As a pediatrician and mother of a son who sustained a traumatic brain injury when he was a teenager, Dr. Carolyn Roy-Bornstein discusses the pros and cons of sharing her personal experiences with TBI patients. Many clinicians are trained not to disclose any personal stories, but she proposes that it may be beneficial at times.
ALL TBI SURVIVORS AND CARE GIVERS NEED TO KNOW that improvement is possible, even years later. It always amazes me the amount of healing that can take place in the...Read more »
One thing that has confused me since my TBI is empathy. I want everyone to have it and forgive me when I'm rude, forgetful, and overwhelmed. More than anything, I...Read more »
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...Read more »
Writing for families gets little support or recognition in clinical and academic circles. It’s time to rethink biases and disincentives that leave families uninformed and searching for information about brain...Read more »
The autobiography of Brain Injury Survivor and five time cross country charity bicyclist Mike Heikes. Mike formed "helmets For Kids", giving away thousands of free helmets. It tells how Mike...Read more »
As I write this, the calendar says July 5, 2013, but my mind is pulled back to July 5, 1998. That’s because my husband Alan suffered the massive heart attack...Read more »
This week I had the pleasure of being a guest of Kim Justus, host of the Recovery Now show, on Brain Injury Radio. Kim is a brain injury survivor and...Read more »
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...Read more »
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...Read more »
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...Read more »
Featured Brain Injury Articles
William Jarvis has lived as a person with a brain injury for many years. While he admits that he is different and that his injury is permanent, and that there are no easy answers, he still hopes on to hope and compassion. He explores the contradictions of of so many survivors who appear “normal” while still balancing the cognitive and physical challenges that can persist over years and even a lifetime.
HBOT is used to treat brain injury from trauma or another cause such as stroke. While the number of people who have used HBOT for brain injury is unknown, its popularity is growing. When a trauma occurs, the brain often swells, so the injured tissue does not receive enough oxygen. The area that needs the most oxygen gets the least. HBOT drives oxygen into the cerebrospinal fluid, which carries it to the brain and permits healing.
Changes in behavior after a brain injury are common and particularly stressful for families and caregivers. “Why does he act that way? What can we do? She’s like a different person.” These are just a few comments repeatedly heard by clinicians when talking with families and caregivers. It’s not only the person with the brain injury who has changed. Family members now find they have to change their expectations and about the survivor’s behavior. They also learn to change how they respond to these new and often frustrating and challenging behaviors that they see at home and out in the community.
What do adjustment and acceptance really mean? How does a person and family really adjust to living with a brain injury? How do they accept the changes in the person and for all their lives. Too frequently, adjustment and acceptance are discussed as though they are the final destinations for recovery after brain injury. How many of you who have survived a brain injury have been told, “You just have to adjust to the changes and go on with your life.” Or “Stop fighting it and accept the fact that you are different now.”
The VA estimates more than 300,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. Shad Meshad explores why “homelessness is the last stop on this PTSD/TBI train ride, not the first.” Since the symptoms of PTSD and TBI are similar and often overlap, PTSD can be the initial incorrect or incomplete diagnosis where TBI is present. Both these conditions can manifest as depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, irritability, aggression, and increasing social isolation. But TBI can also include memory loss, migraines, seizures, problems with language, and trouble making what might seem like simple decisions. Vets with brain injury need different treatment.
When William jarvis sustained a serious brain injury, he was uncertain whether he could return to his position as a college professor, a job requiring complex cognitive skills, He reflects on how he used his past academic and artistic experiences, as well as prior learning, to build his cognitive improvement. Now retired, he admits that though his difficulties never go away, he has been able to achieve success in other aspects of life. His message to other survivors of brain injury is to never give up trying.
Honey I Smell the Flowers were the last words Ruth Ann Bartels spoke to her husband as they were traveling to warmer climates for their winter vacation. That was just before she got the phone call that her daughter Michelle had been badly injured in a car crash and was in an ambulance. The book title chosen by Bartels reflects the journey of this mother – and so many other families – to find hope and beauty again after witnessing the devastation that brain trauma can cause.
Changes in behavior after a brain injury can result in problems in the classroom for the student, along with frustration and confusion not only for the student but for teachers and parents as well. Dr. Katherine Kimes explains the importance of person-centered approaches for effective behavior management techniques. She provides examples of the antecedent-behavior-consequence approach, commonly known as the A-B-C Model of benavior management. Her behavioral checklist will help educators and therapists develop educational and behavioral plans for students with brain injuries.
The combined effects of TBI and PTSD are like a game of dominoes. Unlike the simple matching of dots on rectangles, it’s the cascade of symptoms affecting cognition, anxiety, depression, alcohol use, and memory that are like the chain of dominoes crashing into disorder. Using the example of sleep disorders due to TBI and PTSD, Marilyn Lash describes how it’s not as simple as a bad night’s sleep but is rather a complex interplay of TBI and PTSD that affects not only the wounded veteran but the family as well.