Friday, July 1, 2016 6 Comments
There’s ALWAYS Hope
The Ghost in My Brain: How a Concussion Stole My Life
and How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Helped Me Get It Back
© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Don’t Miss this Post!
If you (or those you love) are struggling with the results of a physical or blast-related TBI, acquired brain injury, stroke, problems with balance, life-long attentional challenges, learning disorders, sensory defensiveness, MS . . .
If you have been to numerous doctors and failed to respond completely to what you have been told is every available therapy or intervention . . .
If you have ever wondered if you will ever find a way to function with the ease that the rest of the world seems to be able to take for granted . . .
Take the time to read this short post and listen to the video embedded.
Trust me on this – just read and listen.
When Life Changes Overnight
“You know outside we look pretty much the same,
and if we’re not taxing our brains,
we can even interact in a pretty normal way.
But inside, in so many hundreds of small ways,
we have just been completely changed.”
~ Clark Elliott, author of The Ghost in My Brain
One fateful day in 1999, on his way to teach a class at DePaul University, Ph.D. Clark Elliott’s car was rear-ended while he was waiting for the stoplight to turn green.
It seemed like such a minor injury at the time — but there was nothing minor about his resulting concussion.
Suddenly, everything was different.
Once a cutting-edge professor with a teaching/research career in artificial intelligence, he rapidly found himself struggling to get through the most basic of activities, almost every single day for the next eight years.
The world no longer made sense in many ways. At times he couldn’t walk across a room, get out of a chair, unlock his office door, or even name his five children. In addition to his problems with cognition, he had balance problems and debilitating headaches that would stop only when he applied a bag of ice while sitting in a bathtub of cold water.
He learned that he had to be extremely careful with resource allocation:
- How much of what kind of mental tasks he could attempt to do each day;
- How long he could sustain energy on cognitive struggles, and for how many times; and
- How much simple walking and standing before he could no longer expect his brain to sustain communication with his body well enough for him to remain upright.
Feeling like an alien in his own skin, he sought treatment after treatment from doctor after doctor. One specialist after another told him that they weren’t even sure exactly what was wrong with him – his brain scans didn’t look that bad.
They all seemed to have come to the same conclusion: there was nothing more to be done but to learn to live with it. Things might improve a bit more over time, he was told, but he could never expect to recover fully from this kind of damage. Nobody ever has.
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