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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.

Marriage and Traumatic Brain Injury: Who is the Caregiver Here?

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I guess for Bill and I, the first thing we had to get over when he was injured was the Traumatic part of the equation. I am sure we have all had trauma in our life, so you know that it keeps coming back from time to time. PTSD, is a real problem and many of us suffer from it, both from TBI and our previous life experiences.

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Gabby Giffords needs to run again

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We have not a few post-trauma things in common, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and I. After having our heads stitched back together, stepping onto recovery road, there’s a darn good chance we soon could be embarking on yet another road not taken, the campaign trail.

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Social Dimension TBI Improvement

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Social interactions with other people can be very difficult for a TBI survivor. A person’s personality is the way he interacts with others and the way he responds to various situations. Brain injury can often have cause a person to have heightened emotions and react to situations with anxiety and lack of control. Therefore, a person’s social response to various situations is probably one of the most noticeable dimensions in behavior.

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November is National Family Caregiver Month

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Did you know that National Family Caregiver Month (NFC Month) is observed every November? The National Family Caregiver Association (NFCA) originated the observance in 1997 to focus attention on the more than 65 million family caregivers who provide 80% of the long-term care services in the US. Studies show that family caregivers provide over $375 billion in “free caregiving services” just in care for older adults annually.

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The 80% Rule After Brain Injury

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Fatigue is a common issue following brain injury. Generally, we encourage people to get lots of sleep and to take rest breaks during the day. When a person doesn’t listen to cues their mind or body gives them (i.e. feel as though you have hit the wall; can’t take in anymore information etc.) the physical and emotional fatigue can result in unintended consequences (i.e. outbursts, tears, anger, agitation).

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Never, never, never, never ever give up after Brain Injury!

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I finished filling the black-board with fractions and closed my classroom door. I told myself that my students would finish the unit on fractions tomorrow if it killed me. Those fractions nearly did kill me! If I’d written one more, or one less, my future would have been totally different. I would have avoided that car crash that crashed my life.

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The Astronaut Ballerina After Brain Injury – A Children’s Story

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My story “The Astronaut Ballerina and the Do Not Forget List” is a story aimed at children who have a parent with TBI. The story was written for a class project where we had to create a children’s book describing trauma. I chose TBI because it affects so many people’s lives, and because, in my research, I discovered that there are not very many children’s stories discussing the issues that arise from having a parent with TBI.

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Brain Injury and Fatigue

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Recovering from an illness or injury is hard work. The person is often fatigued and it feels as though it takes all their energy to get dressed and brushed their teeth. This is also what it is like for the individual who has sustained a brain injury.

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Writing for Relief after Brain Injury

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My memoir, Learning by Accident, was not a book I had ever planned to write. Living the story consumed me. Writing the book saved me. Somehow, writing about my husband’s traumatic brain injury helped me make sense of the chaotic nature of my new world, a world that changed in every way the moment a car hit Hugh as he rode his bicycle home on a sunny April afternoon in 2002.

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Writing and Karate after Brain Injury

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First, Karate. The picture I’ve enclosed is found on my FaceBook page and shows me and my instructor posing the day I was awarded my black belt. Here is the story, but I also have to tell you I am accident prone. Before the truck ran over my car (December 2007) leading to my TBI condition I had many other accidents. One that I will mention occurred way back in 1980. I was a karate student, brown belt advancing to black belt level. A few weeks before my black belt test, I was seriously injured in a sparring accident. My left knee was kicked out from under me leading to tears in both anterior cruciate ligaments and the medial collateral ligament. I gave up on karate and I missed a whole semester of graduate school. Scroll down many years (about 20) and I move to NJ and have two young children. As a family fun activity I enroll us in a local Karate club. The children drop out after two or three years but I stuck with it (again). I was once again a brown belt nearing the time for my black belt examination. Then the truck ran me over and I was out of commission, so to speak, for quite a long time.

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