Memo from Frank March 2008

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Brain Injury Association of Sault Ste. Marie and District 127-31 Old Garden River Road Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6B 5Y7 Phone: (705) 946-0172 Fax: (705) 946-0594

Memo from Frank

March 2008

Here we are, right in the centre of Winter. A good thought is that Spring is just around the corner. I hope that we have seen the last of the snowfall. I can coast to Spring . As a result of the Conference, our Association has been publicized throughout Sault Ste. Marie and the Province. We have reached many brain injury survivors and their families who were uninformed of our existence. Survivors have visited our Clubhouse and are now participating in the activities there. We have Twoonie Lunch each Wednesday at 12 noon. Our Survivors Group occurs on the second Thursday of each month at 1PM. Our Caregiver and Friends Group will meet at a new time, the second Tuesday of the month at 7PM. Dawn is the Peer Mentoring Coordinator. If you are a new survivor and need to speak to someone who is dealing with the difficulties of living with a brain injury then call the Office at 946-0172. If you are a survivor who would like to help other survivors as a Mentor, call the office. Peer Mentoring is also available to Caregivers whose relative or friend has suffered a brain injury. I have recently spoken to John Kumpf about running a Brain Basics Workshop. If you are a Professional Caregiver who works with brain injury survivors, then this workshop is necessary for you. If you are interested, call me at my home phone, 2538876. I shall be visiting Health Care Service Agencies and inform them about this Workshop. The Brain Basics Workshop is tentatively scheduled for May 25th and 26th. It depends on the enrolment for the workshop to go ahead, we need to have at least 20 participants. Cost is $200.00 each. Our Association has an Agreement with the Ontario Brain Injury Association to split the proceeds from the Workshop. John Kumpf, CEO of the Ontario Brain Injury Association will instruct Brain Basics. In our February Newsletter I mentioned that Jennifer Trepasso was Treasurer and Christine Ouimette was Secretary. It should be the other way around.

Brain Injury Association of Sault Ste. Marie and District 127-31 Old Garden River Road Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6B 5Y7 Phone: (705) 946-0172 Fax: (705) 946-0594

BOOK Terry Evanshen has sent us a number of autographed books written about his life, The Man Who Lost Himself. A number of delegates at the conference indicated that they would like a copy. You can call me Frank, at 253-8876 for your copy. Cost is $20.00.

THE LONG TERM PHASE OF BRAIN INJURY Expect to start the very painful, but recurring, theme of one step forward, one step back. It seems as soon as your loved one has a good day or two you get slapped back to reality with one of the many complications that are normal to brain injury survivors. There are so many systems involved with a brain injury that even the smallest things can become a big deal when the survivors are compromised. Just try to keep an even keel so you can stay positive and keep your loved one motivated. This phenomenon can continue for a long time….This survivor is now in his fourth year and the pattern still continues. Prognosis More Defined, Sort Of…. The severity of the injury will start to become better known as more time passes after the injury. Some survivors may start to progress more rapidly and emerge from their semiconscious state. Others will not show much progress. So, if you are one of the lucky ones whose loved one seems to be recovering quickly, thank God. But now, start to pay attention to the smaller things such as memory deficiencies or other cognitive or emotional impairments. If your loved one is not so lucky and is not showing much improvement yet, don’t despair. As a neurosurgeon explained, the doctors can tell from the MRI’s and CT’s where the damage is, but they can not tell how much of the damaged area’s previous activity will be taken over by other parts of the brain. Some survivors who have looked worse than others at this stage have ended up doing better in the long run. Remember, each brain injury is unique so comparisons are very difficult. The question that personal caregivers want answered is, “Is my loved one going to recover completely?” The only way to approach the situation is for the personal caregiver to assume, and plan, and believe that their loved one is going to fully recover. If one goes in with that mindset then one will continue to do everything possible to try to help them recover no matter how long it takes. …………….. Paraphrased from The BRAIN INJURY Recovery Network

Brain Injury Association of Sault Ste. Marie and District 127-31 Old Garden River Road Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6B 5Y7 Phone: (705) 946-0172 Fax: (705) 946-0594

IMPORTANT DATES Family and Friends Group…..…………….Clubhouse Tuesday March 11th 7PM Survivors’ Group…………………………..Clubhouse Thursday March 13th 1PM Board Meeting……………………………Clubhouse Wednesday March 19th 7PM

FACTS ABOUT BRAIN INJURY Brain injury is a hidden disability. Some survivors show no outward appearance that they are indeed brain injured. In the past few years, brain injury is coming out of the darkness as more light is shed upon it making more and more people aware. Here are some startling facts about this tragic, hidden affliction.  Every year in Canada, over 11,000 people die as a result of a Traumatic Brain Injury.  Traumatic Brain Injury is the top disabler and killer of young Canadians under the age of 40.  Each day in Ontario, 44 individuals sustain a brain injury.  Each day, 100 Canadians sustain a brain injury.  80% of children under 15 who had multiple injuries, sustain brain injuries.  Motor vehicle collisions account for over half of all acquired brain injuries.  Every year in Canada, over 60 children will die as a result from bicycle-related injuries-the majority from brain injury.  Over 75% of all cycling deaths involve brain injuries.  Bicyclists wearing helmets reduce the risk of brain injury by 88%.  The human skull provides little protection of the brain as it is less than a ¼ inch thick and has a tendency to crack under pressure.  Long-term consequences of brain injury affect the lives of about 260000 individuals.  22% of people with catastrophic brain injuries never leave their homes.

Brain Injury Association of Sault Ste. Marie and District 127-31 Old Garden River Road Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6B 5Y7 Phone: (705) 946-0172 Fax: (705) 946-0594

 In Ontario 92% of men and 100% of women who sustain a brain injury never return to full-time employment.  Damaged brain cells DO NOT repair or replace themselves. Now more than ever, people are surviving  from brain injuries because of improvements in medical and trauma care, ongoing safety improvements in motor vehicles, workplace safety, and sporting equipment standards.  Many who would have previously died from their brain injury, now survive with a diminished capacity for living.  It is estimated that the direct and indirect costs associated with traumatic brain injury are $3 billion annually in Canada. ……… from “The Monarch” Brain Injury Association of London and Region

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