Definitely need to write things down

Need to get my post-it notes going, again. My mind has been like a seive. I’m sure it’s me leaving this job, but I have either missed appointments or been 10-15 minutes late… and even when I’m there, I’m not all there.

In fairness, my head is chock full of all the things I still need to do.

But if I have tools to use, I should just use them, and be done with it.

Always an adventure.

Onwards

Last day on the job – and a few thoughts on TBI recovery

It’s my last day on the job, and I’m getting my act together before I leave for the office, so I can concentrate on finishing up there. I’m feeling really good about giving myself (and them) four weeks to transfer everything I know that will be useful to them. I’ve absorbed a ton of information, and I’ve also developed new ways of doing things, so there’s a lot to pass along.

And I’m not sure I’m going to be able to pass everything along. But I’ll do what I can. And in any case, other people have to step up and find their own ways of doing things. That’s part of the fun and the challenge, and I wouldn’t want to deprive them of that experience ;)

Anyway, there’s a lot going on in my head, right now. I’m saving off images of the projects I have worked on, for my future portfolio, and I’m trying to cover all my bases, so that I can finish up in good form.

I wish I could do more. But I don’t think I’d ever be able to do enough, so…

I finished watching “Me and My New Brain” this morning while I was riding my exercise bike. Great documentary! I was really impressed by the kids who were shown. They were very articulate, and also very brave, putting their lives on video like that. I was especially struck by the honesty — and how the folks featured were so varied in their self-assessments. One young man had such a poor memory that he had to ask his friends intimate questions. One young woman was very clear on how difficult it was for her to spend time socializing in the loud clubs and pubs that all her peers were hanging out in.

The main individual featured, a snowboarding gal by the name of Charlie, made an amazing physical recovery from her very serious brain injury — she was in a medically induced coma for about a week — and she was back on the slopes within months of her accident. I’m not sure what to think about folks who allow brain-injured athletes back into their respective form of play, so soon after their near-death experience. I know that losing your ability to do the thing you love the most can be devastating — especially for a young person growing up, who perhaps has that One Single Thing that they’ve come to organize their identity around.

And telling them “No, you cannot do that yet,” can be awful. Depressing. It can lead to suicidal thoughts and threats. So, why not just let them get back on the slopes/streets/court/field, so they can feel normal again? After all, they’ve been through so much, they’ve had to work so hard and give up so much. And you want them to just be happy again, right?

This is one massive gap in TBI recovery and rehab that I think needs to be addressed. Parents and caretakers and friends of kids (and adults) who sustain brain injuries need to be taught about the effects of TBI / concussion on your ability to judge, assess risk, assess your own abilities, and make good decisions about what to do — or not to do. If they don’t know how brain injury impacts your thinking and ability to judge, how can they know how dangerous it is for recovering folks to do what they so desperately want to do?

Allowing kids to make up their own minds and let them have their way after they’ve been brain-injured is a Russian-roulette proposition. You just don’t know what’s going to come of it. But that information seems to get lost with parents and friends and guardians who let brain-injured kids go right back to the thing that got them in trouble, in the first place.

But it’s not enough to educate folks about these things — we also need common-sense strategies and tested techniques to give to parents and friends and caretakers of brain-injured folks. I definitely think that neuropsychological assessments should be included in every single rehab program — or faulty decision-making can put the survivor right back in rehab all over again.

Seriously, who releases someone into the world without doing an assessment on their thinking capacity? That’s one area where I believe Charlie was failed by the system. They never did a neuropsych assessment on her, till four years after her accident.

That, in my opinion, was a huge mistake. She could have been killed in the meantime, by her decreased ability to plan and judge and make wise decisions.

More on this later.

For now, I’m off to my last day at work. Should be interesting.

And then, on to the next chapter.

Onward.

Me and My New Brain – Watch it On YouTube

Lots of good food for TBI thought, lately

I’ve been spending a bit more time on Twitter, lately, and I’ve found a steady flow of information about late-breaking TBI / concussion news… as well as some pretty good pieces talking about the personal experience of TBI.

And that’s great. Really, really great.

It’s a lot to take in, and it’s a lot to process. One of the things that concerns me, is that we can end up with so much information that we cannot possibly process it all. Even the bits that we can take in comfortably often don’t get their due from our noggins.

Heck, most things don’t get their due.

So, I think about what I can, and I sure have a lot to consider. And a lot to write about. That includes a story I read recently in the Washington Post about how headers are not the main cause of concussion in soccer. Well, alright, it appears that statistically speaking, contact with other players (68.8%) or contact with (13.3%) a playing surface together account for a lot more than the heading itself.

But there in the article, it says (my bold),

“Previous researchers discussing the safety and risk of soccer heading may have been asking the wrong question,” they wrote. In fact, they argued, the “ball striking the head during heading has less of a role in soccer concussions than the athlete-athlete contact that occurs during contested or challenged heading opportunities.”

