The Anatomy of a Brain Injury by Mark Palmer

21
Dec

The anatomy of a brain injury describes the actions and reactions of the ecosystem

 

 

 

INJURY SURGERY / COMA HOSPITAL REHAB HOME LIFE EVER AFTER: A CHOICE
PATIENT Probably unaware or unable to participate Probably unaware or unable to participate Confused, as if in a dream. Embarrassed; no privacy. Afraid, powerless, vulnerable. humiliated, angry. Hopeful, validated. Somebody is worse. Learning more each day. Feelings of “why me?” Angry. Disengaged. Estranged from self. Socially isolated. A burden to self and others. Susceptible to negative comments. Worried. Can’t fulfill obligations. Purposeless. Angry. ACCEPT: Adapt, learn to live with your new self, become self-sufficient, be the BEST you can be.


EXIST: Wishing for the past


NOT ACCEPT: Give up. Isolated, angry, depressed, dependent, suicidal.

FAMILY Fearful, sympathetic, concerned, angry. Fearful, overwhelmed. Physically/emotionally drained. What will happen next? In limbo. Shifts in familial roles. Angry. Relief: “out of the woods.” Exhausted, dealing with insurance;, financial strain. Intense emotions. Monitoring doctors to ensure quality care. Juggling responsibilities. Angry. Empathetic. Keeping track of progress. Making critical decisions. Facing financial strain. Working double-duty to fulfill family obligations. Angry. Disappointed. Want things the way they were. Overly controlling and protective. Still facing financial strain. Angry. ACCEPT: Move forward. Continue to be supportive.


EXIST: Wishing for the past


NOT ACCEPT: Anger. Disassociation. Divorce.

FRIENDS Fearful, nervous, sympathetic, concerned. Sympathetic, fearful, concerned. Relief: “out of the woods.” Supportive, bringing gifts and food. Check in occasionally. Moving on with their lives. Visits dwindle. Feel uncomfortable, guilty. ACCEPT: Move forward. Continue to be supportive.


EXIST: Wishing for the past


NOT ACCEPT: Most move on and disappear.

STRANGERS Sympathetic, scared, nervous. Sympathetic, scared, nervous. Sympathetic, scared, nervous. Sympathetic, scared, nervous. Misunderstand, stare, judge, feel superior. Sometimes offended by what is perceived as inappropriate behavior. Not available to form new friendships. Misunderstand, stare, judge, feel superior. Sometimes offended by what is perceived as inappropriate behavior. Not available to form new friendships.
CAREGIVERS Care. Care. Care. Care. Bond in the image of a new caring “relationship” Supportive, yet highlight patient’s lack of independence Reactive
DOCTORS Care. Care. Focused on success, doing all they can do. Reactive Reactive Reactive 
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