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  • You’ve Got a Concussion ... What’s Next?

    Capt. Brian Daniels was playing a pick-up game of basketball on base when he tripped, fell and hit his head on the metal net-post. Though feeling a bit dazed, he finished the game anyway. Still feeling dizzy after the game, he passed if off as exercising on an empty stomach. So, he ate a protein bar and went to his duty station. His headache and dizziness worsened and following his duty shift, he went to the clinic on base. The doctor diagnosed him with a concussion.

    Daniels made several wrong decisions after that jolt to his head. But, he made a correct one also. Can you identify what Daniels did wrong and what he did right? Do you know what steps to take to give yourself the best chance of recovery after a head injury … or how to protect yourself from another concussion?

  • Caregivers: What Seeds Are You Planting?

    Service member plants seeds in a garden
    U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Daniel Phelps

    As a caregiver for a husband with traumatic brain injury (TBI), Rosemary Rawlins shares insights garnered from her own experiences along with insights from other caregivers and family members in her blog, “Learning by Accident,” on BrainLine.

    Creating a balance between caring for your loved one and yourself may be challenging. In this blog post, Rosemary reminds caregivers of the importance of taking some “me” time while managing caregiver responsibilities.

    So many of the caregivers I know are deeply entrenched in caregiving, and I was too, for many months following my husband’s brain injury. Life revolved around his needs and trying to fit in everything else — take care of the house, the kids, my job, the bills — it felt as if I needed an extra 24 hours tacked on to every day just to stay on top of things.

  • 10 Tips for Better Sleep After Brain Injury

    Service member sleeps on bed
    U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. R.J. Biermann

    Does it really matter if you get enough sleep? Yes! It may matter even more if you’re recovering from a brain injury as sleep disturbances are common. This makes it harder for those with a TBI to get the quantity and quality of sleep they need.

    Any brain injury — mild to severe — can lead to changes in sleep. These changes can affect you physically, mentally and emotionally. Deepening depression and anxiety, increased irritability, lack of energy, problems remembering things and a drop in one’s sense of well-being are some effects of troubled sleep.

    Making simple changes to your behavior and environment — sleep schedule, bedtime habits, daily lifestyle choices — can resolve some sleep problems. Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center’s tip sheet, “TBI Symptom Management: Healthy Sleep,” offers these practical tips:

  • 5 Things You Need to Do on DCoE Social Media

    Do you like to stay well informed? Do you believe in taking an active role in your health care? Social media offers many opportunities for that.

    Social media helps people feel connected to others who are facing similar challenges, provides a way to find resources day or night and offers tools that supplement care from providers. Let go of the idea that no one knows your troubles, cares or understands what you’re going through when you have mental health concerns or are coping with traumatic brain injury (TBI) symptoms. You’ll find quite the contrary on DCoE social media platforms. Here’s what you need to do:

    1. Talk with us on Facebook

  • Updating Your To-do List? Put ‘Sleep’ at Top

    A service member sleeps against luggage on floor
    U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. David Waite

    This blog post by Dr. Kelly Blasko, research psychologist, National Center for Telehealth and Technology, was originally posted on the center’s AfterDeployment Blog.

    March is National Sleep Awareness Month. Are you aware of sleep only because you don’t get enough? How many times have you thought or said, “I need to get some sleep?”

    I don’t think it would be a surprise if I said that you’ll feel better both physically and mentally with a good night’s sleep.

    It’s normal to lose sleep because of stressful life events, but often our lack of sleep is because we don’t make sleep a priority. Sleep becomes something we squeeze in after taking care of children or elderly parents, running errands, watching that favorite late-night TV show, exercising, meeting work deadlines … the list goes on.

  • Military Family Lifestyle Survey Asks: ‘What Are Your Top Challenges?’

    Service member greets wife and baby
    Spc. Alexander Harden greets his family after a recent deployment. (U.S. Army photo by 1st. Lt. John C. Maham)

    The life of a military family is in some ways unknown, unless you live it. Blue Star Families, a national, nonprofit network of military families, is dedicated to raising awareness of their strengths and challenges. One way those who serve in the military or their families can help is to participate in the 2014 Military Family Lifestyle Survey.

    Now in its fifth year, the survey highlights the experiences of our military community after more than a decade of war. It includes questions on mental health and wellness, employment, pay and benefits, caregiving, stress and other issues.

    “We’ve added questions to this year's survey that will enable us to compare our results with existing research,” said Debbie Bradbard, Blue Star Families deputy director of research and policy.