So, the ridiculous thing about saying that “heading the ball isn’t the main cause of concussion” in soccer is that — by their own admission — heading-related contact accounts for a lot.

Whether or not you actually contact the ball is only part of the story. The main point is that

Players Are Playing Soccer (or Football, if you will) With Their Heads

I honestly don’t see how it’s possible to make a meaningful distinction between the instances where heads hit a ball, or they hit something else. The point is, Heading Is The Root Cause.

Well, anyway, so much for researchers. Kind of like what they were telling us a few years ago about not turning on the light in the bathroom when you wake up and need to empty your bladder. Having the light on can disrupt your sleep patterns. Of course, so can stepping in a puddle of pee that your significant other left on the floor because they couldn’t see the toilet.

Researchers got a lot of ridicule for that one – especially on the radio. Hahahahaha.

Anyway, tomorrow is my last day at my current job. I have to call the HR folks to make sure I have everything in order for my first day on Monday. Gotta figure out where to go, what to take with me, etc.

They have rules, as I understand it. Gotta keep to the thin line and keep myself together.

I had planned to buy some new clothes ahead of time. Maybe Sunday, as Saturday I’m supposed to be joining friends for a gathering at the beach. Not in the mood. Want to keep to myself. I’ll probably beg out of it, one way or another.

We’ll see.

Lots to think about.

Onward.

But getting hit on the head was just part of the game

brokenbrilliant:

Just part of the game… another post from four years ago that continues to haunt me

Originally posted on Broken Brain - Brilliant Mind:

I’ve gotten to watching YouTube videos today, since I’m off work. Here’s another one I just watched:

I’ve been thinking back to when I was a kid, and all the rough-housing I and my siblings did. We were a pretty rough-and-tumble gang, and we played a lot of games that involved a fair amount of hitting and falling and running into each other. We used to play full-contact soccer in the back yard, and by the end of the game, any living plant on the periphery of the “field” would be shredded, we’d be all hopped up from chasing and jumping and crashing into each other, and our heads would be spinning. It’s like we got this major contact high from going all-out, and the experience of falling down (or being taken down) and having your vision be disrupted, have your hearing get weird, and be wobbly and unsteady on…

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After the Crash

brokenbrilliant:

Another post from a while back – still true

Originally posted on Broken Brain - Brilliant Mind:

RIP Sarah Burke (September 3, 1982 – January 19, 2012)

The Concussion Blog had a good post the other day — Action Sports an Issue Too — with a couple of videos that have really haunted me since I watched them.

I’ll show them again here:

There’s some mention at The Concussion Blog about high impact falls and the fencing response (which everyone who plays sports and is concerned about concussion should be aware of), which is good food for thought.

And it really did get me thinking. Because looking at Mr. Huston taking those falls, then lying there for a while and shaking himself off and jumping up to have another “go” at it is exactly the kind of behavior that gets so many of us into trouble.

I’m not sure if it’s the sudden release of glucose into the brain cells, or the whole rushing extended metabolic cascade…

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When getting hurt feels good

brokenbrilliant:

Throw-back Thursday #TBT – here’s something I wrote about four years ago — the message still rings true

Originally posted on Broken Brain - Brilliant Mind:

I’m back from vacation, and I’m already starting to feel over-taxed. Time to get out in front of what I’m doing and take command of my days, my time, my energy. Most important of all,  I need to not get down on myself, thinking there’s something wrong with me, because I can’t “keep up” with everything going on. I have more stringent definitions of what “keeping up” is all about, anyway, so I need to give myself a break and be a bit easier on myself.

I’m doing great. I really am. I’ve been getting great reviews at work, and I have a really good feeling about this year. We’re already through the first quarter, and we’re moving on. Just gotta keep moving on…

One thing I noticed – again – is that I tend to push myself harder than I should. It’s partly because I have high standards, it’s…

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Me and My New Brain – watch it on the BBC site

From the BBC program – check it out!

In the UK – Watch it on the BBC website here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b063h17m

Outside the UK, watch it on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iKKMUsaVRU

About the program: Charlie Elmore suffered a brain injury in a snowboarding accident four years ago. Now she’s going to retrace the steps of her dramatic recovery and meet other young people adjusting to life after serious brain injuries, including 19-year-old car-crash survivor Callum, avid skier Tai and fashion buyer Hannah, who has to re-learn how to walk and talk after she collapsed whilst out shopping and hit her head on the pavement. With their help, Charlie embarks on a courageous journey to improve understanding of this ‘invisible’ disability, which is the biggest cause of acquired disability in young adults in Britain, and discovers the hidden ways it affects her own life too.

If you’re in the UK, you have 29 days from today (July 22) to watch it – I plan to, very soon. Hopefully, my browser and internet connection can handle it.

On YouTube, you can probably watch it indefinitely.