Brain Dance: My Journey with Invisible Illness, Second Chances, and the Wonders of Applied Neuroscience
Diane Grimard Wilson
MindStir Media (2021)
Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Reader Views (01/2022)
This incredible book by Diane Grimard Wilson is fascinating and informative on many levels, from the intricate cover to the title, itself. Part memoir/part self-help, this dramatic true story could be the insight someone needs to have following a brain injury caused by an auto accident.
One minute, she was at the gym; the next, she was in a collision at a red light—a moment that changed her life forever. Readers will immediately be caught up in the author’s journey through the healthcare system and healing, and immediately see that none of it came easy, because she was also dealing with an invisible injury—the kind that affects you in profound ways. Her medical issues led to a new career calling, that of a neuroscientist. With honesty, pathos, and a little humor, Wilson recounts the events surrounding her brain injury and recovery process, which involved traditional approaches but alternative, too, such as acupuncture, singing, and neurofeedback.
Even if you don’t know of anyone who has experienced a brain injury or concussion, this book will inform and equip you with valuable information about the brain, which is still seen as being the most mysterious organ in the human body. If you know what a concussion is, then perhaps you can relate, because this is the first step in the process of starting over after head trauma.
I love how she has taken a traumatic event and her gradual process of healing, and turned it into a gift for others to use in book form, but also in her career as a helping professional. As you read, you will be impressed and amazed to learn what the human brain can do. The author’s story is a testament to how the brain can rebound, given the right help. She is a true resource and help to others, and her life’s work is evidence of that. It’s painful to read the difficulties she had in navigating the healthcare system in order to find the help she needed, but so many people are in the same boat. Wilson’s book may help cut through the red tape, and offers concrete solutions for the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of brain injury (i.e., confusion, anxiety, etc.). You will be inspired to respect the functions of the brain and be more mindful of how to protect it, just as you would your heart or any other part of your body.
As a former social worker, I highly recommend this book to counselors, book clubs, and support groups—it could be a true lifesaver. Like me, you will value the author’s clear, comforting style, and the wealth of information she offers. Diane Grimard Wilson’s “Brain Dance” is a poignant beacon of light to those living with brain injury.