Outskirts Press (2017)
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (12/17)
“Help! I Have a Brain Injury: And It Feels Like I've Dropped Out of the Sky” by Kay Pratt is one of the most amazing, informative and well written books I have read on this topic. Having had multiple mini-strokes in August of this year, I wish I had this book in hand afterwards.
The author shares her experience in her ten year recovery from her brain injury as well as the stories of others. Little did I realize all the anger, depression and loss I would feel when I lost the ability to write, walk and do small, everyday tasks. I am sure many going through this feel the same way.
Pratt and others talk about the pain, fear, anger and depression and the long road of physical, occupational, and sometimes emotional therapy to learn to walk and talk once again. What impressed me was in each story or discussion, Pratt includes a section on Important Takeaways – how one deals with the loss, anger and changes in our lives. Believe me, recovery will not happen overnight, and you will come to rely on many professionals, as well as family and friends to help in this process.
As a Psychologist, I found the information in this book to be very helpful, full of supportive tips and resources. It is very well researched, and provides information I hadn’t even considered. The examples Pratt provides on the impact of domestic violence and brain injury caught me off guard. Her statistics, lack of treatment and diagnosis was shocking, although it shouldn’t be. The undiagnosed impact of brain injury may be a reason why some women choose not to leave an abusive relationship; brain injury makes it difficult to get a job and be self-supportive. She also relates that according to some sources pushing a diagnosis may have unintended consequences such as being used against the women in custody battles.
What many people do not realize is that children who are abused may suffer from mild to severe TBIs (traumatic brain injuries). It is imperative to assess children for dizziness, change in personality, and change in behavior, and determine if they should be returned to a violent home. That means that caregivers, family or friends need to be observant and say something.
Part 5 of Pratt’s book, entitled Brain 101! includes vital information about what TBIs are, statistics, parts of the brain impacted and what that means. She goes on to discuss coping with challenges, length of time for recovery and provides numerous resources.
Since I am still early in my recovery, I showed this book to my Occupational Therapist, and she now has it in her hands to share with others. “Help! I Have a Brain Injury: And It Feels Like I've Dropped Out of the Sky” by Kay Pratt is a must read for all professionals, family members, friends and those who have diagnosed TBI, or not.