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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.

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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The Importance of Routine

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Routines are important for everyone, including business people, children, entrepreneurs, artists and writers, parents and individuals in rehabilitation. Everyone resists routines at some time or other – that’s part of the human experience. This happens because a person feels like he or she is in a rut or that they just need a break from the daily hustle bustle. Nonetheless, they return to a routine, albeit one that may be varied or altered from the previous one.

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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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To Counter Burnout, One Must be Rekindled after Brain Injury

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When one sustains a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), it not only changes his or her life from that point on, but also changes the lives of his or her family members. It is for this reason that it is claimed that when a TBI happens, it happens to the entire family. Family involvement is inevitable after a loved one endures a TBI. The level of family involvement needed however, depends on the severity and nature of the TBI that was obtained by the loved one.

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Lost and Found After Brain Injury

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I have just written a book: Lost & Found: a survivor’s guide for reconstructing life after brain injury; a strategy guide for brain injury survivors. One of the biggest challenges I had writing in this book was keeping up with our ever-evolving increasingly technical world. When I began putting together materials for the brain injury survivor support group I have facilitated for many years, which is how the book began to develop, very few people had computers at home, no one had a cell phone-never mind a “smart phone”, there were no GPS systems for our cars, we used music cassettes – not CD’s or I Pods, and renting a movie from the video store to play at home on your VCR was a treat for the weekend.

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Twelve Skills for Caregivers and Survivors Aging with Brain Injury

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In earlier posts, I’ve shared skills for family caregivers during the seasons or stages of crisis, hospital homecoming, and the “new normal.” Many people who sustain a brain injury live for many years. At the same time, older people are being diagnosed with brain injuries from falls, accidents, strokes, and other diseases. Aging with brain injury is the subject of much research and interest in the brain injury community now.

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Memories after Brain Injury

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So many things there are to enjoy when moving back up to this NE Nebraska neck of the woods. One of the pleasures is going to church and seeing a grown family. Actually, because I’m well past my 30th year to heaven, nearly double, I might add, I savor the church as a cherished reminiscence: a choir loft and church bells that were rung almost religiously on Sunday (something they’ve stopped doing for some unknown reason). How excited I was to get the order from Father Gately, looking down at me with kind Irish eyes, to go ring the church bells and how one time, a swarm of wasps flew en masse out of the belfry and attacked another altar boy and me.

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