Lack of information about traumatic brain injury motivates healthcare workers
By Ou Su-mei and William Hetherington/staff reporter, with a staff writer
Difficulty finding information about traumatic brain injury recovery prompted Chrissy Wang (王詩婷) to create an information platform for people in her situation.
A bicycle accident in August 2019 and her experiences while recovering prompted her to create the Restart With Chrissy platform, Wang, who is the general manager of Ren Shin Wellness Park nursing home in Taichung, wrote on her website. , www.restartwithchrissy. com.
“I had a skull fracture, hemorrhage and complete fracture of my collarbone, so I was in intensive care for two weeks,” she told the Taipei Times yesterday. “After I got home, I slept 20 hours a day and was told to rest and not work for two to three months, and not to run for six months.”
Photo courtesy of Chrissy Wang
She has been proactive in her rehabilitation process, said Wang, who in 2018 became the first Taiwanese woman to complete all six races on the Abbott World Marathon Majors list.
“I started doing a lot of research to better understand TBI [traumatic brain injury] and I found that there was hardly any information in Mandarin, but there are thousands of traumatic brain injury cases a day in Taiwan,” she said.
“Because the symptoms of brain damage are so invisible – fatigue, tinnitus, memory loss, insomnia, anxiety, sound sensitivity, dizziness, vertigo – I decided to support other patients through this lonely journey of this invisible wound,” she said.
She sought advice from experts in the United States and Singapore after finding that there was far more information available in English than in Chinese, Wang said.
“I was excited about the process and wanted to share my experience with others,” she said. “I translated the information that was most useful to me into Chinese.”
Wang said she lost two days of memory immediately after the accident.
“This type of amnesia is an automatic process that allows the brain to forget about the traumatic experience,” she said.
“I sat at home depressed every day until I started working again with the encouragement of my family,” she said. “They told me life would be more meaningful if I worked, so I started slowly, working two hours a day, two to three days a week.”
The decision to slowly return to work was backed by an expert from Singapore who told her the brain needed time to rest after a traumatic injury, she said.
Wang said she was happy to provide information through Restart with Chrissy, but added that people in rehabilitation should seek professional help first.
“Although I work in medical management, I am not professionally trained to help people with traumatic brain injury,” she said.
She invited people with questions to message her on her Facebook page, Run with Chrissy (跟著詩婷跑).
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