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badge2Living with brain injury, whether it is caused by a traumatic injury, stroke, tumor, infection, or illness, is a lifelong journey for survivors, families, and caregivers. The Brain Injury Blog is about more than the care, treatment and rehabilitation of those who survive brain injury. It is about the journey of brain injury from the perspectives of those who live with it as well as those who provide care, treatment and support. Survival is just the first step in living with brain injury. Please join us in the journey of hope after brain injury.

Who’s Who in This Family Now by Rosemary Rawlins

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One family life ends and another begins when a spouse, parent, child, or sibling has a brain injury. When traumatic brain injury strikes a family, everybody suffers. Roles flip, responsibilities shift, and stress mounts. Until the extent of the injury is known, and healing begins, remaining family members take on what added responsibilities they can, and learn to do without—without the counsel, connection, and comfort of someone they once relied on. Rosemary Rawlins describes how her family and children made it through the hardest first two years after her husband High’s TBI and gives suggestions on coping.

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Becoming the Healer: The Miracle of Brain Injury by Deborah Schlag

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Becoming-The-Healer.jpgBecoming the Healer: The Miracle of Brain Injury is a book to be read by everyone, not just for understanding the brain injured person. No matter where you are in your life, reading or listening to this story will renew in you hope, faith, and the belief that miracles still happen today and can happen for you too. You will be inspired with great ideas, encouraging you to step out in faith, to let go of your fears, and to make the necessary changes to step into your own miracles.

This was the case with Deborah Schlag who never imagined herself to be given the gift of healing. Now, having experienced a brain injury and the miracles of healing that have brought her full circle in that process she shares to help you do the same.

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You’re Not the Only One – Support for Spouses of TBI Survivors by Casey Bachus

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Casey Bachus shares her loneliness as a spouse after her husband Jeff’s traumatic brain injury and her search to find support and resources. She encourages spouses not to struggle alone with their feelings of loss and abandonment but to reach out to other spouses of TBI to for support and information on this long and uncertain journey of brain injury.

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Surviving Separation and Divorce after TBI by William C. Jarvis, Ed.D.

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A traumatic brain injury can result in so many losses with the physical, social, emotional, behavioral, and financial changes. TBI survivor, Bill Jarvis, shares how his relationship with his wife changed as she became his caregiver. The toll eventually led to their separation and divorce plunging him into despair and grief. Sustained by his faith, he has rebuilt his life and found new meaning. He shares what he has learned with tips for survivors on how to head off a divorce.

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Let’s Not Forget our Wounded Veterans as Time Passes

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As our service members and veterans come home, the invisible wounds of TBI and PTSD can have serious consequences for families. The new war at home is less recognized than the conflicts on the battlefield. The troops on the home front are the spouses, parents, children and siblings. Let us not forget them as time passes. There is no expiration date on the effects of war. There are struggles and conflicts that will endure long after service members come home and we need to remember that and reach out to help and support them.

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Brain and Healing by William Jarvis

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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 brain. The brain is always trying to do things in parts that have been injured and even sometimes other parts of the brain take over. This does not mean 100% healing, but it does mean you can be better tomorrow than you are today!!!

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Can I be Objective and Have Empathy after my Brain Injury?

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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 wish I had it for others. I’m sure I used to have a whole lot more of it.

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Magic as Therapy after Brain Injury

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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 in hospitals. During this time, magic has helped me greatly in rehabilitation. I have spent years in recovery and still continue to benefit from performing magic. Years of teaching in public schools and working as an Education Professor at Taylor University Fort Wayne gave me a background in how to motivate children. My experience in magic and a Merlin Magician in the IBM provided a unique tool for rehabilitation improvement.

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Why Bother with Families after Brain Injury?

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Families are short changed when clinicians and professionals are not committed to informing, supporting and educating them about the journey of brain injury. I am constantly struck by the comment I have heard far too often over the years, “You have to dumb it down for families.” Whether the comment is directed to explaining a diagnosis or treatment plan or writing a pamphlet or manual, I find that comment insulting, derogatory, and elitist. It’s time to reexamine our attitudes and how we approach informing families, who after all, are the primary caregivers and support system for so many survivors.

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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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