Tis’ the season. We all know what this time of year means – gifts, shopping, crowds, and parties. There is a lot of hustle and bustle, chaos and stress. For those of us without a brain injury, this time of year can be extremely difficult and painful. Knowing that there are so many things to do and so many places to go – with high expectations – it can be a recipe for a meltdown, even for the best of us.
Now add in a brain that does not do well when there is stress and expectations, noise and pressure.
How do you make it through this time of year with a brain injury added to the mix?
Keep the Peace
There is nothing more important during this time of rushing and loud noises than ensuring that people with brain injuries have enough down time away from the chaos. Crowds, groups of people, noise (even happy holiday noises like music and carols) all drain out energy that the brain needs to process information. As the brain loses energy, the ability to concentrate, recall information and process details becomes less precise, and the ability to control emotions becomes difficult.
There is a lot of temptation for many families living with someone with a brain injury to forgo any holiday parties or events because of the risk of fatigue and emotional upset. Although there is always a risk of emotional difficulties, setting the stage before an event with plenty of rest, a plan for the event with breaks if possible, and knowing the signs of fatigue are all ways that will help everyone have a good time.
Even the best laid plans can come crashing down around you. Planning, organizing and preparing cannot account for some of the things that happen that we have no control over: screaming children, flat tires, burned food or a family fight. Each of these has the potential to bring an angry outburst, a headache, or the desire to flee – and sometimes, as a family, we need to understand that we may just have to accept that the party is over.
Try to make plans that will be fun for family and friends, but will give individuals living with a brain injury the best chance of enjoying themselves. Reduce the amount of guests to smaller groups if possible; keep music down low, and ask friends and family to keep conversations at lower volumes. If the party is in the evening, allow the individual to have some rest time in the afternoon before the event to recharge that brain battery, and if they need a break or to rest, have an available room that they could lie down, or a place they can go to get away for a short period of time if needed.
Understand that sometimes all of the planning in the world cannot make the perfect holiday party, but by using some of the strategies above you can improve the chances that individuals living with a brain injury can enjoy the festivities with everyone else. Many individuals feel isolated due to their injury, and if family and friends are aware of some of the triggers that can impact someone, they can plan their events with support available.
Happy Holidays everyone.
For more information about brain injury recovery and an ongoing blog about family trauma after a brain injury visit Lisabeth Mackall on Facebook at Mackall Family Journey, or at her website http://www.LisabethMackall.com
1. ) Listen and follow the health professionals trained to help you, the doctors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, counselors, … There is an enourmous body of knowledge available to these professions from helping injured people as you and I .Whatever you do the first year after injury is SO important. Listen.
2.) Keep the weight off. Lesson Learned. It makes a significant difference not only in the speed and effectiveness of your recovery but as you age , it can prevent serious issues . You also will be safer.
3.) Stretch and exercise almost daily . If you need a break, just stretch one day like Sundays. In the begining after injury, you will optimize recovery as much is possible. As the years pass, you don’t want to decline in health nor movement and your safety. So strectch ;legs, arms , torso, mid section, and exercise your mind too even with simple brain games, Mazes, crosswords, puzzles, brain entrainment MP3s or CDs with emphasis on increasing focus and concentration.
4.) I found that heat daily helped me immensely. Individuals would want to check with their doctor first of course. For me ,it was heavenly, in a gym , the jacuzzi, hot water spa with jets or the sauna and even the steam room .
5.) Water. Movement in the swimming pool can be miraculous. Even just swinging arms and walkling but if you can kick your legs by holding on to the side of the pool or even swim , it can be rejuvanating for movement, energy and make this a LIFELONG HABIT.
I am speaking from my own personal experience. Others will need to consult with their own physicians and therapists of course.My own head injury and recovery, well documented and besdides this site with a collection of helpful articles from professionals and even a few of my own…I also can be read in the self improvement arena as you can find me on selfgrowth.com, where I’m now the mind power expert with mind brain health and success articles , [Click Here to read my bio on self growth, a new window will open] ,
OK, let me summarize briefly my condition of my brain health and how well I’ve recovered. I know everyone is affected differently and I’ve been blessed in my recovery. ( my hemiparesis success story) .
Anyway, It wasnt right away but a couple years after , i was tested with a simple game that checks brain agility, memory, concentration, even brain speed and determines your brain age. Turns out , It said my brain was was close to 70 (I was in my 20s at the time) but the computed calculated my brain age based on slow reaction, slow thinking, inability to speak clearly, and of course solving simple problems or puzzles.
But my age at that time was 40 + years younger. But let me tell you, I was coming up with correct answers but I couldnt vocalize quickly nor move the pen accurately, so while there was a huge issue with cognitive processing, even the connection between mind and hand , eye etc was not there. Of course , I was using my good side to move the stylus . No way could I uee my weak side at the time. I mean I can use it for grasping large objects but just not the fine dexterity like the good side or should I just say better side as the tips of all my fingers just dont have the sensitivity they used to.
