Thursday, September 9, 2010

Books for a Bad Brain

So, it's been a slow couple of days around here. We had grand plans to spend Labor Day weekend at home to work on some house projects--namely packing up the clutter in the basement! But, between the fatigue I've been fighting and a killer headache on Monday, we didn't get much done. I have a headache every day, but I can usually tolerate it if I'm careful to not do too much. Most of the time, I have an idea when a bad one is coming because I haven't portioned my energy well, but occasionally I get blindsided. That's what happened on Monday. Fortunately, Niels was home for the holiday because it was bad enough that I would have had to have him stay home that day. So, not much labor got done this Labor Day weekend.

So now that Daniel's finally napping, I'm in basement, working on the clutter. Niels and I have been married for over three years now, and we are just now starting to really integrate all our stuff from our collective 74 years of life (gulp!). Needless to say, it's slow going. And it's only going because we're putting our house for sale...whenever we get done de-cluttering!

First up...the books. Anyone who's known me in the last ten years know I (now, we) have an impressive home library--a nice benefit of 12 years in the publishing world. When I lost my job, I started selling off my books on Amazon. I sold enough to pay my mortgage for two months. By the time I moved to Ohio, I had sold about one-third of collection, and it still filled up 11 bookcases!

As we pack up the house, we're doing another purge, which makes the packing process painfully slow, but our inventory is getting updated again and hopefully, we'll make a little cash to help out with the costs of selling our house.

I'm packing by category, and today I came up my brain injury books. These are the books have been most helpful to me (and others) in understanding and living with my TBI.

Over My Head by Claudia Osborn. This was the book recommended by my occupational therapist. I had a hard time understanding what was happening to me. Reading what happened to someone else is this memoir of a doctor who sustained a TBI was really helpful. Niels read this book when we first started dating to understand TBI.

Where is the Mango Princess? by Cathy Crimmons. Another memoir, this one by the wife of a TBI survivor. This one taught me how just how long recover from TBI can be, and that "recovery" is really a euphemism for adjusting to your limitations and "new normal."

Coping with Traumatic Brain Injury by Stoler & Hill. This book was recommended by my neuro, and was helpful to understand the physical, emotional and vocational effects of TBI.

Brain Injury Survival Guide by Cheryle Sullivan. I learned of this book about a year ago. It's the kind of book I would have wanted to write about TBI if I could still write. It's filled with tips about living with TBI.

Surviving Information Overload by Kevin Miller. Zondervan published this book while I was trying to return to work and I because it's biggest fan. I gave copies to everyone on my medical team. This book isn't written for the TBI market, but the strategies contained it have made my life a lot more manageable.

Conversations with the Voiceless by John Wessells. This is really a book for the soul, with the subtitle of, "Finding God's Love in Life's Hardest Questions." The author works with brain-injured patients.

Hallie's Heart by Shelly Beach. A friend from my writing club wrote this novel, which features a character with a TBI.

Finding Grace by Alyssa Brugman. Another novel with a character living with TBI.

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