Category Description:

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.

Their War Came Home A documentary by veterans for veterans

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Developed to help veterans and their families recognize and understand the invisible wounds of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), this 50 minute documentary produced by Korean and Vietnam veterans Norm Seider, Carl Ohlson, and John Drinkard features the voices of veterans who have returned home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Veterans describe the impact of the invisible wounds of post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury and the effects on them and their families. Chronicling destructive cycles of depression, self medication, alcohol, and addiction, veterans and clinicians examine the search for a “new normal” after the devastation of war.

No matter how or where you served as a veteran, no matter how long ago or recently you came home… this documentary is for you, your family and those who care about you.

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Wondering: A Reflection / A Refraction

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Have you lost your self?

Why is it that our reflection of our self in the mirror is not what others

see? I see a little less color, an imperfect smile, a drabby look,

while others see me as colorful, beautiful and full of life. I hear it all the time, “You look great”!

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I’m Not “Me” Anymore (again) by Laurie Rippon

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Yup… living with brain injury’s a daily struggle. I don’t see when I make progress–I just raise the bar and work harder. Eventually I’m overwhelmed and blame myself for not using strategies I know will help. And honestly, I still measure myself by my old yardstick.

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How I Regained my Humanity after a Brain Injury by Jeff Sebell

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A brain injury brings with it a confusing barrage of physical, emotional and cognitive changes that affects the survivor deeply and personally. The simplest expression of this is when we say, “I don’t know who I am anymore.”

This is also known as a loss of humanity. It has profound implications, manifesting itself as confusion, doubt and depression, and making our “recovery” that much more difficult. In my own situation, the hardships I encountered left me thinking, a number of times, that my life wasn’t worth living.

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The Sound of Brain Injury by Mike Strand

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Mike Strand thought his speech was not affected by his brain injury. But when he listened to himself on a video and radio interview, he was shocked by how he sounded. Improving his speech became an ongoing goal, even after many years since his TBI. His experience shows the complexity of speech and communication in its various forms of answering questions, holding a conversation, and making a formal speech.

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You Look Good, You Sound Good by Amanda C. Nachman

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How many of us have heard these words over time since our brain injuries? I have realized that having a brain injury makes people uncomfortable. They don’t know what to say. Is it because they can’t see our injury? Is it because people who care about us just want everything to be okay? It could be all of the above. I don’t know.

I look good on the outside because it was my brain, an internal organ that was damaged.

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When All Seems Hopeless! Hold onto Hope by William C. Jarvis, Ed.D.

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Hope! As a brain injury survivor, Bill Jarvis knows how difficult it can be to hold on to hope when so much has been lost in one’s life and relationships. But he offers both hope and encouragement to survivors that it is possible to sustain hope and to build a positive future.

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Regaining a Sense of Self by Hilary Zayed

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Losing her sense of self may have been the most painful invisible loss after her brain injury. Hilary Zayed explores the meaning of self and the process of “reinvention” of her new self through her artwork as she rebuilt her identity and explored her future and the meaning of survival. Her new book Regaining a Sense of Self describes the process.

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Real-Life Superheroes Do Exist (I’ve Seen Them)! by Kim Thompson

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You don’t have to be superman or superwoman to have special talents or powers. Kim Thompson’s brain injury blog explores what we expect from our superheroes and suggests that survivors of TBI are the most powerful heroes just by facing each new day.

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Holiday Stress and Brain Injury by Donna O’Donnell Figurski

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Holidays can be joyful and stressful for everyone, but holiday stress can affect brain injury survivors in many ways. Expectations of families, spending for gifts, parties and crowds, can feel overwhelming and increase anxiety. The consistency and structure that is so important for coping after brain injury can be lost in the holiday madness. Donna O’Donnell Figurski gives tips and strategies for coping with holiday stress after TBI.

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