But first let me showe you how I went from 70 tol 30 in brain age. I optimized every aspect of brain health and improvement I could access of course butr simple brain games helped immensely. YOu can statr by getting easy puzzles even at the grocery store. I think I statred out with large mazes for little kids, I mean preschool puzzles, really.
After awhile I progressed and found that there had been a game played on Nintendo ds that was benefitting people of all ages but especiall aging adults who needed to keep their brain health, speed, memory, concentration, more of course.
So I figure, what could it hurt? I could get aggravatyed if I could do anything but my one hand wasnt too bad , so I got a nintendo and Brain Age. I got mine at Walmart but they are all around.
Heres a ;link to Amazon where you can get a good deal and even get used ones if they are in stock/
The new drug, MW151 and MW189, is expected to reduce inflammation in the brain. Neuroinflammation is increasingly believed to play a major role in the diseases of Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and dementia as well as brain injuries and strokes. Besides preventing the development of these neurological diseases, it is believed it will reduce the neurological damage caused by closed head traumatic injuries and strokes especially if introduced within a certain time period.
These two drugs are believed to prevent the damaging overproduction of brain proteins which contribute to the development of degenerative neurological diseases as well as the neurological damage caused by brain injuries and strokes. Studies indicate that it will protect against the damage associated with learning and memory deficiencies as well as other cognitive impairments.
The therapy time window, however, is considered critical. A Study indicated the best time for the drug to be given someone with a brain injury or stroke is three to six hours following the injury. By doing so, it could possibly prevent future problems such as cognitive impairments or the risk of epileptic seizures.
Studies have shown that by giving the drug, a pill taken orally, before symptoms become readily apparent, in the case of Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s or Multiple Sclerosis, may be a promising therapeutic strategy for these neurodegenerative diseases. It is considered to be a preventative drug when given during the early stages of a neurological disease before the disease progresses. If taken in the early to middle stages, it will help to reduce inflammation.
The first human Phase I clinical trial has been done on the drug and it has been found to be safe in humans. They are now waiting for funding to begin further clinical trials. Those working with the drug feel that it will best be used in combination with current therapies targeting neurodegenerative disorders, brain injuries and strokes.
The body has proven itself to have great repair mechanisms if given a chance. If a pill can control, prevent or reduce cognitive impairments, then the body has a chance to rebuild itself. This healing process can be done when obstacles have been removed from the body and mind. But it can also heal with determination and sometimes just because that’s what the body does. But with neurodegenerative diseases, etc. extra help with this drug will go a long way in warding off these debilitating diseases and eliminating the devastating results of head injuries.
It is thought that this drug will help many people in their fight against these neurodegenerative diseases, brain injuries and strokes saving many sufferers and families from hopelessness and despair.
Ms. Behnish has published a non-fiction book entitled ‘Rollercoaster Ride With Brain Injury (For Loved Ones)’ a book about the first difficult year following an injury, ‘His Sins’, a three generation family saga about the effect of the actions of one person on future generations, and ‘Life’s Chalenges, A Short Story Collection’ including twenty-one stories.
She has also had numerous articles published in magazines, newspapers and online on the subjects of brain injury, family issues, motivational topics and travel.
… start doing something to rejuvenate and enhance your brainpower. Start by taking adequate sleep and rest. You should also ensure that you eat foods that are known to help boost your mind. Furthermore, you need to take supplements that contain ingredients that are known to help counter the effects of aging of both your body and mind.
Below are mind-enhancing ingredients that you should look for in your supplement for a stronger and healthier brain:
Since time immemorial, Asians have been using Ginkgo Biloba to help enhance their brainpower. The leaves of Ginkgo Biloba, which is considered as a Tree of Life in some ancient civilizations, are effective in helping improve flow of blood to the brain.
You can eat a couple of raw leaves of Ginkgo to reap its wonderful brain-boosting and stroke-preventing benefits. However, if there are no Ginkgo trees in your neighborhood, you can always look for supplements that contain a substantial amount of this plant.
Acetyl L-carnitine is a type of amino acid that is needed to produce acetylcholine, which is the neurotransmitter in the brain that is in charge of learning and memory functions. This ingredient is also popular nowadays because it helps improve a person’s metabolism. Many scientific studies have confirmed that L-carnitine is very helpful in repairing brain cells and preventing the development of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other brain-related problems. In fact, some say that this amino acid can greatly help in reversing the damage in the brain brought about by stress, aging, and other factors. Good sources of acetyl l-carnitine include avocado, red meat and dairy products.
