Recently, I was speaking with an acquaintance about our jobs. He is a young, bright family physician. The young physician explained to me how those patients he treats with brain injuries have all suffered mild brain injuries. He then proceeded to give a list of some of the more common symptoms that his patients experience. His description of the symptoms of mild brain injuries was well-informed and accurate. I mentioned how I treat patients with moderate to severe brain injuries. The young physician stated that there is not much one can do for patients who have such serious brain injuries. On this point, he was sadly misinformed. I explained to him that the terms “mild,” “moderate” and “severe” simply refer to the initial status conferred by the seriousness of brain injury incurred and not to a persisting state of being; having that injury as a starting point in no way condemns a patient to that as end result. I told him about several TLC patients who were quite successful following rehabilitation, including patients who went on to graduate from college after completing treatment at TLC. He clearly took in the information and hopefully has adjusted his outlook as a result of our brief interaction.
This interaction led me to have other thoughts. Here is a well-educated, skilled and obviously competent doctor who still lacked a sufficiently comprehensive understanding of brain injury. How much more so then must such a deficiency in understanding persist in the general populace? How many people in the general public harbor demonstrably false ideas about brain injuries? The desire to educate the public on brain injury is one of the principal reasons this blog was created. Moreover, every article, news story and conversation about brain injury which we share helps to educate individuals outside of the brain injury treatment world about brain injury. We need to let the general public know that a brain injury is not the end of someone’s life but it is rather one more of myriad forks in the road encountered while navigating life’s path. It is important for the general public to understand that despite significant difficulties, an individual with a brain injury can still lead a successful life. All would benefit from the general public learning to see more clearly the human truth behind the facade of injury.
Learn about brain injury treatment services at the Transitional Learning Center! Visit us at: http://tlcrehab.org/