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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.

Magic as Therapy after Brain Injury

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Being disabled is not fun! A car collision for me in 2000 resulted in a coma, fractured C1-C4 vertebrae, a Traumatic Brain Injury, and one and a half years in hospitals. During this time, magic has helped me greatly in rehabilitation. I have spent years in recovery and still continue to benefit from performing magic. Years of teaching in public schools and working as an Education Professor at Taylor University Fort Wayne gave me a background in how to motivate children. My experience in magic and a Merlin Magician in the IBM provided a unique tool for rehabilitation improvement.

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Head Injury: Where the Rubber Meets the Road by Ron Harnett

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My wheelbarrow tire suddenly goes flat. With the spring thaw, dirt and debris to be loaded on and carted around, not good timing.

What to do? What turns out is a classic TBI exchange. Mike, a fellow TBIer—he a car crash back in ‘96, me a fall off the iron in ’73—will come to the rescue. Mike repairs, fixes and changes tires on cars and trucks—and now a wheelbarrow—that pull up to a single-stall garage attached to a busy truck stop, Crystal Café.

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Hi God, it’s me, David – After My Brain Injury! by David Grant

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Since my accident, I’ve taken up an interest in nuclear physics. That alone is a bit of an oddity. Most of your Kids don’t realize that all the matter that we see, all that we touch, all that defines the word as we see it, all that matter comes from exploding stars. Every atom and molecule that makes me is a piece of stardust. Virtually every human being who has walked the Earth since time began is made of stardust. It’s a bit humbling.

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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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