body clocks now.
“I can get very irritable when I’m tired and that can lead to me snapping at him. It is tough for both of us.
“He often wants to tell me about his day or something important and I can’t take it in. When my fatigue is kicking in I quickly feel overloaded. I have to ask him to save it and tell me in the morning. He does understand but sometimes he doesn’t realise.”
To manage her fatigue Julie has to make sure she plans out her days so she can make the most of them.
“I can’t go out all day anymore. I’m best in the morning so have to arrange to do everything in those hours,” said Julie.
“This has been a bit problematic with friends as they often want to meet for lunch but I have to say I can only stay for an hour or so. Of course, this can impact on your friendships but life goes on.
“Everyone has busy lives and the friends that matter understand and make time for you. Sometimes meet ups have to be delayed or postponed but that’s life.”
Julie loves spending time with her grandchildren but admits she finds it very difficult when she realises she hasn’t go the energy to see them.
She said: “The fatigue stops me from being the type of grandmother I want to be. I simply don’t have the energy to get more involved and it makes me very sad to think I have lost that opportunity.”
Accepting the limitations that fatigue can bring post brain injury has been very difficult for Julie but she is positive about the future.
She said: “Acceptance is the difficult bit. You have to work hard to pace yourself and it isn’t easy, especially when there are things in your life that you liked to do before the injury. Learning when to say no is also tricky, you don’t want to offend.
“The main thing is that with adjustments and better understanding, you can make sure fatigue doesn’t rule your life, your life will be different but it can still be full of good things.”
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