There Are Clues Everywhere
Kara Swanson's Brain Injury Blog | Rock This Life!
by karaswanson
1M ago
Those who know me know that I am a passionate college football fan. I’ve been cheering my Michigan Wolverines since 1974 and, throughout my whole life, those Autumn Saturdays have been very very dear to me. Having said that, a lot has changed in all these years. Back in the 70s, most of the games were not televised. For most college fans, we were lucky to see our favorite teams play a couple times a year. Over all these decades, the college game has changed a TON! More channels were added, more TV deals were struck, and more bowl games emerged. They went from voting on a National Champion to i ..read more
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Pitch Perfect
Kara Swanson's Brain Injury Blog | Rock This Life!
by karaswanson
5M ago
In a fleeting moment, a day, a season…You hear a particular song, realize an old lyric you had been singing wrong all this time, catch your breath from an incredible line in a movie, or get caught up in a wonderful novel… Someone says something or writes something in a card and, often, they don’t realize what kind of goodness they’ve done. The kind of word magic that pricks an ear, turns a head, shoots straight to the heart. I saw this quote in a series last night and immediately thought of you. Of us: Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack ..read more
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Sneaky, Glorious Symptoms of Recovery
Kara Swanson's Brain Injury Blog | Rock This Life!
by karaswanson
7M ago
For most of us, the healing and recovering from our injuries are something akin to slogs swimming in pools of honey. After those initial weeks when we might enjoy rapid healing of some of our symptoms, we continue to watch and watch and watch for more but, after that first rally, we can barely tell anything is better. Nothing seems to move or change. Sometimes, we don’t realize that, even when the injury didn’t improve, we did. Even when the damage didn’t heal, we could. For many years, I never missed a month in writing a blog entry. Some months there were two but there was always one. Always ..read more
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Paddling Downstream
Kara Swanson's Brain Injury Blog | Rock This Life!
by karaswanson
11M ago
Many years ago, a wise woman in my life introduced me to the concept of “paddling downstream.” I have used it and applied it all throughout my life since then and, time and time again, it has helped me “right the ship” when necessary. In a nutshell, the concept is simple. When we are paddling downstream, the journey is smoother, it helps put easy miles behind us, and we can enjoy the ride and the scenery because we aren’t always battling like we do when we try to paddle upstream. Simple enough, eh? Sometimes, simple is just flippin’ brilliant. I picture an easy river on a sunny day, paddling i ..read more
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Let Barry Manilow Help Fix Us!!!
Kara Swanson's Brain Injury Blog | Rock This Life!
by karaswanson
1y ago
I’ve known since early in my recovery, now 27 years strong, that music could gift us beautiful gems to carry in our recovery basket. In the first weeks and months after being hurt, I utilized music and singing to help my halting, bump-along speech and processing speeds with what I consider marked success. I just read an article about how, over the years, studies great and small-but-promising have continued to reveal hopeful insight into how music helps our cognitive and overall health. It has long been my personal visual that our brains are filled with empty hallways and closed-off rooms, achi ..read more
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One By One, Inviting Creative Thinking To Overcome Damaged Thinking
Kara Swanson's Brain Injury Blog | Rock This Life!
by karaswanson
1y ago
After brain injury, our brains are damaged. That might come across as obvious but it is, surprisingly, an oft-missed ingredient to our fabulous successful recovery cakes! Successful recovery is not so much about healing. Healing comes and it doesn’t. Most of us heal to some extent and we fail to heal fully in other ways. What’s left are the challenging, bothersome, prickly stumbles of our everyday. I did the best recovery work when I started taking the injury apart and attacking smaller parts of the elusive recovery. Brain injury isn’t something that heals as one whole. It is, more often, the ..read more
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Prioritizing Successful Recovery Efforts
Kara Swanson's Brain Injury Blog | Rock This Life!
by karaswanson
1y ago
Most of us, especially early on, think of our brain injuries as one thing. We look at it like it has some kind of answer that will make perfect sense. There’s dirt all over the floor so you buy a vacuum. One of your tires has blown out so you put on the spare. There’s nothing in the fridge so you go to the grocery store or you order carry-out or zip through the drive-through window. Logical, simple, sane solutions. Unfortunately, the longer it takes to recover, the more we realize that brain injuries are more like maddening Christmas lights. One light fails and everything goes. You try to find ..read more
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Let’s All Get Better
Kara Swanson's Brain Injury Blog | Rock This Life!
by karaswanson
1y ago
As the anniversary of my brain injury fades and fogs through the years, now 27, I find that the effects of TBI blur and meld and stew together with the effects of age. So many things seem slower, saggier, and breezing away. “Turning back the clock” requires, I’m finding, the realization that the clock is faltering, wobbling, failing. I think it happens to people at different ages and stages but I’m starting to understand yoga classes, Zumba, and all those people walking at the mall. Where, long ago, I was obsessed with deciphering the minutia of my injury and its effects, I find that I am at p ..read more
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Delicious Distractions
Kara Swanson's Brain Injury Blog | Rock This Life!
by karaswanson
1y ago
For most of us with TBI, distractions are so derailing in terms of our efficiency and ability to execute daily to-dos that keep us “in the game” with our people and our lives. For me, spontenaity and last-minute changes and plans that go haywire often throw me into a tailspin and it’s hard to recover. While distractions can derail and topple and zig-zag us off our carefully-planned game, they can also be a blessed gift of relief from all the effort it takes to function in our TBI worlds. Right now, most of us are distracted by Christmas doings and, for most of us in the United States, we are d ..read more
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Sanity-Saving Tips To Keep The THANKS In Thanksgiving
Kara Swanson's Brain Injury Blog | Rock This Life!
by karaswanson
1y ago
Even for the salty veteran, pulling off the full Thanksgiving Day feast takes planning and patience, good rest and a sense of humor. Over the many decades of Thanksgiving meals, there have been countless funny (and not so funny) stories of people trying to pull off the GREAT THANKSGIVING DAY FEAST for their families and friends. Fire Departments in every city, town and village ready for those of us who think that deep-frying our turkeys or grilling them or “trying something new” with the smoker out back will be such a great idea. On Thanksgiving Day, there will be those who cook the turkey wit ..read more
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