Healing Brain Trauma and Injury: A Response to Video by Daniel Carcillo

Today is an off the cuff kind of day. I somehow got up and caught this video on one of my online groups, and it has been very revealing. For those that have not seen this, you can find the original video by looking up his name and then look for the video that is about treating Brain Trauma and Injury. It’s kind of amazing thinking that someone that has had so many injuries is able to fluidly put together such a deep and important statement about the healing process itself.

I grew up having a sister that has epilepsy and has thus fallen a million times over and hurt herself, more ways that I can count on both hands over the years. It has not been very many years since she actually fell ‘up’ the stairs in the middle of the night in a new home and just crawled in bed not even being aware that her head is bleeding profusely from running into the hand rail. Just this injury alone, from a small siezure, required major facial surgery to repair the broken bones in her face, sinuses, jaw, and to check for further trauma to her brain.

I have been curious for a really long time, about the nature of these kind of head injuries changing her personality, changing her manner of expressing her emotions, changing her thinking, changing her focus, and making it very hard for her to have a normal life at all.

This video by this former NHL player has me really curious as to what kind of treatments they are doing in these plasticity centers and if there is any success rate or failure rate of any of these treatment plans. Having spent *years* travelling back and forth from the leading, state of the art, neurology center here- and being exposed to these issues throughout my life, I have learned a lot. But one thing that has remained steadfast is that there is never going to be a treatment to heal the brain damage that is caused from these varied types of brain trauma. Therefore, eventually my sister is going to be a vegetable that cannot fully think for herself, and someday- though there have been so many attempts to prevent it, she is going to end up in long term care earlier than most- can plan on not living to be 100, or even 80, and most likely is never going to have a normal partnership, lifestyle, or even just a normal day on her feet.

I am learning a lot from this video, that brain trauma can actually cause major personality changes. I learned recently that one of the major reasons that my sister can be so brutal at times, in her mood changing from houyr to hour, is because the epicenter of her siezures is in the front right lobe and because of that her centers for compassion and expressing love are damaged. Actually, they are gone, the area had been removed by a surgeon about 2 years ago- on the hope that this could eliminate most of her seizures.

Actually, it did and the number of seizures that she has currently is dramatically reduced, but her day to day behavior is very hard to accept at times. Some days it is mostly normal and she seems like herself, but most days she has heavy mood swings and has a tendency to lash out about things easily.

I really hope that this NHL player is able to bring more information to the forefront about these programs that help to heal the brain, because he is right- one thing that he mentions is the prevalence of Parkinson’s, Altimer’s, and Dementia for those that have sustained major brain injuries. In all of its irony, anybody that has epilepsy has some understanding that every time they have a seizure it is like a storm that injures the brain progressively over time. Each seizure drives the damage a little further, and over the course of a lifespan, they tend to increase, not reduce unless medication is used to control it.

Also, those that have family members that have epilepsy are keenly aware of the trouble that they get into, having falls, and petite mal seizures that cause them to not remember anything that has happened. Thus, creating the cognitive problem too- of not having a memory to help explain to others anything that has happened to them in those minutes that literally ‘anything’ can happen. good or bad.

I am really grateful that this former NHL player has brought his mission to the table in treating traumatic brain injury because this is no joke, to spend a life time fighting the great ‘man’ and having a brain that is not on your side? It’s the hardest fight ever. At some point you are just fighting for your soul, to overcome the brain, and the heart, to take up the slack that the brain cannot. For the words to come out right, for the thoughts you do have and are important to be relayed clearly- at all, to someone that can actually help you get on track again.

Spiritually, haven’t we always known that the brain heals itself? Scientifically, we are still trying to determine how. That makes this man’s journey, pretty deeply amazing if you think about it. He’s proving to the rest of the world that these injuries can also heal, and mend, and the dysfunction that comes from the rest- can be limited over time.

I am amazed, curious, enlightened, and really looking forward to learning more about his journey- his process, and this amazing facility that has had such a success rate- but does not appear to be affiliated to any of the major neurology centers that I have visited.

 

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