This year, I got to present at some events for national Brain Injury Awareness Month. I ran around calling them National People With Brain Injury Acceptance and Appreciation Month events! We need these events to focus and share crucial information about injuries, the impact they have on people, and new diagnosis and treatment protocols. But to me, when the emphasis on brain injury overshadows discussion of the people who actually have the brain injury, I get a little nervous!
ALL TBI SURVIVORS AND CARE GIVERS NEED TO KNOW that improvement is possible, even years later. It always amazes me the amount of healing that can take place in the...Read more »
One thing that has confused me since my TBI is empathy. I want everyone to have it and forgive me when I'm rude, forgetful, and overwhelmed. More than anything, I...Read more »
Being disabled is not fun! A car collision for me in 2000 resulted in a coma, fractured C1-C4 vertebrae, a Traumatic Brain Injury, and one and a half years...Read more »
Writing for families gets little support or recognition in clinical and academic circles. It’s time to rethink biases and disincentives that leave families uninformed and searching for information about brain...Read more »
The autobiography of Brain Injury Survivor and five time cross country charity bicyclist Mike Heikes. Mike formed "helmets For Kids", giving away thousands of free helmets. It tells how Mike...Read more »
As I write this, the calendar says July 5, 2013, but my mind is pulled back to July 5, 1998. That’s because my husband Alan suffered the massive heart attack...Read more »
This week I had the pleasure of being a guest of Kim Justus, host of the Recovery Now show, on Brain Injury Radio. Kim is a brain injury survivor and...Read more »
My wheelbarrow tire suddenly goes flat. With the spring thaw, dirt and debris to be loaded on and carted around, not good timing. What to do? What turns out is a...Read more »
Since my accident, I’ve taken up an interest in nuclear physics. That alone is a bit of an oddity. Most of your Kids don’t realize that all the matter that...Read more »
Four years ago, I survived two Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries, one from a car accident in which I was broadsided while idling at a stoplight. My driver’s side and curtain...Read more »
Featured Brain Injury Articles
Can someone live after being hit by an 18-wheeler truck? This is my story. My story is about an experience that not many people face. Those people who do face what I experienced may not be as blessed as I was. I can truly say that God has His hand on my life. No one saw it coming and no one was prepared. Not only was I in an accident that affected me physically, but the very core of my spiritual life was turned upside down.
Janet Cromer, RN, MA, LMHC, is a psychiatric nurse and speaks nationally on family and professional caregiver issues including ambiguous loss, stress resilience, traumatic stress, compassion renewal, seasons of caregiving, and creativity and healing. Her column Caregivers Compass is featured quarterly inthe magazine Brain Injury Journey – Hope, Help, Healing published by Lash and Associates.
Matthew and Cossandra Brown talk openly about how the effects of his TBI and PTSD changed their relationship and almost destroyed their marriage. His anger, drinking, and sexual demands drove his wife away and they separated. Even his young children were scared by his anger and outbursts.Losing contol over his life and with his marriage dissolving, he sought counseling and help for his PTSD. Cossondra reveals what it was like for her as a spouse and her concerns for her children during this tumultuous time. Now reunited, they are rebuilding their marriage and future. .
President of Lash and Associates, she is an expert on the emotional trauma of brain injury on families, both among civilians and veterans. She also writes on the educational impact of brain injuries on the development and education of children and youth.
I’ve met people who say some of us over-identify with our brain injuries. They complain that all some of us ever talk about is our brain injury. But it’s not for others to say. A brain injury can affect all parts of your life in the present and the future. If it’s your identity, that’s wonderful. If it’s what you want to talk about, that’s wonderful too. It’s not like we’re the only people on the planet who get really into talking about one thing.
When finding the perfect job for a person who has sustained a traumatic brain injury, most speech therapists and vocational rehab counselors look at the person’s weaknesses so she can find a job that does not require these skills. This has been a common approach in vocational re-entry for years. Although it is important not to set up anyone with a TBI for failure, basing a job search on avoiding weaknesses is often a very limiting approach. I propose a better one: Look at people’s strengths and interests, and build the job from there.
We grow up in our families and we come to know what to expect from day to day. Family routines, schedules, rituals, and traditions reinforce our sense of security and belonging. Shared values, love, and trust bind us. So it follows that when something unexpected and devastating happens to one family member, each member of the family is profoundly affected.
Finding a new family rhythm after one member has sustained a brain injury can be challenging at best or chaotic at worst, because brain injury causes immediate and drastic changes for all family members.
Traumatic Brain Injury is often very discouraging on a daily basis. A TBI Survivor needs comfort in the journey of healing. Meditation offers the opportunity for gaining inner strength and peace. It is this strength that is often needed as one travels the journey of healing. People of all faiths can find comfort and strengths in the scriptures.
It is this emphasis on the peace and assurance that all meditations and faith bring to the individual that is the premise I offer. The individual process may be different, but the act of one’s implementation of his/her cultural beliefs will maximize psychological healing.
Jodi Ginter lost her Dad when he had a severe traumatic brain injury years ago but he survived and is living – as a very different person. The recent holidays reminded her of how much has been lost for him and for their father/daughter relationship as painful memories resurfaced. How have you coped with the holidays?