An estimated 1.7 million individuals suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI) annually.
This presents more than just brain-related challenges.
In January 2003, Lynda McGuirk spent six weeks in a coma. That was the easy part.
When she woke up, the real work began and she faced a long rehabilitation program, as well as unknown difficulties in her work and personal lives.
For example, when she began to look for a job after her accident, McGuirk encountered what she terms a "strange resume." With 18+ months since her last employment, it presented a weird gap. Employers are often afraid to talk about head injury (or any other medical issue). Without that information, it's hard to effectively explain the gap in lack of work.
Fortunately, McGuirk was able to find employment with people who understood her medical history.
What if you're facing the same situation?
Support is absolutely necessary and you also have to be open to different opportunities. The work you find might be well below your skill set and/or education. Temp agencies are a great way to start.
McGuirk also advises that overall wellness, incorporating fitness (stretching, cardio and strength training), eating right, and mindfulness, is huge to aid recovery. Increasing the blood flow in your body increases it to your brain as well. Being more flexible makes doing things easier, which takes a burden off of your body and thus a burden off your mind.
Finally, don't be afraid to ask for help from others. Many people will be willing to help; they just need to know where you're coming from.
McGuirk joins Dr. Susanne to share this information and more from her book, Survive and Thrive: My Traumatic Brain Injury Survival Guide, which she calls "a "friend on the inside"... advice from someone who has experienced TBI and can help you get through yours.