We address the unique cognitive, adjustment, and physical difficulties which can interfere with successful living. See how we successfully worked with some remarkable people to overcome these obstacles.
Gene is a gearhead. His words, not ours. He loves to tinker, to build things, to fix things. He revels in slowly taking his little house, his “project”, and transforming it into a home, a place of his own. This house gave him purpose, when it seemed like all the purpose had drifted away over the years. Gene pours his heart and soul into his home, his town. He is laying down roots, for real this time. He loves his hometown. Everyone knows each other and helps each other out. They all get by, as a community. He lives in an old town that rose up around the mills and coal mines outside of Pittsburgh. It has a post office, and a little store.
But today he is happy, truly happy. Despite the accident and his long road to this place of his own…When Gene started services with Main Line Rehabilitation Associates, he was in the process of transitioning into a new home to start his “new life” after a traumatic brain injury. His injury occurred when he drove his motorcycle into a couch that someone left in the middle of the road as a prank. Before beginning services with Main Line, Eugene completed 7 months of rehabilitation at a residential treatment facility where he began to re-learn many skills.
Early on he was frustrated with his rehabilitation process and was not the ideal patient. He was determined to leave and return to his old life. His brain injury forced him to accept the new Gene and take a look at what’s really important, while being true to his “gearhead” philosophy. He built a solid understanding of his brain injury and began setting goals for his future. Once he began receiving Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy in his home environment, he began using own tools and resources to rebuild his life in a way that was unique to him.
After his injury, Eugene needed to relearn basic thinking and communication skills along with coping with minimal use of his left arm. The skills needed to plan and follow through with extensive projects were hampered due to his injuries. Although he recognized that some of his abilities had changed, he never lost his drive and perseverance to use what he knows to overcome obstacles that he now faced.
In working closely with his CRT on skills such as independent problem solving, Eugene was empowered to progress with his therapy goals. He began using his computer as his main “tool kit” to keep a memory journal, to complete independent research on his recovery and medical needs, and to begin planning short and long term goals. His therapist used the Cognitive Rehabilitation process to identify specific areas to improve through education, skills training, and strategy development. Through repeated practice, Eugene has relearned to use his tools to achieve his goals. He is now able to make repairs to his home, has a supportive social network, and participates in hobbies that make him feel like the “gearhead” that he always was.
Gene refers to himself as retired now. He wakes when he pleases, eats three square meals a day and spends his days engaged in the activities he loves. He continues to craft the life he desires, doing the things he wants to do, feeling like a valued member of his community, and having fun! He’s happy to wake up every morning and definitely doesn’t sweat the small stuff. He’s always looking for solutions, and a better way to do something. He comes up with his own strategies to make his life better, to cope better with the effects of the brain injury and it’s all on his own terms. While some people might be devastated by a traumatic brain injury, Gene engineered himself into learning lessons that sometimes take a lifetime to master.