Successful Transitions After Acquired Brain Injuries
Recovery stories have threads, twists, and commonalities. The beginning of a personal tale might involve a surprise diagnosis or a tragic accident. The middle part of the journey has obstacles, such as memory loss, physical or emotional changes, and a struggle for independence. There are also the moments of hope when, at first, words are remembered, ideas are recalled, and small tasks are accomplished. Gradually, progress is seen as physical movements get less painful and more graceful. Memory groups become comfort zones where you realize you are not alone. The endings to our stories are never finite because humans are always encountering new challenges and searching for ways to cope and move forward.
Our acquired brain injuries have impacted each of the six of us with different outcomes. It’s taken years of work to get to the stages of recovery we currently inhabit. Some of us have worked hard to ensure we can move on our own, whether it’s relearning to drive a car or managing to figure our train routes. Some of us have returned to our old lives as new people. We are all familiar with setbacks and struggles.
This chapter describes the fascinating journeys of six clients who made remarkable recoveries following acquired brain injuries.