“I have this terrible headache and I’m seeing flashing lights” with that I sat up and reached for my office phone as I spoke with my wife on my cell and she began to slur her words. I had an assistant who had vividly described what she experienced when she had a stroke; so I suspected that’s what was happening to my wife. I quickly dialed 9 1 1 and started on a journey to try and understand what happens when someone suffers a traumatic brain injury.
It’s nearly impossible to pick up a newspaper or visit a website and not be confronted by stories of professional athletes, military personnel or average folks who are confronted by a traumatic injury involving the brain. Yet based on even the most advanced science our hard knowledge of the how the brain works is relatively uncharted territory. The impact of disease, injury, and drugs remains unclear and how to treat these injuries and chemical incursions into the cranium are still by in large guess work.
So it was with personal experience through my wife and a curiosity to learn more about the brain that I gravitated towards Trauma and Memory: Brain and Body in a Search for the Living: A Practical Guide for Understanding and Working with Traumatic Memory by Peter A. Levine, PhD. While Levine doesn’t directly address the impact of stroke on the brain, he did offer insight into the functioning of memories and the role they can play in the treatment of trauma to the brain.
Certainly not something for the casual reader, Trauma and Memory, covers a wide range of traumatic injuries and their impact on functional memory. It is perfect for clinical professionals and those who want to garner a better, deeper understanding of what they or a loved one may be going through in the wake of brain injury or illness.