I just started reading the PDF from the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation about Guidelines for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Persistent Symptoms. And I’m off to a great start.
“guidelines that can be used by healthcare professionals to implement evidence-based, best practice care of individuals who incur a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and experience persistent symptoms. Persistent symptoms are not an uncommon complication of mTBI; 10 to 15% of individuals who incur mTBI will continue to experience significant symptoms beyond the normal recovery period of three months (Iverson, 2005), which can include post-traumatic headache, sleep disturbance, disorders of balance, cognitive impairments, fatigue, and mood or affective disorders. With the high incidence of mTBI this potentially translates to a significant number of individuals who may experience associated disability.”
Currently, the best practice for treatment of those who do not experience spontaneous recovery is not clearly defined. Therefore, the following clinical questions needed to be addressed — Can an approach be devised to screen for and identify patients that are at high-risk of persistent symptoms and, once identified, can a management plan be developed to treat the symptoms commonly associated with the disorder? Hence the purpose of developing the clinical guidelines is to improve patient care by creating a framework that can be implemented by health professionals to effectively identify and treat individuals who manifest persistent symptoms following mTBI. (p.5 of the PDF – emphasis mine)
Reading this feels completely %(*&*#$(*^ awesome. Can I just say, to hear a recognized foundation acknowledge the importance of this, and to acknowledge that 10-15% of mild TBI survivors experience serious issues which can literally disable us (for long or short term)… it’s pretty amazing. What a feeling.
I’m going to quell the impulse to rue my lost past, when so much was unknown, and the only explanation people could come up with was that I “wasn’t trying hard enough” or I was “lazy” or a “problem”. I’m going to be deliberately happy for everyone who can and will benefit from this — and I’m going to urge everyone in the strongest terms possible to please make sure your doctor has a copy of this, when you see them about your issues. After all, this information is only as good as the people it informs — the people with the power to make a difference.
Granted, I’ve just started reading, and there may be information in there that doesn’t square with my own views and experience.
But so far, we’re off to a good start.
You can download the full PDF from the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation here.