BY: JEAN OOSTROM
I write today about the passage of time after brain trauma.
Since acquiring a brain injury as a result of a stroke in 1997, some thoughts have helped with my recovery:
I never gave up.
But other thoughts have hindered it.
Immediately following a brain injury, a diagnosis – be it a concussion, stroke, combat trauma, or PTSD – can be a word that both the brain injured person, and the people who care for that person, can use to start to recover.
For the people who care for the brain injured person, a diagnosis can provide a research tool or an avenue for questions so recovery can proceed.
For the person with the brain injury, a diagnosis can provide a much needed answer and recovery options.
But with the passage of time, that original diagnosis can become a label, which may hinder recovery.
With the passage of time, caregivers might wonder if they have missed something, that could move recovery in a different direction.
With the passage of time, the person with the brain trauma might start to accept the fact that, ‘this is as good as I am going to get.’
Which is why thoughts like these have helped me recover, with the passage of time:
At times I played the role of caregiver for myself and trusted my recovery options
I’ve been down and out, pulled myself up and made it to the other side
The brain trauma will always be part of my life, but it will not rule my life.
After suffering a stroke, Jean coined herself “the voice for the brain injured person” and provides information “from the brain injured point of view” so people can find answers as they “learn to live with their new brains” after all types of brain trauma.
Jean shared more of wisdom in 2016 during Brain Injury Awareness Month: