Resources for Your Brain Injury, Concussion and Stroke
Over the past year, I’ve been a member of countless support groups on various social media sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. One of the most notable factors amongst these groups is that people are searching and seeking answers to help them regain their life again after a brain injury. Regardless of the cause of the brain injury, be it from an external cause, such as a traumatic brain injury like a concussion (mTBI), or an internal cause, such as an acquired brain like a stroke or aneurysm, the brain has been injured. The many and various symptoms will depend on which area of the brain was injured. Here are the more common symptoms people with a brain injury experience:
Symptoms of a Brain Injury
In order to treat the specific symptom, it is extremely important to determine and treat the cause. Treating the symptom only is masking the cause, without actually getting better. For more, read my blog about treating the cause, not the symptom.
Through reading the many posts and comments on the various social media sites, I’ve come to realize that there are still many, many people who are not aware of my book, and perhaps do not understand the focus of my book. Susan Connors, the president of the Brain Injury Association called my book, “Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury”, an encyclopedia for brain injury. And it truly is. My main goal for publishing this book was to provide sufferers of any type of brain injury and caregivers a resource to help understand and treat the various symptoms of brain injury. Social media support groups provide a forum offering information, advice, ideas, and encouragement from others suffering with similar issues who can truly appreciate what you’ve been through. Despite, the endless online forums, it is clear that survivors and caregivers still need a concise form of knowledge and treatment options to help navigate life after brain injury. That is why I wrote this book. To share my story, the knowledge I gained through taking over my own recovery, and to provide hope and help for others to regain their lives.
I was trained as a neuropsychologist and am board certified in health psychology and board certified in sports psychology. I’ve been a trauma therapist since 1977. In 1979, I opened the first integrative Brain Health Practice in New England. I had three offices and my staff including a psychiatrist, three psychiatric nurses, three psychologists, three social workers, an endocrinologist, an acupuncturist, a homeopath, a polarity specialist and two massage therapists. For more on my background, please read About Dr. Diane®
In 1990, I had a cerebral bleed which caused me to pass out while driving, resulting in a 60mph head-on auto accident. In addition to a brain injury, I suffered many other injuries. I had optic nerve damage in my right eye, bit my tongue down the middle, all my teeth on the right side shifted. I had spine injury to 4 cervical, 3 thoracic and 3 lumbar areas, along with injury to both of my knees. I was NOT given any form of therapy. Five months later I had brain surgery. From 1990 to 1994 I was NOT given any type of therapy because the medical community said I was permanently brain damaged. This was before anyone knew about neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is ability of neural pathways to change due to changes in behavior, environment, and neural processes, as well as changes resulting in bodily injury. Previously, the brain was thought to be a physiologically static organ, but the study of neuroplasticity now explores how and which ways the brain changes throughout life. For my complete story, please read Dr. Diane®’s Story.
NO HOPE or Solutions to Regain my Life after Brain Injury
Like many people today, when the medical community can’t provide solutions or determine the true cause of symptoms, people reach out to others with similar issues in search of support. Back in 1990 there was no real social media other than Prodigy, which was my saving grace. I did communicate and was active in various chat rooms, which no longer seem to be around. I was given the prognosis that I would never recover, and I was NOT provided any type of therapy, not speech and language therapy, not physical therapy… nothing. I became extremely depressed and considered suicide. However, I had 3 sons at home, under the ages of 10. I knew I couldn’t give up on them, and decided to take my recovery into my own hands. Thus, I decided to use the methods of my integrative team to help be regain my life again. I figured that I had nothing to lose and I had the time.
By 1997, through the methods and approaches from my practice, I was back working again! During that time period, I made a pledge to dedicate my professional life to helping others like me by sharing the methods I found effective, so they too could regain their life again. Thus, I set out to write a book that anyone with a brain injury could read, understand and find the help needed to overcome each and every symptom of brain Injury. My first book was entitled: “Coping with Head Injury”, then when the term “head injury” was change to “brain injury”, so too was the title of the book. In 2013, my second book, “Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury” used the same format as the first book, yet includes more current and advanced methods and approaches that absolutely have worked to help people to regain their life after a brain injury.
