Category Description:

badge2Symptoms of brain injury can range from loss of consciousness and coma to changes in physical, cognitive, emotional, social and behavioral abilities and skills. The range and severity of symptoms are different for each person as each brain injury is unique.

These blog articles discuss the variety of symptoms from the persepctive of clinicians, survivors and families. They give readers a broader understanding of the complexity of brain injury symptoms and their consequences for a meaningful life.

TBI and PTSD: Navigating the Perfect Storm by Marilyn Lash, M.S.W.

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Traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are separate conditions but many of their symptoms overlap. It can be hard for the person who is living with the dual diagnosis of TBI and PTSD and for family and caregivers to separate them. Just as meteorologists predict “the perfect storm” when unusual and unprecedented conditions move in to create catastrophic atmospheric events, so can the combination of PTSD and TBI be overpowering and destructive for all in its path. The person with TBI and PTSD is living in a state unlike anything previously experienced. For the family, home may no longer the safe haven but an unfamiliar front with unpredictable and sometimes frightening currents and events. This article describes similarities and differences with PTSD and TBI.

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The Grip of Anniversaries

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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 and cardiac arrest that led to his severe anoxic brain injury fifteen years ago today. Today my mind goes back to Alan’s sudden cardiac arrest on an airplane in Chicago, the hour of resuscitation, the life and death decisions, and the month we spent in an ICU before Alan was stable enough to board an air ambulance home to Boston and months of rehabilitation.

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Janet Cromer Interviewed on Brain Injury Radio

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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 very knowledgeable about the issues affecting survivors, family members, and professionals. We talked about my experiences as a spousal caregiver for my husband Alan and my book Professor Cromer Learns to Read: A Couple’s New Life after Brain Injury.

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

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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 we see, all that we touch, all that defines the word as we see it, all that matter comes from exploding stars. Every atom and molecule that makes me is a piece of stardust. Virtually every human being who has walked the Earth since time began is made of stardust. It’s a bit humbling.

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The Near Normal after Brain Injury

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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 airbags deployed. Contre Coup. Less than a week later, I slipped and fell on the sidewalk at work; ice disguised beneath the snow, and hit the back of my head. I coined the term, “the near normal,” instead of “the new normal,” in relationship to the way in which I function today, four years later.

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Is it a Brain Injury? by Cheryl Green

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Sometimes I forget a name. People without brain injury try to make me feel better with, “Oh, I do that too! Maybe I have a brain injury! Ha, ha!” That doesn’t make me feel better. Before my TBI, I forgot names sometimes. I just didn’t forget my own family members’ names and call them “Um, Excuse Me.”

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Taking The SATs With A Concussion

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On Saturday March 9, I woke up at 6:00am to take the infamous test that would decide my future…the SATs. I have been preparing weekly with a tutor for this test since January and it was a lot of hard and extra work. Going into the test, I felt very prepared and confident in my knowledge and ability. However, unlike someone without a concussion, I had to worry about more than just the test; I also had my symptoms to be concerned about. I also chose not to have extra time or accommodations for this test.

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Now School after Brain Injury

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Towards the end of the summer, I started to think about how my first day back at school would be with my brain injury aka the “invisible injury”, and how the year would go in general. Would I be able to make it through my first class? A whole school day? Do homework after school? Have a regular social life? Keep up with my schoolwork? There were so many things to consider and think about upon my return. I had missed a year of school and still had a brain injury. This was going to be a challenge.

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Healing Your Heart After a Brain Injury

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Winter can be a tough season for anyone but it can be exceptionally distressing for brain injury survivors. On top of struggling with the typical “winter blues”, brain injury survivors are struggling with a fundamental life crisis. Who am I and what is my value if I can’t do what I used to do, if my friends aren’t my friends anymore and I am a problem for my family?

Something you may not realize is that there is commonly a grieving process associated with healing from a brain injury. You have lost much of your “sense of self”. You don’t know how much you will get back and you may not know for a long time. There are often secondary losses as well – jobs, income, homes, friends, even family. These changes and losses all have a profound effect on a survivor, as well as their family and friends.

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Disinhibition and Meeting People after Brain Injury

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My disinhibition after TBI exposed me to real dangers that I was not aware of. Imagine being an adult suddenly being told by police, “Don’t give strangers your home address.” I learned that in pre-school, and here I had let an older man I hardly knew drive me home. He started emailing to ask if he could care for me and to criticize me for doing things without telling him first. (I’d just met him. I hadn’t even given him my email address.) I had friends and counselors intervene to get me to stop hanging out with people who sucked my life out of me. They guilt tripped me into hanging out and then overpowered me with manipulative stories and comments. I thought I was not being taken advantage of because I hadn’t been before. I was wrong.

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