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I have been speaking with veterans and military family members for BrainLine’s Veteran Voices series. They tell us their stories in an attempt to help anyone who might be experiencing issues with PTSD/TBI. Working with BrainLine has also made me realize just how much trauma occurs both during military service and before.
A paradox is something that seems like there is no way that it could be true. Like the Combat Addiction paradox: I hate war, but I love combat. Both of those things are true, but they seem like they shouldn’t be.
My brain injury journey has come with many unexpected twists and turns, making it an experience that is truly stranger than fiction. Many of the changes that came to pass after my brain injury were incredibly painful and life-changing. But not all the changes were difficult. Some were – dare I say – simply wonderful.
Something that I talk less about these days is how brain injury still affects me. And there are times, times like I am about to share, that brain injury still rears its ugly head, and leaves me completely bewildered and baffled.
For close to nine years, I’ve been working on navigating life as a brain injury survivor. Thankfully, as time passes, my life as a brain injury survivor has gotten easier. Like any human being with a heartbeat, though, I have other health issues. These are health issues that need my attention and constant care. It is at the intersection of brain injury and some of my other health concerns where things can get very dicey.
Things take longer than they used to. I have slowed down. Sure, some of it can be attributed to getting older, but most of the new, slower pace that life has taken on is injury related. I’ve found that in that slower pace, life has become rewarding in very unexpected ways
We've all got it, that inner voice that constantly narrates our lives. It is simply part of being human. But as many of us know, brain injury can complicate things. Gone can be the ability to know intuitively when and how to handle things. Without warning, our inner narrator takes on a new power.
I am a very average “TBI Guy.” I have ongoing memory challenges. Word-finding challenges and aphasia are my constant companions. Add a splash of vertigo and half a cup of tinnitus and you have the perfect recipe for a pretty average post-concussive life. And amazingly, today I am okay with that...