jokes about her limitations. Bring a joke book, a cassette or video of her favorite comedian. You may still offend someone, but that’s the chance many comedians take! Feel free to laugh if the patient makes a joke!
Love—This goes without saying. If you are having trouble expressing your love for the patient, try visualizing the times in your life where you felt the most love for him and try to regain that moment. Think of things about the person that you used to love and that you love now. Imagine how good it will feel for the patient to feel loved. Along with laughter, love can do wonders for helping the patient heal.
CHAPTER FIVE: COPING
“Whenever someone would ask how I was holding up, I would politely smile and say ‘fine.’ They kne , as well as I, that I wasn’t fi n e . I n f a c t , I w a s e x h a u s t e d a n d f e l t l i k e a r a g i n g v o l c a n o r e a d y
to erupt. It was when my 12-year-old daughter almost cowered at my asking her if she finished her homework that I realized I had been snapping at her relentlessly. Now I take better care of myself. I talk to a psychologist. I started bike riding with my daughte ,
and I feel I can now be a better mother.
J. P., Caregiver
Just as important as the patient’s well-being is the well-being of his or her support group. This includes family, friends and caregivers. It is easy for the loved ones of a brain-injury survivor to get engrossed in caring for that individual and putting their own needs and wants aside. What many people don’t realize is that by not taking care of themselves, they are also hurting others. If a person burns herself out to the point that she can no longer function, then how good a caregiver can she be? Think about what would happen if you burned yourself out and weren’t available for your injured loved one when you were really needed? And as human beings, we have the need and the right to live our own lives and take care of ourselves to a