Thursday, May 22, 2014

My Reaction To the Brain Injury Alliance Seminar...

I just attended the Brain Injury Alliance’s Seminar on traumatic brain injury. It was incredibly enlightening and also granted me a sense of validity which is invaluable. As I am writing this, my botox for my migraines is nearing the end of my three months, and as a result I am struggling yet again. I learned from the professionals who presented that indeed my feeling of perpetual improvement and recovery is correct. To hear that my continuous effort has a huge effect on my functionality really encouraged me. I am so thankful to hear that the psychologist in her lecture remarked that it is important to remember that what a brain injury survivor has encountered is nothing short of catastrophic.

Therefore my emotional battles are not uncommon or unfounded. There is such a wonderful feeling of vindication that I earned from attending this conference and learning from numerous professionals in the field. I apologize for the brevity, my vision is beginning to blur as this migraine is unbearable.
I thank you for reading and would invite any responses you may have.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Seminars and Unity.....

It is a beautiful thing to know that a community wants to learn of methods for the betterment of its members. I am attending a seminar later this year; everyone in attendance has a need and a desire to learn of the trends that are helping the community of head injury survivors. Even though my injury was several years ago, I jump at the chance to learn from a panel of professionals and hear as to which methods they have witnessed to be the most effective for survivors. Part of my role is to encourage and share advice regarding things that I have learned along the way. I think that this seminar will provide a beautiful unity amongst both the professionals and the brain injury survivors that will be in attendance. I fall into the roles of both a professional and a survivor.

The keynote speaker on one of the days is also a survivor. She was injured in her teens in a car accident, and now is in her forties and living an independent life. She has diligently pursued her motivational speaking and has now provided herself with a career that has allowed her to live an independent life and speak regarding a life altering situation that is near and dear to her heart. There are several different lectures to choose from in each portion of the seminar daily. The seminar is a two day event that will provide a wealth of knowledge to those that have an interest in learning the current aspects of the Brain Injury Community. I consider it a truly special event to be able to attend this seminar as a professional and a survivor. I have a board meeting for the state council prior to the seminar. I will be able to ask questions regarding the current agendas for council that are brought up in our meeting. It is quite interesting that I will be attending the seminar on several different accounts.

I am a survivor, a professional who is working in the field of neuroscience and also a state council member in my home state of New Jersey. I am going to listen extremely intently to any questions or concerns that are brought forth during the council meeting. My family I know is extremely proud of the steps that I have taken to better myself in regards to my knowledge of this injury  I know that I have helped myself and patients whom I interact with who would have an interest and a desire to learn about where the brain injured are going as a community.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Step Backward to Move Forward.....

Earlier in my week, I visited with a patient who is going through rehab at one of our facilities. I inquired regarding how he/she was progressing. The response that I attained was, “I felt that I was progressing very well; today I feel that I have hit a wall.” Erika Taylor’s quote was incredibly applicable to this moment. Taylor reminds us, “Sometimes you have to take a step back to move forward”. The patient seemed to nod in acknowledgement as I stated this quote. I always hope to provide a bit of encouragement to the patients since I understand what a large effect the state of mind has towards the progression through rehab.

The patients appreciate my experience of knowing the progression of rehab. I know that rehabilitation is long and arduous. I have found it beneficial to acknowledge what a patient is saying and continue to encourage them as they progress forward with his/her rehabilitation. Every patient that I speak with, I convey that there is no glass roof over his/her head. A patient would make any doctor thrilled if they surpass the initial prognosis of what level him/her is expected to progress to. Honestly if I can help a patient to be encouraged to gain as much out of therapy as they can; I feel that I have added my portion to the rehab team. People have different ways of showing his/her appreciation or lack there of. I typically introduce myself rather lightly and feel out if the particular patient would be open to meeting with me. After I have met with the patient(s) I am able to report to the doctor of psychology if I feel as though he/she may have some emotional issues that are beyond my ability. I am not certified and therefore do not provide therapy hours when I visit with a patient.

The physiatrists in charge have faith in me as I have notified the appropriate professionals when I feel as though they may have some needs that are beyond my abilities as an ambassador. Knowing when to ask for assistance has become a skill that has proved to be invaluable for me. I would love to hear any comments that you may have, and as always I thank you for reading.