Format of the Book
Although the book title includes concussion and TBI, brain injury symptoms of ABI (Stroke or Aneurysm) are the same. Therefore, no matter the cause of the brain injury, the book is helpful. It is divided by the specific symptoms and treatment methods, regardless if the type of brain injury.
I realized while putting the book together, its only when you can truly relate to someone’s issues, can you appreciate what they have gone through. Thus, each chapter of my book includes true life stories. Each individual chapter deals with one particular aftereffect or symptom, followed by a real-life experience related to that symptom, an explanation of why the symptom or problems occurs, information on treatment, and practical suggestions for coping with the problem.
The treatment section is divided by three approaches: conventional, complementary and alternative. Treatment methods are not one-size fits all, nor are all methods covered by health insurance.
The term conventional refers to treatment that is more commonly accepted and used by most healthcare professionals. It is different from alternative or complementary therapies, which are not as widely used. Convention treatment, such as medication, speech and language pathology, physical therapy and psychotherapy, is generally covered by health insurance.
Complementary treatment methods are often used together with conventional medicine, such as biofeedback/neurofeedback, acupuncture, nutritional and dietary supplements. For example, using acupuncture to help alleviate pain and discomfort after surgery. Health insurance companies will typically reimburse for the methods that have scientific research and clinical proof, such as hypnosis and acupuncture.
The last classification is termed alternative. This includes methods that do work and can work, yet these methods are not covered by health insurance. Alternative medicine refers to other therapies not classified as conventional or complementary, such as Reiki, Qi Gong, Bach Flower Remedies, aromatherapy, naturopathy, and light therapy.
*** Important to Note: All of the methods presented in all three classifications, DO Work! They might not work for you, yet they do WORK!!!! ***
While one method can work for one person, it could be totally ineffective for another person. This is why I developed and use Dr. Diane’s Five-Pronged Approach for each patient/client we see.
Why the Five-Pronged Approach
Dr. Diane’s Five-Pronged Approach helps me to see every individual as unique from five distinct perspectives: physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and energetic.
While two people may have the same exact injury, they may react differently to the same treatment method depending on their background, beliefs, upbringing, medical history and many other factors.
If you had a brain injury, it is extremely important to take in account various factors, i.e.: are you male or female? Do you weigh 110 pounds or 250 pounds? Did you have prior brain injuries? Do you have heart problems? Do you have Diabetes or Irritable Bowel Syndrome at the time of your brain injury? These and many more physical issues are related to the current physical and neurological injury to your brain. This includes neurological issues, such as Autism, ADD/ADHD, cerebral palsy and MS.
What is your basic personality? Are you outgoing, quiet, adventurous, shy? How to you handle your emotions? Are you aggressive? Moody? Passive/ Aggressive? Were you raised in an abusive family? Were you an overachiever? All these aspects are part of the emotional component.
As for the psychological component, are you struggling with a chemical imbalance that can cause bi-polar disorder, paranoia, schizophrenia, or other mental illness? As for the spiritual component, do you have a strong faith in God, or the universe? Do you belong to a religious organization? Or do you feel alone and disconnected from people?
The Energy component relates to the subtle energy in your body called Chi. An in-depth explanation is in my blog on Energy Psychology.
Along with my integrative approach, the book “Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury” provides you with practical suggestions to help cope on a daily basis with the symptom that has been troubling you. Each chapter provides you with essential information to help you regain your life again. Do not read it from cover to cover. You can refer to the chapters that cover each of the various symptoms you have and how to overcome these symptoms. Those individuals who have read the book have seen how it has changed their life.
“This is an EXCELLENT book and GREAT resource for a lot of information that Doctors don’t tell you! I found this book by complete accident while doing research for my own TBI in 2010. I learned SO much! I am very grateful! Thank You! You will learn much!”
