Monthly Archives: December 2012

New Year’s and Brain Injury

New Year’s Eve is generally celebrated with laughter, noise and merriment.  However, there are a few pitfalls that brain injury survivors may encounter during these celebrations that they will want to watch out for.

It is typical to serve alcoholic beverages at New Year’s Eve celebrations.  However, drinking alcohol is almost always a bad idea for brain injury survivors unless a doctor has approved of it.  Alcohol may effect a brain injury survivor more quickly, strongly or drastically than it would have effected the same individual pre-injury.  Alcohol mixes poorly with medications and can cause serious medical complications.  Furthermore, the effects of alcohol consumption (such as an inability to sustain concentration and trouble walking) may put the survivor at particular risk for another injury.

Many New Year’s parties include noise makers, loud music and large crowds of people.  Some brain injury survivors find themselves more sensitive to noises and crowds than they did previous to their injury.  Situations containing these things may cause the survivor significant agitation or distress.  If a brain injury survivor experiences these sorts of difficulties, it may be worth skipping certain celebrations, changing methods of celebration and/or formulating a plan beforehand to manage pr0blematic situations that may arise at any such celebration.

Another issue arises from the fact that people typically stay up quite late on New Year’s Eve.  Brain injury survivors generally do best to maintain a strict daily schedule.  Brain injury survivors and their loved ones should carefully consider whether risking any possible problems due to a change in schedule is worth the practice of waiting up until midnight for the new year.  Some survivors choose to celebrate New Years’ Eve a few hours early so as to be able to maintain the same sleep-wake schedule.

These are a few issues for brain injury survivors and their families to consider.  I would like to wish everyone a healthy and a happy New Year!

Learn about brain injury treatment services at the Transitional Learning Center: tlcrehab.org

Kevin Sorbo Is a Survivor

Actor Kevin Sorbo was viewed as a pillar of strength as he played the title character in the television series Hercules.  Few people know that during the same period that Sorbo was playing Hercules, in his private life he was battling to manage the fallout of three separate strokes.  As a matter of fact, Sorbo went through arduous therapy in recovery from his strokes to help ensure his full-time return to the world of acting. Kevin Sorbo shared his experiences in this fascinating article in Neurology Now:

http://journals.lww.com/neurologynow/Fulltext/2011/07050/Hidden_Hercules__Actor_Kevin_Sorbo_reveals_his.15.aspx

Learn about brain injury treatment services at the Transitional Learning Center: tlcrehab.org

Focusing on the Positive – Part 2

Brain injury survivor Michael Segal often tells a funny story about his injury.  As a teenager, Michael Segal had been shot in the head.  Years later, he was married and had a daughter.  One day he took his young daughter to a local amusement park.  They waited on the hot, sweaty summer day in line for a ride and after 45 minutes they finally made it to the front of the line.  The ride attendant then noticed Michael’s walking difficulties.  The attendant told him that the amusement park has a policy that individuals with disabilities do not have to wait in lines and get to ride twice.  He didn’t think too much of it but his little daughter looked at him and told him how glad she was that he was shot!  According to Michael, she taught him a lesson that day.  Namely, a person should keep a positive attitude.

Although the injury experience is hard, there are often some positive aspects to the resultant circumstance.  It is well worth a patient’s time to identify these positives.  Making a written list is the best way to avoid positives being forgotten later.  Here are some examples of such positives given by Transitional Learning Center patients:

Learned that my family truly loved me

Found out that my friends will stick by my side through anything

Get to use handicapped parking stickers and have the best parking at the store

The injury gave me time to review my life goals

The hospital found other health problems that I was unaware of and now I can get those problems treated

Lots of people willing to open doors for me

Able to receive accommodations to better succeed in the classroom

Can now be a role model to others in recovery

Decided to become sober

Get to use the elevator instead of the escalator at the stadium and avoid all of the   lines

Here is a link to a promotional video in which Michael Segal talks about his injury, including the aforementioned story:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNeRqpaoNpQ

Learn about brain injury treatment services at the Transitional Learning Center: tlcrehab.org 

Frankie Muniz

We usually associate having a stroke as a medical condition of older age.  However, it is possible for a younger person to have a stroke.  Frankie Muniz, the 26 year-old actor best known for starring in the sitcom Malcolm in the Middle, suffered a stroke this past Friday.  The fact that his symptoms involved difficulties in language likely indicate that it was  a left-sided stroke, as language is generally controlled by the left side of the brain.  He appears to be doing better from the initial stroke and hopefully will see a full recovery.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/12/04/frankie-muniz-suffers-mini-stroke/?intcmp=trending

Learn about brain injury treatment services at the Transitional Learning Center: tlcrehab.org 

Free Continuing Education Credit

WETA (the public television/radio station of Washington D.C.) and the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center have partnered to create a great website on brain injury,www.Brainline.org.

Brainline.org is now offering a free continuing education (CE) course called Identifying and Treating Concussion/mTBI in Service Members and Veterans.  The course offers free CE credits for members of the American Medical Association and American Academy of Physician Assistants.

Below is the link to the course:

http://www.brainlinemilitary.org/concussion_course/introduction.php

Learn about brain injury treatment services at the Transitional Learning Center: tlcrehab.org