A quiet day

path through the woodsI went out for a walk down the road, yesterday. It was the first time I’d done that in months. Last year, I was really busy during the fall, so I didn’t get outside much, except to rake my lawn and take care of stuff around the outside of the house.

But now spring is on the way… and it’s changing for the better.

I’ve got some stuff I need to take care of today. It’s leftover from work, last week. I didn’t get everything done, and I need to catch up before Monday hits. Of course, I also need to take care of my own stuff and also get a nap.

And make supper.

And prepare for the week to come.

And do my exercises and stretching that are really helping my back.

It’ll all get done. All in its time.

It’s funny, I’m hanging out this morning, reading and writing a little bit and listening to music. The song “People are People” by Depeche Mode came on, and suddenly, I was transported back in time to a factory job I had, years ago. People on the line were allowed to listen to music, and there was this one worker who played this song and sang along at the top of their lungs. I’ll always remember that. I’ll also always remember the heat and the smell and the feel of that factory. And how the satisfying the work actually was. At the end of every day, I knew exactly how much I’d done. I could punch out and go home. That was that.

None of this “performance appraisal” stuff that I have to deal with now. All the office politics, all the interpersonal dynamics, which seem to change every single day.

Well, today I can concentrated on that kind of work. I need to test a new program we’re rolling out, and that means I need to just sit down and look at a screen and make sure that when I click this thing, that thing happens. It’s simple work, really. And it fits my quiet day.

I’ll hang out for a little longer, reading stuff online, finding interesting stuff on Twitter, watching videos of cats and dogs jumping into huge snowdrifts… then I’ll eat my lunch and settle in for a few hours of uninterrupted testing. And if all goes well, I’ll have time to go for another walk, before I have my hot shower and lie down for my afternoon nap.

Sounds good to me.

It’s a plan.

Onward.

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Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

6 thoughts on “A quiet day”

  1. Helo: Just discovered your site. We’re working to help hundreds of thousands of warriors and athletes and citizens like yourself. Here’s a recent article. Lots amore available at: http://www.treatnow.org

    TO TREAT A CONCUSSION: Using Hyperbaric Oxygen to Mitigate the Duration of Symptoms of Acute Concussions
    Robert L. Beckman, PhD

    A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury. It is a wound to the brain. The current medical standard of care for concussions relies on a protocol that essentially recommends rest. It is thought that this resting period will allow the brain to recover. Indeed, it is “common knowledge” that 80 to 90 percent of concussions “get better” on their own. While it is true that some or all symptoms will diminish over time, it is equally true that merely waiting for those symptoms to go away is not our best medicine, nor is this good for the wounded brain. And it certainly is untrue that the brain cannot and will not heal back to a condition near to the normal before the concussion. Even Dr. Omalu now recognizes the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen.

    In the State of Illinois, each school district must use educational materials provided by the Illinois High School Association to educate coaches, student-athletes, and parents/guardians of student-athletes about the nature and risk of concussions and head injuries. This includes advice about continuing play after a concussion or head injury. Concussion Management in Illinois public and private schools is governed by the Youth Sports Concussion Act (Public Act 099-0245). Illinois directs school boards to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Injury Center (www.cdc.gov/Concussion), developing a formal public health response to concussion. Through their HEADS UP campaign, concussion educational materials are available at no cost for youth sports coaches, school coaches, parents, and school and health care professionals.

    What the CDC does not discuss, let alone the Mayo Clinic, the NFL, your hospital emergency room, the NCAA, nor your average concussion or TBI clinic, is that a concussion is a wound to the brain that should be treated according to wound healing principles to allow the brain to heal. There is no disputing the fact that in most of the millions of concussion cases experienced every year, the average person will “recover” within a few weeks and symptoms will abate. In a large fraction of cases, however, those symptoms do not go away and in no case will the brain become “healed” unless necessary steps are taken to address the wound.

    We are all becoming familiar with the symptoms of concussions: headaches, confusion, memory loss, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, sleepiness, emotional instability, etc. These symptoms are linked to complex pathophysiological processes affecting the brain, induced by biomechanical forces. These forces can lead to brain inflammation and swelling, damage to blood vessels and brain cells, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), visual and balance problems, and a myriad of other overt and/or subtle physical and emotional and functional difficulties.

