Log in

I forgot my password

Our latest tweets
Free Webmaster ToolsSubmit Express

Traumatic Brain Injury and the healing power of art: George Clooney proves inspirational

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Traumatic Brain Injury and the healing power of art: George Clooney proves inspirational

Post by Katiedot on Wed Mar 28 2012, 12:23

Interesting account of what it's like to suffer a TBI. I wonder how similar George's experiences were? I'd also really like to see her art.

From: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

TBI and the healing power of art

Artist's work becomes integral to her recovery

Updated: Tuesday, 27 Mar 2012, 6:52 PM EDT

Eliette Markhbein

Editor's note: In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. This week, we introduce you to a journalist and artist, who shares her story of how creating art helped her overcome the trauma following a traumatic brain injury ( TBI ).

“WHACK’ed … then everything was different” was me - eight years before it became the title of my exhibit. I was whacked while bicycling back from work by a red speeding car. Life has been different ever since and art became an integral part of my recovery and my identity.

I started painting portraits of traumatic brain injury survivors to raise awareness about TBI. I selected people from various walks of life: Trisha Meili, “the Central Park Jogger”; Troy Aikman and Pat Lafontaine; Keith Richards and George Clooney; TV news reporter Bob Woodruff, to illustrate the diversity of people affected by TBI. More importantly, I wanted to show examples of brain injury survivors who moved on to have full, productive lives. I hope the portraits offer inspiration to those recently injured: kinship and identity with such icons is a powerful emotion, encompassing pride, pleasure and self-compassion, all of which are in short supply during the rehabilitation process.

For the first couple of years after my accident I was so overwhelmed, fragile and frightened that I could not comprehend what had happened to me, much less what TBI was all about. I gradually relearned to walk, graduating from a walker, to crutches, to a cane and to my own two legs. Yet it was only after I understood what I faced that I became an active partner in my recovery and truly began to heal. I believe information and knowledge was empowering.

Questions about ongoing symptoms are routinely answered by: “It’s to be expected, you have a TBI.” While it might be necessary and comforting early on, at some point I needed to truly understand what had happened to me. My husband and I researched everything we could on TBI and asked questions of everyone. The truth was often painful to reckon with. But the more I asked, the more I knew, and the more I knew, the more amazed I was about how the brain functions or, in my case, did not function! With knowledge, I became more active in my cognitive rehabilitation.

It was a long and excruciating process: I suffered debilitating headaches, having to wrap my head with ice packs for hours. I crashed hard from cognitive fatigue and swore every day that I couldn’t do it any more. But I did. With the kindness, care and guidance of my neuropsychologist, it gradually became an incredible adventure! Together we retrained my brain to process numbers, to retrieve verbal information, to recall items from short-term and long-term memory, to track and commit sequences to memory, to hold and articulate thoughts

When I was halfway through the portrait series, I developed a sense of urgency as news that U.S. military service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan revealed high incidences of TBI among them, now estimated at 40%. I felt strongly that their rehabilitation and re-integration was going to be a challenge for which, as a nation, we needed to be prepared. I became focused on the need for education about TBI symptoms and treatments, for individuals with TBI as well as their families and communities. From that point, the portraits had the mission to travel the country to initiate discussions, forums and debates about TBI and to clearly tell people, that healing and recovery does happen.

As for my own healing, I had to work through the existential terror, anguish and despair of not knowing who I was anymore, of having to contend with a person I did not know, could not count on and did not like - the new me in all her pale splendor! There were many compensatory techniques to learn and practice. I still use them every day and will continue to do so for the rest of my life. Like hidden scaffolding they became part of who I am, imperceptible to the world, yet I could not function without them. And, yes, I still crash when I ask my brain for a sustained and prolonged effort and will undoubtedly crash when finished writing this blog.

Art played a tremendous role in my recovery. To my great surprise art ended up redefining who I was. When I painted I did not feel pain and did not have a traumatic brain injury: thoughts, decisions and actions flowed seamlessly from one to another, just like my brain had functioned pre-injury. It quickly became addictive. Now, it is my life.

TBI is an invisible and life long illness that disrupts the metabolic, social and psychological equilibrium of an individual. The key to regaining control is education about the illness, and long-term rehabilitation of the injured brain.

