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Traumatic Brain Injury: More than Just Brain-Related Challenges

From the Show: Wellness for Life
Summary: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) presents more than just brain-related challenges, including employment and personal struggles.
Air Date: 11/6/15
Duration: 10
Host: Susanne Bennett, DC
Guest Bio: Lynda McGuirk, Author
Lynda-McGuirkLynda McGuirk is an entrepreneur and owner of McGuirk Management Small Business Organization Service. In January 2003, McGuirk spent six weeks in a coma, as a result of an automobile accident. That was the easy part. When she woke up, the real work began and she faced a long rehabilitation program. In 2010 she completed her Master's Degree in Hospitality Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Today, McGuirk is a successful entrepreneur and author of the new book, Survive and Thrive: My Traumatic Brain Injury Survival Guide. Like millions of traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors, McGuirk relearned how to live and was able to re-channel her life and business goals into a new, satisfying lifestyle.

Her dream is to open a retreat in Belize for TBI survivors and their families.
  • Book Title: Survive and Thrive: My Traumatic Brain Injury Survival Guide
  • Guest Facebook Account: https://www.facebook.com/lynda.mcguirk
  • Guest Twitter Account: @LyndaMc
Traumatic Brain Injury: More than Just Brain-Related Challenges
An estimated 1.7 million individuals suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI) annually. 

This presents more than just brain-related challenges.

In January 2003, Lynda McGuirk spent six weeks in a coma. That was the easy part.

When she woke up, the real work began and she faced a long rehabilitation program, as well as unknown difficulties in her work and personal lives.

For example, when she began to look for a job after her accident, McGuirk encountered what she terms a "strange resume." With 18+ months since her last employment, it presented a weird gap. Employers are often afraid to talk about head injury (or any other medical issue). Without that information, it's hard to effectively explain the gap in lack of work. 

Fortunately, McGuirk was able to find employment with people who understood her medical history. 

What if you're facing the same situation?

Support is absolutely necessary and you also have to be open to different opportunities. The work you find might be well below your skill set and/or education. Temp agencies are a great way to start. 

McGuirk also advises that overall wellness, incorporating fitness (stretching, cardio and strength training), eating right, and mindfulness, is huge to aid recovery. Increasing the blood flow in your body increases it to your brain as well. Being more flexible makes doing things easier, which takes a burden off of your body and thus a burden off your mind.

Finally, don't be afraid to ask for help from others. Many people will be willing to help; they just need to know where you're coming from.

McGuirk joins Dr. Susanne to share this information and more from her book, Survive and Thrive: My Traumatic Brain Injury Survival Guide, which she calls "a "friend on the inside"... advice from someone who has experienced TBI and can help you get through yours.
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