Every Year 288,000 People Are Hospitalized For Traumatic Brain Injuries Every Year In The US!
With so many Traumatic Brain Injuries or TBIs occurring in the general population, it is only natural to ask the question what can we do if we or someone we love is struck down? Well, the good news is that while it has long been believed patients cannot recover from a TBI, especially a serious one, there are some actions you can take to both manage, and in many cases, improve your prognosis. All you need to do is keep reading to find out what they are.
TBIs occur in several ways. The first is when a foreign object penetrates the brain tissues such as a piece of skull, or a bullet. While the second is when the body or head suffers a violent blow.
TBIs can be classified as mild or serious. Mild TBI can cause temporary symptoms, while serious TBI tends to result in more extensive, and longer-lasting symptoms and can even be fatal.
As well as knowing the basics about TBIs it can also be helpful to stay up to date with the scientific research around the diagnosis and treatment of the condition. Indeed, this knowledge can support you as you navigate the healthcare system and your recovery.
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Of course, some patients will find themselves so impacted by their TBI that reading and digesting complex medical papers on the subject will not be possible. In those cases, a loved one or close acquaintance that is advocating on their behalf can research these areas for them.
Getting good treatment in a timely fashion is critical when it comes to treating a TBI. Yet one of the biggest concerns for patients and their loved ones is the cost of such treatment. Of course, providing for such a crisis in advance by investing in comprehensive medical insurance is the best idea.
Although it is worth remembering if the situation that caused the TBI was not your fault, such as a car accident or an accident at work, you may be able to work with a capable legal team to secure the compensation that will cover your medical bills. Indeed by working with an expert in the incident you have suffered like a car accident lawyer you can increase your chances of not only getting access to compensation for the medical costs you have experienced, but also for other financial impacts such as loss of earnings, and emotional distress. All of which can help you get the very best treatment and put you in the best position to begin rebuilding your life.
Studies have shown that one of the best things you can do if you have a TBI learns the skill of meditation. Put simply meditation is a process where you practice bringing your attention to a specific focus. The focus can be a sensation in the body such as the breath, visual stimuli like a candle flame, or even a sound like a gong.
The purpose of practicing meditation is that you can build up your ability to focus on the things you choose. This is useful for those with TBIs because it can help enhance their cognitive skills, as well as rebuild (or make ) new synapses and pathways in the brain.
Additionally, meditation is a great way to practice non-judgment of the thoughts and emotions that go through our minds and bodies, which means it can be useful in helping those with a TBI deal with many of the psychological effects they may experience.
One of the most amazing things about brains is that they are plastic. That is they can continue to change and make new connections as we age, and even after a serious injury. However, to create the right environment for this neuroplasticity to happen, our brains will need lots and lots of rest.
How Much Rest is Enough Rest After a TBI?
That means you may find yourself needing a nap during the day, along with a longer time in bed during the night. You may also find yourself needing rest after doing certain tasks, especially ones that require the use of higher cognitive functions such as socializing.
The key thing to remember here is that this increased need for rest is just your body’s way of giving your brain the space it needs to repair itself. With that in mind, it's best not to fight this increased need and make room for it in your life where possible. (Although if you are concerned, speaking to your medical team is advisable.)
Another thing that can help a great deal when someone has suffered a TBI is reminding them that they are not alone. Indeed TBO can feel very isolating, especially if they cause personality changes or other major life changes. Yet, several support groups bring those that experience TBIs together to share their experience and offer each other support.
Brain Trauma Patient Support Group Meeting
Many are run online over Zoom these days, so are easily accessible for those that would otherwise be prevented from attending by mobility or anxiety issues. Contact charities such as the Brain Trauma Foundation and the Brain Injury Association of America to see what kinds of groups they are offering in your location.
While it may seem like working hard to combat your symptoms is the most logical approach, it can make things much more difficult than they need to be. There are two reasons for this, first of all, it can be exhausting to try and mask symptoms all the time, and this combined with the increased need for rest that many TBI patients experience can leave very little energy or time for anything else in life.
Additionally, when you put a lot of time and effort into masking your TBI symptoms it can be very hard for those around you, including your medical team to get a realistic sense of how you are coping. In turn, this can lead to delays in getting the medication, equipment, and other support you need to live a meaningful life.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Incidence and Distribution, 2014.