connecting the world one survivor at a time
In September 2005, a high-speed Mercedes hit my son Andrew and me from behind in our solid 1993 Volvo. I encourage you to view this short film my film-maker son Chris Byler made of my so-called recovery from a so-called mild TBI.
Marilyn Spivak, founder of the Brain Injury Association of America, says, "This short film is a must-see for anyone whose life touches mild TBI: survivors, families, friends, and professionals. With great insight, courage and humor, John gives us a rare view of what it's like to live with this injury. His story, images, and metaphors open up a world typically closed, invisible, ignored, or misunderstood."
The book I refer to in the film should be available by July 1, 2011 on Amazon: "You Look Great!" -- Strategies for Living Inside a Brain Injury
My TBI-related email is MildTBI@gmail.com
Beyond the innumerable concussions sustained in car accidents and sporting events each year, TBI has become the signature wound of the Iraq war. My heart goes out to all those who suffered an incident and lived to tell the tale, but are suffering with this debilitating but "invisible" injury.
It's a confusing injury for all of us. In many cases, we look very much like we did before the incident, including even our MRIs. People who love us are so glad we were not killed or more seriously injured that they very much want to think that we are the same people we used to be.
But we have changed in remarkable ways, and this injury has had dramatic effects on how we live this new life.
It's important that all of us understand the injury better. Those of us with the injury must try to minimize the number of terrible days. People without a TBI ("civilians") must be sensitive to how our brains now work day-to-day and encourage us and motivate us . . . and sometimes leave us alone when we need to shut down.
This video tells the story of trying to recover from an injury that in some ways is invisible to the outside world. My hope is that fellow sufferers find comfort that they are not alone in their injury, and that they learn ways of describing what they're going through to their families, friends, and caregivers.
My heart-felt thanks to my oldest son Chris who spent many hours the summer of 2008 slaving over a hot screen creating this video.