Brain Injury in ‘Two Close: A Story of Survival’

Given the Pentagon reports thirty four US soldiers have suffered brain injury as a result of the Iranian missile attach in Iraq, my book Two Close: A Story of Survival should be of particular interest to anyone associated with any of these wounded soldiers. Brain injury has long been an interest of mine, in part because I suffered it at birth which caused difficulties with walking and communicating that largely I have overcome. However, as a speech language pathologist, I have worked with many brain injured persons. Most of them evidenced aphasia that caused inability or difficulty in communicating in words. But among them I recall an older gentleman with right side brain injury which caused him to have difficulty sequencing to perform simple tasks such as using the dishwasher or sorting his pills. But the most remarkable thing was his left side neglect which meant his ability to process visual information on his left side was impaired. The impairment was so pronounced that in talking about a dinner he had been to with his wife and some others, as his wife had sat on his left side, he thought she had not been there.

On the other hand he communicated verbally with ease . . . as long as you did not ask him to verbally sequence the completion of a familiar task.

In my book Two Close: A Story of Survival Lou Matters, the father in the Matters family, suffers right side brain injury as a result of an explosion of a dirty bomb that occurs near to him. The book follows his treatment and progress and return to his family. His wife, a speech language pathologist, understands his difficulties and adjusts herself and her family to adapt to his needs as he recovers to the extent he can within the time covered in the book.

An interesting read in this time when discussions of brain injury must be rampant among the families of those affected.