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Recovery from a brain injury caused by West Nile virus.

A brain injury recovery story from one of our Progressive Therapy Associates patients

The night that I ended up in the emergency room, and we thought I possibly had a stroke, we found out it was neuroinvasive West Nile, and my sister immediately started searching for services that would help me. Before my illness, life was fun and active and exciting, and I didn't have any pain. I felt like life was just smooth at that time.

The cause of my illness was an infection I got from a mosquito bite. It affected my life in every way. I couldn't care for myself. I couldn't bathe myself. I couldn't drive. I couldn't write my own name. I had short-term memory problems. My speech was impaired. Sleep cycles were impaired. I could not work or do my job. I couldn't cook. I couldn't clean. Everything that's normal to people, I couldn't do.

I had no idea what to do. I didn't know what was going to happen to me, and I didn't know if I was ever going to get better. It was because of my sister and husband advocating for me that we found what we think is the best care. I love the staff at Progressive Therapy Associates. From the moment you walk in, to the moment you leave, you are a valued person, no matter what your illness is.

Before my illness, I was a high functioning individual with a profession that was pretty high functioning. After my illness, I was not able to do the simple things. I couldn't even write my name. I couldn't manage any of my time. I knew we needed to do something.

My family life was impacted because my husband now had to become my primary caretaker. He had to help bathe me. He had to do all the house work, cook, and clean. He had to take over all the duties that I used to do, pay bills, drive me to appointments, help me manage my energies, my medications, and just everyday life.

People did not understand, only the people directly involved with me. My husband and my family understood it because they were there and they saw the challenges that were happening. The care that I received at Progressive Therapy Associates allowed me to live life again. I was able to go back to work gradually. I was able to have more social interaction, and I was able to learn how to manage my energies, so I could balance my work life and home life and social life.

Compared to a bigger environment, Progressive Therapy Associates made me feel like I had direct care, like I wasn't just a number, a patient. They knew who I was and what my illness was. I didn't ever have to explain anything to them after they knew what my diagnosis was. I was able to come here and feel safe, and they always knew who I was.

I have actually referred family members to Progressive Therapy Associates for treatment, because I know first hand that they will be taken care of. They won't be a number. They will be an actual patient, and they will get the care that they need.

I think what people need to understand that there are many types of brain injuries, and it's important to get treatment, the correct treatment, and the speech-language pathologist doesn't always just help you with the way you speak, but can help with a brain injury and how you recover.

The gains that I'm most proud of are being able to get back to work, and get back to a life with my husband and do fun things again. There was a lot of homework after my therapy sessions that I had to do, and in order for me to get better I knew I needed to do my homework, so it took me a lot of time and a lot of energy to go through therapy, but I wouldn't change it for the world because I now have my life back.

We see individuals with ADHD, traumatic brain injury and concussion as well as stroke.

When people think about speech-language pathology, they typically think about speech disorders or language challenges, which speech therapists can do, but here we've just chosen to focus more on the cognitive aspect, and when I say that I mean things to do with focus and memory, speed of processing, planning, problem solving, organization, all those daily skills that help you to really function and organize your life.

If you're someone who's struggling with attention or memory or planning, for instance, for a variety of reasons, you can self-refer. You can pick up the phone and call us at 701-356-7766. You can find us on our website, and submit your information and come for a free consultation, or your primary care doctor can also refer you for treatment here.

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Qualified therapists

Our dedicated team of speech-language pathologists are specially trained in speech therapy as it relates to cognitive-communication issues (how you listen, process, focus, remember, and communicate). We are also nationally certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, are nationally recognized by the Brain Injury Association of America and are Certified Brain Injury Specialists (CBIS). We are licensed to practice in both North Dakota and Minnesota. We believe every patient deserves the best treatment and support we can offer in every single contact and interaction with us.
 

Individual approach

We recognize that no two people have the same needs and that everyone has different learning styles. That’s why we like to call our approach “the Progressive way,” which means we will happily customize treatment plans to meet the unique needs of the individual and their family. We also believe in “the right fit” between patient and therapist, so will make every effort to match you with a clinician who connects with you, understands you, and utilizes a therapy style that is comfortable for you.

We are here to help

Depending on the goals you wish to accomplish and the learning pace that is most comfortable for you, we will arm you with the evidence-based strategies, proven skills and ample support you need to feel more organized, prepared and effective. Therapy strategies may range from recommendations for specific tools (such as timers or planners), one-on-one brainstorming and problem-solving to address concerns, therapeutic activities as well as computer trials or worksheets to help strengthen cognitive and executive functions like attention, memory, and planning.
 

Coaching with compassion

We know that working on cognitive-communication issues is hard work and that it can be easy to feel defeated or overwhelmed by the challenges of building a more efficient brain. However, you will not be in this alone. We are not just speech-language pathologists; we are fellow human beings who care about you, your journey, and your success. We don’t want an appointment to feel like you’ve been sent to the principal’s office. Instead, you’ll find a comfortable space where you’ll feel listened to and understood. And because humor makes everything more bearable, be prepared to laugh and joke a bit too!