Many supplements for brain health make use of vinpocetine as one of the main ingredients because of its ability to help open up cerebral blood vessels. You see, your brain needs oxygen from the blood. If the blood vessels in your brain are constricted or blocked, your brain will not function at its peak because of the lack of oxygen. Thus, vinpocetine is very helpful in ensuring that the blood vessels that bring oxygenated blood to your brain is wide open and not constricted. Based on research, vinpocetine is the most effective memory booster so far.
The primary role of phosphotidyl serine is to develop the communication of brain cells with each other. Furthermore this ingredient is also known to assist cell growth regulation, to get cells ready for activity and to help special receptors to function properly and efficiently. In short, phospotidyl serine is a very effective brainpower booster. In fact, this supplement, which has no known side effects to date, also counteract memory loss.
Everybody knows that vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is helpful in fighting infection-causing microorganisms and improving immune system. However, not many are aware that this antioxidant is also an important brain aid because of its role in cell regeneration. Actually, a study conducted by Texas Women’s University found that vitamin C helps raise IQ scores of school children.
Since there are so many brain supplements and products that claim to help make your mind and memory sharper and more acute, you need to be very careful in choosing what you will take for your own brain to deal with your forgetfulness, memory lapses, and other cognitive difficulties. It is advisable that you choose a brain -boosting supplement that contains majority of the ingredients enumerated above. Neurovar is one of the mind-enhancing supplements that contain all of the helpful ingredients mentioned above. Know more about this product by visiting http://www.Neurovar.com
Sharon Bell is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the premiere online news magazine http://www.healthnfitnesszone.com
Brain Supercharger Recommended for Mental Focus, Optimizing Brain Functioning and Memory with extremely high quality with Phosphatidyl
Serine, Acetyl L-Carnitine, DHA powder,Ginkgo Biloba
Extrac, Choline and Inositol.[Click Here]
PS. Brain Supplements recommended from admin
“Fish is a food for your brain” is an old belief. But nowadays fish is very polluted with mercury and dangerous substances, so I will not recommend fish for consumption. Instead, I suggest to eat fish oil for your brain health It has fats which contain DocasaHexanenoic Acid and is beneficial for the brain and acts as a protective layer.
A majority of our brain is made up of fat and that fat is either DocasaHexanenoic Acid or Arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid is found in unprocessed dairy products like butter and DocasaHexanenoic Acid is found only in fish and not in any other plant or vegetation.
It is very important to use a fish oil which is exceptionally good and has good reputation. I have done research and have inerviews, evidence with patients, which shows the following trends.
1. Liquid form of fish oil is far better than capsules.
2. Not all brands are good
3. Carlson’s brand is the best and purest of all existing brands today.
It may not be the only brand that is exceptionally good, but till now I have come across many and have found that carlson’s brand is the best as far as fish or cod liver oil is concerned. You can find this brand at Mercola.com or at any health store near your house.
Nothing can ever match the nutritions that pure vegetables can provide us. Alzheimer’s has been known to occur because of deficiency of folic acid (green vegetables are very rich with it). Similarly, there are many other elements, antioxidants and phytochemicals that vegetables provide us with and can help us in keeping our brains sharp.
The easiest way to eat enough of vegetables is to prepare vegetable juice on a regular basis.
But the type of your metabolism is a key factor to decide what all you need to consume. For example, if you are a protein metabolic type, you need not eat vegetables. You can have half of what is usually recommended. That is for a protein type adult, one can eat half a pound of vegetable and this will be sufficient.
If you are a protein type of guy your diet should consist of low potassium vegetables like beans. Lettuces and the usual diet like collard greens have high potassium content and may cause biochemical imbalance. Also, if you have a metabolic type you also don’t need much vegetable juice consumption. A carbohydrate metabolic type wil beneft if he consumes more vegetables like collard greens, kale, Swiss chard etc. These are very much not suggested for the protein types.
I do recommend organic food if you want to get the most nutritious input, but if you cannot afford to buy them, don’t give up eating vegetables altogether. Eating vegetables in any form, organic or not is good and better not have them in your ration at all.
The best source for high quality nutrition is raw whole egg. It is also very much affordable by all. It is especially for those who are protein deficient. You may face some difficulty initially to eat them, but you will greatly improve your health, if you eat raw egg. Boiled or cooked eggs will not result in the same, so the lesser you cook the egg the more nutrition you will consume.
Mindfulness is one technique of meditating. Other meditation styles are Shamatha, Vipassana and Zazen. Mindfulness meditation is based on ancient Buddhist techniques which focus on breathing, emotions or any type of body sensation rather than letting the mind wander. It can reduce blood pressure, increase attention spans and reduce stress.
Those who meditate, researchers have found, have larger brains. Since our brains shrink naturally from aging, meditation could well slow this progress. Meditation helps all areas of the brain so those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury would greatly benefit from it as well. Meditation, it is also believed, can slow down the onset of various types of dementias.
