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A brain injury is a family injury. Whether you are a spouse, parent, sibling, or child, each of you is affected in some way. The losses of brain injury are more than medical and physical changes in how a person functions, speaks or walks. The impact of a brain injury changes over time for families from the initial shock to the slow process of rebuilding relationships and reshaping the future.

The changes and losses for a family are many, from changes in roles, responsibilities, communication, finances, to changes in friends, jobs, and income. These blog articles offer experiences of families, as well as perspectives by clinicians, on how families have been affected along with coping strategies for the long journey of brain injury.

More Than One Injured Party After Brain Injury

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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…

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Back to School on a Budget

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The return to school is right around the corner! While parents may be looking forward to children returning to the routine of school, the expenses of clothes and supplies can often be challenging. Here are a few ideas to help take the strain out of your wallet:

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Support System

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We often need the support and loyalty of our family and friends. This holds true, perhaps even more so, when an individual and their family endures an injury, illness, death or other life transition.

A key element in healing physically, emotionally and even spiritually is that we need to activate a support system. Our personal network of support includes friends, family, extended family, co-workers and acquaintances. They rally around us to offer their company, food, help, and good wishes when we need it.

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The Importance of Family and Friends

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When our son was born severely brain injured, it felt as if our world had crumbled. Every dream we had had for him was put on hold. Instead, we had new hurdles to climb and they weren’t going to be easy.

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Relationship Perspectives

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To gain a perspective is to gain another point of view. In a relationship, it is important that we try to understand where the other person is coming from or where they are at in their life. Seeking to understand first before being understood is a challenge for most people, but if you can approach a situation from this angle, I guarantee you will gain a new perspective.

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After Brain Injury: How do YOU survive life

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As moms and dads, we tend to worry about what our kids will be like when they grow up. Are we doing a good job now? Will they appreciate things that we do now, later in life? Am I doing this right? I have people ask me all the time “how do you do it!?” My answer is ‘usually with lots of prayer’… but when it comes down to it… I don’t even know if I AM ‘doing it’. Most days I wonder …

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Resuscitating Life after Cardiac Arrest

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We’ve all heard the warning that brain cells start to die within three, four, or five minutes without oxygen. What happens when the brain doesn’t receive oxygen for forty-five minutes? A severe anoxic brain injury.

My husband Alan suffered a massive heart attack and cardiac arrest. This happened on an airplane as we awaited take-off in 1998, just before it became mandatory to have automated external defibrillators (AEDS) on all flights. A few things went right, and a few things went wrong in the crisis that ensued. It took over forty-five minutes of CPR before Alan’s heart leapt back to life. He was left with a severe brain injury that defined our lives for years to come.

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