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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.

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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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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Head Injury: Where the Rubber Meets the Road by Ron Harnett

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My wheelbarrow tire suddenly goes flat. With the spring thaw, dirt and debris to be loaded on and carted around, not good timing.

What to do? What turns out is a classic TBI exchange. Mike, a fellow TBIer—he a car crash back in ‘96, me a fall off the iron in ’73—will come to the rescue. Mike repairs, fixes and changes tires on cars and trucks—and now a wheelbarrow—that pull up to a single-stall garage attached to a busy truck stop, Crystal Café.

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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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Families of TBI Survivors

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As you well may know, victims of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI’s) are not the only ones who face a tough and challenging road ahead of themselves. Families of survivors face just as much fear and confusion a TBI sufferer will most certainly be feeling. Imagine if you will, the long wait in an emergency room in a trauma center, you’re confused, scared and worried beyond belief, for the loved one who has just been brought in after their tragic accident.

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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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The Average Person is Not Average

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On more than one occasion along my journey with my mild brain injury or MTBI, I was told that the average person is at this point, and so therefore I should be at that point as well. I was told the average person who has a MTBI, might have certain symptoms, but does not have symptoms such as speech changes so therefore I was told I was “unusual”. I began to reflect on what average means, and how many of us actually fit in to the average category after a MTBI.

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