“I suffered a concussion/mTBI about 1 1/2 years ago. Went over my bicycle handlebars and landed on my head. I wanted to let you know that I have read your book and found it very helpful. It has been extremely difficult to get any help at all. I just recently hooked up with an agency that has found me somewhere to go for anger management and hopefully somewhere else to get some counselling. These places don’t specialize in mTBI, but they are better than the blank stares and being told there is nothing for me because my TBI is only ‘mild’. For a long time your book was the only real help that I had. Thanks again.”
“This was THE book recommended for me after my accident. A wonderful book, amazing information.”
“Good book. Much needed to help the caregivers as well as the patient.”
“Thank you Diane Roberts Stoler, I think you saved my sanity. This book has it all and much, much more than I could read in the early days but I will continue to go back to parts, if for nothing else to reassure myself that this is normal and I will survive. I loved that she wrote conventional AND alternative healing ~ I started the Hemi-Sync and Binaural beats right away. I also started with the supplements and anti-inflammation diet in the early days. So VERY thankful I had this e-book as my doctor just didn’t get that I was dealing with so many issues.”
“It is difficult to find a book that explains post-concussion syndrome and coping strategies for dealing with this complex condition so well. The information is current and the tips are very relevant and useful. The author uses real-life stories and situations people with mTBI can relate. Her resources and detailed explanations are excellent. This is a wonderful resource and a must read.”
“Five stars. Great helpful book.”
“I had a bleeding aneurysm in 1990 and found the first book in 1997 that Diane Stoler wrote and it was a big help to me and also valid many of my problems that the doctors didn’t try to explained to me. I helped a nurse get the book to read and she told me, her doctors and physical therapist didn’t listen to her, but the book valid everything she been trying to tell them. The answer she and I got was, “It’s all in your head.” Right, we had damage in our heads that was causing the problems. I got this new edition, so I can see all the new advances in detecting brain damage. Since there is more emphasis on traumatic brain injuries, I find this book very informative and useful. I got one for my niece, after she got a concussion. Injuries doesn’t show up for weeks or months later.
Glad Diane Stoler wrote her second book and since she also had concussions, she understands it as a patient and as a practicing psychologist. Good luck on her new book.”
“Extremely informative and easy to read for the expert and novice. Makes TBI understandable and provides hope for the afflicted and the ones who support them.”
Dr. Diane Personal Consult
What If I am Still Struggling with Symptoms after Reading the Book?
If after you read the book and explored the various methods, yet still haven’t figured out which methods or approaches are best for you, then I suggest a personalized consult with me. As part of this consult, you are provided with the names of programs and clinicians in your local area. If you are within the New England area, our team can personally work with you. If this is not possible, then our team of experts can provide remote help and treatment, with exceptions, such as massage. “It has been a difficult journey for me since I suffered a concussion. Within a year of my injury my husband died; I lost my job; the LT disability used the vulnerabilities from my injury to exploit my future, and I received little guidance from my doctors. Then I found Dr. Diane while searching the Internet. After reading her book I knew what I was experiencing was real and I also knew there were treatments for me. Dr. Diane used her own experiences to develop strategies to treat TBI and PCS. So I personally consulted with Dr. Diane and she not only validated my symptoms, explained the anatomy behind my injury, but she also devised a treatment plan. Using her plan, I set out to get the appropriate treatment in my geographical area because I had nobody to help me drive great distances and finances were a factor. This is when I learned that practitioners do not understand as much about head injuries as they claim or they were more concerned with payment than success. If I did not have Dr. Diane to verify what tests and methods are legally and medically appropriate and to keep finding me alternate professionals that are knowledgeable with my given problems I would truly be lost navigating my path for treatment. It is hard enough trying to live day to day by myself given my deficits. Only with Dr. Diane’s help have I been able to continue to pursue better health. I am forever grateful for all she has done for me and everyone suffering from TBI or PCS and for all the medical knowledge she has acquired and shared with all.”
– Betsy Bray, CT
Are you ready to feel better? For a limited-time we are offering $30 off a personal consult with Dr. Diane along with a free autographed copy of “Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brian Injury”.
There are a number of ways to consult with Dr. Diane: in person in her Boxford, Massachusetts office; by phone; by email; or virtually worldwide via Skype.