TBI: Cheating is not a problem.

If you are a TBI person, what should you try? 

Well, everyone is a little different when it comes to brain injuries, but these are a few of my opinions that have helped me. (If you have Aphasia try to write and say, “No” or “Know.” Yep, the English language is a mess. It used to be easy to write and speak, but now the words are like a new language.)

Yes, I went to a UW Cognitive Skills Training Group: UW Medicine Department of Rehabilitation. I never went to a Psychologist, but I started to go to the UW Hospital and meet with people who were having trouble speaking, thinking, and following memories. (Dr. Dasher Ph.D was the Psychologist at the UW Hospital in my group.) The first couple weeks became difficult for me. It was like being in a dark time in some ways it was like living in Iceland durning the winter. There were very few days were I would see lights. It might be odd, but the trips to UW counseling was a light that opened my new world. I had to admit a few problems.

Each week I would take a bus ride for about an hour to the ferry, then I would ride on the ferry to Seattle, and then I would walk to the underground and ride to University of Washington. It was a full day to go there and back home.

Most people with a brain injury won’t disclose their problems. I would never admit that I was injured during a sport. If I twisted my ankle (persistently), I would assume that my injury would be back within a couple weeks. I would tape my ankle and cover it with a long sock and play games like everything was normal. I would ice my ankle each hour in a cold bucket. My assumption was that pain will work through and I will be back to my normal life. A serious brain injury does not go away like an ankle. I had to be open to a new world. That’s why it was good for me to meet with other people who had been injured.

Here’s my homework from my group.

I began connecting to UW TBI Care. The webpage on UW TBI is great. If you need help just ask using a cell phone on the webpage. I still limit myself for only doing three things a day. Write down your three things to do before you start and don’t get wrapped up in a circle. There is help for people with headaches, with discussions (Coffee Chat UW Zoom each Tuesday and an Aphasia group each month on Zoom), assistance online, and places to go within UW. 

There are books on brain injuries. If you have aphasia you can listen to most of the books on Audible. I began to listen to the Audible and I would follow the book as I read. It helped a ton. You can also get free books at a local library.

Here are three really helpful Audiobooks.

In an Instant: A Family’s Journey of Love and Healing:By: Lee WoodruffBob Woodruff

Keep Sharp How to Build a Better Brain at Any Age By: Sanjay Gupta MD

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey: Jill Bolte Taylor

One of my favorite connections was through the movie Crash Reel. I had never heard on LoveYourBrain until I watched the movie. It changed my life. The webpage is helpful, and you can connect to lots of assistance. It is like discovering a magical world.

Do I do yoga?

Yes, I have needed that, and Love Your Brain is a safe yoga connection. There are longer sections and short sections too. They are all online. 

The luckiest part was going to a Love You Brain retreat. It was five days of lifting my heart. (I’ll post it in a week.)

What strange thing have I discovered?

Listening to songs. About two years ago I couldn’t remember songs, lyrics, and albums. I was very angry about hearing a song and not being able to say part of the words in the songs. I might say words that I thought I knew, but instead I would sound like an angry Italian man. (I know zero Italy words… except parts of the two Godfather movies. The last one stunk.)

I started to find songs that I loved on Youtube.com. I guess only MTV videos are still around on the inter-webs. I started to find specific songs that have the text of the lyrics. I would play the song. Watch the lyrics and I could sing along like a crazy old man.

American Pie. Don McLean

Is this Love? Bob Marley

Roxanne The Police. Is it good to sing a song about sex worker? Um…yea, but you can just type The Police lyrics and it will give you a few options.

Singing and watching words really have helped me. Youtube can find your own favorite songs. Give it a shot and do a little singing. Go to a mall, sing, and dance your shoes off.

If you are board you could buy my short stories and read a quiet bed.

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