Re-training the damaged brain

There’s a good article today, “Coaching the Comeback,” about an occupational therapist working with patients recovering from traumatic brain injuries.  From physical training, nerve stimulation and direct social interaction (e.g., maintaining eye contact, talking to them), the therapist helps her patients along.  It’s a nice summary of several themes that we’ve said in different ways about brains.  And, the therapist with her collection of skills, her education of families, her moral views on recovery also shows the importance of culture in interaction.  It’s also a nice story in itself…

3 thoughts on “Re-training the damaged brain

  1. Ms. Levin seems to be a very focused, hard working, and diligent occupational therapist. Although I am unfamiliar with the subject matter, I was very impressed by her ability to maintain an optimistic attitude while working with patients most people have given up on. Her social interaction with the patients, however, is obviously aiding their recoveries. It leads me to wonder whether the patients would be showing as much progress if left alone. Another interesting aspect of the article was her comment on how her patients had sustained their injuries (overdose, drunk driving, etc,) did not necessarily taint her treatment of them.

  2. I definitely agree with the previous post that Ms. Levin possesses an undeniable and impressive ability to remain focused, work hard, and continue to be optimistic towards her patient’s progress and recovery, despite whatever their reason for being a part of the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation might be. It takes a person with strong character, morals, and faith to be able to face the sorts of challenges that Ms. Levin faces on a day to day basis, let alone, remain as hopeful and positive as she does for each of her patients, especially when all others may have given up hope.
    As far as the previous post’s question goes concerning a patients’ ability to progress as much as they have with out the help of therapists such as Ms. Levin, I personally do not think they would. This past summer, my grandmother suffered from a severe stroke in her midbrain that left her unable to talk, control the movement of her limbs or bowel, or hardly function. For several weeks she remained in the hospital falling in and out of a coma. The doctor’s prepared our family for the worst and all hope for her to recover seemed to be slipping more and more each day. She finally began showing promising signs of regaining her ability to hear, understand, and talk which allowed our family to move her from the hospital to a nursing home. Every day her occupational therapist, Angie, would visit and run a 30 minute session which focused on helping my grandmother regain her mental ability. Immediately after my grandmother began working with Angie on a day-to-day basis, it was very evident that her progress increased immensely. We, as an entire family, saw such a wonderful change in grandma’s attitude and improvement and I truly believe that much, if not all of her progress, was due to her sessions with Angie. Working with such an optimistic and genuinely cheerful person everyday left it hard for negativity to stick around not only our family, but more importantly for my grandmother, as well.

  3. I also completely agree that Ms. Levin is undeniably and impressively hard working and optimistic. She seems to thoroughly love occupational therapy and definately makes a difference in the lives of her patients. I found her comment towards one of her younger patients injured from a drunk driving accident very interesting in that she said he was one her failures. Even though she was able to help this boy successfully recover both physically and mentally, she believed she failed him because he apparently didn’t learn from his mistake and joked about drinking again. Ms. Levin offers such high quality care to her patients in hope that she not only helps each patient survive their brain injury, but also furthers their life in general.

    As the previous post most certainly demonstrates, I believe the care of occupational therapists is needed for a patient to recover properly. Some progress may be made by a patient on his/her own either naturally or by their own efforts, but I think this progress occurs much more quickly, efficiently, and thoroughly with the aid of an occupational therapist.

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