BY: JEAN OOSTROM
As I write this, it’s been one day and 19 years since my journey of living with my ‘new brain’ after a stroke began.
19 years may seem like a long time, but as the years have passed, I have made a conscious decision to be content with my level of recovery. I’ve been open to new ideas to help my recovery along further.
During recovery, I believe it is important to separate the trauma from the reactions to the trauma. I believe this is true for both the brain injured person and the people who care for that person.
I think few people have the type of compassion needed to see beyond the reactions to the trauma and recognize the person behind the injury. It takes compassion to ignore the roller coaster of emotions attached to that place where the damaged brain has had enough and recognize the brain injured person for who they are.
The people who care for the brain injured person hold the key to recovery, especially at the beginning.
It is almost impossible for the brain injured person to verbalize what is happening to their damaged brain. Only with the passage of time can a level of understanding be reached by asking questions, doing research and never giving up on your recovery.
The science of neuroplasticity is now being used in the treatment of all types of brain trauma so finally science has caught up.
The 19th anniversary of my brain trauma has come and gone, but it is really the day-to-day adjustments that have made the difference in my recovery: showing up with determination, recognizing when my damaged brain has had enough, being in open communication with the people who care for me during those dark and lonely times and, most of all, never giving up on my recovery.
So I’m looking forward Recovery Year 20, and what new recovery options are on the horizon.
This Brain Injury Awareness Month, Jean shared her story with us, check it out below:
Jean Oostrom is the creator of New Brain Living as a place where people with brain injuries and the people who care for them can find answers. New Brain Living started out as a project to make some sense of her own brain injury in 1997, and now is making a difference for many brain injured people and the people who care for them.
Jean has coined herself “the voice for the brain injured person” and provides information “from the brain injured point of view” so people can find answers as they “learn to live with their new brains” after all types of brain trauma.
The following recovery options are available at the New Brain Living website www.newbrainliving.com
5 Answers to New Brain Living – The First Step to Learning to Live With Your New Brain
New Brain Living Book
New Brain Living Blog