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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.

The Near Normal after Brain Injury

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Four years ago, I survived two Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries, one from a car accident in which I was broadsided while idling at a stoplight. My driver’s side and curtain airbags deployed. Contre Coup. Less than a week later, I slipped and fell on the sidewalk at work; ice disguised beneath the snow, and hit the back of my head. I coined the term, “the near normal,” instead of “the new normal,” in relationship to the way in which I function today, four years later.

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Is it a Brain Injury? by Cheryl Green

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Sometimes I forget a name. People without brain injury try to make me feel better with, “Oh, I do that too! Maybe I have a brain injury! Ha, ha!” That doesn’t make me feel better. Before my TBI, I forgot names sometimes. I just didn’t forget my own family members’ names and call them “Um, Excuse Me.”

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The Average Person is Not Average

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On more than one occasion along my journey with my mild brain injury or MTBI, I was told that the average person is at this point, and so therefore I should be at that point as well. I was told the average person who has a MTBI, might have certain symptoms, but does not have symptoms such as speech changes so therefore I was told I was “unusual”. I began to reflect on what average means, and how many of us actually fit in to the average category after a MTBI.

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What Does Brain Injury Awareness Mean?

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This month is brain injury awareness month. I read it on a brain injury resource website. Ironically, most people who are going to that website, are quite aware of the impact mild or severe brain injuries can have on our lives. Where is the awareness in the media? Where is the awareness that everyday people like me suffer brain injuries just like athletes and military personnel?

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Speaking Publicly for the First Time after Brain Injury

I was a schoolteacher who suffered a mild traumatic brain injury two years ago. Over the last two years I have faced many frustrating challenges with medical, legal, and insurance people. I cried more over my encounters with them, than I did about the loss of my old life or abilities. The most traumatic part of my MTBI, was meeting with doctors, employers, and insurance companies. So, I decided to speak out and share my story.

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My Job after Brain Injury

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I have flexible hours, a great boss, and the satisfaction that I am making a difference in someone’s life. It sounds like the perfect job description, doesn’t it? It’s been a couple of years now, but when I started I hated it. It felt pointless. With little supervision, I tended to slack off. I complained to anyone who would listen that I was overqualified and that I had been so good at my old job. The truth is I only started to enjoy my work recently. It might be because I didn’t come into this position willingly. Let me explain.

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Power to the People with Brain Injury

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Whoever tells you that you can’t make a difference in our political system is wrong! I got to learn this first hand today. Brain injury advocacy can make a difference!

I attended a meeting at the state capitol building for people with disabilities. The MN Brain Injury Alliance had arranged for me to meet with my legislators to discuss an issue that I would like to see addressed. I chose workman’s compensation insurance since it had such a negative impact on my recovery. I suffered a mild traumatic brain injury in January of 2011 while on a field trip with my students. Because I was on the job, and unable to work, I was placed on workman’s comp. At the time I didn’t even know about workman’s comp, what it meant, or that there are lawyers who specialize in this field. With worker’s comp, you receive part of your salary, your medical expenses are covered, but you have to get their prior approval before attending medical providers.

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Brain Injury Awareness Month

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I find it uncomfortable to have only one month to be aware of something. Be aware of Black History in February, and then put it away. Be aware of Brain Injury in March, and then put it away. I’ve heard someone mention one Disability Awareness Week in March. Only one week? That’s not enough. And during my month? That’s too much.

Life isn’t like that. We don’t get to put ourselves away, and why would we want to?

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Brain Envy

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“Recently, I’ve been listening to Dr. Daniel Amen’s CDs from his best-selling book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Body. With many of us making New Year’s resolutions to change a part of our life in some way, Dr. Amen’s advice seemed like great timing in aligning with our new goals. So, I began my inquisitive adventure on how to change my brain so that I could change my body.

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You Sent Me Paperwork… Now What Am I Supposed to do With It?

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I was a schoolteacher who had an accident on a field trip two years ago. I suffered a mild traumatic brain injury. As a result, I have been faced with some challenges, which used to be my strengths, such as organization, sequencing, math skills, attention, and fatigue. Just to name a few. As I been on my journey, I have learned that I am not alone in my challenges.

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