Traumatic brain injury. Maybe you know someone who has experienced this. Can you fully recover from traumatic brain injury?

Paul Jenkins, Live on Purpose TV:
Let’s look. Hi folks, this is my friend Greg Nordfelt.

Greg has been a guest on my show, Live on Purpose radio on the podcast. And he’s a colleague in the National Speakers Association. Phenomenal inspiring speaker and if you need a great speaker for your event, this guy can cover some cool topics. Greg comes from a background of commercial banking. You’re a bank executive?

Greg Nordfelt, Traumatic Brain Injury Three Time Survivor:
I was. Senior management.

Paul Jenkins:
He has suffered three traumatic brain injuries.

Three like one, two wasn’t enough. Three. Crazy right? Nobody better then Greg, really to address this topic. Can my brain heal? Can I recover from a traumatic brain injury? What do you think Greg?

Greg Nordfelt:
You can. You can. I’m sitting here. I hope, this is me. You tell me.

Paul Jenkins:
This might be you. Okay, can you share with our viewers today Greg, what you’ve learned about that? Because you were in that position. Now, you wrecked your… hardly right?

Greg Nordfelt:
I did.

Paul Jenkins:
And as a result of that suffered a traumatic brain injury which left you in a coma for a period and puts you into an extensive period of recovery and therapy and rehab. Some of the doctors, some of the professionals and some of the people who have opinions about this, said that you’re not going to recover at least certain parts of your function. Just your brains gone, its nuked right? I know I’ve got you going on this Greg. Please share with our viewers a little bit about what you’ve learned about the ability of the brain to recover.

Greg Nordfelt:
I wouldn’t get my senior management banking position back until six years later and so I was an extremely driven and motivated person before my Harley accident and that personality drive remained with me after I woke up from my coma, and initially I was unbelievably driven just to hear these words.

“Greg you’re doing a good job” so I was reliving my childhood as a ten year old boy just to please people so I would do anything just to hear the therapist and the physician is say “Greg you’re doing a good job”. So I was working two, three and four times as hard as the therapist and the physicians would ask me an acute neural rehab to hear them say those words, I was unbelievably hard-working.

Paul Jenkins:
Can I just ask you a question about that Greg? Because it’s easy when something like this happens to start feeling like there’s all these things I can’t do or that I’m not good at anymore. That you know to focus on the deficits maybe rather than the abilities that are there. And you’re saying that it was instrumental for you to have caregivers, therapists or those who are working with you, to focus on what you were doing well. And what you can do and how you’re succeeding that seems like an important element to consider, as we look at how we can help people who are in this kind of a position focus on what you can do not what you can’t.

Greg Nordfelt:
Absolutely, my wife was my primary caregiver. And my family, I was surrounded by a network of support which is one of the most critical things in reaching a high level of recovery with the traumatic brain injury and continuing to hear those positive feedbacks from therapists’ physicians and your care givers. It’s the top of the list and your own awareness and acceptance of where you’re at is at the top level as well in recovery and then getting the right tools from your neural rehab team. Having those tools available and having the drive and motivation to use those tools. Working harder than they required as soon as we just mentioned is you know at the top of top level of being able to hit a high recovery level and not comparing yourself to anybody else. You know using your own valve as the guide and that that means everything.

Paul Jenkins:
It is a team effort isn’t it?

Greg Nordfelt:
It is absolutely. It’s is being able to be surrounded with this team and allowing them to help you. It’s allowing help and support. It sure was meaningful for me to get to this place where I’m at six years later.

Paul Jenkins:
That requires some humility too doesn’t it?

Greg Nordfelt:
Yeah it turned me into a different Greg. My wife looked at me a lot different after my accident because my personality changed, she said “who are you? and what did you do with my husband?”

Paul Jenkins:
This is not uncommon though with a TBI?

Greg Nordfelt:
It’s very common for personalities to change after a traumatic brain injury, and I was one of those who has a new personality. And a new self, and I can see the person that I used to be, and I wonder myself what happened to my old Greg this new Greg is a different guy.

“It led to this geometric growth in my survivor, me allowing myself to gain
new heights in this pathway of rehab and it just took off from there.”

Paul Jenkins:
You said earlier to not compare yourself too much to others but maybe there’s some element here too about not comparing yourself too much to your old self. But instead taking that new self with all the context of the TBI and the relationships that you’re in. And the amazing network of people around you who have both saved your life and enhanced your life taking all of that and building and creating a new thing.

Greg Nordfelt:
Sadness is a very common trait of traumatic brain injury survivors. And comparing who you are now, the new person that you’ve become, to your old self. Can very easily lead to you know, depressive traits. Depression, sadness and allowing yourself to acknowledge that this is a new path that you’re on and accepting that leads to this this new pathway. And the beauty of it and joy. And once I allowed that to happen it was wonderment at its highest. It led to this geometric growth in my survivor, me allowing myself to gain new heights in this pathway of rehab and it just took off from there.

Paul Jenkins:
So I think you’ve already answered this Gregg, but I’m going to ask it officially for the video okay?

“Is there hope after a traumatic brain injury?”

Greg Nordfelt:
Oh my gosh, hope is endless and there is absolutely hope from both survivors and caregivers of traumatic brain injury.

Paul Jenkins:
Thank you for sharing that today.

Keyword: traumatic brain injury, brain injury, brain injury survivor, brain injury rehab, brain injury law firm Denver

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