Who Am I Again? A Teacher’s Story of Her Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
By Amanda C. Nachman, M.Ed.
Who Am I Again tells the story of a journey Amanda Nachman began on January 20, 2011 when she experienced a concussion/mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), whiplash, and a back/hip injury. This schoolteacher found herself in a medical world where her injury appeared to be uncommon to anyone not classified as an athlete or in the military. Her whole life changed on the day of her accident. Rather than letting herself go down the rabbit hole one might choose when the only profession you have ever loved is no longer an option, she chose, and continues to choose, to be an advocate for herself and to create a positive new life and career. Ms. Nachman not only shares her emotional journey in her story through sadness, anger, and humor, but also shares her challenges with our medical and legal system.
Who Am I Again integrates articles and resources to define terms related to Ms. Nachman’s injuries, and to show the reader that her situation in not necessarily as unique as the doctors made it out to be. What is clear in her story, which is unfortunately the story of many others, is that although doctors try, people who have experienced a MTBI cannot be defined by one textbook definition.
Because Ms. Nachman experienced this injury on the job, Who Am I Again also delves into a bit of the workman’s compensation process and the challenges in working with an employer whom she felt was not supportive of her situation. Throughout the book, Ms. Nachman gives recommendations based on her legal and medical experiences. This book is not only beneficial to those who are survivors of a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), and their caregivers, but also medical professionals who work with this population.
About the Author
Amanda Nachman grew up in Burnsville, Minnesota. She was raised in a very loving home with two brothers, two sisters, two cousins, a dog, and many, many other pets! When the weather was right, her father would take Amanda and her siblings agate hunting, which is still her favorite hobby to this day. Her family also traveled throughout the country in their station wagon with a pop up camper, or in their VW bus. Amanda went to elementary school at William Byrne in Burnsville, where she had such a positive experience due to the creativity and care of her teachers. Being at school, was like an extension of home, and at times her home became an extension of school, as Amanda’s teachers joined her birthday parties. As she got older, the love and creativity Amanda experienced with them never left her.
After a few years working at an environmental company, Amanda got married and had her daughter Hannah. It was then that she left the environmental field and began working at the high school in Burnsville with kids with special needs. She returned to school to get her teaching degree from the Collegeof St. Catherine, had her son Sam, and began her teaching career right away in St. Paul. After teaching a couple years, Ms. Nachman went back to school at St. Catherine’s where she received a master’s degree in education, with a focus on Differentiated Instruction. When Amanda wasn’t teaching, or taking classes, she and the kids spent a lot of time playing and gardening in the backyard, as well as many hours down by the Mississippi River skipping rocks and collecting fossils.
Amanda transitioned from teaching at the private school in St. Paul, to a charter school in St. Louis Park, and finally to Minneapolis Public Schools where she felt she had found her dream job. It was in Minneapolisthat she met and married her wonderful husband Scott. During her years of teaching, Amanda’s focus was on differentiated instruction to accommodate and meet the needs of all her students. Now she is using those skills to adapt to her own new life.
It was a snow tubing trip and a MTBI that changed her life, but she has found ways to focus on fulfilling her other dreams in life such as writing books and volunteering. With her first book complete, she is continuing her writing at home, and on the Lash Blog Page. Amanda is hoping her book, Who Am I Again? will help others who might find themselves in a similar situation. She believes it is possible to take something you think is devastating to all that you are, and turn it in to something positive to help or teach others. Amanda also volunteers one hour a week in the private school where she began her teaching career, and will also be volunteering at the MN Brain Injury Alliance in the near future. She hopes to always be in a position to teach others in some capacity whether it is through her writing, or through speaking to groups to share her story.
To purchase your copy of Who Am I Again? contact Ms. Nachman through email at: firstname.lastname@example.org