[more at the link above]

Katiedot
Admin

Posts : 12369
Join date : 2010-12-05

Back to top Go down

Re: Traumatic Brain Injury and the healing power of art: George Clooney proves inspirational

Post by it's me on Wed Mar 28 2012, 13:01

its overwhelming......
and I admit it's really sad to me
to think at him
as a traumatic brained injuried

well
we all see him
in a splendid sunny shape

hope he feels the same way
deep inside himself

it's me
George Clooney fan forever!

Posts : 16793
Join date : 2011-01-03

Back to top Go down

Re: Traumatic Brain Injury and the healing power of art: George Clooney proves inspirational

Post by adgran on Wed Mar 28 2012, 13:22

A powerful first-person narrative...brave woman

adgran
Clooneyfan

Posts : 106
Join date : 2011-06-24

Back to top Go down

Re: Traumatic Brain Injury and the healing power of art: George Clooney proves inspirational

Post by blubelle on Wed Mar 28 2012, 16:12

I wonder how/if this injury affected G's personal life?

blubelle
Ooh, Mr Clooney!

Posts : 959
Join date : 2010-12-22

Back to top Go down

Re: Traumatic Brain Injury and the healing power of art: George Clooney proves inspirational

Post by cindigirl on Wed Mar 28 2012, 16:35

I know if he had TBI from his injury on Syriana he had short-term memory loss. He worked hard to regain it. I don't think it affected his personal relationships.

cindigirl
Happy Clooney-looney!

Posts : 5313
Join date : 2010-12-06
Location : NJ, USA

Back to top Go down

Re: Traumatic Brain Injury and the healing power of art: George Clooney proves inspirational

Post by macs on Wed Mar 28 2012, 18:51

cindigirl wrote:I know if he had TBI from his injury on Syriana he had short-term memory loss. He worked hard to regain it. I don't think it affected his personal relationships.

apart from the pain and sickness which he talked about, that's got to be so scary !

macs
Shooting hoops with George Clooney

Posts : 309
Join date : 2011-09-06

Back to top Go down

Re: Traumatic Brain Injury and the healing power of art: George Clooney proves inspirational

Post by cindigirl on Wed Mar 28 2012, 19:00

Actually he's overcome a lot in his lifetime. Serious Syriana injury, resulting headaches, shoulder injury, I think from a motorcycle accident, broken hand, (slammed in car door), yet he still comes back strong. I think he keeps a lot of his pain to himself.

cindigirl
Happy Clooney-looney!

Posts : 5313
Join date : 2010-12-06
Location : NJ, USA

Back to top Go down

Re: Traumatic Brain Injury and the healing power of art: George Clooney proves inspirational

Post by Katiedot on Wed Mar 28 2012, 21:47

I think he has suffered quite a bit with his injury, but not as much as the lady who wrote the story. She seems to have had a really traumatic time.

(Cindi - I made a new thread from your motorbike crash post)

Katiedot
Admin

Posts : 12369
Join date : 2010-12-05

Back to top Go down

Re: Traumatic Brain Injury and the healing power of art: George Clooney proves inspirational

Post by Astras on Wed Mar 28 2012, 22:09

cindigirl wrote:Actually he's overcome a lot in his lifetime. Serious Syriana injury, resulting headaches, shoulder injury, I think from a motorcycle accident, broken hand, (slammed in car door), yet he still comes back strong. I think he keeps a lot of his pain to himself.

I agree with you cindigirl. I think his compassion for other people's strife - as in the Sudan, Katrina, Haitian Earthquake, 9/11 - allows him a certain perspective on pain and suffering; and he's loathe to include himself.

Let's not forget the Bell's Palsy he suffered as a teen. To have one side of your face essentially paralyzed at that age could not have been easy to deal with. The injury he suffered on Syriana was so serious it could have forever negatively impacted his life, aside from the fact it could have killed him. I suffer from migraines and can utterly relate to what it's like to have debilitating headaches. *shudder.* I can't imagine having them everyday as he did for a while - wondering if there would ever be any relief in sight. And yet, for the most part, he truly did keep it to himself - at least publicly. He still projected the usual upbeat, sunny, fun George Clooney people expected to see. The guy is tough, for sure.

