We all react to others, and often that means we give up control over our lives to some degree. Sometimes we do this consciously, but most times, we don’t realize how we’re changing our behavior to suit someone else. And it’s not necessarily good for us. So read the story in this week’s post at Journal After Brain Injury (I hope you get a chuckle out of it), and then pull out your journal and choose a prompt or two to write about.
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
Rehabilitation after brain injury is hard. It is not fun. It isn’t glamorous. But it is THE most important component to a person’s recovery.
A rehab program is customized to meet the needs of the person and involves professionals such as a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech-language pathologist, and a neuropsychologist. Rehab can be done at home, in an outpatient setting at the hospital, a rehab facility or in a medical clinic. The goal of rehabilitation is to assist the person in restoring functions they lost as a result of the brain injury but that can be restored, or to learn how to do things differently if those functions cannot be restored. While rehabilitation sounds like an event, in my opinion, it is more like a process… a process that is built upon each time the person does the work. A process takes time… sometimes a long time.
Since my experience with TBI was through my husband, I haven’t written about the impact that the brain injury of a child can have on a family. However, Dixie Fremont-Smith Coskie was forced to become an expert in that subject when a car hit her son Paul and left him with a severe traumatic brain injury.
Social interactions with other people can be very difficult for a TBI survivor. A person’s personality is the way he interacts with others and the way he responds to various situations. Brain injury can often have cause a person to have heightened emotions and react to situations with anxiety and lack of control. Therefore, a person’s social response to various situations is probably one of the most noticeable dimensions in behavior.
Peer Support is essentially individuals supporting other individuals with similar or shared experiences. This support is offered one-to-one or in a group setting. The benefits of peer support are numerous, including that the supporter has credibility and is trusted because they have been through the experience.
Did you know that National Family Caregiver Month (NFC Month) is observed every November? The National Family Caregiver Association (NFCA) originated the observance in 1997 to focus attention on the more than 65 million family caregivers who provide 80% of the long-term care services in the US. Studies show that family caregivers provide over $375 billion in “free caregiving services” just in care for older adults annually.
After the trauma of a brain injury and all the changes it brings to your life and the life of your family, it’s important to discover the story of your new life. We humans respond deeply to story. We can’t help it. We’re not only natural-born story tellers, we are stories. Before your brain injury, or the injury of a loved one, you had one story of your life. Now you have a new one, which can be confusing, frightening, even incomprehensible. Uncovering the story of your post-injury life will help you understand what has happened, how you are reacting, and the actions you can take to enhance your life today and in the future. One good way to do this is to write in a journal.
When I suggest people use art as a way to express their feelings, often the response is, “I can’t draw.” Art is so much more than sketching on paper and there are many ways in which it can be experienced. Art is a tiny word for an expansive list of activities: music, writing, film, photography, sculpting, drawing and painting, gardening and more.
Memory problems are considered the most disabling consequence of brain injury according to The Essential Brain Injury Guide (Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), 2007). Impaired memory affects a person’s ability to learn, retain, and use new information and may significantly affect a person’s ability to live independently (BIAA, 2007). Where the brain was injured plays a significant role on what brain functions were impaired as a result of the traumatic event. If the temporal lobe area was injured, changes will often be seen in the following areas: memory, hearing, receptive language and organization and sequencing. When you struggle to remember or recall information that is being processed, the every day tasks that need to be accomplished become more difficult. When memory problems are present, you may find yourself feeling scattered, unsure, not knowing where to begin and overwhelmed.
Fatigue is a common issue following brain injury. Generally, we encourage people to get lots of sleep and to take rest breaks during the day. When a person doesn’t listen to cues their mind or body gives them (i.e. feel as though you have hit the wall; can’t take in anymore information etc.) the physical and emotional fatigue can result in unintended consequences (i.e. outbursts, tears, anger, agitation).