Woo hoo! It worked!

I just got back from the best Thanksgiving ever.

I had my plan, and I stuck with it. Each day, before I did anything else, I got up and went for my brisk walk. Then I went back to my parents’ house, had a drink of water or juice, and closed myself off in an extra bedroom to stretch and lift my weights (which I brought with me). I had my breakfast in the usual fashion, and I took my time.

Whenever I got overloaded (which happened a few times), I stepped away and took a nap. I had help, too. My spouse was there to help “cover” for me, when my family was wanting to talk and visit and spend time. And people didn’t seem to be pushing as much as they were in other years.

I managed to get through the holiday without melting down or insulting people or saying things that I hadn’t thought through. I was careful and deliberate, and I was very, very present with just about everyone I talked with.

I think people really saw a difference, too. By the end of the weekend, my mom was asking me about what exercises I do, and she had that look in her eye that said she was going to try them.

I also (finally) talked to my folks about the TBIs, and how they had played a role in the problems I had as a kid. I’ve been wanting to do this for some time, now, because my folks aren’t getting any younger, and I didn’t want them to spend their final years burdened by the same regret and remorse that they’ve carried around with them for as long as I can remember. My parents have spent a lot of time apologizing to me for being bad parents, and I never knew what to say.

This Thanksgiving, I figured out what to say:  “All the problems I had weren’t your fault. They were neurological, and they were because I got hit on the head a lot. It’s nobody’s fault, and all those people who gave you a hard time for being bad parents were wrong about you. And they were wrong about me.”

It really choked them up. My mom got scared, and my dad had to step out of the room to compose himself. My parents love me a lot, and they could never understand why I didn’t respond to them the same way my other siblings did. Now they have a very important piece of the puzzle, and maybe now we can start healing some of the old hurts that never made any sense, but hurt, all the same.

Yes, my strategy did work — If I take care of my body, my mind can take care of my brain.

I was very careful about what I ate (tho’ I did overdo it on Thanksgiving Day — but who doesn’t? At least  it was real — not junk — food!), I paced myself well. I took my time, and I did not rush the things I often rushed (like packing the car and moving around). I was very mindful of my surroundings, and I took time to breathe deeply and relax.

Now I’ve got a lot of body aches and pains — too little sleep and too much long driving and too many unfamiliar activities — but while I was with my family, I was in a good space, and I was in good form.

And for that, I am truly thankful.

A learning life is the best rehab for me

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and today I’m traveling to my extended family, several states away. I expect the traffic to be heavy, and I expect the trip to be long. I’ve spent the past week preparing myself for this mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I’ve consulted with my neuropsych, I’ve checked in with friends, I’ve been eating right and I’ve been working out and stretching regularly. Last night I actually got eight hours of sleep.

This year is very different from past years, in that I’m not pushing myself up to the very last minute when my spouse and I hit the road. I’ve been taking it easy, taking the different tasks in manageable pieces, not biting off more than I can chew, but keeping on task and on point. And I’ve been using my timer, to make sure I stay on schedule.

This year is also different, in that I called my parents ahead of time to find out what the plan was going to be for the next few days. I checked the weather, too, so I could be prepared to offer suggestions. I’ve requested that we just take Friday “off” and relax and do some light activity outside — the weather is going to be beautiful, and I would really like to spend time with my folks, just hanging out and talking.

I am also planning to share with them the findings of my neuropsych evaluations and work. I’ve made tremendous progress, over the past year, and I want to share the info with my parents in a positive and constructive way. I haven’t been able to do that, till lately, as I’ve had a lot of reservations about my progress (not helped by my psychotherapist, who has been trying to talk me into “accepting” (i.e., giving up on) my limitations and settling for less of an amazing life than I believe I can have.

I’m not sure how they got to be that cynical, but I’m not on the same page with them, and I am certainly not going to settle for less, just ’cause I’ve had some misfortunes along the way.

Anyway, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to how much progress I’ve made over the past year or so. My neuropsych says they are encouraged and inspired by my progress, which is great. I’m really happy I can return the favor of their assistance. I really have come a long way. A year ago, I was pretty turned around, I didn’t have much direction, and I was very muddled and confused by the ramifications of my issues. I had a long way to go, to figure things out.

