ABSTRACT: Many Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) survivors can regain their key function beyond 2-year plateau and pursue their dreams again through the 6Q Cognitive Restoration. Many post-injury “chronic issues” can go away or be easily corrected. Millions of healthcare costs and dreams can be saved. The author will share with you why and how through the recoveries of her patients and herself.
Many people have been told that Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) survivors achieve maximum recovery in 2 years (called 2-year plateau), and TBI is a chronic illness. THAT IS NOT TRUE as uninjured brain cells have the same DNA and no 2-year plateau, and the “chronic issues” that emerge after injury will go away or be easily corrected if survivors know that they can regain their key function back and pursue their dreams again.
That is how I could recover myself from Traumatic Brain Injury due to an accident in 1997, pass medical license exams 2001~2003, and receive excellent letters of recommendation at the clinics. I have helped every TBI survivor I met at the clinics, who were 5-12 years beyond their 2-year plateau, and all achieved significant results, including their “chronic issues.”
What Impedes the Recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury?
Both tools and human beings. Somehow, traditional approach contributes to the 2-year plateau.
1. Limited Cognitive Restorationa. Limited Tools:
What is missing in today’s TBI rehab is full cognitive restoration. Most cognitive programs use limited IQ, behaviors or Psychology tools and prepare TBI survivors to accept “the next level of placement.” It can be very painful, frustrating, depressive, and stressful if individuals are unable to be who they want to be and stand up for themselves. Then various post-injury illnesses emerge.
The brain rehab I went to mainly helped me stay alive, no fall and no choke, which was essential but did not help me regain cognitive function and get back to who I was. Doctors mostly knocked on my knees and elbows (reflex check) during follow-up visits. Psychologists mainly let me express my fear and struggle and then advised me to accept my “new life.”
TBI victims need to find missing tools, learn fast, and fully utilize Eastern and Western medicine, which is the 6Q approach. First, each person is an integrated system of 6Qs: IQ, EQ, Learning Q, Adversity Q, Public Influence Q, and Health Q. Poor IQ performance can have non-IQ causes, where cognitive training and stimulation have limited impact. Behaviors or Psychology tools mainly reflect the 6Q system. Second, how to make learning easy is critical as the learning can be massive, and TBI survivors need to see results quickly to stay motivated. Third, Western medicine has limited power at the chronic stage.
Once TBI survivors know that they can regain their brainpower, many secondary issues can be easily corrected or go away. Here is one example.
A business owner often called 911 to go to the Emergency Room (ER) to yell at doctors and nurses. His ER visits lasted for years. I happened to do a rotation in ER that day and learned he did so since he was too frustrated that he had to relearn everything. I understood him, talked to him about his progress, and share with him my live sample of success. I told him that not everyone has a chance to go back to who they were, and her 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 one. He soon went to work and never came back to the ER. I could change his behavior in 10 minutes because I got the root cause of his behaviors.
b. Limited Focus
Years of studies have found that injured brain cells have 2-year plateau. However, uninjured brain cells have NO 2-year plateau but have the same DNA and learning capacity. Other 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. I had the chance to help one.
A tall and thin middle-aged man had partial brain removal due to TBI for about 10 years. 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. I had already read his medical history and could always ask his mother if needed. He was very slow initially, but he answered all my questions. Then I gave him some homework, 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.
2. Ignorance and Resistance
Some “experts” refuse to believe that others can solve the problems that they cannot. They 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.
3. Legal Impact
Some attorneys only focus on making money and disregard their clients’ futures. I had the accident that led to TBI on my way to work, so I also a workman’s compensation claim. 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.
How to Recover from Traumatic Brain Injury beyond the “2-Year Plateau?”
First, it is critical to save life, minimize damage, and preserve non-injured brain cells at the acute stage. I could recover well also because the accident happened in a winter evening, so I could benefit from hypothermia therapy instantly. The hospital at Amarillo TX 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.
At last, restore cognitive function via 6Q approach instead of partial, so that individuals can go back to who they were and be contributors instead of accepting “the next level of placement.”
2. Who Can Benefit from the 6Q Cognitive Restoration?
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.
3. How We Design the Program? What to Expect?
In general, we design custom program for each victim, based on their potential, previous job, unique learning needs and challenges. In the meantime, we make learning as easy and fun as possible, for the learning can be massive and frustrating, and TBI survivors need to see results quickly to stay motivated. Victims will practice at our virtual business, which will minimize their chances of getting COVID-19 infection as they will be busy “working at home.” In the meantime, we enhance internal healing through Eastern and Western medicine to maximize cognitive restoration.
What to expect? Many TBI survivors can show some improvement in 8 weeks if they work hard and achieve much more in 8-10 months. Complete recovery can take years.
4. How Much Can We Save in TBI?
Up to 53% of the homeless are affected by a brain injury (I was almost there). In fact, many of them can regain key cognitive function, go back to work, have a home, and pursue their dreams again. However, none of them know that they can have their lives back. People in healthcare and government benefits should inform them.
Per CDC, about 5.3 million survivors are living with a “permanent” TBI-related disability in the US. One TBI survivor costs $85,000 to $3 million for treatments and a disability benefit (DB) for living. The US GDP in 2019 was 21.43 trillion. If we free 1 million TBI survivors, the saving is:
($85,000~3 million+ DB+ Tax) x 1million = $85 billion ~3 trillion + 1 million DB+ 1 million Tax.
5. Who Offer Financial Support to TBI Recovery?
Many states have a trust fund to help TBI survivors learn new skills due to the high unemployment rate and a large amount of life treatment costs. Many TBI survivors are eligible for their state financial assistance. For example,
New Jersey TBI FUNDDirector: Peri Nearon11A Quakerbridge Plaza, Mercerville NJ 08625-0700Tel: 888-285-3036
Louisiana Traumatic Head and Spinal Cord Injury Trust FundManager: Tonia GedwardLDH Office of Aging and Adult ServicesTel: (225) 219-9935
New Mexico Dept of Education- Division of Vocational Rehab435 St. Michael’s Drive, Bidg. D, Sante Fe, NM 87505Director: Lucinda GarciaTel: 505-954-8500
Massachusetts Brain Injury and Statewide Specialized Community Services600 Washington Street, 2nd Floor MRL, Boston, MA 02210-1616Director: Sandy BiberTel: 617-204-3852Other 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’ rights, freedom, opportunities, and justice better than their brainpower. Up to 53% of the homeless are affected by a brain injury. It is too hard not to be whom individuals are and accept “ANYTHING,” which is why many secondary health issues emerge post TBI.
Although injured brain cells have 2-year plateau, uninjured brain cells have NONE. With the right tools, many TBI survivors can regain key function beyond the 2-year plateau, be who they are, have their life back, and pursue their freedom again. Then those “chronic issues” will go away or be easily corrected. Society can not only save tons of disability benefits, $85,000 to $3 million treatment costs per survivor but also gets more happy taxpayers (I was one of them)!
Usually, the harder for a survivor to accept “the next level,” the more likely the person can go back to who he or she was. However, most survivors do not know this invention. Please tell them when you can. Together, we can change the world for the better.
About the AuthorBin Yang is the Managing Director of The Prince Synergy (www.theprincesynergy.com) and Dream & Power (www.DreamandPower.com), leading consulting firm that focus on building exceptional leaders, teams, optimizing heart and brain power, and beating skyrocketing healthcare costs. For more information or to schedule an interview, lecture or appointment, please call 310-668-1828.