Brain Injury

A guide for family and friends

In the blink of an eye

In and instant, lives are changed forever. It is the very suddenness with which a brain injury happens that often leaves a family with little time to prepare for, come to terms with, or adjust to the changes that such a catastrophe brings. Not knowing what to expect or how to help can make the first hours, days, and weeks very hard for you, your family, and your friends.

You have just become a very important member of your loved one’s health care teamIt’s normal for you to feel overwhelmed by all of the new information you are getting at a time when you feel as if you just can’t deal with anything more. But you have just become a very important member of your loved one’s health care team. To help your loved one the most, you must learn as much as you can about his type of brain injury and how to choose the best medical care for him. If someone you love has had a brain injury, this booklet was written for you. It will help you understand what a brain injury is, what you may expect from your loved one during the early recovery process, and what you can do to help him, yourself, and others get through this very difficult time.

This booklet answers many of the questions asked most often about brain injury. It can help you understand what is happening to your loved one, as well as prepare yourself and your family for the next few days and weeks. If you or your family still have questions after reading this booklet, write them down in the back of this book, then ask one of the members of the health care team; they will be happy to answer your questions. Also, it will be helpful to write down their answers so you can refer to them later. There is comfort in understanding what is happening and what to expect. This understanding can help you become more comfortable working with the health care team and supporting your loved one’s recovery.

Injured brain

Brain Injury: A guide for family and friends

Table of Contents

What is a Brain Injury?
How Bad Is It?
How the Brain Functions
Common Problems During Early Recovery
The Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
Understanding Coma
How Does an Injured Brain Heal?
How You Can Help With Recovery
• Where Will the Journey Go From Here?
How Will I Ever Get Through This?
Where to Go for Help
• Books for Families Coping With Brain Injury

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