20 years ago, I had a TBI and other injuries associated with falling from a vehicle on the Highway, doing 60mph. Long story short: Coming home late at night, from visiting friends, I hadn't closed the passenger door properly and was not wearing a seat belt; fell asleep against the door and when the driver hit a pot hole, the door flew open and I fell out. Yes, I certainly learned my lesson about seat belts.
I sought to enter nursing school 10 years ago, because my prior work was too physical and I had been on SSD. No one can live on SSD with any degree of comfort or dignity, especially raising two children. The counselor at the Community College I went to told me that d/t TBI, I should forget nursing. I slunk away with my tail tucked between my legs and went to counseling for depression and was encouraged to go back and enroll. I am proud to say, I finished nursing school with a 3.9 GPA! I was employed last year by a Behavior Health hospital.
Anyway, now at 50 yrs old and many therapies later, the only signs of disability i display is I move slower d/t having a knee replaced, chronic back pain, and some thought blocking, which to me, is the most troubling side effect because I have to allow what is being said to process before I can respond and I have some difficulty with spelling (thank goodness for spell-check). So, despite having a very high intelligence level, and I demonstrate critical thinking skills, I notice that when I talk to coworkers or colleagues they slow down the conversation to match me, which totally unnerves me.
I'm also starting to experience some discrimination at work. I never acknowledged my disability to HR when I applied because I was advised I'd never get hired. I actually had a manager approach me recently with veiled threats about documentation fraud, stopping short of telling me I was lying when I verified a pt's medications with a pharmacy as being the correct dose being issued, because the pharmacist questioned the amount of a medication a pt reported as being Rx'd AND reordered by the physician assigned to the pt. Essentially, I've been told, in no definitive way, "Find another job, no one has confidence in you."
It's hard to be disabled in the nursing profession. I'm finding that out, first hand, in a job that is not that physically demanding, that employers and colleagues do not like or trust a nurse who recovered from TBI.