Monday, April 18, 2011

Successfully Surviving Brain Injury

One thing I'm always on the search for is a good book. You know, something that informs, or uplifts, or just touches me in some way. Something that I can relate to our family's struggles with CCM's. And well, if it combines all those elements then I've hit the jackpot, and one of the first things I want to do is share it with you.

It's time to share.

I'm so happy to introduce you to Garry Prowe, author of Successfully Surviving a Brain Injury. He was also kind enough to talk to us a little bit, and for that we thank him.

Garry and Jessica Prowe

Scroll down to read our interview with Garry.  He was also kind enough to provide us with One Piece of Advice. It's a good one, and I whole-heartedly agree with him.

You can also check out his phenomenal website here.  His book is also available on Smashwords, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

And don't forget to bookmark his blog, Reading Brain Injury, where he reviews the best brain injury books out there.

For the list of books we've compiled here at Angiomas Suck, you can go here.  I'm also planning to add a free-standing page of all the book recommendations we've received , including Gary's.  Stay tuned.  Now, yes, I will stop chattering and let you go read the interview. (Do you think he was pulling our leg about the iPod? Hmmm.)

Cover for 'Successfully Surviving a Brain Injury: A Family Guidebook, From the Emergency Room to Selecting a Rehabilitation Facility'

Title: Successfully Surviving a Brain Injury: A Family Guidebook, From the Emergency Room to Selecting a Rehabilitation Facility
Author: Garry Prowe
ISBN: 978-0-9841974-3-9
Page count: 246
Genre: Nonfiction, medical/health
Price: $17.95

Can you tell us a little about yourself: My wife Jessica acquired a severe brain injury in a car crash in 1997; I am her principal caregiver. I've been writing about brain injury for about ten years. In addition to my book, I've had articles published in many brain injury publications and web sites and I've presented some of my research conclusions at regional and national conferences. I have a Masters degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan. I worked as a policy/management analyst for the U.S. government for about twenty years.

Tell us about your book: At the time of Jessica's accident, I discovered that there was no single source of material addressing the countless medical, financial, insurance, legal, family, and personal issues families face in the first few weeks and months following an injury. I decided to write a book that would answer many of the questions they have as they sit in ICU waiting rooms, plan for rehabilitation, puzzle through insurance and government benefits paperwork, and try to keep their emotions under control.

How long did it take to write the book? Are more planned?

I spent about five years researching and writing the book. The original plan was to write a series of four books, with the next three covering rehabilitation, going home and reentering the community, and living a full life with a brain injury. However, I've been reconsidering this plan for two reasons. First, in the past few years, there's been a surge in the number of books published about brain injury. Many of the issues I planned to cover in these books have been addressed well by other writers. Second, I have some chronic health problems that have been slowing me down.

What inspired you to write the book?

The desire to give others the comprehensive and easy-to-read information I needed after Jessica's injury.

You have an amazing blog as well, where you review books that in some way relate to brain injury. Can you share what you hoped to accomplish and why?

Unlike thirteen years ago, today there are too many books about brain injury available in bookstores and on-line. They vary greatly in the quality of the writing and the value and comprehensiveness of the stories they tell and the information they offer. Readers can be overwhelmed by the choices. In my blog, I try to narrow these choices to a select number of books that readers can trust will be well worth their money and time.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

Valuable information, helpful advice, and an assurance that survivors of a brain injury can live full, happy, and productive lives

Where can we go to buy your book? or any book seller.

Short excerpt from book:

You are reading this book because someone you love has suffered a brain injury. The form, extent, and consequences of the damage are yet unknown. Her doctors are unable to make a prognosis. "Every brain injury is unique and unpredictable," they say. "It will be months before we know for sure." A hospital social worker has advised you to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

This news is incomprehensible. What does the social worker mean by "the worst”? What must you do to “be prepared”? When will your spouse emerge from her coma? How badly will she be impaired by her brain injury? How soon will her doctors speak with some certainty? How will this misfortune impact your family and your future?
In 1997, I was in your place. My wife, Jessica, suffered a serious brain injury in an automobile accident. Like you, I was relieved to hear that she would survive her near-death experience. Like you, I was devastated to learn that she would acquire any number of lifelong impairments. And, like you, I had many questions and few answers. "Only time will tell," her doctors repeated over and over. Confusion, panic, grief, and fatigue were my constant companions every hour of every day for weeks.

On a less serious note:

If you were stuck on a desert, which would you pick-a book or an iPod?

What's an ipod?

Name your favorite donut.

Haven't had one in years, but I'm a sucker for anything that combines chocolate and raspberry.

Are you a little bit country or a little bit rock and roll?

Rock and roll, but I really enjoy Alison Krause.

Thanks again, Garry. (Readers, make sure to head over to the poll and give us your own desert island pick!)  And remember, if you buy and like Garry's book (and any book you've found helpful, really) leave a review on the site you purchased it from and  help spread the word.  

1 comment:

  1. It's really unnerving how far the imprint of a trauma can get. In this case, one due to a car crash. Indeed, there are many factors to take into account that do not just come down to compensation, so much as restitution as well. Personally, I would recommend you look into the details of your accident again, and find if there is anyone or anything that can be made liable for such an ordeal. Congrats Garry and Jessica, for having go through such a trying time and arriving not only with your resilience, but with a testimony to share to the world.

    Vesta @ Zalkin


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