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badge2Care and treatment of acquired and traumatic brain injury must address wide array of cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms.

The Need for Purpose after Brain Injury – Part III

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So how can we help those that have survived a TBI reach that next level on the Hierarchy of Needs? How can we help them identify a sense of purpose that will serve as their prompt to press on and not get stuck in a developmental stage? If you are a friend or a family member of a loved one that is a TBI survivor then you can play a major role in helping your loved one reach the level. After one acquires a TBI, their likes and dislikes often change significantly. Before he or she may have loved scuba diving, but now detests getting into the water. The key is to identify in the TBI survivor something that they truly enjoy and feel passionate about now in their current state. Initially, they may need the assistance of another to draw it out of them or to help them see it. However, once it is identified, the hard part is over. Any identified interest can be used as a positive outlet, as a source of meaning and is worth looking into. If, for example, your loved one acquired a love for animals after their TBI, it may be beneficial for them to get connected with a support group of animal lovers or volunteer at an animal shelter and so on.

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Ambiguous Loss – The Sorrow that Won’t Go Away after a Brain Injury

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Ambiguous loss is also called “mobile mourning” and “chronic sorrow.” It can affect both the survivor and family member in deep and ongoing ways. Family caregivers may recognize it as that strange feeling that the person who survived the brain injury just is not the same person he/she was before. It’s confusing because you may be grateful that the person lived, but grieve for the person he was before. Ambiguous loss matters because it can make it hard for you to find hope or move on in this “new normal” life.

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Helping Hands with the Unknowns after Brain Injury

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Talking to daughter Kaitlin recently—she writes a newsletter for Burlington Northern and Union Pacific railroads — she told me about a conversation she had with one of the conductors. She said he was worried, his 15-year-old son had been involved in a car crash, sustaining a traumatic brain injury. The teen was just coming out of intensive care, getting ready rehab.

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Tips for Advocating for Yourself or a Loved One after Brain Injury

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An advocate is a person who pleads the case of another or argues for a cause. The same definition applies if you take on the role of self-advocate to plead your own case, which is as speaking up and speaking out for your rights. Regardless of whether you are speaking up for a family member or for yourself, the process can seem overwhelming. Here are a few tips to help you with your course of action:

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Getting Ready to Write after Brain Injury

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I have met so many people who would like to write their story, but they told me that they have no idea how to begin. It isn’t that they don’t know the story it is more about being stuck on ‘the mechanics’ of writing and doubting that they are a writer. The first step then is to let that judgment go. Just write your story and trust that someone will help you edit and polish your work.

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Reinventing Yourself is not Easy after a Brain Injury

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Kvetching (complaining) is no longer my favorite pastime. Yes I do get pissed off, a lot, but I let it pass, or move it aside and get down to work. There is so much to do and so little time so kvetching is now just a hobby. Before my accident I ‘invented’, my patent portfolio attests to this, or ‘discovered’ (my scientific papers chronicle those efforts) but now, since graduating from rehabilitation, I no longer invent, I re-invent. What do I need to re-invent? Plain and simply put, myself.

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Ten Choices When Life Feels Stuck after a Brain Injury!

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At times we forget how much choice plays into where we are in life. You can choose to feel whatever you want to feel. You can choose to work on making a difference for yourself and others – and you can choose to not make a difference. You can choose to change your life and move it in the direction you want, but along with the choice there comes a commitment to do the work.

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Extraordinary People

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Over the years, I’ve met hundreds of individuals who have rebounded from difficult, if not tragic, events in their lives. And each time that I encounter someone new who has survived such an event, I find myself with this same appreciation… those who strive to overcome obstacles in their life are not only strong, courageous and an inspiration…they are extraordinary!

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Take Time to Smell the Flowers

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Spring is in the air! This is a lovely time of year where nature is rebirthed. The trees, grass, flower beds are bursting with colour and freshness. Listen for the lawn mowers and breathe in deeply the smell of freshly cut grass. Get outside and look at the blue sky. Lay on the grass or beach and watch the clouds float by. Pretend you are a kid and let yourself see shapes of animals and objects in the white cotton as it skims across the sky.

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Adaptive Sports Open Up the Great Outdoors

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Now that spring has greeted us with warmer temperatures and flowering trees I want to be outdoors all day. My husband Alan and I were always nature lovers who enjoyed hiking, biking, canoeing, and kayaking. We weren’t competitive athletes, but we stayed active and had fun.

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