Category Description:

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

Make Your Life’s Story Better with Journaling by Barbara Stahura

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When Barbara Stahura’s husband Ken was hit on his motorcycle by a hit-and-run driver less than a year after their wedding, she was thrown into the new world of caregiving. With the uncertainty of his prognosis and their future along with the stress of caring for a spouse while learning about traumatic brain injury, she quickly became exhausted. As a professional writer, she began journaling as a method for coping with her stress, anxiety, and grief. Journaling literally became a life saver for her and helped her own healing journey from the secondary traumatic stress known as compassion fatigue. She describes the benefits of journaling and gives tips on getting started.

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Let’s Not Forget our Wounded Veterans as Time Passes

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As our service members and veterans come home, the invisible wounds of TBI and PTSD can have serious consequences for families. The new war at home is less recognized than the conflicts on the battlefield. The troops on the home front are the spouses, parents, children and siblings. Let us not forget them as time passes. There is no expiration date on the effects of war. There are struggles and conflicts that will endure long after service members come home and we need to remember that and reach out to help and support them.

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Many Layers of Loss after Brain Injury – Grief is like an onion

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Grieving after a brain injury is like peeling an onion. There are many layers. The more you let yourself feel, the more you mourn what has been lost. But how do families grieve when the person has survived a brain injury? As Janelle Breese Biagioni, an expert on grief and loss says, “The only wrong way to grieve is not to grieve.” But so many family members are confused by their feeling of loss and grief – because, after all, the person survived their injury to the brain – shouldn’t they be feeling grateful, relieved, even joyful?

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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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Taking The SATs With A Concussion

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On Saturday March 9, I woke up at 6:00am to take the infamous test that would decide my future…the SATs. I have been preparing weekly with a tutor for this test since January and it was a lot of hard and extra work. Going into the test, I felt very prepared and confident in my knowledge and ability. However, unlike someone without a concussion, I had to worry about more than just the test; I also had my symptoms to be concerned about. I also chose not to have extra time or accommodations for this test.

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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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Connected: Resolving Grief after Brain Injury through Words by Dr. Carolyn Roy-Bornstein

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I imagine I talk to my young adult son with about the same frequency as any other mother, which is to say possibly once a week, and even then, only when I call him. I suspect Neil and I touch on the same subjects other moms and sons talk about—his graduate school program, my work, the family.

What perhaps makes our relationship different is that I’ve written a book about my son… And he has read it… Multiple times.

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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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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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