A Special ebook for Caregivers, Survivors and Treatment Providers
By Laura Bruno, M.A., RMT
"Just wanted to let you know that I absolutely loved your book! Especially the references and parallels to The Wizard of Oz. Your writing style is clear, authentic, down to earth and makes everything so easy to understand and to connect to. Your book is a look into your life's adventure as it's informative and educational not only for TBI patients but even more for their families, friends, coworkers and health care practitioners. I also loved all the information you shared with readers not only on TBI but also FMS, CFS and Lyme disease. These are all mostly 'mysterious,' misunderstood and often misdiagnosed diseases and you bring them all to life—to give them a voice that every reader can understand and/or relate to. You open many eyes with this book, in an extremely educational and informative, also touching way. Also, you are a survivor, a warrior. Congratulations!" --Alina Oswald
$17 USD for instant PDF download of
Every 21 seconds, someone in the United States sustains a traumatic brain injury (TBI.) That’s 5.3 million Americans, plus 1.5-2 million per year. TBI rarely changes someone’s outward appearance, making it difficult for family, friends and employers to recognize the injury’s severity. On the international TBI-Survivor email group, postings often discuss “the invisible disability,” lack of available care and support, and great admiration for anyone who does meaningful work after TBI. Statistics weep for something inspirational and easy to read.
According to a November 2007 report by USA Today, based on military and veterans records, "at least 20,000 U.S. Troops who were not classified as wounded during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan have been found with signs of brain injury." Meanwhile, the mysterious “Gulf War Syndrome” also causes loss of balance, fatigue, confusion, seizures, headaches, blurred vision and short-term memory loss—all common side effects of TBI.
Twenty million other Americans struggle with debilitating effects of TBI, brain cancer, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Lyme Disease, migraines, MS and stroke. Though different diagnoses, each produces neurological side effects—creating a wild and painful ride that changes one’s sense of Self.
Every year, another 2.5 million survivors join their ranks. But where do they go from there? How do they find their way through uncertain prognoses, perceptual problems and depression?
“Follow the Yellow Brick Road”—through recovery, that is! Unlike other books on healing from TBI and so-called “Medical Mysteries,” If I Only Had a Brain Injury encourages readers to chart their own inspirational journeys. The book’s structure follows the Wizard of Oz storyline (Dorothy’s journey begins with a concussion), and offers large print for visually impaired readers. A collection of personal examples, alternative treatments and spiritual growth exercises, this 320-page book will appeal to anyone frustrated by the limitations of traditional medicine. Readers will learn to tap external resources and inner strength.
If I Only Had a Brain Injury also includes interviews and essays by 13 other Caregivers, Survivors and Treatment Providers … including:
Words from the Author … Laura Bruno
Thank you for visiting If I Only Had a Brain Injury’s website! My name is Laura Bruno, and on May 19, 1998, a car accident destroyed the life I knew. In addition to double vision and a 47-point IQ reduction, migraines left me unable to read longer than five minutes per day. After two years, doctors told me I would probably not recover.
By the time I found proper treatment, my brain had developed some rather unusual coping mechanisms. Imagine my surprise and anger when I learned that the delay in effective treatment had caused my brain to “heal” incorrectly! My new treatment providers told me I might have saved years of recovery time if I had found correct treatment right away. Instead, I needed to spend over a year breaking faulty synapses before I could even begin rebuilding.
(When my husband caught Lyme Disease, we the learned the same thing: if doctors had been able to confirm his initial infection, they could have begun treatment years earlier. Delay in proper diagnosis and treatment had allowed the infection to spread—making it MUCH more difficult, long-term, and expensive to treat.)
As part of my complete recovery, I embraced a calling to help other people heal themselves from unusual symptoms and lead meaningful, abundant lives. I have supported many survivors and caregivers individually, and over the years, I’ve noticed patterns. Pre-injury or illness, most “Medical Mystery” people tend to be highly successful, highly intelligent, high energy, high expectation folks ... until seemingly out of nowhere, something massive stops them in their tracks. It’s not enticing to return to “average” because these people used to excel. They don’t want to regain a “normal” life. They want a fabulous one. Telling them to expect anything less feels like rubbing salt in their wounds. It hurts, demotivates, and actually slows recovery.
While I love helping people, this ebook includes my own, very personal recovery story, so I almost didn’t publish it. But clients, students and readers continued to ask me how I healed. They wanted resources to help themselves and/or loved ones. Indeed, the statistics are daunting. Each year, millions of highly effective people slip through the cracks of traditional medicine. These are people whose insights and contributions our world desperately needs: artists, visionaries, writers, healers, leaders and spiritual guides!
