I had written a draft post earlier this week about what I would have wanted to know after my injury that I was struggling with. Then some things came up that grabbed my attention. It occurred to me this morning that perhaps the best thing I could do was let that draft post sit and eventually it will come to me how to say it.
I wanted to post the following statement that a new friend wrote about me for my website because it introduces my advocacy well. In fact helping others with their journey to recovery, one-on-one, has taught me alot about what people need to hear following a concussion.
Here’s what my friend wrote:
“I first met Anne several years ago when she moved back to Austin and joined
the church where I am a member. Anne is smart and outgoing and she became
an instant friend. When I learned more of Anne’s story, I was even more amazed
by who she is as a person. Several months ago, our nephew had a serious closed
brain injury. Anne was one of the first people I called. She was a wealth of good
information and she shared numerous helpful resources. However, what I most
appreciated about our conversation that night were her encouraging words and
positive outlook and her emphasis on hope. Our nephew thankfully is well on the
way to a full recovery. I am grateful for Anne’s friendship;and I am especially thankful
for her continued sharing of her gifts and experiences researching and working with closed brain injury patients.”
– Martha Richardson
Martha had called me because her nephew had had a concussion during a bike accident. She told me that the family was concerned by what they had heard from the MD whom they saw. They heard that there was a 50/50 chance that their nephew might be permanently disabled by the concussion after two years. I was hearing what had been said third hand. So I don’t know what was actually said. I do know what they heard and how much it concerned them.
And, I knew that I wasn’t hearing about any recommended treatment. In listening to survivors and family, I know that its often missing.
When I probed about it, I heard that the patient and family hadn’t been told about what treatment would be helpful NOW to improve the odds that the patient would get better and wouldn’t be disabled two years from now.
I know firsthand the importance of early treatment for concussion. I didn’t get what I needed early on. I will always wish I had. So I gave advice to my friend based on my experience. I suggested to her that the family might want to get a second opinion with one of the doctors and/or programs that have helped me here in Austin.
It makes me feel good to hear that my friend’s loved one is “well on his way to recovery” having followed my advice.
And, there are two other resources that I always tell people they should consider further for information:
The information line and website at the Brain Injury Association of America:
The second one is a book call “The Brain That Changes Itself” By Norman Doidge. This is a tremendous book on neuroplasticity our brain’s ability to rewire and grow.