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.
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
First, Karate. The picture I’ve enclosed is found on my FaceBook page and shows me and my instructor posing the day I was awarded my black belt. Here is the story, but I also have to tell you I am accident prone. Before the truck ran over my car (December 2007) leading to my TBI condition I had many other accidents. One that I will mention occurred way back in 1980. I was a karate student, brown belt advancing to black belt level. A few weeks before my black belt test, I was seriously injured in a sparring accident. My left knee was kicked out from under me leading to tears in both anterior cruciate ligaments and the medial collateral ligament. I gave up on karate and I missed a whole semester of graduate school. Scroll down many years (about 20) and I move to NJ and have two young children. As a family fun activity I enroll us in a local Karate club. The children drop out after two or three years but I stuck with it (again). I was once again a brown belt nearing the time for my black belt examination. Then the truck ran me over and I was out of commission, so to speak, for quite a long time.
Routines are important for everyone, including business people, children, entrepreneurs, artists and writers, parents and individuals in rehabilitation. Everyone resists routines at some time or other – that’s part of the human experience. This happens because a person feels like he or she is in a rut or that they just need a break from the daily hustle bustle. Nonetheless, they return to a routine, albeit one that may be varied or altered from the previous one.
Three years ago, as most of you know, our second born son, Sam, was injured in a freak gun accident. He was at his grandparents farm with his older brother, Josh, target shooting and Sam brought his gun up too fast and hit himself in the head with the scope. This caused him to become dazed and drop his gun which discharged and shot him in the head. That was our first injured…
I know it sounds rather cliché to ask if you look at the world through rose-coloured glasses, but do you? Are you accused of being a Pollyanna? If you answered yes to one or both of these questions I say, “Good for you!” I would rather be hopeful and optimistic any day over being disgruntled and pessimistic. Let’s face it… group #1 is going to have a lot more friends and a lot more fun!!!
When one sustains a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), it not only changes his or her life from that point on, but also changes the lives of his or her family members. It is for this reason that it is claimed that when a TBI happens, it happens to the entire family. Family involvement is inevitable after a loved one endures a TBI. The level of family involvement needed however, depends on the severity and nature of the TBI that was obtained by the loved one.
I have just written a book: Lost & Found: a survivor’s guide for reconstructing life after brain injury; a strategy guide for brain injury survivors. One of the biggest challenges I had writing in this book was keeping up with our ever-evolving increasingly technical world. When I began putting together materials for the brain injury survivor support group I have facilitated for many years, which is how the book began to develop, very few people had computers at home, no one had a cell phone-never mind a “smart phone”, there were no GPS systems for our cars, we used music cassettes – not CD’s or I Pods, and renting a movie from the video store to play at home on your VCR was a treat for the weekend.
Traumatic Brain Injury Improvement through Motivation – Jarvis Rehabilitation Method. The manual is a method to create internal motivation for improvement after a traumatic brain injury. These are specific strategies to maximize improvement in the Social, Cognitive, Physical, and Psychological Dimensions of engagement with life. Included are guiding principles and a specific plan for improvement. The Survivor records objectives, goals, and progress on Improvement Charts in each Dimension. Progress is measured and individualized for each survivor through monthly coaching sessions.
So many things in life give us joy. From precious babies and newborn animals to music, painting, photography, sculpting, gardening, mountain climbing and cooking, people experience joy. When you suffer a loss, it snuffs the joy out of your life and it makes it difficult to put a smile on your face.
In earlier posts, I’ve shared skills for family caregivers during the seasons or stages of crisis, hospital homecoming, and the “new normal.” Many people who sustain a brain injury live for many years. At the same time, older people are being diagnosed with brain injuries from falls, accidents, strokes, and other diseases. Aging with brain injury is the subject of much research and interest in the brain injury community now.