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Barbara’s Story

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Because a brain injury affects the family almost as much as the individual who experienced brain trauma, my son and I have decided to collaborate on this website and blog.

Ian will be primarily writing about what it’s like (how it feels) to have a brain injury. After four years since his incident, he has re-learned just about everything he needs to function on a day-to-day basis and has regained excellent health, even after a heart attack, double pneumonia, kidney failure, contractured limbs, you name it. It’s taken hard work on his part and a lot of out-of-pocket funds on mine… but we’re seeing light at the end of the tunnel at last.

What we don’t know at this point is just how long the tunnel is.

Will Ian’s memory shortcomings be permanent? Or will he be able to redesign his brain using some of the methods mentioned in Norman Doidge’s book on “brain plasticity,” The Brain That Changes Itself? After reading this book, I am much more hopeful than before. Now I need to find/create some of the exercises that are (oh so briefly) described in the book.

So much of this “brain injury journey” has been a do-it-yourself mountain climb, with very few resources easily findable, especially here in Florida. The Brain Injury Association of Florida’s website has a downloadable reference library here:  http://www.byyourside.org/inform/library – but by the time I found their site, we were already past most of the issues covered.

Everything else, we’ve had to research and find on our own.

One of the things I’ll be doing on this site is linking to pages I’ve found with useful tools for brain injury recovery. I’ll be reviewing books and websites – and asking some questions that, for whatever reason, I haven’t found good answers to yet. Perhaps some of our readers will have good information for the rest of us.

I’m already in my late 60s, so we have a pressing need to focus on cognitive repair and planning for the future.  We must also accelerate Ian’s ability to work for pay, because Social Security disability payments are not a given. Ian has made such good progress over the past four years that he is in jeopardy of losing this funding as we speak.

Memory and multi-tasking deficits are the hurdles still to be crossed… and Ian will need improvement in both these areas to be employed/employable. This will be our focus for the coming year and, as we discover books, people and websites that look promising or that are showing some results personally – we will post that info here.

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