Although many articles, including this one, will focus on enjoying life after a brain injury, readers should understand that the theme of the blog is overcoming adversity. Furthermore, adversity is unlikely to affect only the person who is facing a bad situation. Most often, adversity also affects those who are concerned about the person facing the bad situation.
As such, I want to spend a little time describing the impact of brain injury so people who are indirectly affected by the adversity better understand the factors that directly affect brain injury survivors. Since there are many websites that describe the impact of physical injury from an anatomical or physiological perspective, I will not use much space in this post to cover those topics. If you would like help gathering additional information, please read the Resources Page of the blog or contact me through the Contact Page of the blog.
It is important to understand that all brain injuries are not alike. The exact impact of an injury is largely determined by the following factors:
- Age at trauma
- Pre-existing conditions
- Type of trauma
- Location of trauma
- Severity of trauma
The type, location, and severity of trauma will determine which of the following therapies would be most beneficial, but doctors and insurance providers will ultimately determine how much of each therapy is appropriate:
- Cognitive therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Psychosocial therapy
- Speech therapy
- Vision therapy
Some brain injury survivors also believe in the benefit of :
- Hyperbaric therapy
- Spiritual healing
- Acupressure / Acupuncture
Other survivors turn to complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) which I have grouped into the following six categories. Please note that the following groups, and lists within a groups, are intended to provide examples not comprehensive or indisputable details:
- Non-traditional medicine (Oriental)
- Biological solutions (vitamins, minerals, and herbs)
- Mind-body medicine (meditation, visualization, and hypnosis)
- Massage (Swedish, Thai, Deep Tissue, Aromatherapy, Hot Stone, Shiatsu, and Reflexology)
- Energy-based therapy (Chi Gong, Tai Chi, and Reiki)
- Sound-based therapy (music, guided imagry, and white noise)
Recovery from trauma is largely determined by the following factors:
- Plan, Do, Check, Act — plan the recovery process, do something in the plan, check to make sure what you are doing has the desired impact, then decide which action (follow or revise the plan) is most appropriate.
- Hope – a sincere belief that things will get better.
- Attitude – a positive demeanor regardless of the circumstance.
- Support (family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc.) – people who are supportive of your recovery.
- Effort – recovery is more than a full-time job.
- Commitment – recovery is dedicating yourself to reach a goal regardless of the effort required and setbacks you face.
- Quality of therapy – find a solution that works for you.
- Time since trauma – seek help as soon as possible after an injury.
Does your recovery plan account for obstacles you may encounter during recovery? How long do you follow a plan that is not working before deciding to change that plan? How do you remain hopeful when the people around you believe there is no reason to hope? How do you maintain a positive attitude when disappointing events occur? What can you do to educate the people around you to make sure they are supportive? How do you remain committed during a slow recovery process? How can you use your experience to help others?