What is Traumatic Brain Injury?
What is Traumatic Brain Injury? According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “Traumatic brain injury (TBI), a form of acquired brain injury, occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. TBI can result when the head suddenly and violently hits an object, or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue. Symptoms of a TBI can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the damage to the brain.”
According to Janna Leyde, the daughter of a TBI victim, TBI is less technical, and more something like this: “You’re 14 and your world gets turned upside down and its really shitty and it’s really scary and its really lonely and there isn’t a guide and there isn’t a lot of other people who can tell you what exactly to do and how to react when someone that you love and that you think is going to grow up in a certain way in your life…changes. That person sort of dies and I say sort of, I mean that person does die.”
I have spoken with Janna many times, and she does knows all that technical stuff, too. And she wants to share her experiences–the technical and scary jargon, the emotional roller coaster, the difficulties of having a parent essentially die, while still being alive–with the rest of the world through her memoir He Never Liked Cake.
Prior to Janna posting her memoir on Pubslush, I was personally very unfamiliar with the term TBI–what it means, who it affects. I knew nothing about this traumatic injury that affects over 1 million people every year. Janna is helping to shed light on what used to be an elusive subject: What is TBI? There’s no other book like this available and not only will He Never Liked Cake be an invaluable resource for the children and family members of TBI victims, but also for the rest of the world, like me, who were unaware and uneducated about the matter.
Janna recently hosted an event in NYC to raise support for her memoir so it can be published. Take the time to listen to a reading from her memoir and hear her discuss why she wanted to write He Never Liked Cake: Janna’s NYC Reading
Also, visit Pubslush to provide support so her memoir can be published and her story (and, really, the story of so many others) can be told.
“What’s the point of having a dysfunctional family if it doesn’t give you something to laugh about, or at least a party anecdote? My life has never been ordinary. Biracial, raised bicoastal between two bitterly divorced parents, with a bipolar sister and plausibly a bipolar mother as well, my life covers just about all the bi’s with the exception of bisexual (sorry to disappoint fellows). When you’re born into a family such as mine, having a sense of humor is not so much an asset as a necessary tool for survival. Until 19, arrogant asshole that I am, I believed myself immune to life’s hardships. I had already seen life’s worst and it didn’t scare me. How quickly that all changed once my ex boyfriend died, delivering the first of what would be many reminders that life can be challenging. Eventually, I hit my breaking point, probably when I decided to break up with my celebrity ex-boyfriend, and divorce my mother. Usually, when a girl is heartbroken she gets a terrible haircut, buys a new dress, tries some new diet fad, or a combination of all three. I however, quit my job, moved to Spain, and wrote a book. Allow me to allay your fears; this is not another Eat, Pray, Love. I am not here to spoon feed you another self righteous story about how I traveled to a distant land where I ate a lot, found myself and happiness. Though truthfully, that did all happen. Rather, allow me to tell you the much more interesting back-story of how I came to Spain and the madness that drove me here. A beautiful Mess is a compilation of short stories about life experiences but more importantly relationships. Though the stories are told through my life experiences, the relationships within the book are relationships we all know, have shared and in some cases, have lost. Like everyone else, I am but a product of my relationships. While my life is a mess, it’s a beautiful one, and the only mess I know. I’d be a fool not to love it.”
“My father was in a car accident in 1996. He has a severe frontal lobe TBI caused by a subarachnoid hemorrhage with multiple punctuate left frontal and occipital region diffuse bleeding. He scored a 5 on the Glasgow Coma scale. Layman’s terms? These were not favorable conditions to survive.” Janna Leyde, Author of He Never Liked Cake (via National Brain Injury Awareness Day Interview w/ Janna Leyde | PUBSLUSH Community)