Category Archives: medical information


A brain injury can affect our communication abilities by impairing hearing, the muscle movements of speech, or the cognitive processes that turn our thoughts into words. Communication problems vary, depending on an individual’s personality, pre-injury abilities, and the severity of … Continue reading

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Living with Head Injury “You live the experience, daily… and that’s why you can write (so much) about it” – m (a medical professional) from   “Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from doing what you can do…best!” “I refuse … Continue reading

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The most Basic Virtue after a TBI is Cognition

What is the most important thing to the TBI Survivor for improvement? Some would think perseverance and some would think consistency. Both are important, but there may be an even more influential virtue. I suggest that the most influential virtue … Continue reading

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A SHORT EXTRACT FROM MY BOOK ‘STIRLING’ “Together, one mind, one life (one small step at a time), let’s see how many people (and lives) we can encourage, impact, empower, enrich, uplift and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials…and strive for and perhaps one … Continue reading

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“You cannot compare two brain injuries, even if they’re similar – the outcome can be totally different.”

“You cannot compare two brain injuries, even if they’re similar – the outcome can be totally different. Two patients with similar conditions on a scan can have two totally different outcomes. Each patient is different and we treat them as … Continue reading

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Concussion Fatigue: It’s Different Also see an excellent resource at PPS “Don’t not let us what we can’t do stop us from doing what we can do…best.” -me “Together, one mind, one soul, one life, one small step at … Continue reading

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Some Practical Issues in Dealing with Head Injury

Some common effects of head injury:

1. Lack of Insight

2. Memory problems

3. Poor concentration.

4. Slowed responses

5. Poor planning and problem-solving

6. Lack of initiave – the person is often incorrectly labelled as “lazy”

7. Lack of flexibility -ie. a “one track” mind

8. Impulsivity Continue reading

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Some Cognitive Effects of Head Injury


by Craig Lock

“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.”
– Dr Don Mackie, Emergency Specialist(in New Zealand)

This extract (in note form) is from a chapter from my manuscript titled MY STORY, MY DREAM Also LIVING WITH HEAD (BRAIN) INJURY (from ‘MY STORY’)

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Head Injury: A Practical Guide: You are an Expert Already…


Part of the text is reproduced by kind permission of Trevor Powell from his book Head Injury: A Practical Guide.

The cognitive effects of a brain injury affect the way a person thinks, learns and remembers. 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 system can be divided up into six separate areas:


Memory is not one thing or one skill on its own. It is easily damaged by brain injury because there are several structures within the brain which are involved in processing information, storing it and retrieving it. Damage to those parts of the brain on which these abilities depend can lead to poor memory. Problems with memory is a complex subject and is covered in more depth in a separate section.

Headway has produced a publication Memory Problems After Brain Injury that provides further information.

Attention and Concentration

A reduced concentration span is very common after head injury, as is a reduced ability to pay attention to more than one task at the same time. These problems are usually caused by damage to the frontal lobe. Attentional problems tend to get worse when the person is tired, stressed or worried. When there are problems with concentration, other skill areas can be affected. It is difficult to follow instructions, plan ahead, be organised and so on, when there is a problem concentrating. Working in a place with as few distractions as possible can help and, as concentration improves, distractions can be increased. In this way, someone can slowly learn to concentrate better in a world which is crowded with distracting sights and sounds.

Speed of Information Processing Continue reading

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What Does it Feel Like to be Brain Damaged?

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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