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Survivors of acquired and traumatic brain injury share challenges and rewards of rebuilding their lives and futures. Learning how to live with a brain injury can be a long, stressful and slow process that involves rebuilding your life and reshaping your future. These blog articles by survivors share the challenges, frustrations, joys and rewards of finding hope and a new way of living. By moving forward toward what is possible rather than looking back at what has been lost, it is possible to bring meaning to your life.

Normalcy after Brain Injury

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There was nothing mild about the effects of Diana Lund’s brain injury on her life. While she looked normal to others, her difficulty with memory, organization and problem solving meant she struggled to get through each day. Work became impossible. When the damage from a traumatic brain injury is not a visible disability, it is hard for friends, family and coworkers to recognize the cognitive losses.

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Colors for My Brain after My Brain Injury

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After the aneurysms ruptured in her brain, Mary Margaret Yeaton went home to new terrors as she forgot how to do the basic activities of getting through the day. After her brain injury simple tasks like showering, making a cup of coffee and taking medications seemed impossibly difficult. With a friend’s help she found using a color coding system gave her the cues and compensatory strategies she needed to help her memory and organization.

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My Not-So-Mild “Mild” Brain Injury

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Anne Forrest’s account of her diagnosis, treatment and recovery from a so called mild brain injury shows how her life was completely changed by the trauma to her brain in a minor car accident. The cognitive changes resulted not only in the loss of her career, but made it difficult for her to simply get through the day. Looking “normal” made it hard for others to recognize her disability and needs for compensatory strategies and accommodations.

She says, “Looking back, I can see that I was exhausting myself trying to return to work and my normal life. My brain thought I was the old me, and I did not know I could not succeed at my old life with my now-injured brain.”

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Stuff That Clutters Needs to be Stripped after Brain Injury by Kimberly Carnevale

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A traumatic brain injury forces Kimberly Carnevale to reevaluate what’s important in life as a survivor. Coping with the trauma of her brain injury, grieving her losses, losing her home – losing everything leads her to a new beginning as she rebuilds her life. Her daughter and her service dog become the priorities in her life as she clears her mind, builds a new path, and creates a new vision for living a full life as a survivor.

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