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I spent the weekend learning how to make you life better :)

Read to me!

Tell me…

Is there anything you were able to do before your injury that you’re still able to do post injury? Maybe it’s something like playing an instrument, writing, crochet, being a plant parent…

And since your injury, have you been able to do anything new?? Maybe that has been taking up a new hobby, finding a new interest in audiobooks & podcasts, learning to play an instrument, write, crochet or be a plant parent 🙂

Or maybe something even bigger…

This past weekend I attended an online summit with other professionals who are looking at creative ways to solve problems in our day-to-day living.

The summit was called the Creative Approach Summit and it was a stellar international event with round the clock presentations, workshops, networking events, and solution corners for 72 hours straight! (Much gratitude to the organizers! I hope you are getting some good rest 😉 )

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Image of virtual conference garden from creativeapproach.net

There were people from Hong Kong, India, Norway, Germany, Estonia, Nigeria, Belgium, the UK, Portugal, the US and of course me from Canada 🙂 And those are just some of the countries of people I met! 

Suffice it to say, I did not attend the entire 72 hours LOL. But I attended several talks and workshops and met some amazing people across the globe.

I spoke with and attended sessions by other healthcare providers including doctors, linguists, medical clowns, behaviour analysts, nurses, clinical researchers, and therapists. There were also other professionals who focused in business development and communications for large organizations, as well as community building initiatives.

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Image from creativeapproach.net

We talked about issues of power & hierarchy in healthcare and how that hurts our patients & clients.

We talked about POETS: persistent overwhelming emotional traumas and how healing can happen once we help you understand the cause of these better.

We worked with the power of silence and learned how to connect with others without verbal language.

We discussed how academia, schooling, and university systems sometimes set us up to fail in the real world. We explored ways these systems might be reshaped so that students come out better able to help not only their future clients, but also their other colleagues.

We practiced asking for help and helping others to achieve their goals.

We learned how we can speak up to power and LISTEN to make sure no voices are left out of the conversation.

We learned how our brain works!! And how we can create a supportive environment for neurodivergent folks.

And…

We did all of this with improv theatre 🤯😃

I know! What a plot twist!

Improv?!? Really?!!?!?

Believe it or not, improv theatre is the main thing I was doing pre-injury that I was still able to do throughout my entire recovery 😊

That’s me on the left performing at an improv show. I’m miming something ridiculous and loving life 🙂

But ok, how does this relate to YOU?

Tell me this…

Have you ever had a doctor, or other healthcare provider, say to you:

“Well…it’s been a long time since your concussion…you should be better by now.”

AND/OR

Have you ever gone to a health appointment wanting to talk about one thing, but your provider just went off health-splaining to you something else that wasn’t totally useful?

AND/OR

Have providers given you advice you did not want?

AND/OR

Have providers just outright ignored what you had to say while they stared at their clipboard?

Yep…

I’ve experienced this. Which is why when I’m not supporting your recovery from your brain injury with the healing powers of food, I’m helping other healthcare providers change how they work with you so that you are seen, heard, believed, and actually cared for. And improv is an incredibly powerful, if not magical way to do this!

Now, I’m not going to lie. This is a slow process. One thing myself and the other healthcare providers talked about in this improv summit is the fact that our healthcare system is slow to accept this kind of training & change. I spoke with a nurse who’s been at this for decades — she reassured me that change is happening, even if it’s been at a snail’s pace. But I’m hopeful that we can at least move that up to the pace of a tortoise!

A team of cool people working towards a common goal of creating something awesome!

This online improv summit took a lot of my brain energy. I really had to take care of myself, take breaks, and pace. (Even though every event in this summit looked amazing!)

But I finished my last session on Sunday feeling so energized. So ready to continue improving my work for you. So happy to know there are so many other people out there I can collaborate with, trying to make this world a better place for us.

And so proud that two years ago I probably wouldn’t have been able to do something so stimulating like this. But this year it allowed me to do something new, and something great post injury 🙂

I would love to hear from YOU

What have you been able to keep doing post injury? (Come on — there has to be at least one thing!)

I’m also here to listen to any challenges you’ve had with the healthcare system that may have not listened to you. (Don’t get me wrong — there are some fantastic health providers out there! The more we can collect your stories of how the system may have failed you, the more ammunition we have to get out into the world and change this for you 🙂 )

And finally, I would love to know what would make your recovery BETTER?

How can I and the rest of your healthcare team better SUPPORT YOU?

Send me a message!!

Change happens when we all come together 🙂

Best in brain health,

Krystal Merrells

Dietitian

TBI survivor

Improviser 😀

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