My previous therapist wasn’t helping matters, by constantly focusing on what my mother did, as a source of my woes. I invested a lot of time with them, essentially being led down the wrong path — it wasn’t necessarily my mother (or my father) that was the root of my issues. It was more the neurological context in which I was living in my childhood — all those unidentified, misunderstood, pesky issues that complicated and intensified every experience I had, and had me “pegging” emotionally and behaviorally all over the map.

Now, I have to say, my current psychotherapist has helped me regain my balance from before. I think my previous therapist was trying to regress me, to find some deep, dark secret hidden in the innermost recesses of my psyche, so they could exorcise my demons or something like that. And my current therapist helped me regain my balance by helping me focus on the logistics of my day-to-day life, rather than floating around in the distant past. And I am very grateful for their help (tho’ I have to move on now).

Indeed, I think the thing that has helped me the most, over the past couple of years, has been the help I’ve gotten in dealing with my everyday life — keeping my issues in mind, understanding them and how they impact me, and getting to the bottom of the problems I can expect to have, given different situations. Being aware of patterns, like:

I get tired after a full day of intense activity, and when I get tired, I have a tendency to get turned around and agitated, which adds to my internal confusion and throws gasoline on the fire of my temper… and really contributes to me melting down over every little thing

helps me immensely, and it also helps the people around me to help manage and anticipate my issues before they get completely out of control.

And one of the big things that helps me identify my patterns is examining my life on a regular basis. I take a lot of notes, and I record a lot of my experiences. I look back on my days and weeks, and I watch for issues and patterns that emerge over time. I write down the times when I am having a really hard time of things, and I identify the contributing factors. And I draw pictures of my problems and the “flow” I use to deal with them. I work with my life — the failures and the successes — as my own individual recovery plan and practice. And I see results.

Real results. Like promotions at work. Like improved relationships with others. Like a more creative approach to my life, overall. If I can get past the old bad habit of being so hard on myself, and I can treat my difficulties as challenges (from the outside — from my faulty wiring — rather than from my inside character or personal worth) to be tackled creatively … challenges just waiting to be overcome… well, then, the ultimate results of my examined life are tangible improvements, the likes of which I never thought I’d see happen.

Truly, this is remarkable. I always thought — before I knew why things were always getting so screwed up with me — that I was flat-out doomed to failure. I had precious little expectation that things would ever turn around for me permanently… I figured it was always just a matter of time, till things got mucked up for no reason I could identify, and everything I’d worked so hard for just went away, swallowed up in the sinkhole of my life.

But now that I’m paying attention to the basics, and I’m following up to deliberately study the results of my actions and see how they can be improved… Now that I’m treating my life like the miracle that it is, and I’m studying my daily “playbook” with focus and intention, and I’m refining my approaches, based on what I know about my limitations, I no longer believe that I am stuck in endless cycles of attempt-failure-attempt-failure-attempt-failure.

My life is different now. Because I’m living it differently now.

And it’s good.

In case you’re wondering how I go about doing this, here’s the basic flow of my practical-life-recovery-plan:

  1. I figure out what I want to do. I understand why I want to do it, and how it fits in the overall picture of my life. For example, I figure out that I need to exercise first thing in the morning, and I need to really work up a sweat, because I have been feeling a little sluggish lately and I need to “pump up” my system a little more.
  2. I do it. And I track what I do. For example, I do my morning workout, but I don’t manage to work up much of a sweat.
  3. I figure out if I accomplished what I set out to do, and if I succeeded, I celebrate in some way. If not, I ask myself why that is. For example, I make note that I worked out — and I congratulate myself for doing that — but I didn’t work up a sweat, and I wonder why.
  4. I figure out why I didn’t accomplish exactly what I set out to do, and I ask myself what I can do differently to change that the next time. For example, while I’m having my breakfast, I look at how I’m doing, and I realize that I’m tired and distracted. I figure out that I didn’t get to bed at a decent hour the night before, and I also see that I let to many errands wait till later in the day, which pushed my schedule back farther into the evening, so I couldn’t relax and get to sleep at a decent hour.
  5. I think of alternative strategies I can follow to make changes in my daily life, that will help me accomplish what I set out to do better today. For example, I spend a little more time planning my day in a way that will let me get my busy-work done first thing, and give me more time in the afternoon to take it easy and wind down.
  6. I go about my day and check in with myself periodically, to see how I’m doing. I make a point of remembering the goals I did not accomplish, which I really, really wanted to accomplish, and I work a little harder to keep myself in line. For example, I check my daily work list periodically to make sure I’m staying on schedule and make sure I’m not overloading myself with extra stuff in the evening.
  7. Last but not least, I follow up. I do a check-in later to see how I’m doing, and if I’ve accomplished the goals I set for myself, I celebrate and reward myself. For example, if I get to the end of the day without wiping myself out, I treat myself to a little bit of television, watching a show on cable that I really like. Or better yet, I make an early night of it and I get in bed at a decent hour, which lets me sleep and sleep and sleep till I’m actually rested.
  8. And then I do it all again the next day.