Most recovery books focus on getting back some kind of life, without fully discharging a “victim” mentality. My book focuses on recovering and creating an EXCELLENT life—not just surviving, but finding ways to thrive. If I Only Had a Brain Injuryoffers insights for which I normally charge $175 / hour. I decided to share my story and guidance in an accessible ebook because I know how it feels to slip through those cracks. Praying that someone would recognize what I had to offer. Praying that somewhere, somehow, someone would understand.
“Laura: I love this book. … It's well-written, funny with great description and analogies. First of all, thank you for the font, layout, etc. The big print with lots of open space makes it so much easier for my head. I am identifying with SO MUCH already. I can't thank you enough for the two paragraphs on page 64 where you say we aren't crazy, hysterical, weak, etc. And doubting myself was easier than accepting what happened. I know that intellectually, but I still give in to those doubts sometimes. My primary care physician has told me repeatedly ‘You don't seem to grasp the severity of your injury.’ … Again, Laura, thank you for this much-needed book. I can't wait to read more.
My best to you, Terri”
$17 for instant PDF download of the ebook.
Help for Caregivers, Survivors & Treatment Providers
Information about brain injury travels slowly. That’s why it remains a “mystery” not just in society, but often in medical circles as well. The same holds true for most neurological illnesses. Recovery comes in fits and starts, and the road to wellness offers switchbacks and dead ends. Even The Yellow Brick Road begins with a spiral! If I Only Had a Brain Injury helps you and your support team navigate:
What do Readers Say?
"The ‘Oz’ analogy is something I had never thought of and it is perfect. … The book will be a great resource. … I especially like that you offer ways to deal with the emotional impact on survivors, friends and family members. Your book will be of great help to families. I see it all the time, people with TBI are looking for anything that will help, and conventional medicine can only do so much.”
Karen Ruppert—Nurse Manager, Trauma
Rehabilitation unit at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington
“Dear Laura, This is phenomenal! I am so
excited to see the e-book. ... It looks amazing, wonderful and beautifully
done. I am sure that this will be a profound help for many people. I know that
this will be so helpful for the people in our group. Robin and I are giving a
presentation of our work on Feb. 2 for the Virginia statewide Therapeutic
Riding Instructors Conference. We will be sure to have your information
available for people. If you have flyers or postcards or anything printed that
we can use announcing the e-book, this would be most helpful.”
"I'm quite impressed with your writing, and how far you've come since the accident. ... You do a fabulous job of describing how life changed for you after the accident. I'm certain this book will prove most useful to many people--those that suffer TBI, and those that care for and love TBI victims."
Spork, author and mother of a TBI survivor
"I looked over your book yesterday and am impressed at all the great information you have compiled as resources to aid in healing and support--and your own narrative which will surely be an inspiration to many others. I'm sure I will find this helpful in my connections and will be pleased to recommend it. You've done a fine work here! Congratulations! Blessings and joy to you in your new year!"
(The Rev. Daniel
Prechtel, DMin Chaplain, Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, Sr. Associate
Spiritual Director, Lamb & Lion Spiritual Guidance Ministries)
“I love how you are tying it to the Wizard of Oz (and YOU are really
Glinda helping others help themselves!) I cannot imagine what it must have been like for you to feel so confused
and overwhelmed with every little thing each day. This book truly helps me understand!”
“Laura: Please let me rave about one more thing, and then I'll stop.
One of the best things about this book is that you offer tips that
improve day-to-day living for those of us with head injuries.
It's a blessing to have instructions for simple things to do on my own
that help reduce pain and cut through the fog. It's all about quality
of life -- which is everything.
Who Should Buy This Book?
From a woman once considered “permanently disabled,”
is itself testament to the incredible resilience of human brain and spirit.
$17 USD for
instant PDF download of the ebook.
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All rights reserved. Use of this website, IfIOnlyHadaBrainInjury.com, assumes acceptance of the terms herein. All pictures and trademarks in this site are property of Laura Bruno. This website has been developed and presented by Laura Bruno, author of “If I Only Had a Brain Injury: A TBI Survivor and Life Coach’s Guide to Chronic Fatigue, Concussion, Lyme Disease, Migraine or Other ‘Medical Mystery.’” Laura’s story and observations, the interviews and essays contained therein, and the language used, are intended to inform and educate; HOWEVER, this does not imply that you or anyone else will receive the same outcome. As with any medical issue, symptoms and results vary among individuals, and Laura Bruno cannot guarantee your full recovery. All potential treatments should be discussed with your health care provider(s) prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing. Laura Bruno and her contributors do not offer medical advice on this website or in the eBook. The information is offered for educational purposes only. Do not act or rely upon our information without seeking independent professional medical advice.