When TBI Improvement is Hard to See! by William C. Jarvis, Ed.D.

The first years after my injury saw TBI improvement. 

William Jarvis advises to use your brain for TBI improvement.

William Jarvis advises to use your brain for TBI improvement.

Fatigue diminished, psychological aspects improved, and my limitations were less noticeable. However, there seems to be a period of time after most TBI improvement happens that any more improvement seems much smaller and less noticeable.

This is the most crucial time period of psychological wellness and continued improvement. The most important aspects to remember are to always set goals, keep focused, and establish accountability.

Always set goals for TBI improvement

There should always be a goal you are working on for the week or month. It is easy to give up because you do not see improvement in a short time period. Many TBI Survivors do not formally set a goal because they think daily living requires all the objectives to get better. Survivors fail to see the long term benefit of always being able to identify the goal(s) they are working on.

Make the goals realistic according to your situation and injury. It may be having to rest less during the day or exercising in the gym. It may be extending your fingers on your hand to improve motor movement. Every goal will be different for everyone. More prominent goals may be to drive again, finish school, or go back to work part time.

Set a goal that is realistically doable and one that you have to work at to achieve. If things go wrong, don’t be afraid to readjust the goal appropriately.

Keep focused for TBI improvement

Success is dependent on your ability to keep focused on your goal over the time you are working on it. Don’t be distracted by discouragement or other irrelevant events. Be persistent and if discouragement comes, shake it off as a learning experience and keep going forward. A survivor will find that lack of a constant and unshakable focus on a goal is often the most difficult aspect of TBI improvement and the greatest predictor of success.

Establish accountability for TBI improvement

Accountability has a twofold purpose. First, it keeps you on track by recording daily progress. For example, if exercising at a local gym, I always record the date, equipment, indicate speed, (treadmill) repetitions, (weights) or other information that will indicate any improvement. Secondly, when the Survivor sees the progress in written form over four to five months, he will be encouraged and motivated.

The best motivation for improvement is internal motivation. When you actually see improvement written down over several months and can actually feel that improvement, the Survivor will continue to keep at it no matter how slow the TBI improvement.

Keep these three ideas in mind:  to always set goals, keep focused, and establish accountability. Actually doing them will keep a person on track for further TBI improvement.


2 responses to “When TBI Improvement is Hard to See! by William C. Jarvis, Ed.D.”

  1. Mike Sheller says:

    Dear Mr. Jarvis,
    First, I hope to make some sense out of this initial sentence as I continue writing, but bear with me as I first offer you a heartfelt SALUTE!
    I rarely offer salutes inasmuch as many years ago, in the mid 1960’s, I was a soldier in the Vietnam conflict, been through three mortar attacks, been shot at and, fortunately, missed! And in all that I managed returning home in decent shape. But at the turn of this new century we are in I suffered a brain injury in my home and my wife found me unconscious and called an ambulance (those tile bathroom floors can really jar one’s brain!)
    After reading your Brain Injury Blog article Cognitive Dimension TBI Improvement I simply had to send you my thoughts. Number One (as the Vietnamese used to say in fractured English (not quite as fractured as my own Vietnamese ) your advice concerning some measure of attention to a cognitive thought stimulant such as, to be simple about it, the use of the mind, is right on the money.
    For many years, along with my profession as Creative director in a New York advertising agency I was an ardent stock speculator. Just prior to my brain injury I started focusing on a very particular energy pattern I became aware of as preceding, more often than not, a significant rise in a stock’s price. I was starting to roll, so to say, and then got conked with my brain injury.
    Of course, thank the powers that be though I was out cold, they tell me, for a full month and expected to be severely mentally compromised by my injury IF I revived, after regaining consciousness and recuperating in some measure in a group situation for recovering brain injured folks, I reached the point in my recovery that I could return home. It was not much later that I was driven to return to stock market work and since my many years writing and designing for graphic ad situations had trained my vision to do some decent work interpreting the energy manifestations in stock patterns, before long I was making a bit of money here and there and loving every minute of it.
    My approach to financial markets – notably corporate securities – brings together, for me, the details of the varied company directions, the energy patterns manifested by the multitude of stocks, and the integration of all those factors that relate to the ongoing development of business directions, industrial projections and directions into the future. They all come together to make me more and more conscious of the factors I had to deal with in so serious a pursuit – especially for one recovering from a near fatal brain trauma.
    I am now at the point – have been for some time – where the money in the accounts that I employ in this activity is growing quite satisfactorily, but the money is just a wonderful added benefit to the use of the mind, and the stimulating of my mind to explore more, and more subtle, modes of analysis as I become more and more conversant with the – if I can put it this way – “life” of each individual security. Indeed, though that “life” is made manifest by the multitude of individual humans making streams of positive and negative decisions, my attention to, and interpretation of, stock pattern energy is an intellectual, indeed noetic, exercise that grows more accurate and stimulating as time goes by.
    Not to mention, of course, the greater and greater financial recompense now and then afforded as well.
    Hey, I’ve had enough close calls to make me aware that every current moment must be revered and utilized for something positive and uplifting. Your list of factors regarding thinking is wonderful:
    Let me leave it there and, once again, salute you.
    My very best to you, your work and concern for the Traumatically Brain Injured!

  2. Marvin Carr says:

    This article is a big encouragement to the people suffering from TBI. Well, I didn’t see any treatment that is instant so progress really takes place. What William C. Jarvis said to set goals is a good inspiration to keep going. Thanks to this!

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