Brain injury is a brain injury, and as much as we may say “each brain is different, each injury is different,” we still need to look at the ways that each kind of injury is similar to others. And the experiences we have can be quite similar.
Loneliness, isolation, confusion, not feeling like yourself, getting angry quickly, mood swings, and let’s not forget the bone-crushing fatigue and the embarrassment that comes from not being the person you used to be… They are all things brain injury survivors have in common, and it’s helpful to actually treat people accordingly.
I honestly don’t understand why more emphasis isn’t placed on the experience of brain injury. That’s what trips us up, quite frankly. That’s the thing that makes our recoveries so much harder — the experiences we have and the effects those experiences have on our selves, our Sense-of-Self.
Well, that’s why I’m here. To speak up for those of us who tend to get stuck in our post-BI experiences, and need to see there’s actually a way out… Because there is. There is always hope — even in the most dire cases. Nobody can tell me different. That’s just how we’re built — to amaze… to heal… to grow… to learn. And learn some more.
Here’s a quick summary of the different types of brain injury:
Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)
includes things like stroke and anoxic (being without oxygen) brain injury. Some consider traumatic brain injury to be an acquired brain injury, because it “is damage to the brain that was not present at birth and is non-progressive” (See The ABI Manual for more). Personally, I wouldn’t call it “non-progressive”, but everyone’s experience is different.
- Acquired Brain Injury – A Web portal for and by brain injury survivors provided by Covidien (a healthcare provider). See their: ABI Manual and Video Library and explore their 3D Brain
- Read what Wikipedia says about ABI
happens either when a clot blocks blood flow in the brain (called “Ischemic” stroke) or a blood vessel pops and there’s a brain bleed (called “Hemorrhagic” stroke)
- National Stroke Association – See their Recovery Resources for Survivors and Recovery Resources for Caregivers
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
is related to trauma to the brain that comes from a fall, an attack, a sports injury, or an accident.
- Brainline’s TBI Info Page – a wealth of great information to educate folks about TBI
is what people often call a “mild” TBI. Concussions are sometimes considered less serious than traumatic brain injuries, and a lot of people consider a TBI that clears up after a while, to be a Concussion.
- What Is A Concussion? Very informative article at The Concussion Blog
- The CDC has a great brochure called “Facts About Concussion and Brain Injury”. Download it by clicking here.