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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.

Survivor of Brain Injury – What’s in a Word?

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Survivor, person with a brain injury, brain injured person, brain injury survivor, disabled person, person with a disability, person who experiences brain injury – these are the words often used in reports, publications, and in the media. But there is an ongoing debate about what’s the best choice.

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Marriage and Brain Injury

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Sometimes, I just sit and cry. That’s when Bill is in the hospital mostly. People ask me how I have the strength to do what I do. “Caring for a spouse with your husband’s problems must be very difficult.”

It is. But living with any spouse with any disability has to be difficult. I am not alone in the caring for a spouse world. Brain injury and the loss of so many abilities that one had before is confusing and challenging for both the survivor and the spouse. The inability to use a microwave or stove or even read a recipe to make for dinner is very hard on Bill. He was a wonderful cook, and I miss his cooking. He misses much more and has learned to accept my cooking and helps me as he can.

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Your Average Everyday TBI Family! Yeah right!!

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It all began around 1:30pm and Dennis phoned me at home(he was at work) to ask me to go pick up Sam from the hospital in town. He had been phoned and told that Sam had hit his head and would probably want to come home since it may be a concussion. So I packed up Hannah and Zac (who were then 9 and 11yrs) and off we went to the hospital.

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Surviving TBI From a Bike Accident

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I began training for my first triathlon in 2008 at age 44, encouraged by my wonderful Pediatric Nurse Practitioner colleagues in Neonatology at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. On May 24, 2008, I began to bike ride 14 miles with my dear friend, Angie Cookman, on a trail in Coralville, Iowa. We came to an area with a large downward and upward hill; we were not speeding and were both wearing helmets. At the bottom of the hill there was a six-foot section of water and mud. I unfortunately hit the muddy area and was thrown 25-30 feet and hit concrete on the right side of my head. The helmet was cracked all the way through on the right side for 1-2 inches. I immediately passed out and started bleeding from my right ear and nose.

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Marriage and Traumatic Brain Injury

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When Bill was released from the hospital several months after his brain injury in June 2006, he was still on medication that really played havoc with his mind. He wasn’t sure where he was, what he was safe to do, and what had happened. Over the next few months that medication was regulated.

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Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy – How Are We Really Treating Our Service Members and Veterans with Brain Injuries?

Cognitive rehabilitation for persons with traumatic brain injury has been examined and questioned in terms of its outcomes and cost effectiveness. The civilian sector has worked long and hard with insurance companies, Medicaid and Medicare to recognize the benefits of cognitive rehabilitation therapy. Now Tricare, the insurance program that covers service members and veterans, is refusing to cover cognitive rehabilitation at the time when brain injury is recognized as the signature wound of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Holidays Aren’t All Ho! Ho! Ho! after Brain Injury

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Holidays can be especially hard for all family members when a spouse, child, parent or sibling has a brain injury. In this brain injury blog, Marilyn Lash recalls how feelings of loss resurfaced in her family as her injured brother struggled to cope with the stress of holidays.

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Service Dogs Help Veterans with PTSD

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There’s some really interesting research being funded by the Department of Defense on the use of psychiatric service dogs to help veterans deal with the psychological wounds of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many veterans who have received service dogs are reporting dramatic decreases in the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as the use of medications.

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What Exactly is a Brain Injury Conference? A vocabulary lesson

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It’s not what it sounds like…not where you go to be diagnosed with a brain injury. It’s a gathering of specially-trained folks; people in organizations who are valuable resources for individuals and families dealing with a serious head trauma and/or brain injury. And, no, it’s not boring; you do not need “medical jargon” as a second language! It’s a room filled with inviting booths where leaders in the brain injury community make available take-home materials and offer a sympathetic ear. There are break-out sessions featuring key-note speakers, usually experts in the field, who can speak from first-hand experience about the diagnosis and treatment of brain injuries.

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Marriage and Traumatic Brain Injury: A couples’ journey

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My husband Bill has a traumatic brain injury, associated with medication adverse reaction in combination with major depressive disorder.

Since January of 2006, after he entered the hospital, and was deemed lucky to be alive 5 different ways, I have been by his side. That is almost five years. Hospitalizations and crises concern our friends and people we know. But they look at this in small doses: three days here, four weeks there, etc.

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