The woman who wrote the article is very courageous as well; and I too would love to see some of her work. People like her amaze me. My heart goes out to anyone suffering life changing illness.


Astras
Clooney Expert

Posts : 261
Join date : 2012-02-24
Location : Studio City, CA

Back to top Go down

Re: Traumatic Brain Injury and the healing power of art: George Clooney proves inspirational

Post by melbert on Thu Mar 29 2012, 02:06

Wonderful story from that woman. I too have wondered how this injury affected George in his "private" life. We only see his public life and what little of his personal life that he shares. I do think that he probably suffers in silence as he certainly is not a crybaby.

melbert
George Clooney fan forever!

Posts : 19092
Join date : 2010-12-06
Location : George's House

Back to top Go down

Re: Traumatic Brain Injury and the healing power of art: George Clooney proves inspirational

Post by it's me on Thu Mar 29 2012, 16:41

Astras wrote:
cindigirl wrote:Actually he's overcome a lot in his lifetime. Serious Syriana injury, resulting headaches, shoulder injury, I think from a motorcycle accident, broken hand, (slammed in car door), yet he still comes back strong. I think he keeps a lot of his pain to himself.

I agree with you cindigirl. I think his compassion for other people's strife - as in the Sudan, Katrina, Haitian Earthquake, 9/11 - allows him a certain perspective on pain and suffering; and he's loathe to include himself.

Let's not forget the Bell's Palsy he suffered as a teen. To have one side of your face essentially paralyzed at that age could not have been easy to deal with. The injury he suffered on Syriana was so serious it could have forever negatively impacted his life, aside from the fact it could have killed him. I suffer from migraines and can utterly relate to what it's like to have debilitating headaches. *shudder.* I can't imagine having them everyday as he did for a while - wondering if there would ever be any relief in sight. And yet, for the most part, he truly did keep it to himself - at least publicly. He still projected the usual upbeat, sunny, fun George Clooney people expected to see. The guy is tough, for sure.

The woman who wrote the article is very courageous as well; and I too would love to see some of her work. People like her amaze me. My heart goes out to anyone suffering life changing illness.


melbert wrote:Wonderful story from that woman. I too have wondered how this injury affected George in his "private" life. We only see his public life and what little of his personal life that he shares. I do think that he probably suffers in silence as he certainly is not a crybaby.



it's overwhelming to me
to think
about that pain

it's me
George Clooney fan forever!

Posts : 16793
Join date : 2011-01-03

Back to top Go down

Re: Traumatic Brain Injury and the healing power of art: George Clooney proves inspirational

Post by it's me on Thu Mar 29 2012, 16:43

...come here baby
I'll heal you....

it's me
George Clooney fan forever!

Posts : 16793
Join date : 2011-01-03

Back to top Go down

Re: Traumatic Brain Injury and the healing power of art: George Clooney proves inspirational

Post by Cinderella on Thu Mar 29 2012, 16:49

Really? Big words there, IM. Who is the healer?

Cinderella
Practically on first name terms with Mr Clooney

Posts : 2090
Join date : 2011-09-27
Location : America

Back to top Go down

Re: Traumatic Brain Injury and the healing power of art: George Clooney proves inspirational

Post by Maggy on Thu Mar 29 2012, 17:29

it's me wrote:
well
we all see him
in a splendid sunny shape

hope he feels the same way
deep inside himself

ME, TOO!! flower

Maggy
Totally loving George Clooney

Posts : 3821
Join date : 2012-01-02

Back to top Go down

Re: Traumatic Brain Injury and the healing power of art: George Clooney proves inspirational

Post by MM on Thu Mar 29 2012, 20:13

He needs a miracle. He needs to go to an authentic faith healer. These faith healers have been known to impose a healing on a person (such as George who has metal parts in his body), and those metal parts fall out of the body.

MM
Ooh, Mr Clooney!

Posts : 992
Join date : 2011-04-10
Location : Cincinnati, Ohio

Back to top Go down

Re: Traumatic Brain Injury and the healing power of art: George Clooney proves inspirational

Post by Sponsored content Today at 09:41


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum