During your busy day, do you think about all that your brain does to get you through it? It controls everything you say, feel, and do. Through your brain, you experience emotion. It keeps you alive through breathing, circulation and digestion. It controls your hormones, and the immune system. It’s responsible for your urges, ideas and the way you think, even the reason why on some occasions, you don’t think, but act instead.
This incredible organ of soft tissue, weighing less than three pounds contained in our skull is largely taken for granted. Yet it functions as a primary receiver, organizer, and distributor of all information for the body. We usually don’t think about all the brain does, until an injury occurs or malfunctions.
Washington, DC reports every 11 seconds someone in the US sustains a brain injury.
There are two basic types of brain injury:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is caused by an external force, a blow or jolt to the head. Common causes include motor vehicle crashes, falls, sports injuries, assaults and gunshot wound to the head. Injuries range from mild concussions to severe permanent brain damage.
Acquired brain injury (ABI) is caused by internal factors, such as a lack of oxygen supply due to near drowning or heart attack. It can also include infectious diseases, a brain tumor, exposure to toxins, aneurysm or stroke. The brain injury will range from mild to severe.
Remember you only get one brain. Unlike the liver, kidney or heart, no human brain transplant has ever been done. Your brain can’t be replaced like a hip, knee or shoulder. Nor fixed like a broken bone.
Since 1991, we enjoy many friendships of all types of brain injured people with varying degrees of damage. We gain valuable information through meeting with others in like situations. I’m grateful for the people we meet in our support groups. Their encouragement helps me meet our challenges. The experience and knowledge shared is both beneficial and uplifting.
My hope for this newsletter is to share information about organizations which help people with a brain injury and their caregivers. I’ve included information relating to epilepsy because TBI and ABI can cause epilepsy. My husband, Mark had his first seizure seven years after the car accident. He was diagnosed with epilepsy as a result of his brain injury.
In case it’s impossible for you to get out, or you don’t live in this area, I’ve also included links to useful and inspiring websites.
If you have an activity, announcements or other information you’d like shared in this newsletter, please add them in the comments or email.
FREE SUPPORT GROUPS FOR STROKE AND BRAIN INJURY SURVIVORS AND CAREGIVERS
March 5, 2020 – Utah Valley Aphasia Choir meets at 6-6:45pm on the 1st Thursday of the month, prior to the support group at the BYU Speech and Language Clinic. It’s for all brain injury, and stroke survivors, caregivers, family, and friends. Come and enjoy the power of music and friendship together. Everyone interested is welcome to join.
March 5, 2020 – Utah Valley Brain Injury Support Group meets at 7-8:30 p.m. on the 1st Thursday monthly at the BYU Speech and Language Clinic, Room #177. Address: 1190 North 900 East, Provo, UT 84060. Join us for an Adaptive Yoga Night, taught by Abigail Atkinson. For questions email email@example.com or call (801)422-9132.
March 10, 2020 – Brain Injury Alliance Support Group for Adults, 6-8 p.m. meets every 2nd Tuesday monthly at Sanderson Community Deaf Center, 5709 South 1500 West, SLC, UT 84123. This social group is for caregivers and survivors. Come join us for dinner and games. Bring your favorite dessert to share if you’d like. For more information, please call Jennifer (801)386-2195, or Beth (801)585-5511.
March 19, 2020 – IMC Caregivers and Survivors Education and Support Groups, meets at 7 – 8 p.m. every 3rd Thursday monthly at Intermountain Medical Center, 5171 S. Cottonwood St., Murray, UT 84107, building 1. This month survivors & caregivers willmeet together on the 9th floor Neuroscience Conference Room. Natalie Caldwell, MS,CCC-SLP is presenting Ground Rules for Communication with Those You Love. For more information, please call (801)314-2086 or email Emily Redd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 24, 2020 – University of Utah Brain Injury Support Group meets at 6:15 – 7:15 p.m. every 4th Tuesday monthly at Sugarhouse Health Center, 1280 E. Stringham Avenue, 3rd floor conference room, SLC, UT 84106. This month they are hosting Molli Baker from Molli Dogs, a service dog training academy. She will be talking about therapy, emotional support, and service animals. For more information please call (801)581-2221 or email Kelsi.Schiltz@hsc.utah.edu.
FREE WEEKLY GROUPS INTERMOUNTAIN HEALTH CARE NEURO THERAPY in Murray, Utah
Aphasia Talking Practice Group – Meets every Tuesday, Noon-1 p.m. at 5770 South 250 East #G50
Meditation Group – Meets every Wednesday, 3 p.m. at 5770 South 250 East Cafeteria Conference Room
Adaptive Yoga – Meets every Wednesday, 4 p.m. at 5770 South 250 East, Gym
Cognitive Skills Group – Meets every Thursday Noon-1 p.m. at 5770 South 250 East #G50
Contact: Emily Redd at Emily.email@example.com
FREE EPILEPSY SUPPORT GROUPS FOR THOSE EFFECTED BY SEIZURES
Together we share coping strategies, provide encouragement, comfort and advice from people with common experiences.
For more information contact Margo at (801)455-6089 or Utah@efa
March 11, 2020 – Provo Epilepsy Group for All, meets at 7:00 – 8:15 pm on the 2nd Wednesday at the Provo City Library, 555 N. University Ave., Provo, UT.
March 12, 2020 – IMC Epilepsy Group for All, meets at 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. on the 2nd Thursday at the Intermountain Medical Center, 5171 S. Cottonwood St., Murray, UT Bldg. 6, 1st floor – CR2 in the Doty Education Center.
March 18, 2020 – SLC Epilepsy Group for All, meets at 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. on the 3rd Wednesday at the SLC Main Library 200 E. 400 S., SLC, UT (3rd floor conference room).
http://www.caregiver.org (online webinars for caregivers)
http://www.braininjury.com (medical, legal, information resource)
http://www.abta.org (brain tumor education and information)
http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/tbi (brain injury facts, programs, education)
http://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/all-disorders (education for brain injury, stroke and other neurological disorders)
http://www.msktc.org/tbi (TBI Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center) national leaders in TBI research and patient care.
http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Resources-Support (resource for those with MS)
http://www.epilepsy.com/utah and/or http://www.epilepsy.com (seizure education and support by state or national)
https://biau.org (resource for those with brain injury)
http://www.brainline.org (preventing, treating and living with TBI)
http://www.uilc.org (Utah Independent Living Center is a resource center which enhances independence of persons with disabilities)
ACTIVITIES TO DO WEBSITES:
https://store.usgs.gov/access-pass (free pass to National Parks & Federal Land Agency areas)
https://twilightinsight.wordpress.com/hobbies/hobbies-or-healing-the-brain/tbi-and-selecting-a-hobby (select a hobby – ideas especially for TBI survivors)
(wheelchair accessible trails in Utah)
wasatchadaptivesports.org (Wasatch Adaptive Sports)
http://www.discovernac.org (National Ability Center)
https://healthcare.utah.edu/rehab/support-services/trails.php (University of Utah TRAILS Program)
https://www.meetup.com (meet up groups)
http://www.brainline.org/abbymaslin (blog about loving and learning after TBI)
https://www.loveyourbrain.com (Kevin Pearce’s nonprofit organization that improves the quality of life of people affected by traumatic brain injury)
Two of my favorite websites. What are yours?
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