Ending this month with an important reminder:
We love our community.
It’s because of our community spirit, that we thrive and journey together to live our healthiest lives possible.
We know what problems need to be solved.
In other words, we know best.
The illustration below tells our story.
Old friends, thank you for your friendship, support, and care.
New friends, welcome! We cordially invite you to join our community. Engaging with this very website is the perfect way to start!
All friends, old and new, you are important to our community.
I think most people have probably heard a version of that quote: what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I always thought I knew what the author of that quote meant by it, but not being a famous philosopher, maybe I don’t really get his actual meaning.
Yet, here’s what it means to me:
I don’t feel angry or bitter or sorry for myself.
When I experience a setback, I get back up and keep on fighting; the battle isn’t over until I win it.
I accept my condition as inescapable and constantly find ways to work around it or through it.
I consider myself a survivor and not a victim.
I hold my head up high, no matter what the challenge is.
I don’t wallow in self-pity and don’t accept pity from others.
I hold myself to a high standard and do everything within my current limitations to meet that standard; when I’m complimented on something I’ve done, I say this: I don’t expect anything less of myself.
I focus on my strengths and don’t dwell on my weaknesses.
I believe in myself, no matter what. I have total faith in myself.
I don’t allow my brain injury to rule my life or define who or what I am.
I show my strength in trying to do all that (and more) every day. My main superhero power is hanging in there and hanging on, no matter what.
So coming through a major stroke made me stronger, and even more so than I would have thought possible. Maybe I could call myself the Amazing TBI-Man, master of whatever life throws at me, more powerful than a severe traumatic brain injury.
I already have a costume; jeans, a T-shirt and sneakers.
But I’m not fighting this fight alone. I don’t know you, but if you’re a TBI survivor you no doubt are stronger too. Maybe we can all form a superhero team. The only membership requirement is to feel your own strength and celebrate it every day.
Let’s fight the good fight together, and let’s win it together.
|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 doesn’t mind it at all if someone offers to pick up his restaurant tab and, also, welcomes reader comments. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more articles by Isaac here; https://www.brainenergysupportteam.org/archives/tag/isaac-peterson|
We know a brain injury dramatically impacts both an individual and their family. Whether it’s for the short term or for a lifetime a brain injury changes our lives in both visible and invisible ways. Now, research is showing that the COVID-19 has significant neurological consequences for the majority of those recovering from the virus.
Because of this increased need for brain injury outreach, peer support, and family education, BEST created the BEST COVID-19 Impact Fund to provide assistance for individuals and brain injury support groups in Washington State.
UC San Diego Health neurointensivist Dr. Navaz Karanjia outlines three ways by which COVID can attack the nervous system:
- “One, by direct viral invasion, coming through the bloodstream or by infecting the nerves in the nose — the olfactory nerves — that are attached to the brain and crawling along them to the brain.
- Two, by the body creating antibodies that attack the brain and nervous system.
- And three, by causing systemic inflammation to the other organs and blood vessels that can cause blood clots to form all over the body, that may get shot up through the heart to the brain, or that may form in the brain itself.”
A small study published in the New England Journal of Medicine documented neurological symptoms in a group of COVID-19 patients. Symptoms ranged from cognitive difficulties to confusion. All were identified as signs of encephalopathy, a trend that researchers in Wuhan had noticed in coronavirus patients in China in February 2020.
In April a study conducted in China found that strokes, altered consciousness, and other neurological issues were evident in approximately 36% of COVID-19 cases. These symptoms also appeared in patients without typical COVID symptoms such as fever, respretory issues, or headaches.
A study out of Spain that was published in July studied patients between 1 March and 20 April regardless of whether or not they manifested typical symptoms. The research team found that 73% of patients with COVID-19 had cerebral ischaemia; a condition in which there is insufficient blood flow to the brain to meet metabolic demand, leading to poor oxygen supply or cerebral hypoxia and thus leads to the death of brain tissue or cerebral infarction / ischemic stroke.
The need for emotional and educational support for individuals and families navigating brain injury after fighting the devastating and long-term affects of the COVID virus is critical. Without funding support groups cannot do the outreach, provide technical support, virtual meetings, and more. In Washington State BEST has been at the forefront of peer support, education, and advocacy for the brain injury community.
We know from many years of experience that support groups, in particular, allow people with brain injury and their families to meet others who are in similar situations, gain valuable emotional support from one another, form friendships, obtain information and resources, and hear speakers discuss a variety of brain injury topics.
Unfortunately, brain injury support groups were one of the first activities in early March to shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In-person support groups continue to be postponed and canceled throughout Washington at a time when they are needed most.
BUT YOU CAN HELP! Your contribution ensures that individuals and families have a connection with support groups and the BEST resources available as we all navigate COVID-19 and the social and economic impact of this pandemic.
Our goal is to provide virtual support groups, online video meetings, events, webinars, resources, and valuable facilitator training just like we have been doing since March. But the truth is we cannot keep doing this valuable work without your help.
Help us meet the need by contributing to the BEST COVID-19 Impact Fund. This fund was created by the Brain Energy Support Team to provide COVID-19 assistance for individuals and brain injury support groups in Washington State.
Funding is critical to the brain injury community and BEST support as we work to restart, reopen, and help our community to heal and rebuild.