Thank you so much for your questions and topics!
Speaking of topics, I received two important topics from our BEST friend, Sue P. She suggested covering the topics of fatigue and brain injury and migraine and brain injury.
Thank you, Sue, for the great suggestions!
Because the of the amount of links and the size of the topic, I decided it would be best to cover the information in an article instead of a short video, and break up the suggestions in two parts.
Today, I’ll cover fatigue and brain injury, and in an upcoming article (coming soon), I’ll cover migraine and brain injury.
Fatigue and Brain Injury
Fatigue is defined as:
Extreme tiredness, typically resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.
Fatigue can be seriously impactful for brain injury survivors.
It’s no wonder it fatigue is one of the top concerns for survivors.
Neuro-fatigue is one of the most common and constant issues that brain injury survivors face. Neuro-fatigue is defined as a profound lack of energy in engaging in daily life activities, communicating and/or socializing with others; difficulty staying aroused and awake; and decreased alertness. This kind of fatigue can have significant impacts to people’s overall well-being and health.
So, how do you navigate fatigue (and neuro-fatigue)? What are some tips to manage?
Here are some resources and links to offer some insight.
Writer, stroke survivor and BEST guest blog contributor, Isaac Peterson, has written some terrific articles about fatigue and brain injury. Click on the article titles below to check them out.
Following are additional resources.
Click here for a good TBI fact sheet on fatigue (and what to do about it).
Our BEST friends at Headway in the United Kingdom have a great page on fatigue and brain injury which consists of videos, information and resources. Click here to view.
I’ll conclude here, as there is a lot of information to take in.
How do you manage fatigue issues? What resources would you like to share with the community?
Words. Pictures. Video. Virtual Platforms.
BEST Online Resources are at the ready! Here’s your guide to getting started.
At the Brain Energy Support Team (BEST), sharing our personal stories and journeys are important to us. Finding the words and putting those words to the keyboard or to paper, makes a difference, not only for us as individuals, but to us as a brain injury community as a whole.
Here’s a list of writers and links that we think are just the BEST. We encourage you to read and share their words.
Isaac Peterson: Isaac Peterson is a journalist, public speaker, instructor and stroke survivor in Washington State. Isaac has penned a number of poignant, powerful and clever articles right here on the BEST blog. Click here to see a catalog of his blog work.
Michelle Munt: Michelle Munt is a writer and survivor from the United Kingdom that has become one of our favorite BEST social media friends and supporters. Her honest and thoughtful writing has touched the lives of many in the brain injury community and beyond. Her blog is at jumbledbrain.com.
Debbie Hampton: Is having the best brain possible, possible? According to writer, blogger and author, Debbie Hampton, the answer to that question is a resounding, yes! Hampton is the creator, writer and moderator of The BEST Brain Possible, a comprehensive website of resources, strategies, tips and information about brain health and overall wellness. Hampton, a brain injury survivor and mental health and wellness advocate, has shared her own personal story and her journey forward to healing and happiness.
Rod Rawls: Rod Rawls is the creator, writer, blogger and moderator of A Changing World: How One TBI Survivor and One Family Caregiver is Trying To Keep Up . Rod sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a motorcycle accident several years ago. In his writing, he documents his journey forward after brain injury and offers tips and strategies for fellow survivors and caregivers. He is also a caregiver himself for a close family member and offers his words and wisdom on caregiving, too.
The Caregiver Warrior (Susanne White): Susanne White (Caregiver Warrior) is a caregiver, caregiving and caregiver advocate and supporter, writer, blogger, and podcaster. For additional caregiver and caregiving resources, tips, strategies, and inspiration, visit her website at caregiverwarrior.com and on social media on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.
Dr. Jannine Krause: Dr. Krause is a doctor of naturopathic medicine, an acupuncturist and podcast host dedicated to empowering people to take charge of their own health. Her unique approach is simplifying natural medicine and healthy habit formation. She believes that health starts with what we eat, how we move and how well we manage stress. She wants to help prevent little health issues from becoming big ones down the road. Click here to read her BEST blog article exclusives. Learn more about Dr. Krause here.
