In 1990, a fateful bicycle ride in Saco, Maine, started off like any other, but eventually led to a traumatic brain injury that altered the life of Earlene ‘Kitty’ Ahlquist Chadbourne. Kitty lost many memories and the ability to perform skills she formerly executed with ease. After her accident, she didn’t even recognize her own husband, the homepage of the Parenting Myself Web site reported.
Kitty was inspired to write a book about her experience of relearning how to live life after a traumatic brain injury when she heard about the high number of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan having endured similar head injuries. An article published by Sanford Newsreported that Kitty’s book ‘is being hailed by experts in the field of Traumatic Brain Injury as a resource for others with brain injuries, including more than 320,000 returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans and 123,000 civilian victims.’
The homepage for the book has a page of tips – raw insights Kitty learned during her odyssey of virtually losing her identity and having to rebuild it from scratch – for those who suffer from some of the same frustrating and confusing symptoms of traumatic brain injuries. The tips page provides information for getting organized, concentrating, and keeping track of time. The page ends with a list of Kitty’s own rules for recovery, which she followed during her own rehabilitation process:
Get dressed every day’”never stay in pajamas past the time for morning coffee.
Take naps’”a way to respect the body’s needs during recovery.
Leave yourself notes’”keep them in a pocket to refer to easily.
Try to do something nice for someone else daily.
Keep a daily journal’”if only to clarify thoughts.
Take high-potency vitamins under doctor’s guidance and eat healthy foods.
Find at least one thing to be thankful for every day.
The Parenting Myself site also treats its deadly serious subject matter with a small dose of welcome humor, ‘Even if there’s nothing worth saving in your head, I tell family members, you will have lost nothing by wearing a helmet!’ Kitty Chadbourne is one example of a traumatic brain injury survivor whose story provides hope and inspiration to other survivors all across the nation.
Parenting Myself. (January 10, 2010) ‘Parenting Myself’ website. Retrieved on January 10, 2010 from the Parenting Myself websites: http://www.parentingmyself.com/tips.shtml, andhttp://www.parentingmyself.com/index.shtml
Fosters.com Staff. (January 7, 2010) ‘Former Springvale resident publishes book on recovery from traumatic brain injury.’ Retrieved on January 10, 2010 from the Sanford News website:http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100107/GJCOMMUNITY03…