Becoming Again

Ruthann Knechel Johansen

in Listening in the Silence, Seeing in the Dark

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780520231146
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520927766 | DOI:
Becoming Again

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This chapter presents the emotional feelings of Robert when he was taking his son, with serious brain injuries, from a hospital, where he was initially admitted after the accident, to a rehabilitation center. Robert sat close to Erik, who reclined throughout the trip, in an ambulance, charting their progress on the road and linking present conditions to memories. The medical staff at the rehabilitation center remained more on the periphery, addressing residual or secondary problems such as removing trachea tubes or gastrointestinal feeding lines, and monitoring neurological changes that might signal a delayed reaction in the brain to the original traumatic event. Rehabilitation aimed to restore as much capability as possible in three months and to give an admittedly altered sense of purpose to Erik, through standardized protocols. The psychologists and social workers, who might have helped most in the momentous spiritual tasks of assimilating loss and of self-redefinition, focused principally on diagnostics and on preventing the psychological denial of disability.

Keywords: neurological changes; self-redefinition; traumatic event; rehabilitation; standardized protocols

Chapter.  12920 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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