Living with brain injury or TBI is a long journey. Bill Jarvis shares the problems he has faced and his progress over 14 years since his injury. He encourages survivors to persevere and keep moving forward – no matter what physical, psychological, or cognitive challenges you face. While there are still things he can not do, his life has still better because he did not give up. He reminds you that giving up is an option but going on with life is a better choice.
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
Rosemary Rawlins’ book Learning by Accident is a very personal account of her husband Hugh’s brain injury that is unlike any other book I have read. What is so very special is how she brings the reader into her home as a wife and mother who is thrust into the world of caregiving. Unfortunately, her experience is not unique. What is unique is how she chronicles her husband’s journey from the brink of death through the long grind of surgeries, therapies, and complications into an uncertain future for their marriage, their children, his employment, and their future.
This book made me rethink what we ask of families in this world of managed care with shorter hospital stays. We give enormous challenges to families as they become the rehabilitation providers at home – yet too often, we do not give them the support, information or resources they need. This book will make you both admire what family caregivers do and also make you question why we do not help them more.
Survivors of brain injury are often given advice or direction on what to say – or not to say; how to do something – or not do it; when to do something – or when to stop. The advice can be well meaning and intended to offer help and support. But Barbara Webster flips the table and list the things that brain injury survivors want you to know. This list of brain injury wisdom carries valuable messages for caregivers, families, friends, colleagues and providers. Listen carefully!
Is there anyone among us who has had a brain injury who is not sensitive to what other people say about us? It is a fact that we are possessive and emotionally connected to our brain injuries; and with good reason. We are understandably sensitive (some would say, hypersensitive) when others make offhanded comments or broad statements that can cause us to feel defensive, not understood or trivialized.
Although the person making these comments may feel they are just innocent observations, we hear them as assaults on our integrity, our strength and our motivation.
Sports are a major cause of head injuries among children, especially among boys. Football, soccer, playground falls – the numbers are staggering. A brain injury is an injury to the brain that generally results from an external trauma, such as a blow to the head, but it may also occur without any physical contact to the head, as in a sudden acceleration/deceleration injury caused by a car crash. A person does not need to be knocked out to sustain a head injury. However, there may still be injury to the brain, which can cause deficits in a person’s functioning. Play is important for children but keeping them safe while they play is critical. Whether you are a parent, educator, coach or relative, know the signs of concussion and know who to protect your children by prevention and safe play.
Many have successfully improved after their TBI. Often there are common threads to their success. These common threads are the same ones I have used throughout life. Success is defined not in terms of 100% healing, but in terms of inner peace in your accomplishments. I have used these principles in my professional career and more recently in my rehabilitation from a debilitating car collision in 2000. The principles to my success have been perseverance, productivity, purpose, and prayer.
Adjusting to your new life and interacting with people is a common problem following a brain injury. There are reasons why relationships after TBI are so difficult. The first obvious outcome always results in the Survivor not being the same after the injury. Friends and family expect the same person in personality, temperament, and general reaction to events of everyday living.
This year, I got to present at some events for national Brain Injury Awareness Month. I ran around calling them National People With Brain Injury Acceptance and Appreciation Month events! We need these events to focus and share crucial information about injuries, the impact they have on people, and new diagnosis and treatment protocols. But to me, when the emphasis on brain injury overshadows discussion of the people who actually have the brain injury, I get a little nervous!
Can someone live after being hit by an 18-wheeler truck? This is my story. My story is about an experience that not many people face. Those people who do face what I experienced may not be as blessed as I was. I can truly say that God has His hand on my life. No one saw it coming and no one was prepared. Not only was I in an accident that affected me physically, but the very core of my spiritual life was turned upside down.
Janet Cromer, RN, MA, LMHC, is a psychiatric nurse and speaks nationally on family and professional caregiver issues including ambiguous loss, stress resilience, traumatic stress, compassion renewal, seasons of caregiving, and creativity and healing. Her column Caregivers Compass is featured quarterly inthe magazine Brain Injury Journey – Hope, Help, Healing published by Lash and Associates.