Marc Macialek: Marc Macialek survived a traumatic brain injury in spring 2012. After struggling to find good resources to help with his recovery, he was able to connect with a doctor who gave him tools to make the most of his recovery. Now he works to help survivors and caregivers find the resources to make the most to survive and thrive through the recovery journey. You can find more of his writings at his site recoveringfromtbi.com.
Jeff Sebell: BEST friend, Jeff Sebell, penned the highly acclaimed and groundbreaking book, Learning to Live with Yourself after Brain Injury, which was released in August of 2014. He also writes a blog at TBISurvivor.com.
Evie (Redefining Normal): Evie is a Dutch blogger who is the creator of the blog, Redefining Normal (Finding a New Normal, Living with a Brain Injury). Follow Evie as she lives life, tries new things and tackles new challenges. A terrific read!
Maggie DePuye-Phillips: Maggie is a caregiver/care partner for a disabled veteran with a TBI/PTSD. Maggie is passionate about caregiver issues and is an advocate for veterans and individuals with disabilities. She is also a BEST guest blogger who pens articles on caregiving.
Kirsten Short: Kirsten she suffered a concussion in February of 2017. However, she manages to stay positive despite her post-concussion symptoms, chronic migraines and visual snow. When not working on her rehabilitation, Kirsten takes full advantage of her good hours by advocating for brain injury survivors and their families; this is a new passion of hers. You can read more about her story on her blog: Concussions and Lawn Chairs.
Pics and Video:
Visit the BEST YouTube channel to check out our video collection. Click here to view. Here you’ll find educational video, slideshows, and other material. Enjoy!
BEST has created a virtual presence for reaching out to those with brain injury and their caregivers. BEST hosts a variety of social events, small group discussions, workshops, and skills training. Our goal in Second Life is to support those with brain injury engage in alternative and meaningful learning and PEER support. Our office can be found on Etopia Island in Second Life.
Click here to get started. It’s free and all are welcome!
More resources and activities
Looking for a terrific library of brain injury awareness and caregiver articles? Try these sites (click on the words below to view):
Our wonderful BEST friend, the Tacoma Art Museum has a terrific at-home program right online. By clicking here, you can view exhibits, learn about art, get art resources, and create your own DIY project.
Looking to do some more art museum tours? Click here for a few of the most iconic (and free) virtual art museum tours in the world.
Looking for the ultimate staycation, where you can travel the world virtually? Click here to do just that.
Enjoy poetry? Our BEST friend, brain injury support group facilitator and instructor, Jennifer McCarthy, shared her poetry for a special poetry challenge at her college, Big Bend Community College in Washington State. Check out the beautiful virtual book of poetry the school is putting together by clicking here.
Virtual field trips are a great way to learn and have fun! From theme parks to zoos, take a trip from the comfort of home by clicking here.
Listen to a book. Click here to learn more about libraries of free audio books.
Love listening and/or watching musical or theatrical performances? Check out this article by clicking here for some great links and ideas on just that.
Move and Breathe:
The Love Your Brain Foundation has free yoga videos to check out. Click here to view.
Interested in meditation? Click here to learn about beginning mediation classes that are online and free.
Check out self-care programming from spas, including virtual spa retreats, as well as yoga and wellness programs by clicking here.
So, we will leave it here for now. We know there’s a lot to digest here.
Have additional ideas? Share them by email with BEST Communication Manager, Kim Thompson at email@example.com as we are going to continue to expand this guide or create additional guides in the future. Thank you!
(Editor’s note: Writer and stroke survivor, Isaac Peterson, pays tribute to two important family members that he credits for his strength to manage his brain injury. Read on for his special tribute. KT)
That’s a tough one to answer, but I just realized part of the answer: I was raised to be tough, at least mentally and psychologically.
The credit for that part of my makeup has to go to my mother and father, Mary and Isaac (my father was Isaac Peterson II, making me Isaac III).
Let me tell you a little about them.
