With the help of a grant from the Spalding Community Foundation, the Brain Injury Survivor Series (SS) is being revived by the Brain Injury Hope Foundation (BIHF) to help TBI and post-traumatic stress victims thrive as they recover from their injuries.
“Building a community is the reason we brought this series back,” said Joanne Cohen, Vice-Presidentof the Brain Injury Hope Foundation. “Building a sense of community, a sense of belongingness, sharing ideas/networking, having a meal together”—this is our purpose and our passion.
The Brain Injury (BI) Survivor Series (SS) features sixinteractive luncheons at Rocky Mountain Human Services in Denver. The first luncheon, “Successful Survivor Panel: Living with a TBI,” which was held January 12, 2018, featured four TBI survivors who overcame their injuries to lead successful lives and move from “surviving” to ““thriving.”
“Expect recovery,” said Kevin Pettit, a minister and congregational consultant for Faith4All in Boulder. “Be gentle with yourself when you make mistakes, but don’t let yourself off the hook. You CAN do better – We all can do better. And laugh. Find things to laugh at.”
“Yes, have a sense of humor,” added Karen Hardison, a retired family therapist and social worker. “And be flexible. I have my whole day planned out, but you have to be flexible to take time for yourself when you feel overwhelmed. I go down to my gal cave, in the dark, and meditate.”
“You are going to have peaks and valleys,” said Bill Tassey, who is an Education and BI rehab. “Diet and exercise help prevent cognitive fatigue. And know yourself and how you feel. I’m a morning person, so I make sure I do things in the morning before I become fatigued. Know when you function at your highest.”
Barb Minden, a physical therapist and President/co-owner of O.T.Plus, said sleep is No. 1. “Absolutely, sleep is your first priority,” she said. “At least six hours but more like eight or nine hours. Work with sleep hygiene. Figure that out first.”
Sleep hygiene includes:
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol four to six hours before bedtime.
- Limit computer, cellphone exposure before bedtime.
- Establish a routine, such as reading, writing in gratitude journal.
- Cover up blue light that comes from cable boxes, clocks, etc.
- Twelve Simple Tips to Improve Your Sleep
Other tips from the panel included staying organized, being positive, learning to meditate and utilizing therapies that worked for them from neurofeedback to hyperbaric chambers to acupuncture and massage–and remember nothing works for everyone. It’s a trial and error process, what my work for the person next to you may not work for you.”
So keep working on getting better, don’t beat yourself up and laugh as you find your new path to thriving and surviving. And participate in a group that gives you a sense of belonging, such as joining us for the BI Luncheon Survivor Series.
Written by: Eliza Marie Somers
Series Schedule:February 9: Getting Hit, Getting Up and Moving Beyond –13 Keys to Re-empowerment for Survivors of TBI
March 9: Disclosure
April 13: Brain Injury Treatment Panel
May 11: Beyond Surviving: Fatigue & Energy Management
June 8: Brain Foods & Nutrition Tips for TBI Survivors – Eat to Thrive
July, TBD A new session, Brain Injury Treatment Panel #2, will be added with an additional sponsor, to be announced in the next blog.
Each luncheon is Noon-2:30 p.m. held at:
Rocky Mountain Human Services
9900 E. Iliff Ave, Denver 80231
via email firstname.lastname@example.org
720-389-0670 Ext. 2
Brain Injury Hope Foundation
6732 West Coal Mine Ave.