According to research, there are many benefits to doing regular meditation besides the ones mentioned above. It can also help people stay focused, can boost feelings of happiness, contentment and well-being. Mindfulness meditation is also thought to help post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). And it is linked to metabolish, brain activation, blood pressure and stress and pain reduction. Meditation tunes out self-centered thinking and it is thought that it may re-wire the brain and provide cognitive benefits. Again, for this reason it makes it especially good for those who have suffered a traumatic or acquired brain injury.
Meditation cultivates positive emotions, emotional stability, better focus and control, reduced levels of stress, mindful behavior and it bolsters the immune system. It also helps to reduce the symptoms of compulsive disorder and helps with chronic anxiety and depression.
Meditation requires deep concentration. For those who practice Mindfulness meditation, it opens their awareness to present bodily sensations, i.e.: their breathing, the beat of their heart, their thoughts and their emotions. Mindfulness meditation calms and nourishes the brain while it increases the blood flow to the brain.
The technique of Mindfulness meditation is being aware of present thoughts and actions but anchoring yourself to perhaps your breathing. This is to be aware of each breath as you breathe in and out, aware of the length of each breath and aware of your body as a whole. It will encompass feelings of a calming of your body with each breath in and out that you take. If your mind wanders, bring it gently back to your breathing technique or whatever other bodily sensation you are focusing on.
In this fast-paced world, we all would like to reduce the stress in our lives and have a feeling of serenity and calmness surrounding us.
Meditation therefore, points to the many benefits, as mentioned above, as well as the importance of helping people as they age and those who have suffered brain injuries.
Sylvia Behnish has written numerous articles relating to family issues, motivational topics, entertaining, travel and brain injuries. For more information on any of these topics, go to her site listed below. She has recently published her first non-fiction book entitled “Rollercoaster Ride With Brain Injury (For Loved Ones)” and her first fiction novel entitled “His Sins”, a three generation family saga.
Either of the above books can be ordered by e-mail at the following blog:
A serious head injury nearly always used to mean long term difficulties, impact on employment and care problems. However, over the years there have been significant developments and improvements as regards head injury treatment, meaning that a head injury accident victim may well make a full recovery now in cases where that would not have been possible in the past. Advances in medical treatment methods have been substantial, but in addition to this the legal and insurance industries have worked together to improve the recovery. It is in both parties interests to gain the best recovery possible. The lawyer wants his client to make as full a recovery as possible, and for the insurance company if this happens then ultimately the amount of compensation that they will have to pay out will be reduced as the issues of long term care and lack of employment can be reduced or even removed. It is the combined effort of all parties that has seen real strides forward as regards to head injury treatment.
The largest group of sufferers of head injuries are young people with in the region of 7,500 suffering head injuries every year in the United Kingdom. Fortunately, the majority of these injuries are minor, although even these can lead to some long term complications. Road traffic accidents are the largest cause of the injuries, although work accidents and accidents on the streets also play their part.
Initial assessment might not reveal any significant problems, but over a period of time long-term effects can develop, such as post traumatic epilepsy or hydrocephalus which is where fluid collects around the brain. This can lead to changes in the accident victim’s behaviour, lack of concentration and even depression.
Once the initial care has been commenced an accident victim will usually approach a specialist head injury claims solicitor to help them investigate a claim for compensation. Once the solicitor has investigated the circumstances of the accident and satisfied himself that the victim has good prospects of making a successful claim, the first thing he will look to do is to engage the services of a Case Manager to manage the rehabilitation. This person is usually a former Nurse, and is often appointed jointly by the victim’s solicitor and the insurance company defending the compensation claim.
The Case Manager will assess the treatment already received and also investigate other future treatment that may be available. They will work with the head injury victim to ensure that all is done to improve their prospects of making as full a recovery as possible, including career retraining if necessary. They will also assess the house of the victim, and arrange for any modifications to the house that need to be made. In severe cases, the victim may need to be re-housed completely, with the insurance company paying the costs of this re-housing. Counselling may also be needed.
If the victim is unable to return to work despite receiving all of the head injury treatment that has been recommended, the solicitor will seek payments for the lost earnings to ensure that they can continue to live as normal a life as possible and to avoid unnecessary financial hardship.
Although it may take months or years, the chances of a complete or near complete recovery these days are far better than they used to be. Early medical and legal intervention is vital to ensure the best prospects of recovery. If you have noticed a change in behaviour of a partner, friend or family member following an impact to the head, you must refer them back for treatment as soon as possible. This will provide them with the best chances of making a recovery.
Nicholas Jervis is a personal injury solicitor (non-practising) and a director of 1stClaims, a Personal Injury Claims company which connects innocent personal injury and medical negligence victims with expert personal injury and medical negligence solicitors at no cost to the individual.