Roadmap For A Brain Aneurysm Survivor:
johncooperjr.com
Helping one person at a time.

Getting Started

(This is a long page, so please scroll down for monthly updated information...Thanks)

Where do I start? What direction should I go? Can’t I just get a copy of your Roadmap?
N
ot really, because we are all very unique and our brain injuries differ greatly as well as our backrounds and our personalities. You are Unique! I will help you get started.

Getting Started . . . let me recommend a few things that have worked for me:

1) I started writing in a journal every day. Try to pick a time of the day when you are not too tired and find a quite place where you can spend this time alone to reflect.

2) Type out your medications/dosage/times of day you take them along with your medical history and all of your doctors’ contact info and your emergency contact information, print a copy out and keep it close by. Email a copy to your emergency contact and a copy to yourself and save a copy in your email account under a new folder called Medical Folder so you can access this from any location. Update this when anything changes.


3) If you don’t attend one already, look into a local Brain Aneurysm Support Group. There is a great group in Philadelphia at: Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

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4) Organize, Organize, Organize. Get a Daily Planner or use an app on your phone like Wunderlist . Make it something that is easy for you to use. You should start tracking  All of your activities and scheduling all of your upcoming and reoccurring events. Try to write out your schedule or plan for a day this the night before.Click Here for a short video. This has made life easier for me when I do this.
Coming Soon: Aneurysm Mentor Program


Brain Injury :“Tell it to me straight”

There are 2 Things I have heard which has made the most sense to me:

—  1) In recovery with a brain injury, if treated like a race, “You should treat your recovery like a marathon not a sprint” in other words you will see some improvement over time (months and years not days and weeks like most other injuries). So that is why I recommend you start a journal so you can revisit where you where, say 6 months or 2 years ago.

 2) Since the time of cavemen your brain has been protected by a hard protective shell called a cranium, once air hits your brain, you will never be the same, Never! Now if you had a brain bleed, the blood changes the chemistry of the brain and you will probably be on medications forever.  Along with added tools and the surgeons hand manipulation of the brain during surgery, the scientific community will never know how things will turn out as they don’t have a true picture of each individual prior to these injuries.

This is not meant to paint a dark picture of our future. It is something
that I had learned through research and conversations with veteran members of a neuro-surgical teams and rehabilitation specialists. I am here with the intention to share everything that I have learned
, both good and bad.  Knowledge is empowering when you are putting together and finding the“New You.”



1/10/14 Update: "A Letter From Your Brain"
(Click Below To Open or read below: document may not open on apple devices)
A_Letter_From_Your_Brain.docx
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3/14/14 Update
Sounds Simple Enough, Right?
Our body requires certain things to get us through the day and our brain requires even more.
After a brain injury we tend to “Hop Back into Things” the way we did before our brain injury and more times than not, we fail or can’t complete the tasks the way we used to. This is frustrating. Frustration quickly steals energy from us and may lead to sadness, being withdrawn or depressed. This is normal. Annoying but normal. We have to create our own “NEW NORMAL”.

 THE ANATOMY OF THE NEW NORMAL
 (some basics to get your Roadmap started):

-Adequate Sleep and rest breaks throughout the day.

-Exercise (after you check with your doctor to see what you can do)

-Scheduling every activity, even your rest breaks and reviewing it several times a day.

-Not over committing yourself and learning to how to say “No”.

-Eating the right foods. There are thousands of online articles on certain foods that are good for you brain. A free email newsletter that I read is from Dr. Daniel G. Amen. There is also various interesting brain studies he has performed as well.  Interesting site.

-Not Missing your Meds. Tip:  Refill your weekly meds the same day every week. I would recommend doing this on a Tuesday or Wednesday versus a Friday. (So if the pharmacy needs to call your doctor for a refill you don’t run out). Contacting a Doctor on a Friday is more difficult than a Tuesday or Wednesday. I’ve learned this the hard way.

 -Try Brain Games. App.'s Examples: Lumosity  or Brain Tuner  or just go old school and buy a paperback Sudoku puzzle book. I first overdid it, got annoyed, frustrated and depressed so I would suggest starting off with 2 minute increments with the games then increasing the time over a time period. Month 1: 2 minutes 2xday, Month 2: 3 minutes 2xday and so on.



Please read the Disclaimer before contacting me.

Special thanks to E.G.C. and L.C. for helping with the website.

Revision 1:Sept. 12, 2013
Revision 2: November 23,2013
Revision 3:December 19, 2013
Revision 4:January 10, 2014

Revision 5: March 14th, 2014
More Coming Soon:
( My Goal is to update this page by April 12th,2014 ) 
Contact me after reading the Disclaimer. Thanks!
“It’s not the cards you’re dealt it’s how you play the game.” via Chris Pardo

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