The acronym widely used in the workplace – KISS : keep it simple stupid / keep it short & simple / keep it short & smart etc is something that I used a lot in my capacity as manager.  I never thought of it as a derogatory term & never used it as one. I always got the desired results from my team & they always felt like they had clear directive (they may not have always liked the task given – but that’s a different story!)  Anyway, back to the acronym. I thought it could be appropriate to use as an over arching message in this post about how us individuals suffering & recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries are treated by those (ill informed) around us – especially the medical profession.

I can only speak for myself in the 2 years after my accident, although I am sure there are a LOT of other tbi survivors that will relate.

Prior to my accident I would say I was an intelligent, well informed, well educated individual. I kept up to date on world issues, read newspapers (& gossip mags!) & enjoyed a good debate. So what changed?….nothing…okay, slight exaggeration, my brain got scrambled but that certainly did not remove the intelligence that I developed over the years. Cognitive functions such as processing, memory, speech etc  were & continue to be problematic but not my intelligence.  We the ones with the injury may & often do question our own intelligence because of the way we get treated by those that have little or no understanding. (I do excuse ill informed people as I would probably, pre accident, be in that same corral) Non medical ‘specialists’ could be excused but those that specialize in Neuro absolutely cannot.  I can categorically tell you 5 out of the 8 neuro specialists (here in NZ) I have seen have absolutely zero understanding on mild & moderate traumatic brain injuries, other than dated text book theory.  It was after those appointments that I would question my intelligence to the point of almost believing I had lost my marbles. Telling me, in the nicest possible way of course that it was all psychosomatic & in the early months I started to believe it – why wouldn’t I, they are the professionals after all.  I am & will always be eternally grateful to my partner, my doctor & friends that have stayed the distance, questioned the ‘specialists’ & listened to me.

I have an injury to the brain, that means many things about my cognitive abilities are not quite the same as someone without an injury and I may also suffer with depression; anxiety; be over sensitive at times; have reduced tolerance; suffer with debilitating headaches; get fatigued easily; lose focus; forget or struggle to get words out; have memory issues; suffer with sensitive hearing; change in taste; etc etc.  BUT I did NOT lose my intelligence.

So, the acronym KISS, absolutely is relevant but not in a derogatory manner. Keeping it SHORT & SIMPLE works for me 🙂


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