General Resources


DEAR PAT:

I am searching for resources for people with brain injury who live in Canada. Any ideas?

DEAR PAT:

I am the wife of a TBI survivor. We have reached a point in our lives where the resources are gone. My husband has had rehab, counseling, therapists for cognitive functioning, etc. We are currently seeing a marriage counselor through my husband’s vocational rehabilitation case manager who is pulling services since my husband will not be employed in the near future. What resources do he have after everything else has been used? He has been seeing a psychiatrist, but they haven’t found a medication combination that works. He suffers from mood swings, cannot hold down a job, and does nothing but sit all day and play on the computer. He has suicidal tendencies and gets angry easily. Please tell me where I can find more resources.

DEAR PAT:

I am a long-term care Administrator. Our facility is attempting to deal with a 74-year-old woman with a brain tumor, which is growing and causing aggressive behavior towards other residents. I am unable to find a facility in our area of Southern Wisconsin that would be appropriate for discharge. Where can I access a list of such facilities?

DEAR PAT:

I stumbled across this site while doing research for a course I am taking towards a certification in Business Education and a certificate in Instructional Technology(Technology for Special and at Risk Populations) I am a 35 year old female who suffered a mild-moderate Traumatic Brain Injury from a very serious car accident. I spent close to 2 years feeling like I was walking in a dream, forgetting whole conversations, involuntarily dropping things, fighting the world etc. I guess you can get the picture. This happened in Fall 1995. I worked full time in computer and technical sales at the time. I was trying to do my job after the accident and realized I was just not the same. After extensive Neuropsychological testing, I knew I was brain injured. The recovery has been an adventure filled with all kinds of psychological, visual, occupational, and physical rehabilitation as well as surgery. In 1997 I attended a Business Skills program to determine what I was capable of and to possibly secure supported employment. I thank all who were there to help and support me each and every day as I struggled to find the right mix of compensatory strategy and acceptance of my disabilities (physical and sensory). In 1998 I went back to school with great anxiety to prove to myself and to everyone else that this thing was not going to lick me. What I have found out is that the type of injury I have basically slows me down but it doesn't hold me back. I must take frequent breaks while doing work and I use adaptive technology (keyboard and word-processing software). I use imagery and relaxation techniques to cope. I lead a full but different life now and in February I will be student teaching on the secondary level. My intention is to work in Special Education. I probably will never work full-time again. Ironically I am working on an Executive Summary on TBI. My questions are: Do you know of specific site with criteria for identification on TBI? Do you know where I can find information on educational interventions being used? (Obviously I can draw on what I know personally) However, I do need a reference page etc. P.S. What you are doing is great.

DEAR PAT:

I had encephalitis is May 1997, and was kicked out of my home, and forced to pay child support. Now I can't work anymore, and my wife is trying to have me put in jail for non-payment. My trial is Dec 6, with a hearing Nov 23, is there any resource I can turn to for help besides legal aid as they refused to help me in August. I am also looking for a new neuropsychiatrist in the Richmond -Charlottesville area. I take 40 mg, of Ritalin per day, and my current doctor is in Winston-Salem. Hoping for answers. Thanks.

DEAR PAT:

My grandfather recently experienced a massive hemorrhagic stroke, from which the doctors predicted that he would not survive. He was in a coma for almost two weeks and much to everyone's surprise "woke up" one day. He was transferred to an acute care traumatic brain injury cognitive rehab in New York and has made great progress. At this point, he is able to recognize family and friends, nod yes or no to questions and even attempt to speak. He needs cognitive, physical, occupational and speech therapy. He is going to be discharged from the acute care facility and we were advised to find a long-term care traumatic brain injury certified facility to have him transferred to. I have done some exploring for facilities in New York and New Jersey but seem to have hit roadblocks with each potential facility I find. Is there a resource I can use for a listing of appropriate and available facilities in the area. Thank you very much for your help.

