Welcome back. I want to share some reflections with you on a subject that is gaining international attention. Traumatic Brain Injury. Bob Woodruff, the news anchor who was injured several years ago by an IED while working in Iraq will be seen on several television programs. He and a colleague of his sustained brain injuries due to the explosion. The injury to his brain changed the life he knew forever.
When a person’s brain is injured due to an internal and /or external factor, the life they lived before the injury changes forever. The specific changes will depend on which part of their their brain sustained an injury. Each part of our brain regulates and monitors a specific functions that in turn enables our activities of daily living. Brain function depends on the health of its nerve system specific to that area of the brain. Brain injury occurs when these tiny nerve systems no longer function properly.
As by way of an illustration, I will share an awareness I had while working in the cemetery and funeral industries. I met with families and individuals on a regular basis. Interestingly, the families who had to take care of an at need loss -make the arrangements at the funeral home and then go to the cemetery to pick out a space- were more prone to making pre-arrangements through me. In contrast, I noticed that families and individuals who never had to make at need arrangements for someone they loved, had a cavalier attitude toward the idea of pre-planning.
I share this contrast with you because it illustrates a point. There may be people who watched the aforementioned programs and have sympathy for Bob Woodward and people like him who have been impacted by a traumatic brain injury. After the program, they change the channel and go on with their lives. In contrast there are people who have a loved one who has been impacted by a traumatic brain injury. The later have empathy toward brain injury survivors. They get involved in advocacy and legislation for people with brain injuries. And now to my point. To those individuals who have not been impacted by traumatic brain injury, please do not wait until someone you know and love sustains a traumatic brain injury. Get involved today.
On a national note, I am amazed that many soldiers coming back from the war in Iraq and other conflicts around the world, who sustained a brain injury have not been receiving ongoing rehabilitation services after they leave military hospitals. Some of their brain injuries are also being re-categorized as something other than a traumatic brain injury. Nevertheless, the traumatic brain injury they sustained while serving to protect our freedom, will impact both their lives and the lives of their families for many years to come. Please get involved in the advocacy for these soldiers and there families. Write your congressman, senators as well as your other elected officials and encourage them to step up to the plate and provide on going medical and rehabilitation services to those soldiers and their families. They served our country, now we should honor them!
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