Brain Injury Rewiring for Survivors: A Lifeline to New Connections
Carolyn Dolen
Trade Paper, 332 pages
Published by Idyll Arbor
Publication date: 2010
ISBN: 9781882883592
Available as an e-book on Smashwords
e-ISBN 9781611580044

Traumatic brain injury causes damage to the connections in many parts of the brain besides the focal point of the injury. It's not enough to heal medically. Brain Injury Rewiring for Survivors discusses medical care and goes beyond that to help the survivor heal spiritually, emotionally, cognitively, physically, socially, and vocationally through traditional and complementary medicine and good nutrition.

Brain Injury Rewiring for Survivors is one of two well-received books designed to help survivors of brain injuries. The companion book, Brain Injury Rewiring for Loved Ones, describes how family and friends of the survivor can help the survivor during recovery.


A 1976 auto accident in a Minnesota snowstorm left Dolen with a brain injury and a prognosis of "suicide or the psych ward." She was motivated, however, to prove the health-care team wrong. In part the story of her continuing recovery, in part a manual for survivors and loved ones, these books are readable, practical resources that parallel each other in general content and approach. Dolen explains normal brain anatomy and functions, as well as what happens when the brain is injured. Readers learn that no two patients are alike; injuries range from mild to severe and in the worst cases lead to death. Concentration, attention span, organizational skills, emotion, sleep, and behavior can be affected. Both books offer in-depth explanations of how to get the most from health-care professionals and educate readers about treatment, recovery, postinjury rehabilitation, and adaptation. Chapters focus on a specific aspect of therapy: spiritual, cognitive, emotional, nutritional, physical, social, and vocational. Included is a valuable list of resources, organizations, and web sites arranged in the same order as the chapters. A reference list for each chapter completes the content. VERDICT Survivors is a powerful testament to how courage and spirit can aid in recovery and, like Loved Ones, equips readers with knowledge and understanding to help with the many problems accompanying head injuries. Both titles are highly recommended for their intended audiences. -- Jodith Janes, Cleveland Clinic Fdn. Lib., Library Journal

Carolyn Dolen is the accomplished survivor of a 1976 traumatic brain injury (TBI) and a "suicide or psych ward" prognosis. The U.S. Department of Defense has formed a taskforce on TBI, and estimates there are 2 million new cases in the U.S. annually. These two books [BRAIN INJURY REWIRING FOR SURVIVORS and BRAIN INJURY REWIRING FOR LOVED ONES] are filled with direct and practical strategies for TBI recovery, approaching rewiring from multiple aspects, including emotional, spiritual, cognitive, and physical rewiring. -- ForeWord Magazine

Carolyn E. Dolen has appeared in print over 100 times, in both authored and edited pieces including columns in the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation newsletter and health/fitness pieces. She also presented at the national ataxia conference and chaired the 1991 San Diego Disability Awareness Week Network (DAWN) activities. She has taught language arts, math, special education, physical education, and health in the Midwest and California. She recently qualified for international competition in the sprint triathlon with the 2009 Team USA.

Also check out Brain Injury Rewiring for Loved Ones.

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