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Brain Injury: The Theraputic Years

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Fourth grade is a transition period. Fours years under your belt, so now you have the honor of not being a "Third Grader" any longer.

For the parents of a functional, brain damaged child, it turned out to be a transition as well: from hope to disillusionment.

Resolved: with a functional brain damaged child, trial and error remains the therapy of the day. Inevitably, the medication dam is broken, and the "let's see if this works" therapy begins.

The first item of note, no test to view the brain image was ever ordered. Think of what that means in these terms. Chest pains, tingle in fingers, jaw. Doctor's run a battery of tests, which usually include chemical and physical images of the heart. A check for enzymes, and at least an initial x-ray, to determine what physical cause may exist.

With a child showing symptoms of brain dysfunction, exhibited in anti-social behavior, phobias, erratic emotional response, etc, the idea to view the brain itself for signs of physical trauma both at rest and while at work, seems to be a logical course of action. Why would modern medicine not have concluded that like any other organ of the body, an image can improve treatment in a radical way?

Fear. I believe people in general fear that a stigma will result when delving deeper into the physical aspects of a persons mental performance. In addition, modern medicine does not want to let go of the chemical trial and error, in fear of losing funding. If a doctor could isolate brain damage, and correct it, then years of prescription drugs could be avoided. That would not be good news to anyone who has an interest in manufacturing drugs used in the trial and error game.

Cost. If a procedure can be kept costly, patients are less likely to consider it. As opposed to a Doctor who might state: "based on the symptoms of the child, lets start by getting an image of the brain, and other vital organs, so we can rule out apparent physical causes. Then we can move on to other possible factors" If a Doctor was able to send little Johnny to literally get his head examined, as economically as getting a chest x-ray, then it would happen every day. Right now, he would have to send the child to a specialist, who would take two or three days to provide proper images, which could show exactly where a physical problem exists.

So the parents find that trial and error settles on one course of treatment, which may have a positive effect. For a time. But as the child ages, the ability to control the compliance with the treatment becomes harder and harder. If a certain medication improves performance in the primary area of concern, it must be balanced with the side affects. Many times it is the side affects which cause the treatment to go off track.

Therapy becomes a little more than counseling on the need to take the meds. Which then makes the clinician nothing more than a marketing tool for the drug manufacturer.

All the while, these parents are slowly wearing down, little by little, with the stress of this burden. The child may begin to respond in a more normal fashion, becoming social and less fearful. Or the child may digress into a wounded warrior posture, coming to believe that life is not worth living.

At the end of the therapeutic years, the parents have learned that it is important to remember one basic adage. "To err is human, to forgive, Divine". The parents have found that raising a child with brain damage will not happen without Divine power.

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