10 Keys to Recovery: For the Brain Injury Survivor and Their Caregiver:

KEY TO RECOVERY NO. 7 – Part One: Use humor whenever possible.

Humor is very important when you live with someone with a brain injury. You’ve heard of people laughing themselves well after watching Laurel and Hardy or The Three Stooges? David watched Disney and Seinfeld, Cheers, and those sit-coms that made him belly-laugh.

Humor can be found virtually anywhere! When I found the mayonnaise under the bathroom sink or the toilet paper on the workbench out in the garage, it naturally made me laugh.

A good friend gave us a red clown nose many years ago, way before ‘red nose day’ became a tradition. When David became cranky, I used this as a way to distract him away from whatever was making him frustrated or angry. When I put the nose on, it made David laugh. The red nose defuses whatever caused his trouble. I carry one in my purse – just for emergencies!

As parents we try to discipline our children when they behave badly, and reward them when they behave well, however, after someone suffers a brain injury, the playing field changes and bad behavior may have to be addressed.

KEY TO RECOVERY NO. 7 – Part Two: Mind your Ps and Q’s.

You all know this as: mind your manners, mind your language, and be on your best behavior when you are out in public. These are the things that parents teach their children so they aren’t embarrassed when taken out to dinner; known as social graces.

This goes along with the filters that may have been damaged during the brain injury. Those filters are important when you are with other people, however, they may need to be re-taught after brain injury. This takes both patients and humor to achieve!