My parents were both born and raised in the deep south, my mother in Mississippi, and my father in Alabama. They met somehow when they were very young and eventually married. It was the only marriage for both of them.
Times were tough.
Dad struggled to barely make a living and ended up enlisting in the Air Force and made it his career. When I came along, I inherited his name (obviously) and his promise that I would have a better quality life than he’d had.
We lived on Air Force bases around the country. My folks were stationed on an air base in South Dakota when I was born and we eventually landed at Francis E. Warren Air Force base near Cheyenne when I was eight years old and never transferred, which explains why I grew up in Wyoming.
Okay, now for the main event.
My father was a tall, powerful man and a tough taskmaster, being military and all. His plan for me was to get top grades, attend the Air Force Academy and come out as a big deal Air Force officer. He did his best to get me tough enough for a career in the military and tried to get me physically strong. But he also wanted me to be mentally and academically strong as well so I could follow in his footsteps, but rise to a higher rank than he had.
He was tough all the way around.
I did do well in school, and my father rode hard on me to make sure I stayed on the path to acceptance at the Air Force Academy. He went as far as to come and sit in on my class sometimes when I was in elementary school, and in the evening go over my lessons from that day. I didn’t need that, as I loved school, but he insisted on it.
I never went into the military, though, and that was the cause of many serious arguments between us. I wonder if he ever knew that the way he raised me gave me the confidence and courage to stand up and be myself, even with him.
I’m still that way–a stroke lost a disagreement with me.
My mom was the emotional anchor in my family, and was tough in that way. She also bore seven children. I was the oldest.
But obviously I could never be that tough.
My mother was in and out of the hospital when I was growing up, but I still to this day have no idea why, because she never talked about it and never complained about it.
Mom once had a heart attack, but I didn’t know for years (partly because I was living in Minnesota at the time, my mother still in Wyoming).
She also survived thyroid cancer, which I also didn’t know about at the time.
My mother never complained, never felt sorry for herself, and didn’t want anybody else to feel sorry for her.
My father suffered a number of physical problems, the most serious being a liver problem. And I likewise had no idea until he passed away.
So I think that’s where I got what it took to make it through a major stroke and the resultant traumatic brain injury (TBI) and not let it hold me back or keep me down.
Doctors told me they guessed I had survived a stroke that would have killed many other people, in part, because I was in very good physical shape. A couple of doctors told me they thought I was mentally tough—my primary doctor told me I have an uncommonly strong will, and that he thought that was another factor in my survival and recovery (still in progress), and on some level I just wasn’t going to just let go.
Thank you, Dad.
I believe I got the emotional strength from the example my mother set. I have never been one to complain about a stroke I had even once, or to feel sorry for myself about it or my TBI. My mother is proud of what I’ve since done, especially proud of the relative success of my contributions to this blog, which many other people have told me has helped them get through their own struggle with traumatic brain injury.
In a way, it’s almost like my whole life was in preparation for the time I’d need to have what it takes to survive.
And I don’t think I could have done it without my mother and my father.
Isaac Peterson grew up on an Air Force base near Cheyenne, Wyoming. After graduating from the University of Wyoming, he embarked on a career as an award-winning investigative journalist and as a semi-professional musician in the Twin Cities, the place he called home on and off for 35 years. He also doesn’t mind it at all if someone offers to pick up his restaurant tab. Peterson also welcomes reader comments. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) was recently honored by Feedspot.com for having one of the top 30 brain injury blogs internationally.
From the Feedspot website:
The Best Traumatic Brain Injury blogs from thousands of Traumatic Brain Injury blogs in our index using search and social metrics. We’ve carefully selected these websites because they are actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high-quality information.
We also want to offer shout out to everyone on the list. There are so many tremendous writers who make a difference with their words each and every day to our community and beyond.
And extra special superhero thanks to all of our BEST guest bloggers and BEST blog readers and social media followers. We appreciate your support, conversations, engagement and shares. You are all the BEST!
Special thanks to writer Isaac Peterson for his many contributions and passion for being a BEST blog contributor. We appreciate you for sharing your wisdom and words.