To some, it might sound arduous and like a lot of work, and it is. But it’s good work, and it’s really more of an orientation to my life, a kind of spiritual practice, if you will. In the Give Back Orlando material, they talk about how TBI survivors need to be more mindful of their lives, and I have found that to be very true. But even more importantly, I’ve found that I want to be more mindful of my life. Yes, it’s work, but I don’t mind the work. Yes, it’s different from how most people live. But I’ve never been like other people, so why start now — and why feel badly that I can’t be like them? I’m just fine, the way I am.

In the end, yes, it does take more work to live this way. In the end, yes, it is more time-consuming to do things that a lot of people do quickly and easily without a second thought. In the end, no, I don’t have as much time to fritter away on non-essential activities.

But in the end, the payoff is huge. I get to have a life.

Better yet, I get to have the life that I want to live.

Alicia – A film about a brain-injured woman

I happened upon this film (broken up in to segments) about a brain-injured woman from Australia.

Seven years earlier, an 18 year old woman, ALICIA was seriously injured in a car accident. It was her brain rather than her body which suffered.

This documentary tells the story of her long journey of recovery. Not content with just regaining a ‘normal life’, Alicia pursues her original dreams of becoming an actress. Through Beth, the main character from Sam Shepard’s play ‘A Lie of the Mind’, Alicia is able to express the common experiences of brain injury, her alienation from society for being different and her lack of inhibitions.

Flashbacks, dreams, Alicia’s video diary, interviews told with heart and extraordinary honesty by her family, friends, medical practitioners, healers and theatre colleagues; all contribute to unmask and reveal the many faces of Alicia and explores the issues confronting everyone involved with acquired brain injury. ( http://www.stellamotion.com.au)

Watch and learn

I’m sorry… I think?

I’ve been thinking a lot about my reaction to the post about the BIA booting a blogger from their conference. And I’m wondering if I should regret my hot-headed reaction.

On the one hand, I have received tremendous help from the BIA in some respect. On the other, I have heard stories like this — and other accounts, where people were actively discouraged by the BIA from saying that you can recover from traumatic brain injury.

It’s a mixed bag. As most things with people are.

The thing is, though, the Brain Injury Association is more than a person. It’s a collection of persons which professes to assist other persons. And as such, if it’s going to truly assist, I would think they would welcome the presence not only of a member of the press but also someone who has been impacted by brain injury.

Or maybe they’re wary of brain-injured folks in general, knowing what they do about “us”…?

Who can say? One of the things I’m taking away from this is yet another reminder of how hot I can get on short notice. And it warns me to check myself periodically, to make sure I don’t go off the deep end. It reminds me I’ve had multiple concussions, multiple mild traumatic brain injures… and as such, I owe it to myself and to others to measure my responses carefully, and weigh the possible effects/consequences, before I let fly.

I had considered taking down the post from before, but it’s a valuable learning/teaching lesson. So, I’ll leave it up there, warts and all.

So… work. So what?

My current therapist tells me I should not work so hard. So do other people who care about me. I’m sure they mean well, but they cannot see how much work it really takes to make me as functional as I am.

I work my ass off. Regularly. As a matter of course. My body is dotted with little bruises from too much contact with my everyday life. And my head is spinning with the details I have to keep in order, and reminders to use the tools I’ve developed for myself to manage it all.

My head is a playground for efficacy and my body is a scarred-up old warhorse that has seen plenty of battles. The net result: tremendous success, by any measure. But plenty of pain and anxiety and suffering in the meantime.

I go out of my way to obscure the “clatter” of my start-stop-faltering-resuming life from the ones I love, because I don’t want to hurt them, and I know from experience that they feel pain when they see me going through things that cause them pain. So, I just don’t bring it up. And I work-work-work away-away-away, to get myself through life. I just want to get from Point A to Point B to Point C and so on, without the hindrance of other people’s discomfort. I sincerely don’t want to harm anyone who cares for me. And I keep the laborious nature of my adventures to myself.

