Monthly Archives: November 2012

Originally posted on Inside the Mind of a Grand Prix champion:
“Let us not be defined by the limits that hold, tie us down, but rather by the opportunities, bright ones that lie ahead.” – craig

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Originally posted on Craig's Books:
“After climbing a great hill, one finds there are many more hills to climb.” – Nelson Mandela

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The “Hidden Handicap – the Silent Epidemic”

Subnitter’s Note
The following piece is from information that I’ve researched and collected over the past twenty-five years. Some of the writings are words from my own experiences and much material from sources unknown (some of which has been re-written and re-phrased by me). I am sharing this information in the spirit of promoting greater awareness of head (or brain) injury, as well as helping and hopefully encouraging “victims of the hidden ‘handicap’” to realise their full potentials and be all that they are capable of achieving, being and becoming.
Craig Lock
October 2005
*

Some introductory comments re the title of this article

* because it can’t be seen and brain /head damaged people look perfectly “normal” (what’s that!).

NB: NO, I don’t necessarily see it, this label as a ‘handicap’, but rather as an opportunity for personal growth.

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed* of an equal or greater benefit.”
– Napoleon Hill (in his great book ‘Think and Grow Rich’)

* this should perhaps read “rather the POTENTIAL seed” in cases of head (brain) damage

“Just because a brain has been damaged, does NOT necessarily have to affect the human mind…and so the quality and height of our thoughts!”
*
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“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed* of an equal or greater benefit.” — Napoleon Hill (in his great book ‘Think and Grow Rich’) * this should perhaps read “rather the POTENTIAL seed”  in cases of … Continue reading

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LIVING WITH HEAD INJURY: What It Feels Like to Have A Head Injury?

Even specialists, like neuro-surgeons will find it difficult to assess a patient’s prognosis (and their capacity) immediately following an accident, because the brain is such a sensitive area (and it depends which area has been damaged).. It is virtually impossible to ascertain the level they will reach in life, because every individual is so different. Also many subtle yet significant cognitive difficulties may only become apparent with time. However, the degree of a loved family member’s recovery will largely depend on their attitude and degree of motivation.. I believe simple, helpful and especially loving encouragement is the best support you can offer, as my parents did in a very traumatic time for all.

Hang in there in the dark times with faith and things WILL get better

Be happy too

craig

“In the midst of darkness, light exists”

– Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

I “worked” on this article at 5 am (my best time!)…but my “window of opportunity” seems to be getting smaller!

“It’s always darkest before the dawn.”

“Let’s not what we can’t do stop us from doing what we CAN do…best!”
-me
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The Lasting Effects from Blows to the Head (Concussion)

Article Summary: The brain damage sustained after a concussion is not always immediately apparent…and the effects can be long lasting A blow to the head that knocks a person unconscious can result in widespread loss of brain tissue …and this is why some people who suffer head injuries are never quite the same.

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“Compare it (your head) to a jelly in a bowl. The bowl is the skull – a strong, protective container – and the jelly (the brain) is nestled within. The skull is able to withstand many types of blows; but the brain is vulnerable to sudden swirling or rotating movements. Shake the bowl and see what happens to the jelly.”

– Don Mackie, Emergency Specialist, Hutt Hospital, Wellington, New Zealand

Different mental abilities are located in different parts of the brain, so a head injury can damage some, but not necessarily all, skills such as speed of thought, memory, understanding, concentration, solving problems and using language. The cognitive effects of a brain injury affect the way a person thinks, learns and remembers. Brain damage leads to difficulty in making decisions, processing information quickly, problem solving and especially coming up with different solutions in a pressured environment of stress. (So I most like writing and “dealing with people” in a relaxed environment!).

The more severe the injury, the more brain tissue is lost. “There is more damage and it is more widespread than we had expected,” said Dr Brian Levine of the Rotman Research Institute and the University of Toronto, whose new study appears in the journal ‘Neurology’. Dr Levine studied brain scans taken from 69 traumatic brain injury patients whose head injuries ranged from mild to moderate or severe. Canadian researchers ran a computer analysis of these images and found that even patients with mild brain injuries with no apparent scarring had less brain volume. “When you have a blow to the head, it causes a neuro-chemical reaction in the brain cells that leads to cell death,” Dr Levine said. “The more cells that die, the less tissue you have. The amount of tissue loss seems to be related to the severity of the injury – how long the person was knocked out.”

Brain injury may prompt one area of the brain to be “reassigned” and take over the function of another. Professor Richard Faull from the University of Auckland (New Zealand ) explains simply: “Think of it as a sort of emergency breakdown service (‘We Fix Neurons — Fast!’). It is literally like a little highway; but instead of going directly from Auckland to Wellington, it goes to Whangarei, to Taranaki, then to Wellington! The route is highly distorted and there may be all sorts of reasons for that.”
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Living with Head Injury

  Article Title: Living with Head Injury Submitted by: Craig Lock Category (key words): head injury, brain injury, neuro-psychology, brain, medical information, medical resources, cognitive difficulties Web sites: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html and http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various … Continue reading

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“Just because a brain has been damaged, does NOT necessarily have to affect the human mind…and so the quality and height of our thoughts!”

Picture: beautiful and deserted Wainui beach, Gisborne, East Coast , New Zealand…a place where I often get my dose (“fill”) of upliftment and inspiration   “Just because a brain has been damaged, does NOT necessarily have to affect  the human … Continue reading

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Head Injury/Brain Injury) – Some Facts

Stunning Gisborne NZ sunrise: A bright new dawn awaits… Article Title: Head Injury/Brain Injury) – Some Facts Author: Craig Lock Category (key words): head injury, brain injury, neuro-psychology, medical information Web sites: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html and http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various … Continue reading

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What Does it Feel Like to be Brain Damaged (by Frederick R. Linge, Clinical Psychologist)?

It is generally accepted that people working with individuals who have any type of handicap, should have a certain amount of empathy with their clients and should strive to understand how their clients feel and think. People working with those who are brain damaged have a particularly hard time doing so. One can have some understanding of what it means to be blind by simply closing one?s eyes; yet how can a normal person understand what it feels like to be brain damaged?

I am in the unusual position of being a trained clinical psychologist who suffered brain damage and who has slowly recovered most of my facilities. In other words, I have been on the outside looking in, and also, on the inside looking out at the world of the brain damaged person. At this point in my recovery, I have a foot in both worlds, for I can remember what it felt like to be completely normal intellectually, and also what it felt like when loss of function was at its worst.

Perhaps this informal and very subjective narrative may be of some help in assisting normal people to empathize a little better with the brain damaged individual. For, unfortunately, most brain damaged people are unable to explain precisely how they feel; those who have been brain damaged since birth, of course, have never had the experience of functioning normally and thus have no standard of comparison of their present state with that of others. Continue reading

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