DEAR PAT:

I have a niece, 18 years old, who lives in Cali, Colombia. Last October she was in a very bad car accident, and was in a coma for over 2 months. She woke up 4 weeks ago. Her recovery so far has been extraordinary, she can walk with help, can talk, and understand things pretty well, she has no short memory, and has some tremors in the left hand and head, she takes medication for it. I was very glad to see your site as I will e-mail my sister so she can access it too. A question I have is this, In Colombia they have no access to any rehabilitation centers or programs as we do in the States. She has been told to come to the States for further help. (She received physical therapy, and they have consulted with various specialists.) All recommend for her to come here. Because they don't have insurance, all have to be pay by cash, my sister is not rich, but the prizes for the services in the States are astronomical. Do you know of any organization, or entity that could help with some financial assistance? I want to thank you for the help you have given and the amount of information this web site offers.

Pat's Comments:

For those of you seeking information on brain injury and the resources in your state, contact your state Brain Injury Association. If you cannot find it in the telephone book, contact the national Brain Injury Association, Inc., 105 North Alfred Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314. Telephone: (703) 236-6000. Internet: http://www.biausa.org


 

To the Parent looking for TBI professionals in Nebraska. Pat doesn’t have anyone specific in mind. You might try contacting the Psychology Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for names of therapists or neuropsychologists. Locating a hospital that treats brain injury could help you locate a neurologist or physiatrist. Also, following is information for the Brain Injury Association of Nebraska. They probably have a list of resources in your state.

 

Brain Injury Association of NEBRASKA
President: Kathy Feldman
Co-Executive Directors: Jan Kauffman & Sharon Auld
PO Box 124
Gothenburg, NE 69138
UPS PACKAGES: 1108 Avenue H, Gothenburg, NE 69138
Phone: (308) 537-7875 or (308)-537-7663
In State: 1-888-642-4137 
Fax: (308)-537-7663 >> Please Call First!
E-Mail: bi13135@navix.net
Web Site: http://www.biausa.org/Nebraska/bia.htm


 

Pat thought the readers might enjoy this letter from a TBI Survivor and an "Ask Pat" fan!
(P.S. Pat just loves fan mail!)

DEAR PAT:
I understand that you know everything I need to know and what you don't know isn't worth knowing! My compliments to you for good advice couched in delightful banter. I am a survivor of a very severe TBI who has been blessed with considerable recovery. Persistence and integrity coupled with education and a sense of humor get me through. I also owe a tremendous debt to family, friends, and mentors (it took a while to find the right ones). Be an educated consumer; there are good doctors and there are not so good doctors, shop around for a genuine one - credentials are important, but not a substitute for compassion. Support groups can be an immense source of information and help; be sure it is well facilitated, focused, and viable. The BIA (Pat’s note: BIA = Brain Injury Association) is great! You/I/we are different, just like everybody else - TBI sequelae make you more unique, not diminished. In many cases, TBI doesn't affect IQ to the same degree as it does EQ (emotional intelligence); find alternative ways/coping skills to make up the difference (I'm still working hard on that one 35 years later). Be a skeptical optimist in exploring new information, therapies, and rehabilitation techniques - 1,000 years ago, everyone KNEW the earth was the center of the universe; 500 years ago, everyone KNEW the earth was flat; 100 years ago, the medical profession KNEW malaria was caused by vapors; imagine what they'll know tomorrow.


 

Here's another email from one of Pat's fans!

DEAR PAT:
Pat, I suffered a closed head injury five years ago. I am now studying speech pathology and plan to work with TBI victims. Although I do not have a question, I do want to say that you are right on the money on so much of your advice. I think it's great that you take the time to help people find an answer to so many questions. Because of people like you I beat the odds and have even been accepted to grad school five years after being told I would not return to college. Thanks for believing in us and taking the time to show the way. R.C.M

DEAR PAT:

My husband and I were discussing a segment we saw on 60 Minutes (within the last year or so) about a treatment to head/brain injury (I believe closed head trauma) administered immediately following the trauma - the doctor was from a New York hospital I believe. If I recall correctly, the treatment was opposite from what was traditionally administered in the first 24 or 48 hours following the trauma; immediate reduction of the swelling was not encouraged . . . We would like the name of the doctor and the treatment. Can you recommend how to find out which hospital performs this treatment? Anyway, sketchy info - any help would be appreciated.

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