Eight years ago Christelle was hit by a texting driver while riding her bicycle. Her head went through the driver’s windshield, fracturing her skull and causing a traumatic brain injury. Three lobes of her brain were affected, resulting in a variety of symptoms including issues communicating, emotional dysregulation and difficulty sending signals from her brain to her body. Although life would never go back to how it was before the accident, her survival and subsequent recovery have been remarkable. She was able to finish school with a masters in clinical mental health counseling, and is now working through 3000 clinical hours to be licensed as a counselor.

In episode 34 of the Major Pain podcast, Christelle shares her story of retraining body and mind after her brain injury. She discusses the changes she experienced in her mobility and personality, and the difficulty this caused with her personal relationships. She has had many incredible successes with relearning various skills and functions, but continues to live with ongoing challenges and symptoms. Christelle speaks in depth about masking, (when people with chronic conditions learn to ‘mask’ around other people to appear normal) and the energetic toll it can take. She also discusses neuroplasticity, experiencing first hand how the adaptability of the brain has impacted her recovery.

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