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The Complete Guide for Families Living with Traumatic Brain Injury

John W. Cassidy, MD

(With an Introduction by Lee Woodruff, coauthor of In an Instant: A Family’s Journey of Love and Healing)

For anyone whose loved one has experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI), you know that it is a life-changing event. It may feel as if your world has shifted on its axis, and you’ll never get your bearings. Navigating your way through

 More than 6.3 million Americans live with a severe disability caused by a traumatic brain injury. In fact, it’s so commonplace, but little talked of, that TBI is often referred to as the “silent epidemic.” In these pages, Dr. Cassidy walks you through the different types of brain injury; the common myths surrounding it; the ways in which TBI may affect memory, behavior, and social interaction; what the newest options are in treatment and rehabilitation; and how to hold onto your own sense of self as you journey through. Along with the practical information you’ll need, Mindstorms offers a constellation of stories from families and patients who are slowly but surely finding their way back. May their stories inspire you and yours.e system can be daunting, especially when you want only what’s best for your loved one. Dr. John Cassidy has devoted the past twenty-five years to helping families cope with traumatic brain injury; Mindstorms is his compassionate, comprehensive manual to demystifying this often frightening condition. the morass of doctors, medical terms, and the healthcare system can be daunting, especially when you want only what’s best for your loved one. Dr. John Cassidy has devoted the past twenty-five years to helping families cope with traumatic brain injury; Mindstorms is his compassionate, comprehensive manual to demystifying this often frightening condition

 John W. Cassidy, MD, an award-winning neouropsychiatrist and former Harvard Medical School professor, helped found the traumatic brain injury program at Boston’s McLean Hospital. He is currently the CEO/CMO of Nexus Health Systems and lives in Houston, Texas, with his wife.

Praise for Mindstorms:

“One of the greatest gifts a loved one can be handed in the midst of a storm is a life raft. This book is that raft.”—Lee Woodruff

 Readers Comment on Mindstorms:

“I read Dr. Cassidy's book, MINDSTORMS, and was impressed with his knowledge and insight.” Jan, TX 

“I recently found your book (John W Cassidy) and I want to thank him after all these years. I had a head injury but also have impairment of my left ear/eye(legally blind)was in a coma for 8 days with blood clot in the brain and traumatic amnesia I was told, still don’t remember the accident.., Your book is a open book of my life.” Christopher, NV

"I had a stroke in Aug2003, this month will be 8 years in for me. Through a friend of a friend, I used Feldenkrais Physical Therapy for 3 years. We had tremendous success in alleviating excruciating pain in my left shoulder, but then zero success in regaining any function of my left arm and hand. a few months ago, during an oasis Feldenkrais session given to me by the wife of a dear friend during my visit to her husband, she loaned me your wonderful instructive book, “Mindstorms”. My wife read it cover to cover in that first week. me, on the other hand, only read a few chapters at a time, including yesterday, which reminded me and stimulated me to communicate with you, so I could express my sincere thanks and admiration for your ability to describe so succinctly the many faceted nuances of TBI. I consider myself very fortunate to have only a few physical left sided disabilities, cannot walk normally, no function in my left arm or hand, back pain while sitting, etc. I think that cognitively I lucked out, but nevertheless as you so aptly describe in the book, my family dynamic has suffered greatly. My wife, my loyal caregiver, is my husband. My 5 adult sons are my 5 fathers. Over the years, I say to myself mostly, although occasionally to others, – “ I no longer know who I am or what I am doing”. Ok, I’m getting away from my reason of writing you. Even though my own symptoms are miniscule in comparison to many of your real life vignettes, your descriptions and commentary made me feel so comfortable, so peaceful. I believe in hindsight, as I am thinking and writing now, that it is soothing to have some semblance of understanding about what has and is happening to me as a result of a wound to my brain. I’m writing you to give you extra strength and fortitude to continue in your important endeavors, knowing they are touching others in ways that add tremendous quality of life. I like to indulge myself by expressing my feelings, rather than remain indebted to the person that gives me something of benefit. In your case, I felt I had to thank you, knowing I am not alone n my feelings, but quite possibly alone in having the desire, the freedom and the ability to communicate with you. I was and still am a nature digital photographer. My handshake or little hug is sharing images via communications." Dovid

"My daughter suffered a traumatic brain injury last September. She has made tremendous progress since then however, there are still many issues she is faced with. Her courage and determination is astounding. Mindstorms is informative, well written, and yes, encouraging. The author goes into the many facets of brain injury in simple language. He explains the hardships that the patient endures to reach his or her greatest potential. The author brings understanding to the lay person and care giver from the medical and patient perspective. For those whose loved ones or friends have gone through traumatic brain injury this book gives great insight into the issues involved with TBI." M. Wirth "Chey", Tucson

"It's unfortunate that Mindstorms has so few reviews here. In my opinion, it is the best overview of brain injury available today. In just over 200 pages, it covers every aspect of brain injury, from the emergency room through rehabilitation to reentering the real world. It even has a chapter that reminds family members to take care of themselves. Mindstorms is clearly written. Vignettes of real-life patients treated by the author--who as a neuropsychiatrist is intimately acquainted with brain injury--illustrate and humanize the topics addressed. At times, however, the reader is challenged by medical discussions and terminology. Perhaps most importantly, this book paints a realistic picture of the permanent life-altering aspects of brain injury, while offering the hope that comes from knowing that countless survivors of a brain injury live full, happy, and productive lives." Garry Prowe

"This book provides a great overview of the progression of TBI. It also explains the process of good TBI care and the sequence of facilities that a patient moves through, from an ER to the rehabilitation center. Reading the book helps set realistic expectations for the timetable for patient improvement." JT, Network

"This book is very informative & highlights many personal accounts of life following a traumatic brain injury, not only for the victims, but for the caregiver, family or friends. It covers everything. I highly recommend it for anyone trying to educate themselves concerning life after a TBI."

"Amazing book...would highly recommend it to anyone working in the field of brain injury and anyone who has a loved one who has suffered a head injury!!!" Meghan K Durkin

"Great overview of the possibilities/options at every treatment stage of the TBI game. As a TBI survivor I really liked this book to better understand my treatment options, and come to terms with what had been done during my PTA (post Traumatic Amnesia). Good to fill one in on the terminology too, permitting one to talk the talk effectively." TomH

"This was an amazing revelation for me after dealing with my husbands TBI for 2 years...I wish someone had advised me of this book at the beginning of the journey!! I have now passed it on to a friend whose son had an accident and has TBI. It's an incredibly informative and helpful book. Dr. Cassidy makes it so easy to understand the most Medical of terms...something I feel our physicians have not." LaurieA

"This book is brilliant, very well written and easy to understand. When a loved one suddenly has a catastrophic accident and has TBI (traumatic brain injury), you life is suddenly out of kilter. There's a whole new language being spoken, and you really need something like this book to be informed during a chaotic time. I'd recommend it to anyone with a brain injury." KarenZ