In 2017, I plan to start work on a series of attractive, informative large-format booklets under the title Brain Injury Warriors’ Guild. The artwork will be reminiscent of fantasy and graphic novels, with a touch of Sandman-style surrealism to evoke the subjective feel of the post-brain injury world. The objective is to communicate the seriousness of our struggles in a compelling format, and provide vital information in a short booklet rather than its present location (scattered all over the web). The first two will be aimed at patients, but I intend them to be suitable for curious family members.
The booklets will be short, bold and full-colour, with an emphasis on readability and visual appeal. This will help patients struggling with vision, comprehension and motivation – problems which often interfere with reading. (Sceptical family members will also be more tempted to read a short, attractive booklet than they would a plain, long-form book). The presentation will have obvious appeal to millennials and fantasy fans, but be subtle enough to capture a wider market. The content will be based on the knowledge we learn in online support groups, which health professionals often neglect to tell us. They will be 24-page booklets at 8 x 11″ size, published via CreateSpace/Amazon, which I have extensive experience with. A “bare bones” pure text version will be free on Kindle. I will also produce professional-quality video trailers with stirring music and a videogame atmosphere.
1. Know Your Enemy: What to expect after a brain injury
This will consist of quotes and anecdotes from survivors on the “unmentioned” symptoms of brain injury. On an online forum, I posted an article on loss of visual memory, and a patient told me she’d had the same symptom but thought she was going mad. In my doctor’s clinic, I mentioned depersonalisation and flattened mood, and was sent to useless psychotherapy for it. Both of these phenomena are typical effects of brain injury, so it is unacceptable that the information is not reaching patients.
2. A Book To Fight The Shadows: How to deal with the long-term effects of brain injury
This will be a short guide to the treatments that work, how to access them, and DIY techniques for when you can’t access them. This one is a longer-term project, as it will need personal experience and research.
3 (for doctors, more “corporate” looking). Help! My Patient Has A Brain Injury
This will be the “professional” version of the above book, addressing family doctors and GPs directly. They are not specialists, but they can help or block our route to specialists, so they need to know what we’re going through.
The Brain Injury Warriors’ Guild series is a project combining personal passions with real-world relevance. My personal experience of brain injury will ensure that the series is useful to the individuals it is aimed at. My skills in publishing, marketing and graphic design will make the series visually appealing. It will be like nothing currently in existence.