    Some in the worldwide sports community recognize a concussion as an “injury” to the brain, yet nowhere in the gold standard Consensus Statement of the 2017 Concussion in Sport Group (Berlin, 2017) is there mention of a “wound” to the brain. In the eleven major sections of the Statement, only one is devoted to “rehabilitation.” It is worth quoting in full: “SRCs (sports-related concussions) can result in diverse symptoms and problems, and can be associated with concurrent injury to the cervical spine and peripheral vestibular system. The literature has not evaluated early interventions, as most individuals recover in 10 to 14 days. A variety of treatments may be required for ongoing or persistent symptoms and impairments following injury. The data support interventions including psychological, cervical and vestibular rehabilitation. In addition, closely monitored active rehabilitation programs involving controlled sub-symptom-threshold, submaximal exercise have been shown to be safe and may be of benefit in facilitating recovery. A collaborative approach to treatment, including controlled cognitive stress, pharmacological treatment, and school accommodations, may be beneficial. Further research evaluating rest and active treatments should be performed using high-quality designs that account for potential confounding factors, and have matched controls and effect modifiers to best inform clinical practice and facilitate recovery after SRC.”

    They note that SRC “is considered to be among the most complex injuries in sports medicine to diagnose, assess and manage.” Let us look at how we are now changing that paradigm and the long-standing nonchalance about aggressively intervening in the “concussion cascade” to reverse the damage and wounding made to a major organ of the body: the brain.

    Critical to understanding the work of integrative medicine doctors trained in wound healing are these facts: medicine knows a lot about how to heal wounds. A physical wound to the brain is like a physical wound to any other organ in the body. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has already been approved by the FDA for certain types of wound healing (air embolism, arterial insufficiencies, compromised skin grafts and flaps, acute thermal burns, crush injuries and other acute traumatic injuries that lead to oxygen and blood constriction).

    Starting in the fall of 2015, Dr. Daphne Denham, MD in her Chicago clinic began treating concussions . We know that we can do better than “recognition, rest, and recovery.” Simply placing a patient in the Concussion Protocol is insufficient to promote recovery. Team trainers, doctors, coaches, teachers and families are then responsible for “managing” symptoms and after a while and with the passage of time, these patients are somehow expected to be “better.” We now know that we can be far more effective in treating wounds to the brain than waiting for these wounds to heal on their own. Consider the following:

    There were tens of thousands of concussions sustained by athletes at all educational levels in 2017. There were 540 concussion evaluations and 281 concussions from the NFL pre-season that occurred until the week before Super Bowl 52. To improve their treatment protocols, the NCAA brought the chief medical officer of a college into the mix, demanding that an additional sign-off was required before returning-to-play. The NFL went as far as placing more NFL- independent certified athletic trainers (ATC spotters) at every game. As recently as December of 2017, the NFL placed a central unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant (UNC) in the league’s command center for all games. On ESPN, it was reported that an estimated 400 people were involved in the concussion process, including every team physician, every athletic trainer, every UNC and every booth spotter. Imagine these 400 people worried about whether or not an athlete had suffered a concussion, but not one of them considering how to undertake healing these wounds to the brain. [And 400 people getting paid to notice what 10 or 20 million viewers already knew, Adding another few mdeical professionsl to “diagnose” potential concussions with binoculars is a bit bizarre when you think that NONE of them go on to provide HEALING.]

    A concussion leads to inflammation and cerebral ischemia (deficient supply of blood to the brain that is due to obstruction of the inflow of arterial blood). A host of negative chemical processes begin, along with mitochondrial/cell damage, oxidative damage and apoptosis (cell death). There can be a breakdown of the blood-brain-barrier and brain swelling. Numerous animal studies on concussion and blast injuries confirm that blows to the head are just not good for your brain. (All the discoveries by Dr. Ann McKee and her Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) team in Boston confirm a strong correlation between numerous hits to the head and onset of CTE. At last count (admittedly a contentious statistic, given the selection criteria), she had found CTE in 99 percent of the brains studied or 110 out of 111 of former NFL players. ) Common sense is slowly causing parents and coaches and trainers and even some medical personnel to pay attention to these correlations. This is one of the primary reasons that word-of-mouth referrals to HBOT-for-Concussions are increasing nationwide.

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  2. Thank you for writing. I don’t actually post promotional announcements here, but thank you for your information. I am a believer in HBOT, I just haven’t determined yet what kind of balance I need to strike between information and marketing materials. Since HBOT is available only by prescription and it is more expensive than many of us can afford on our own, there’s only so much I can say about it. But thank you for writing. I’ll share some of what seems appropriate.

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