Living Well with Brainlash Introduction

Welcome to the “Living Well with Brainlash” series. This monthly blog will provide you with useful information about recovery options for MTBI. This monthly blog will also form the basis for my next book on MTBI recovery, due in 2013.

Each month I will offer thoughts in five categories that you can easily apply to your lifestyle, and enhance your daily life as well as your overall lifestyle approach.

The first category is “Symptoms Of MTBI”. This conversation will highlight a commonly understood aspect of living with a mild brain injury, and offer suggestions and strategies for treating the issue. Many of these symptoms, which you may have found yourself reporting to various health care providers with varying degrees of success, are quite common. You are not making anything up!

This category will arm you with terms and descriptors that will aid you in making yourself better understood and hopefully lead you to appropriate therapies, actions and strategies. The more you learn about MTBI, the more successfully you can communicate your experiences and gain support and understanding.

The second category is “Body Therapies”. To the great surprise and relief of most MTBI sufferers, there are actually a great number of supportive therapies available for the recovery of lifestyle function. Several of these therapies are actually available through Allopathic medicine (Western medicine.) Of course, the trick is to know about the therapy yourself, then to educate your Allopathic caregiver, and obtain a prescription for the treatment that your insurance company may support.

While this may sound like ‘it’s not your job’, believe me it is worth it to try and gain treatment through channels you are already paying for. Failing that, many of the suggested therapies are still worth paying for out of pocket because they work, whether your Allopathic care provider is trained to understand the benefits or not.

Allopathic medicine is very ‘specialty-based’, and many branches of treatment are not aware of one another. Remain steady in your quest. There are solutions which can be found by educating yourself.

Category three focuses on “Dietary Supplements”, of which numerous choices exist. It is commonly known that specific supplements enhance brain function and nourish brain injury deficits. Not all supplements work for all people, and not all combinations work for all people. That said, there are many supplements to choose from and many brands to consider.

This section will highlight at least two supplements to consider each month. In some cases, a brand will be mentioned. Importantly, the time of day for the supplement will also be mentioned. The very best supplement taken too late in the day can still keep you awake, alert and brain-happy when you would prefer to sleep! And with all supplements, please consult your physician.

The fourth category I like to call “The Handy Hint”.  Most of these hints are simple, easy to understand and gentle to add to your day. When I bring these ideas up to clients, it functions as a ‘forehead-slapping moment” or a “why hasn’t anyone told me about this before” experience. Such a simple thing. And a functional bonanza if you haven’t heard about it before.

The Handy Hints are the strategy toolbox for daily living. These are the incremental adjustments that reduce stress, lower stimuli in your environment and smooth your way. Because they are simple, they are not considered therapeutic or a part of a treatment protocol. Obvious to the uninjured, so not pointed out.

I am here to point these things out! If you knew wearing your sunglasses to the grocery store would reduce the visual stress of being in an overly lit environment by 30-40%, you would have done it already, right? See what I mean?

The fifth category highlights “Food”! It’s hard enough to have an MTBI, but to have to watch what you eat, shop for healthy ingredients, cook for yourself and avoid munching while being on the couch. It’s all just too much.

Weight gain during the first year of an MTBI is likely. For several reasons, your metabolism is shifted and slowed down. Your brain protects you while it is healing. And the easy food to reach for is a high calorie carbohydrate. You already know the difference between lettuce and brownies, so let’s save time and move on to menu strategies!

The January blog will establish the value of protein eaten at all three meals, and the importance of low glycemic, complex carbohydrates.  Snack suggestions and the value of water (and the evils of artificial soda).  Potentially brain-harming preservatives and additives found in many foods will also be discussed.

Shopping suggestions, healthy snacks and beverages, brand name products and label reading skills are offered. Hot tips easily added to your lifestyle will make potential weight gain easier to forestall and more manageable.

Your injured brain may be screaming at you for sugar, but that’s just because buzzy calories used to work as fuel. Now, not so much. Mostly your brain is just buzzing, and your old skill of shutting it up with calories is no longer helpful. I am here to show you a new way to calm those calorie-hound voices in your head and keep you from unconsciously piling on the pounds.

This category will also offer you quick recipes to streamline your kitchen experience and support your brain health. And don’t worry, in a previous life I wrote five (yes, five) cookbooks. So I know how to deliver flavor, kitchen speed and menu satisfaction!

Above all remember this: You will eat what you buy.

So, let’s start the blog. Welcome to “Living Well with Brainlash”.