As head injuries increase in U.S. Youth Sports, Traumatic Brain Injury, often referred to as TBI, has become an area of concern for more and more trainers, parents and medical staff. Dealing with your loved one’s injury, forces you to deal with emotions that you’ve never dreamed of. One moment the person is normal and the next moment life has abruptly changed.
As parents of an athlete, you’ve come to terms with the idea of a broken arm, a chipped tooth, sore muscles and hurt emotions from losing a game. A brain injury however, is different from a broken limb. Since the brain determines who we are, the results of a brain injury can affect all aspects of not only the athlete’s life, but that of loved ones who are there to support them.
Since no two brains are alike, the healing process differs as well. The one constant is this; Be there for your loved one on the road to recovery. Do not grow weak during this time of trial, but instead, rejoice in even the smallest of milestones. Remember, you are standing on the outside looking in, they, are on the inside looking out.
What you can do as a co-survivor:
1. Find out all you can about the injury. Start with the medical team attending to your loved one. Do independent research at your local library and online. Ask for outside resources for counseling and support groups.
2. Decide to be realistic about the injury. Expecting a severely injured person to “snap out of it” is unrealistic and can create unnecessary emotions of depression, frustration and guilt.
3. Create a team of vigil supporters. Love truly does heal.
4. Keep a journal and video diary. Celebrate the stages of progress.
5. Pray and meditate on the positive. Never cease in your belief for a healing. Our bodies have the remarkable ability to heal. Slow and steady is the road to recovery.
May you have a smooth ride.