With the right tool, many TBI survivors can go back to who they were beyond the 2-year plateau as their uninjured brain cells have the same DNA and can learn. Many “chronic issues” are secondary to intense stress associated with TBI and can go away or be easily corrected once individuals know they can recover. The difference can be heaven vs. hell to both individuals and society.
Many people have been told that Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) survivors can achieve maximum recovery in 2 years (called 2-year plateau). Some people also call TBI “chronic illnesses.” THAT IS NOT TRUE.
First, uninjured brain cells have the same DNA with no 2-year plateau, which is how I could recover myself from Traumatic Brain Injury due to an accident in 1997, pass medical license exams 2001~2003, and did excellently again at the clinics. Second, many “chronic issues” are secondary to intense insecurity and stress associated with TBI. Once TBI survivors know that they can go back to who they were, those secondary issues can go away or be easily corrected. I have helped every TBI survivor I met at the clinics. All of them achieved significant results beyond their 2-year plateau and resolve their “chronic issues.” I am going to share with you their stories and mine.
What Impedes the Recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury?
Both technology and human beings. While traditional technology and focus contribute to the 2-year plateau, human beings can promote, impede, or destroy innovation and recovery. Individuals can be deprived of human rights not only socially, legally, but also medically. To recover from Traumatic Brain Injury can be a typical example.
1. Life Saving and Safety Enhancement Cannot Guarantee Cognitive Restoration.
It is critical to control cranial pressure and minimize toxin release at the acute stage to save life, minimize damage, and preserve non-injured brain cells. Western medicine has achieved greatly here. Physical rehab and speech therapy further enhance individuals’ safety and restore physical function. However, cognitive restoration often happens at the chronic stage, which is outside of the comfort zone of the Western Medicine but the comfort zone of Eastern medicine and the 6Q tools.
2. Focus on damaged brain cells and ignore uninjured ones.
Although injured brain cells have 2-year plateau, uninjured brain cells do not but preserve the same DNA and learning capacity. Studies have also found that most people only use 10% of their brains. Many TBI survivors have at least 10% of their brain cells uninjured, therefore, they have a great chance to go back to who they were, including the ones with brain removal. Here is a story about one survivor with brain removal.
A tall and thin middle-aged man had partial brain removal due to TBI 10 years ago. His mother always accompanied him to the clinic and answered questions for him. I knew that the only way the man could speak is to practice whenever possible. I asked him to answer all the questions and told him that I had all the time I needed.
Of course, I did not have unlimited time. However, the man’s issue was straightforward, and I could always ask his mother if needed. He was very slow initially, but he answered all my questions. Then I gave him some homework and asked him to read aloud at home and tell me the homework for the next visit. As he could speak more and more, the man became more and more alive, energetic, and shinning.
3. Inefficient Cognitive Restoration
Most cognitive programs prepare TBI survivors to accept “the next level of placement” instead of going back to who they were. The low expectation somehow is associated with the tools that they use– limited IQ, behaviors or Psychology tools.
The brain rehab I went to mainly helped me not to fall or choke. Psychological support mainly let me express my fears and struggles and then advised me to accept my “new life.” These are essential but do not help a person regain his or her cognitive function and get back to who the person was. I knew I had to do the rest part on my own.
Each person is an integrated system of 6Qs: IQ, EQ, Learning Q, Adversity Q, Public Influence Q, and Health Q. Because all 6Qs are integrated, poor IQ performance can have non-IQ causes, on which cognitive training and stimulation have limited impact. For the same reason, IQ performance can be enhanced through both IQ and non-IQ channels. Furthermore, how to learn easy is another key as the learning can be massive and challenging. TBI survivors need to see results quickly to stay motivated and continue to restore the rest cognitive function.
Attorneys often focus on making more money now instead of clients’ recovery and future. I had three attorneys in workman’s compensation as my head injury happened on my way to work. All of them wanted me to claim 100% disabilities even after I passed medical licensing exams and received excellent letters of recommendation. If people like me was 100% disable, how many are able out there? Who will trust me?
4. Legal Impact
Most TBI survivors do not know their rights, not to mention to protect their rights. Some attorneys actively help their clients regain cognitive function, which is wise for both in the long run.
However, some attorneys only want to make money and disregard the future of their clients. My injury in 1997 was also a workman’s compensation claim since I was on my way to work. I totally had three attorneys, one of whom was the president of the workman’s compensation attorney association in one state. All three attorneys wanted me to claim 100% disabilities even after I passed medical licensing exams and received excellent letters of recommendation at the clinics. If a person who can pass medical licensing exams is 100% disabled, how many are not disable out there? Who will trust my word?
No money can buy a person’s freedom, opportunities, and credibility. It is vital to get the right attorney. Usually, it is much easier to identify bad attorneys than wrong doctors.
5. Ignorance and Resistance
People in healthcare are often very caring and understanding. However, some “experts” refuse to believe that others can solve the problems that they cannot. They can simply label the TBI survivors with the “disabilities” that they think should be there with “their way,” take away others’ training, insist on their wrongdoing… it is astonishing and heartbreaking to watch these happening, especially when those experts are someone who you have trusted and respected.
By ignoring and resisting innovation, the above “experts” also take away the opportunities of millions of TBI survivors with the potential to pursue their freedom and opportunities again,. That also creates a huge burden to society as lifetime treatment can cost $85,000 to $3 million per TBI survivor. That is unethical, inhuman, and illegal. Thus, it is critical for people in healthcare, especially leaders, to have a healthy Ego, stay open to innovation, explore better solutions, and be not afraid to learn from mistakes. Then healthcare can go from good to great and be cost-efficient.
