Brain and Healing

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...

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Can I be objective and empathetic after my Brain Injury?

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...

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Magic as Therapy after Brain Injury

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...

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Why Bother with Families after Brain Injury?

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...

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Finding Purpose In Being a Brain Injury Survivor

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...

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The Grip of Anniversaries

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...

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Janet Cromer Interviewed on Brain Injury Radio

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...

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Head Injury: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

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...

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Hi God, it’s me, David – After My Brain Injury!

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...

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The Near Normal after Brain Injury

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...

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Brain and Healing

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 »

Know Your Limits after Brain Injury

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One of the difficulties in life is to know our limits. Following a brain injury, it is extremely important to know your limits so that you can manage stress, anger outbursts, and emotional and physical fatigue. Yes, it is important to build up stamina and to work hard in recovery, but pacing yourself to increase your abilities will actually work in your favour

Prepping for Successful Summer Fun – Even with a Brain Injury

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Summer is ripe with parties, cook-outs, baseball games, and time in the great outdoors. For a person who has a brain injury, these social events can present a few challenges as well as fun. For the caregiver, summer traditions can be a chance to give the survivor a hand, while practicing letting him/her be more independent.

To Moms and Dads who Live with the Trauma of Brain Injury

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Mother’s Day and Father’s Day offer children (young and old) a time to express appreciation for the unwavering support and love given by their parents. Over the years, I have met fathers and mothers who are supporting a child with a brain injury. Some of the children are under the age of nineteen, while others are adults. The devotion, love, and sense of commitment demonstrated by these caregivers is enormous – in fact, on many occasions, it astounded me.

The Need for Purpose after Brain Injury – Part III

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So how can we help those that have survived a TBI reach that next level on the Hierarchy of Needs? How can we help them identify a sense of purpose that will serve as their prompt to press on and not get stuck in a developmental stage? If you are a friend or a family member of a loved one that is a TBI survivor then you can play a major role in helping your loved one reach the level. After one acquires a TBI, their likes and dislikes often change significantly. Before he or she may have loved scuba diving, but now detests getting into the water. The key is to identify in the TBI survivor something that they truly enjoy and feel passionate about now in their current state. Initially, they may need the assistance of another to draw it out of them or to help them see it. However, once it is identified, the hard part is over. Any identified interest can be used as a positive outlet, as a source of meaning and is worth looking into. If, for example, your loved one acquired a love for animals after their TBI, it may be beneficial for them to get connected with a support group of animal lovers or volunteer at an animal shelter and so on.

Ambiguous Loss – The Sorrow that Won’t Go Away after a Brain Injury

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Ambiguous loss is also called “mobile mourning” and “chronic sorrow.” It can affect both the survivor and family member in deep and ongoing ways. Family caregivers may recognize it as that strange feeling that the person who survived the brain injury just is not the same person he/she was before. It’s confusing because you may be grateful that the person lived, but grieve for the person he was before. Ambiguous loss matters because it can make it hard for you to find hope or move on in this “new normal” life.

Helping Hands with the Unknowns after Brain Injury

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Talking to daughter Kaitlin recently—she writes a newsletter for Burlington Northern and Union Pacific railroads — she told me about a conversation she had with one of the conductors. She said he was worried, his 15-year-old son had been involved in a car crash, sustaining a traumatic brain injury. The teen was just coming out of intensive care, getting ready rehab.

Tips for Advocating for Yourself or a Loved One after Brain Injury

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An advocate is a person who pleads the case of another or argues for a cause. The same definition applies if you take on the role of self-advocate to plead your own case, which is as speaking up and speaking out for your rights. Regardless of whether you are speaking up for a family member or for yourself, the process can seem overwhelming. Here are a few tips to help you with your course of action:

Reflections on My Child’s Life

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It has been over three decades since our son Jeffrey was born severely brain injured due to the lack of oxygen. There had been a mistake at the hospital, an oversight by the doctor. In such a short period of time everything in our lives changed so dramatically and nothing would ever be the same.

How Parents Cope When a Child is Brain Injured

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When my daughter sustained a traumatic brain injury resulting from a car accident, it was like a bomb exploded in our home. Everyone was immediately thrown into an emotional crisis and immersed in a medical emergency. Our lives were changed forever. The journey towards recovery was long, complicated, and uncertain. But we adjusted, helped our child adjust and held the family together.

Six Stress Resilience Skills for Family Caregivers

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Resilient people share certain characteristics. Research has shown that these characteristics include commitment, control, community, calmness, and challenge. Here are a few suggestions to cultivate your stress resilience while caring for a family member after brain injury.

I think that the most important change you can make is to believe that you deserve to prioritize time for your mind, body, and spirit every day. Caring for yourself is a basic human right. You have inherent worth, in addition to the services you provide for your loved one. Our actions follow our beliefs, so practice talking to yourself in ways that promote self-worth and respect.