___ Do you know that if your survivor is transferred to a regular ward in the hospital, she may receive inadequate care as her nurses will have little experience with brain injuries?
___ Do you know that regaining the trust of your survivor, who probably will be very confused when she emerges from her coma, may require some time and effort?
___ Are you familiar with post-traumatic amnesia? This is the state your survivor will likely pass through on her way back to full consciousness. Do you know how to interact with a patient in post-traumatic amnesia?
___ Do you understand how the brain heals from an injury and what role the survivor and her caregivers play in the recovery process?
___ Do you know that the two major components of brain injury rehabilitation are relearning and compensation?
___ Do you know how to select a rehabilitation facility for your survivor?
___ Do you understand the role of the family in rehabilitation?
___ Do you know how to select a nursing home for your survivor, if necessary?
___ Do you know what to watch for while your survivor is in a nursing home?
___ Do you know how to get a copy of your survivor’s medical records from the hospital? You will need them for consultations with doctors for years after the brain injury. Also, these records are important evidence for health insurance, disability benefits, and legal claims. Getting a copy of these records may take some assertiveness.
This article on rehabilitation after a brain injury is excerpted from Garry Prowe's book, Successfully Surviving a Brain Injury: A Family Guidebook.
In 1997, Garry's wife, Jessica, sustained a severe brain injury in an automobile crash. "At the time, I spent way too much time accumulating the information I needed, not only to understand the medical aspects of Jessica's brain injury, but also to handle the myriad insurance, financial, legal, personal, and family issues that accompany a serious blow to the brain. I recognized the need — that still exists today — for a book that comprehensively addresses the wide variety of issues families face in the first few months after a brain injury.
"To research this book, I assembled a panel of more than 300 survivors, caregivers, and medical professionals who responded to my email questions and reviewed portions of my writing.
"For us, this project is a labor of love. All profits from the sale of this book will be donated to brain injury organizations."
From Sucessfully Surviving a Brain Injury: A Family Guidebook by Garry Prowe, Brain Injury Success Books, © 2010 Garry Prowe. Used with permission. www.BrainInjurySuccess.org.