It works for me — pun intended. Or is that a double-meaning?

Anyway, I’m feeling strong this afternoon. I work-work-worked this morning on some really important tasks. And I work-work-worked on tracking my progress, which I have not done in about a week. I’m thinking it would make sense for me to do my regular check-ins on weekends (preferably Sundays), so I can focus on them fully. The rest of the week, I’m too busy working, to spend a lot of time recapping and assessing and checking in.

Then, I lay down and took a nap, while listening to Belleruth Naparstek’s CD on “Stress Hardiness Optimization” for helping first responders and people in high-stress situations manage their stress level. My whole life is a first-responder situation — I’m the first on the scene at all my catastrophes, and I’m the one who has to pull my ass out of the fire or back from the brink, time and time again, before anyone has a clue that I’m as close to disaster as I am.

It’s one of the hazards of keeping your difficulties to yourself — you’re on the hook for fishing yourself out of the drink, if you go overboard in rough seas. You’ve got to make sure your life jacket is always strapped on tight, that you can swim properly, and that you haven’t eaten anything in the last 20 minutes that might give you the bends.

That takes work. A lot of work.

So what?

It’s not like it’s not worth it. It’s not like I have a choice. Oh, certainly, I could sit around and feel sorry for myself — Poor me! — and sit on that pity pot all the live-long day. Sure, I could rail at life for setting me up for failure. I could moan and bitch and complain at my crappy fate. I could resist with all my might, and refuse to do the Work that Life requires.

But where would that get me?

Nowhere.

And who would care?

No one.

All anyone would know — or see — is that I can’t manage to do a damn’ thing with my life, that I just keep screwing up, and what the hell is wrong with me, anyway, for having so much potential, yet doing so little with it?

I have a theory — everyone has great gifts, and everyone has great potential. It’s the people that have to work the hardest to bring it out, who experience the greatest payoff.

I want my payoff.

I have an evening’s worth of achievements waiting for me. Back to work…

Seeking balance

Every morning I get up and exercise. I don’t always want to, but I do it anyway. As I’m working out, I often have to run through a whole list of reasons why I am doing it, why it’s a good idea, and what I will gain from the experience. I’ve made an agreement and a contract with myself  to do this each morning — in part, to avoid having to go on medication for my trouble waking up in the morning, in part, because it just feels so good to have exercised… after the fact.

One of the big payoffs that I promise myself I’ll enjoy, is improved balance. I have always had vestibular problems (which might have contributed to my falls when I was a kid?), and on and off, I still have trouble with dizziness and lightheadedness. I’m regularly concerned with the threat of additional falls or accidents, due to my intermittently poor balance.

Exercise, it’s my understanding, helps with balance, by strengthening the muscles we use to keep upright. (Especially strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor — the muscles that keep your internal organs vertical, as well as connect the parts of your pelvis/hips.) It makes sense to me.  I’ve heard that the elderly become more prone to falls if they are weak, so strengthening the muscles with some basic exercises — like I do in the morning, each day — can go a long way towards keeping you stable in a vertical position.

I recently came across the blog Balance Chicago, which talks about vestibular rehabilitation. I will be checking them out, from time to time, as losing my balance is one of the most hazardous things that can happen to me – especially if I’m at the top of a flight of stairs or I am doing something physically strenuous. Falling is a major cause of head injuries — and my most serious TBIs have been due to falling. Out of trees. Down stairs. While playing sports…

But physical balance is only one piece of my puzzle, albeit a very important one.

Just as important to me are emotional and mental balance.  Exercise helps me work out my agitation, first thing in the morning, and it helps me train myself to pay attention to what I’m doing for extended periods AND focus on my form, which also contributes to impulse control. And when I have focus and can manage my attention properly, I find myself more emotionaly and mentally centered.

That’s especially important, this time of year. Thanksgiving is coming up, and with it comes a shift in my daily activities. This could really throw me, if I’m not properly prepared, because I rely on my routine to keep myself stable and sane. Additionally, at the same time that my major support, routine, is being disrupted, more demands are being made on me, in terms of activities and more social interaction. Without proper preparation, it’s a recipe for disaster.

And the fact that I never adequately planned or prepared in the past, is probably a big reason why the holidays in general have been so challenging and traumatic for me.

