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.
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
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).
I finished filling the black-board with fractions and closed my classroom door. I told myself that my students would finish the unit on fractions tomorrow if it killed me. Those fractions nearly did kill me! If I’d written one more, or one less, my future would have been totally different. I would have avoided that car crash that crashed my life.
We are excited about our first installment – an “up close and personal” interview by Annie Pixley with Barbara Webster, who penned Lost and Found – A Survivor’s Guide for Reconstructing Life After a Brain Injury. Read what she has to say about her own experience as a survivor and as a facilitator for hundreds of support groups:
My story “The Astronaut Ballerina and the Do Not Forget List” is a story aimed at children who have a parent with TBI. The story was written for a class project where we had to create a children’s book describing trauma. I chose TBI because it affects so many people’s lives, and because, in my research, I discovered that there are not very many children’s stories discussing the issues that arise from having a parent with TBI.
Recovering from an illness or injury is hard work. The person is often fatigued and it feels as though it takes all their energy to get dressed and brushed their teeth. This is also what it is like for the individual who has sustained a brain injury.
My memoir, Learning by Accident, was not a book I had ever planned to write. Living the story consumed me. Writing the book saved me. Somehow, writing about my husband’s traumatic brain injury helped me make sense of the chaotic nature of my new world, a world that changed in every way the moment a car hit Hugh as he rode his bicycle home on a sunny April afternoon in 2002.