Sound Sensitivities and Calmer: Théa's Story
You may think that having multiple head accidents would de-motivate most people. But not Théa. We loved meeting her and reading how she has gone from strength to strength. Read on to find out how Calmer helped achieve that 'Ahhhh' feeling...
Getting to know Théa
Four mild traumatic brain injuries in two years – it started with a horse incident, then go-karting, dancing, and skydiving. Each unique, and each came with its own challenges.
At the time of my injuries, I worked in agriculture as a Soil Nutrient Specialist. It was a path I loved. Yet as I navigated my own brain injuries, I became fascinated with all our brains do. They are the master of our body. The control center through which we experience life. And so, I changed careers – excited to help others in their own brain injury journeys.
Nowadays I am an Empowerment Coach and Speaker, active in Brain Injury Advocacy and studying towards my Masters in Speech and Language Pathology. It is rewarding, challenging and fuels my fire like no other.
In terms of hobbies – I love the outdoors and a huge passion of mine is genuine connection with others. For me, this looks like volunteering within a Disaster Welfare and Support Team. Whether it be fires, floods, or earthquakes – the team are there for our community in times of need.
My most recent brain injury resulted in debilitating symptoms and months off work. I struggled extensively with light and sound to a level I had never experienced. I would wear sunglasses from dawn till dusk. Eat meals in total darkness. I asked housemates to walk as quietly as possible, and still it felt as if giants stormed the hallway.
Slowly overtime, my tolerance built. However, bright lights and busy sound were still overwhelming. Listening to multiple people talking at once was challenging in a quiet venue, and impossible in the likes of a restaurant. Sharp or sudden sounds were physically painful – a sensation I appreciate is hard to understand if you have not experienced.
I am presently 19 months on from my latest brain injury and continue to slowly improve. Sunglasses are no longer a necessity, and the sound sensitivity is something I actively manage in loud or busy environments.
Picture yourself at the beach on a sunny day. You notice the overwhelming brightness of the sun. The light dances off the waves… constant flickers in your vision. You enjoy the view, yet you find yourself squinting as you struggle to process all the visual information.
Now, I invite you to put on your sunglasses.
Ahhhh. Doesn’t that feel good? The view remains the same. You are still present to the details. Yet the light is manageable. Enjoyable even.
This is how my sound processing feels when I use Calmer.
Rather than feeling scattered and overwhelmed, I feel grounded. Sharp sounds feel smoother. I can better filter background noise, hear my train of thought and cope with multiple streams of conversation.
The road of brain injury recovery is often entwined with grief and isolation. What once was, is suddenly no more – and that can be challenging to navigate.
Flare Audio’s Calmer gave me the gift of participating in life once again. Weddings. Dinners. Movie theaters. These experiences made manageable so much sooner in my recovery with Calmer as a support. For this, I am beyond grateful.
Follow Théa on Instagram here: @yourbrainbff
Find out more about Calmer here.
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