This year, I’m doing it differently. Together with my spouse and my neuropsych, I am spending a fair amount of time planning and prepping and thinking through the trip out of state to see my biological family. I am walking myself through the days, ahead of time, seeing where I can fit in my exercise routine… checking the weather for the area I’ll be in, so I can tell in advance if I need to take rain gear or not, and I can tell if I’ll need to really motivate myself to get out of the house, first thing in the morning. Next Thursday through Sunday look all clear — a good thing — with highs in the 40s and 50s. So, the weather should not be a discourager for me.

This makes me so happy! :D

The shift in schedule is also causing me (yet again) to see how important regular routines are for me — and to realize that not having a regularly scheduled time with a psychotherapist is a problem that needs to be solved. My last therapist always had me in the same time slot, with rare exceptions. That was much more doable for me. The next therapist I see needs to make a regular appointment for me. That’s non-negotiable. Well, to a certain point… within reason, of course.

Again, balance is important.

Anyway, one of the other things that’s been in the back of my mind is that this Thanksgiving weekend is the 5-year anniversary of my fall down the stairs of the house I’ll be visiting. I lost my balance at the top of a very steep staircase, and I went down hard, hitting the back of my head on the steps a number of times. And from that point on, my life changed in subtle but rapidly worsening ways, till it was almost too late before I realized something was terribly, terribly wrong with me and my life.

It upsets me so much, that I lost so much — a critical chunk of time out of my promising career, my retirement nest egg, my savings, my credit… and I almost lost my marriage in the process. My inability to parse out what was going on with me caused a lot of things to deteriorate terribly around me, and I’m just now starting to battle back. But I’m battling. And I’m getting back. I’m making amazing progress…

And I need to remind myself of that. Because if I don’t, I get out of balance again, and I start focusing on all the things I’ve done wrong and have messed up.

I don’t want to do that. I want to have a good mix of positives and negatives. I want to be able to see all the amazing progress I’ve been making, over the past few years. And I need to measure my success by new measures that recognize the hidden difficulties I have, and accurately assess my true progress.

I have another appointment with my neuropsych tomorow, who is helping me think through my plans for the holidays. I’m unbelievably fortunate to have this person in my life, and I’m glad that I can help them, too, by doing as well as I am. They’ve told me that I inspire and encourage them, though I’m sometimes not sure why they would say such a thing.

Well, it’s not for me to decide what they should or should not think of me and my progress. It’s just nice to have someone who can objectively understand my issues and truly appreciate my progress — to balance out the people can’t, won’t, and don’t.

You never know what’s possible

Literally. You never know what people are capable of doing — both good and bad — till you see them in action. And you never know whether or not you’re going to be surprised, disappointed, encouraged, or discouraged, by whom and what you encounter along the way.

One of the most damning things that anyone can do to a TBI survivor, is tell them to ratchet back on their expectations in life. You never, ever know what is possible — especially when it comes to the brain.

Certainly, there are facilities that people lose. Certainly, there are greater difficulties in areas that used to be so easy. Certainly, there are additional challenges, and learning how to adapt and compensate takes a tremendous amount of effort.

But it can be done. RECOVERY FROM TBI IS POSSIBLE. And anyone who tells another person otherwise is doing someting far worse than attacking their body — they are attacking their soul.

Now, I’m not saying that everything is going to be hunky-dory, and all you have to do is pretend things are fine, and they will be. I tried that for most of my life, and it didn’t work.

What I AM saying, is that with a shift in approach, a course correction, a new set of coping mechanisms and strategies that are specifically tailored to address cognitive/behavioral/neurological/physical changes that come in the wake of TBI, IT IS POSSIBLE TO HAVE A LIFE — AND A REALLY GOOD LIFE, AT THAT.

Anyone who tells you different is serving a master other than hope.

It could be that they are trying to “protect” you from harm. It could be that they are trying to protect themselves from the difficulty of seeing you struggle. It could be that they just have no imagination whatsoever. But whatever the reason, if you have someone (or more than one person) in your life like that, you owe it to yourself to get some new friends. Find support. Find believers. Find people who have the innate ability to trust and have faith.

And keep going.

Because you never, ever know what else is possible in your life.

What she said… about never giving up

Over at Unsolicited Advice, this wonderful pearl of wisdom about TBI survivors:

What these men, women, and children need is for us to believe in them. They need for us to know that they can recover. Obviously, there are varying levels of severity among brain injuries, but most patients can see at least some improvement if they work at it.