Secondary Issues Can Be Corrected Easily
Some people call Traumatic Brain Injury a “chronic illness” as some health issues are associated with Traumatic Brain Injury, for example, insomnia, impulse control, aggressive behaviors and low thyroid. In fact, many can be easily corrected, such as the case below:
A business owner had TBI and was too frustrated that he had to relearn everything. He often called 911 to go to the Emergency Room (ER) to yell at doctors and nurses there. His ER visits lasted for years. I happened to do a rotation in ER that day and saw him screaming. I completely understood him — there is nothing that can be more frightening and stressful than to lose the ability to protect your freedom and opportunities. I went up to talk to him, asked about his progress, and shared with him my live sample of success. I told him that not everyone has a chance to go back to who they were, and he at least had a chance. If I could make it, so could him.
We talked for about 10 minutes. The business owner thanked me in the end. ER nurses later told me that the ER visit was his shortest and most pleasant. He soon went to work and never came back to the ER.
I could change his behavior in 10 minutes because his issue was related to intense insecurity and stress, secondary to TBI. Having been there, I know that nothing can be more frightening and hopeless than to lose a person’s brainpower. Once the business owner knew that he could regain his brainpower, it was easy to correct his aggressive behavior.
Insomnia and impulse control have been corrected for the same reason. Low thyroid and low growth hormone may also be related to depression and stress. Epilepsy and decreased sight are more structure related. We are going to explore if the 6Q cognitive restoration can help to resolve the rest “chronic health issues.” Please contact us if you or your team are interested.
How to Recover from Traumatic Brain Injury beyond the “2-Year Plateau?”
Every Step Counts!
First, it is critical to save life, minimize damage, and preserve non-injured brain cells at the acute stage. Western medicine has achieved greatly in controlling cranial pressure and minimizing toxin release. I could recover well also because the accident happened in a winter evening, so I could benefit from hypothermia instantly. The hospital at Amarillo also took good care of me and taught me the first two words, “Good morning!”
Second, Physical rehab and speech therapy can further enhance safety and restore physical function, which is the foundation of cognitive restoration.
We help to optimize the end results –6Q cognitive restoration instead of partial, so that individuals can go back to who they were instead of accepting “the next level of placement.” We will also enhance further healing via Eastern Medicine if possible.
1. Who Can Benefit from Us?
Can anyone benefit from the 6Q cognitive restoration? No, only those who can learn and are motivated to learn.
Those with “chronic health issues” should have 6Q cognitive restoration and medical symptom relieves at the same time. Currently, we prefer all participants who have finished step 1 and 2.
2. How We Help TBI Survivors? What to Expect?
In general, we design custom programs per individuals’ unique needs and challenges and make learning as easy and fun as possible, for the learning can be massive, challenging, and frustrating. Also, we promote further healing through Eastern and Western medicine and the 6Q tools. We want TBI survivors to see results quickly, stay motivated and continue their cognitive restoration. Read more about the program
What to expect? Many TBI survivors can show some improvement in 8 weeks if they work hard and achieve much more in 10-12 months. Complete recovery can take years. Some survivors may have unexpected discoveries, for example, I can read the stories within some music, which I could never imagine before the accident.
3. Who Supports TBI Recovery Financially?
Private insurances, institutions and families are often the first payers. Many states have a TBI trust fund to help survivors learn new skills, and many TBI survivors are eligible for their state assistance. For example,
New Jersey TBI FUND
Director: Peri Nearon
11A Quakerbridge Plaza, Mercerville NJ 08625-0700
Louisiana Traumatic Head and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund
Manager: Tonia Gedward
LDH Office of Aging and Adult Services
Tel: (225) 219-9935
New Mexico Dept of Education- Division of Vocational Rehab
Director: Lucinda Garc
435 St. Michael’s Drive, Bidg. D, Sante Fe, NM 87505
Massachusetts Brain Injury and Statewide Specialized Community Services
Director: Sandy Biber
600 Washington Street, 2nd Floor MRL, Boston, MA 02210-1616
Other states include Kentucky, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Pennsylvania, etc. You can get the information about your state and others at “A LOOK AT TBI TRUST FUND PROGRAMS.”
Nothing can ensure individuals’ freedom and opportunities better than their brainpower. With the right tools, many TBI survivors can recover from Traumatic Brain Injury beyond the 2-year plateau and pursue their freedom and opportunities again. When one TBI survivor can return to work, society will not only have one more taxpayer but also save $85,000 to $3 million in lifetime treatment.
What limits Traumatic Brain Injury recovery also contributes to today’s skyrocketing healthcare costs. It is excellent to search for solutions at stem cells and bio-medicine levels. In the meantime, we need to look at horizontal level. Like many chronic issues due to TBI, about 70% of primary clinical visits result from non-health causes, for example, heart attack, weight gain, and insomnia. Many health issues have chronic and incubation stages, where Western medicine has limited power. Healthcare can easily become expensive endless symptom relieves if it is used to handle non-health causes or outside their comfort zone. Many institutions have begun to value Eastern medicine or use limited IQ, EQ and psychological tools to manage non-health causes. However, that is just beginning.
By targeting issues with the right tools, we can help many TBI survivors recover beyond the 2-year plateau, minimize other disabilities, deaths, illnesses, and beat skyrocketing’s healthcare costs. It takes everyone to achieve the goal, especially leaders in healthcare– to stay open to new ideas and innovation, be willing to explore better solutions, and be not afraid to learn from mistakes, so healthcare can go from good to great and save costs efficiently.
About the Author
Bin Yang is the Managing Director of Dream & Power and The Prince Synergy, a leading consulting firm that focus on building exceptional leaders and performance management systems while optimizing healthcare quality and beating healthcare costs. For more information or to schedule an interview, lecture or appointment, please call 310-668-1828.