6 tips for adjusting to life after a brain injury

Most victims of brain injury and members of their family face a gamut of new and unfamiliar challenges on the road to recovery. Knowing how to navigate life and how to deal with the challenges recovery presents can be unbelievingly challenging. To help victims of brain injury Brainline developed a guide for adjusting to life after brain injury.

1. Redefine success

When your life changes after a brain injury it is likely your definition of success will also need to change. Comparing yourself and your progress to how you performed before your injury can be very limiting. Focusing on what you can do and how you can improve can help you change your definition of success. Explore ways you can be successful and set standards for yourself. No matter what state you are in you can improve yourself, enjoy relationships and live a meaningful life.

2. Ask for help

Asking for help can he a surprisingly difficult task. The fear of seeming like a burden or being turned away often stifles us from trying to get the help we need. But everybody needs help at some point or another. Don’t let a situation become a crisis before asking for help, and make sure to return a favour and thank those who have helped you.

3. Be kind to yourself

Immediately after a brain injury you begin your road to recovery. Taking time to heal and respecting the fact that your body needs time to mend itself mentally, physically and emotionally is very important. Being hard on yourself right now will only make things more difficult on you and those around you. Instead try to be kind and compassionate to yourself taking into consideration where you are in your recovery journey.

4. Set manageable goals

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the hurdles ahead of you in your recovery. To manage this, break down the large goals in your recovery into small reasonable steps—ones you can do day-to-day to accomplish those bigger goals. Focusing on what you can do today and tomorrow can make the prospects of achieving big goals much less daunting. Even beyond recovery, breaking down your life goals in the same way can make them more manageable to achieve.

5. Create a support system

Social interaction is extremely important for recovery. After a brain injury receiving support and understanding is extremely comforting and helps stave off feelings of loneliness. Reconnecting with friends who have become distant after your brain injury, helping those in your circle of friends and family, as always showing care is important to maintain those relationships. If you don’t feel like those around you are able to understand what you are going through perhaps consider joining a support group to meet people who have similar experiences.

6. Practice patience

Patience is an essential skill to have while recovering from a brain injury. You will likely need to be persistent over time to reach recovery, but it can be difficult to keep your cool when faced with a difficult journey to get there. When you feel yourself losing your cool or becoming frustrated find a way to take a step back and relax yourself, whether that’s taking a deep breath or repeating an affirmation. Find what works for you.

Navigating the road to recovery after a brain injury can be difficult. We help brain injury victims during recovery as a part of the Circle of Care.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

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Do I have a concussion?

How to check and know what to do next.

Summer is a great time to be outside soaking up the warm weather and playing sports.

Picking up your favourite game like soccer or football can be great fun, but the fast pace and contact (intentional or unintentional) in these sports means it can be easy to get an injury while playing. A heading mishap or a bad hit could leave you with a concussion.

Reframe Health Lab, an educational health care resource has a guide to help guide you in knowing whether you’ve had a concussion and what to do next:

Concussions:

Concussions are a traumatic brain injury where the brain moves rapidly within the skull, causing bruising. They can be caused by a number of things, from falls to blows, and are followed by symptoms that can affect your physical abilities, thought abilities, emotions, and ability to sleep.

You can have suffered a concussion even if you didn’t lose consciousness, didn’t get a direct hit to the head and didn’t feel symptoms immediately. Getting hit elsewhere on your body can still shake your head and it can take up to 48 hours for symptoms to appear.

Signs and Symptoms:

There are a wide range of symptoms you should look for after a suspected concussion.

Physical symptoms can include headache, pressure in the head, neck pain, nausea/vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision, balance problems, sensitivity to light/noise, fatigue, drowsiness and trouble falling asleep.

There are also mental and emotional symptoms of a concussion including feeling slowed down, feeling in a fog, not feeling right, difficulty concentrating, difficulty remembering, confusion, being more emotional, irritability, sadness and nervousness/anxiousness.

Immediate Steps:

If you suspect you have a concussion you should immediately remove yourself from the game and rest.

If you experience a sudden change in symptoms or have severe headache/neck pain, repeated vomiting, seizure, slurred speech, confusion or unresponsiveness you need to go to the ER immediately because there may be a more serious problem that requires immediate attention.

However, even if you don’t have a sudden change in symptoms it’s a good idea to get a baseline assessment and general advice from a medical professional.

Going forward it’s important to take it easy by limiting stimulation, taking time off of work or school and using a diary to track what you do and how it feels. You can gradually build your activities back to what they were but being honest about how you feel is important as others cannot see that you have a concussion.

Fast dial #1000 free from your cell and we’ll get you the support you need.

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Summer Sports: How to Avoid Concussions on the Field

In today’s technologically driven society, the amount of time the average person spends outdoors has dramatically decreased. Children are foregoing playing games around the neighbourhood in favour of playing games on their iPads, and adults would rather count their steps with a fitness tracker than go for a Bluetooth-free stroll in the park. While the weather restricts people’s ability to spend quality time outdoors for many months of the year, summertime is when everything changes.

Summer sports leagues are hugely popular, and despite all the tempting technology out there, they remain one of the top ways for individuals to get fresh air and exercise. However, many outdoor sports pose the risk of concussions, and many individuals are not properly educated on what this means.

So what Exactly is a Concussion?

Think of your brain as gelatin. When you shake gelatin on a plate, it jiggles quite easily. However, the brain is a sensitive organ, and when you hit your head hard enough, your brain can physically move around the inside of your skull.

When this happens, a concussion can occur. These traumatic brain injuries are far more common than most people think, and can have devastating effects on the lives of sufferers. While they are mostly temporary, concussive effects can include headaches, memory problems, and concentration, balance, and coordination issues. Although most people recover fully from concussions, a person who has suffered multiple concussions, such as an athlete, may not.

Sports-related Concussions

Any blow to the head can induce a concussion, and that is why athletes must take great caution when participating in sports. For women, soccer players experience the highest risk, at a 50% chance of occurrence. For men, football is the sport that has the highest risk of concussion – at 75%. Due to the startling fact that 47% of athletes report no symptoms after experiencing a concussion, it is imperative that you check in with your body if you fear a concussive blow may have struck you.

Once an athlete has experienced their first concussion, the likelihood of sustaining another one doubles. Concussion reoccurrence is very common, in fact, if an athlete has had two concussions, they are 2-4 times more likely to sustain a third. Furthermore, if an athlete has experienced three concussions, they are 3-9 times more likely to experience a fourth. Each concussion leaves the brain more sensitive to future injury, and that is why preventative measures must be taken to avoid potentially permanent damage.

Minimize your Risk

Before hitting the field, ensure that you are aware of these effective strategies for minimizing your risk of sustaining a concussion:

  • Replace any old protective equipment with new gear. For example, if your helmet has fallen on the floor or been hit by another object, it needs to be tossed out for a new one, as helmets lose their effectiveness once they have suffered a blow.
  • Avoid head bumping the ball at all costs.
  • Sportsmanship is honourable. Don’t be overly aggressive because you may wind up hurt. In fact, 78% of sports-related concussions are sustained during games, when competitive rivalry is kicked into high gear.

Summer sports leagues provide the ideal opportunity for individuals to get outside and enjoy the warm weather. By educating yourself and implementing these preventative measures, you can participate in your favourite sports concussion-free.

Fast dial #1000 free from your cell and we’ll get you the support you need.

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