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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.

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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Connected: Resolving Grief after Brain Injury through Words by Dr. Carolyn Roy-Bornstein

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I imagine I talk to my young adult son with about the same frequency as any other mother, which is to say possibly once a week, and even then, only when I call him. I suspect Neil and I touch on the same subjects other moms and sons talk about—his graduate school program, my work, the family.

What perhaps makes our relationship different is that I’ve written a book about my son… And he has read it… Multiple times.

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What Does Brain Injury Awareness Mean?

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This month is brain injury awareness month. I read it on a brain injury resource website. Ironically, most people who are going to that website, are quite aware of the impact mild or severe brain injuries can have on our lives. Where is the awareness in the media? Where is the awareness that everyday people like me suffer brain injuries just like athletes and military personnel?

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Speaking Publicly for the First Time after Brain Injury

I was a schoolteacher who suffered a mild traumatic brain injury two years ago. Over the last two years I have faced many frustrating challenges with medical, legal, and insurance people. I cried more over my encounters with them, than I did about the loss of my old life or abilities. The most traumatic part of my MTBI, was meeting with doctors, employers, and insurance companies. So, I decided to speak out and share my story.

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My Job after Brain Injury

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I have flexible hours, a great boss, and the satisfaction that I am making a difference in someone’s life. It sounds like the perfect job description, doesn’t it? It’s been a couple of years now, but when I started I hated it. It felt pointless. With little supervision, I tended to slack off. I complained to anyone who would listen that I was overqualified and that I had been so good at my old job. The truth is I only started to enjoy my work recently. It might be because I didn’t come into this position willingly. Let me explain.

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Power to the People with Brain Injury

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Whoever tells you that you can’t make a difference in our political system is wrong! I got to learn this first hand today. Brain injury advocacy can make a difference!

I attended a meeting at the state capitol building for people with disabilities. The MN Brain Injury Alliance had arranged for me to meet with my legislators to discuss an issue that I would like to see addressed. I chose workman’s compensation insurance since it had such a negative impact on my recovery. I suffered a mild traumatic brain injury in January of 2011 while on a field trip with my students. Because I was on the job, and unable to work, I was placed on workman’s comp. At the time I didn’t even know about workman’s comp, what it meant, or that there are lawyers who specialize in this field. With worker’s comp, you receive part of your salary, your medical expenses are covered, but you have to get their prior approval before attending medical providers.

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Brain Injury Awareness Month

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I find it uncomfortable to have only one month to be aware of something. Be aware of Black History in February, and then put it away. Be aware of Brain Injury in March, and then put it away. I’ve heard someone mention one Disability Awareness Week in March. Only one week? That’s not enough. And during my month? That’s too much.

Life isn’t like that. We don’t get to put ourselves away, and why would we want to?

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Brain Envy

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“Recently, I’ve been listening to Dr. Daniel Amen’s CDs from his best-selling book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Body. With many of us making New Year’s resolutions to change a part of our life in some way, Dr. Amen’s advice seemed like great timing in aligning with our new goals. So, I began my inquisitive adventure on how to change my brain so that I could change my body.

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You Sent Me Paperwork… Now What Am I Supposed to do With It?

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I was a schoolteacher who had an accident on a field trip two years ago. I suffered a mild traumatic brain injury. As a result, I have been faced with some challenges, which used to be my strengths, such as organization, sequencing, math skills, attention, and fatigue. Just to name a few. As I been on my journey, I have learned that I am not alone in my challenges.

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