Brain Injury Awareness Month 2022

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[et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text”]If I’m being honest, brain injury was not something I knew a lot about, even as a medical professional with more than a decade of practice under my belt.  Until it hit my own home.  Sure I worked with people who were affected by brain injury, but I didn’t really understand the day to day challenges for both the patient and the families who cared for them.

When Mark had his subarachnoid hemorrhage due to an undiagnosed genetic disease called Moya Moya, we were blessed enough to be provided excellent care by specialists in our area because the team involved with his care were very well versed in brain injury and were able to help us get the best care from the start!

This is why I know feel it is so important for people to have awareness around the prevalence of brain injury and the ways we can improve outcomes by educating ourselves now, so if we ever do have a loved one who suffers a brain injury, we can enlist all the resources we need to improve our loved one’s outcomes.

There are 2 types of brain injuries, acquired and traumatic.  An acquired brain injury is the type that is a result of a disease, stroke, infection, lack of oxygen or seizures.  A traumatic brain injury is a result of trauma to the head and brian, like a fall, car accident, concussion, shaken baby syndrome or penetration, like a gunshot wound.

While no two brain injuries are the same, one thing we do know is that the brain does have a natural ability to repair itself and the sooner we can provide what it needs to start repairing after an injury the better the outcome will be for the person who has the brian injury.

Symptoms and long and short-term effects of brain injury will be dependent on several factors.  Those factors include cause, location and severity of the injury as well as the individuals overall health and comorbidities they have.  So if an individual has vascular or circulatory issues, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, coronary artery disease, their road to recovery may be a bit more challenging.  It does not mean it is not possible, but it does confirm that every aspect of health is important in long-term recovery from a brain injury.

If your loved one has a brain injury, you will find that there are various types of rehabilitation that you will hear about in this journey.  They all have a place in the marathon of recovery.

  • Acute rehabilitation is what steps are taken immediately in the first days and weeks after a brain injury. This is what steps take place initially and will vary widely depending on the type of injury and the cause of injury.
  • Post Acute rehabilitation is a more intense rehabilitation that will happen and your loved one slowly begins to improve and will help them to start to rebuild those areas of the brain that have been impacted by the injury.
  • Sub Acute rehabilitation will be an option if your loved one has more medical complexity and is unable to participate in more intense rehabilitation due to poor stamina, medical complications or other barriers to participating in an intense program.
  • Outpatient rehabilitation is for those individuals who are stable enough to go home, but would still benefit from working with the rehabilitation team including physical, occupational and speech therapy.

I will forever be grateful to all of the people who guided Mark and I to our rehabilitation programs because I do believe that God led us to the most spectacular rehabilitation teams every step of the way. While Mark will never go back to his baseline and he has several long-term complications from his brain injury, I do know that he would not be as high functioning as he is if those folks were not as invested in his recovery as he was.



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