If someone feels like everyone has given up on him, he often stops trying. This is a very dangerous situation for a brain-injured person; because of the brain’s amazing plasticity, it seems that the more a person does, the more he can do.

We must expect that brain-injured persons will recover, at least to some degree, rather than telling them they will never function again. We must talk to them as though they are still people, even if they don’t understand what we are saying at this moment. We must respect them and remember that their stories began long before the injury. They had a life full of promise, just like the rest of us, and can again; but they need our help. We cannot give up on the brain-injured community!

I’ll second that.

I’ve been stewing over my worsening experiences in therapy, today. The day has been a productive one, and I’ve made tremendous progress with tasks I started earlier in the week and struggled with for several days. But in the back of my mind has been lurking this simmering frustration over my psychotherapist’s apparent decision that I’m too impaired to be repaired.

Please note, I am very wary of this being the impending holidays approaching that’s mucking with my head. The holidays are often difficult for everyone, psychotherapists included (I would think, especially them, because they have to serve a client base that’s even more in need of help that most people — and even the most “regular” amongst us gets a little squirrelly at this time of year).

But when I think back on the exchanges I’ve had with them, it hasn’t just been the past few weeks that have rendered comments that suggested I wasn’t up to the task of doing my job, or advancing my career, or sustaining my marriage, or keeping my house, or having the standard of living that I am accustomed to. Those comments have been peppered throughout our conversations, and I think it’s finally just reached a breaking point with me. It could be that, rather than being a burdensome strain on me that’s taxing my ability to reason, the holidays are actually clarifying a lot for me and bringing into very clear focus what I will and will not tolerate in my life.

Being dismissed and diminished by someone who doesn’t seem to want to really get to know me or listen to what I have to say, is not the kind of experience I want to continue in my life. It’s just so debilitating. And it makes you want to give up. Just going through a 50-minute session with my shrink, who winds up the time trying to get me to accept that I’m just not good enough, anymore, is enough to make me want to crawl under a rock.

But I’m not going to do that. I’m going to buckle down and work all the harder. I’m going to follow through and make good on my promise. I’m going to do everything in my power — head injury and all — to live up to my potential.

And so I think about what this woman wrote, and I am comforted that at least one person in the world (other than my neuropsych) can see what we need, and is willing to offer it to us.

I guess we’ll have to find TBI information elsewhere

Check out this post about how a blogger/journalist was treated at the Brain Injury 10th Annual Neuroscience Conference. Read it, and then come back.

It just boggles the mind. Who’s the brain-damaged one in this picture? Surely, not the blogger, to all appearances.

In all fairness, I have no idea what prompted the response like that, and I’m not sure what was behind all the hostility, but really… I just don’t get it.

This highlights for me one of the current tragic travesties of brain injury survival and recovery — the folks who profess to help us, live off in a walled city of sorts, doling out shreds of carefully guarded and dispensed information in such small pieces… and then they issue disclaimers about “everybody’s brain is different, so you can’t really listen to this piece of information”.

It’s maddening. And only rarely does someone like me come across someone like my neuropsych, who is actually committed to the relief of human suffering. Imagine that — someone in the health-care industry… who cares. And not only cares, but does something about it.

Can I tell you, if I could, I would nominate my neuropsych for sainthood, a Nobel Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a truckload of cash from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, so they can continue their excellent work — and possibly train others to do like them. I am extraordinarily blessed to have the help of someone who is intelligent, competent, compassionate, and not sitting astride their cache of information with an AK-47 in hand to ward off any “info pilferers”.

People are suffering. Thousands, even millions are impacted, both in terms of being injured and being friends/colleagues/loved-ones of TBI survivors. Who in their right mind and right conscience can withhold lifesaving information and advances from people whose very injury makes it next to impossible for them to even understand that they have been injured?! Where is the justice, the sense, the sanity, the humanity?

It boggles the mind.

So, let’s all blog about it.

Thanks, rewiringangel, for writing and publishing about this.

Treating TBI

Treating traumatic brain injuries @ the LATimes

They can’t be set like a bone or staunched like a bleed. They can be difficult even to detect, but the military and others are working to improve care.

Larry Ewing’s life changed last year on a construction site in Victorville; Larry Carr’s changed in 2004 on a road in Iraq. Unlikely brothers in arms, both men now share the same invisible wound — traumatic brain injury.

They tire easily, forget often and lose their balance and concentration without warning. They struggle to make peace with personality changes that have made them barely recognizable to loved ones.

Read the whole story here