Monday, July 10, 2017

Best Friends

“A best friend is like a four leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have!”
- Sarah Jessica Parker



In the summertime especially I truly cherish the time that I have with true friends. After a brain injury many of us have lost many friends but the ones that endure are truly excellent characters for us to associate with. What is surprising is that my truest friends are people that I became close with when I was a child and was very into riding horses. Even though I no longer ride horses, they have stuck by me and have been supportive of me in my current ventures. My best friend has stuck by me throughout the many ups and downs that I have had with this injury. Depending upon where I am in my Botox schedule I sometimes shake more apparently than others. I do not walk perfectly and I need assistance when it comes to cutting my food. I have three great friends that I am never embarrassed to ask for help. They will assist me with anything that I need help with. I would love to hear who else has seen their friends really rise to the occasion and assist them in whatever life throws their way. I accompanied my best friend to the beach yesterday and we had a wonderful day. She has been by my side quite often recently because I am alone for right now as my family is in Disney World with my brother and his family. I did not go with them down to Florida because I do not love the extreme heat of Florida in the summer. They went now because my niece and nephew are out of school. My best friend works in a school system so she is off right now as well. She and I go to the beach and go to see bands at night. It has really made my time alone much more tolerable. I would love to hear who has seen their true friends come to the forefront after a trying life situation has occurred. I know of many people who have gone through a divorce and subsequently really had to reevaluate who their friends were. I have been friends with my best friend since childhood and I am sure that I will be by her side no matter what life throws at her. I have seen how she has been so supportive of me throughout a few difficulties that I have had in life already. I hope that you are all graced with at least one true friend who would do anything for you regardless of any difficulties that you may have gone through. Life is not easy and we will all go through difficult situations throughout our lives.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

It's Never too Late to Change Your Life for the Better

“It’s never too late to change your life for the better. You don’t have to take huge steps to change your life. Making even the smallest changes to your daily routine can make a big difference in your life." Roy T. Bennett

I try and live everyday with this in my mind. Drastic changes to your daily routine are not needed. Small tweaks to your daily routine can make a big difference over time. Following an injury you may feel as though much of your life is out of control. It is important that you remain in control of what you can. I have spoken with many survivors and I try and convey the importance of not using substances. It is vastly important to eat a healthy diet and to understand what is going in your body. Following a brain injury we are even more reactive to what we put in our bodies. Every day I am sure to not ingest things that are poor in regards to my health. I think that sometimes we all feel as though we could use a change in our lives but we are unsure of how to go about attaining it. Huge changes are not always necessary. We all have the ability to try and improve our daily routines. This morning I made sure to go out of my way to wish the valet drivers at the hospital a fantastic day. The smile that I received this morning was a great way to start my day! My change that I need to make is to not be so critical of my physical features. I need to remind myself daily that one’s life worth is not based on how he/she looks in an outfit. This morning the warm smile that I received had way more to do with my attitude than anything else. I know that I am not alone in my thinking because weekly I talk with patients about the importance of a good attitude and the benefits that it can have on your rehabilitation. One resident who I visited with made it his mission to report to me weekly about his bird friends that he had made his unofficial pets from one of the rehabilitation centers. That was an example of a small change that he made to his daily routine that drastically improved his state of mind! It is my hope that people understand how greatly things can be impacted by small changes made to your everyday routine. Roy T. Bennett’s quote is one hundred percent true. Minute changes are all that is needed to your daily routine. Daily actions become automatic and non-spectacular over time. One small difference or alteration to the routine is fantastic and can greatly help you over time. I am hopeful that I will be able to continually increase my state of mind. I know that I need to continually work towards being okay with whom I am following my injury. Even though my injury was a long time ago I will be forever be working towards being okay with who I am in my body post brain injury. I thank you very much for reading and I would love to hear any thoughts that you may have.

~Noelle

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Summertime Enjoying Surfrider


“Happiness comes when we stop complaining about all of the troubles that we have and instead offer thanks for all of the troubles that we don’t have.” Unknown

It is now the summer and it is awesome to be able to enjoy the beach and the water. Living in the northeast I truly experience the chill of winter and also the heat of the summer. I went down to the beach and was happy to see the ocean; the club that I attended even had palm trees planted. Even though palm trees are not native to my area, they added a lovely touch to the beach club. The beach has an amazing ability to make you forget any troubles that you may have. The vast ocean is a subtle reminder of how small we are in the world. The beach allows us to feel at peace. Following a brain injury many of us have difficulty walking in the sand. I am certain that I don’t walk quickly on the sand. I was still able to meet people down at the beach and my friends know me and they understand the difficulties that I have from my brain injury. It is my hope that everyone who has had a brain injury will surround themselves with people who understand. I can assure you that there are people who understand. It is incredible to offer thanks for the gifts that we are given. There are always five thousand things to be thankful for to contradict any complaint that we might have. I think about how fortunate we are to have the ability to enjoy and celebrate on the beach. At the beach there is always the hustle bustle of the families organizing their barbecues for the evening. Summer to summer the children of the families grow up. My niece and nephew are such great swimmers now. I completely feel as though it was only yesterday that they were in swimmies and only stayed in the shallow end of the pool. My walking in the sand is certainly a bit of a challenge for me but as long as I am surrounded by caring people who understand I do not mind. The children greatly enjoy the beach and it is good for our family to be able to go and support each other. It is my hope that every survivor of brain injury does not allow the injury to dictate where they are able to go during times that they enjoy. For as long as I can remember I have always greatly enjoyed the beach. I still do and I likely always will. I would love to hear what you do to enjoy your summer months. I thank you very much for reading and would love to hear any responses that you may have.

~Noelle

Monday, June 19, 2017

Celebrate Your Parents (and Your Pets)

Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad.  
- Anne Geddes

This previous weekend was father’s day. I am so thankful to both of my parents for the way that they have stepped up for me. I truly believe that after an injury we need to celebrate and be able to step outside of ourselves. Often I consider how fantastic both of my parents have been in the wake of my injury. I am not your typical thirty-two year old and I depend on them a great deal in ways I am sure that are unlike their constituents. The thing that I am positive to make sure is that I am incredibly appreciative for all that they do for me. Father’s Day and Mother’s Day I feel are both small opportunities for children to share their appreciation for their parents. I feel that a person should never pass up an opportunity to thank their parents for all that they do. I have been incredibly fortunate in that my parents have always stepped up to support me.

After my injury my father came to the hospital every day following work. At one point I remember I was scared to take a shower because I feared that the water would be cold; my father came to the hospital before work to ensure that I would be given a warm shower. I will never forget how incredible my parents were to me throughout my injury. No matter what I do to show my appreciation it will never be enough to show my true gratification for all that they do for me. This previous weekend I celebrated Father’s day out at my Dad’s farm in Cream Ridge. I have included a picture of one of my Dad’s dogs that was enjoying the pool on a warm afternoon.


It is always important for you to get outside of yourself and to celebrate other people. This weekend I celebrated my father and all that he has done for me while enjoying his pool and his animals. Sundays are nice days to wind the week up and prepare for the upcoming week ahead. I was able to reflect upon the week while relaxing and enjoying great company. My brother wasn’t able to attend as he had previous commitments but he will bring his family out at another point. It is interesting for me to witness how as we are getting older, my brother now has a family of his own. The torch has been handed over and now it is my brother who has a blossoming family with young children. I was sure to send all of the fathers who are friends of mine well wishes and I truly hope that they were able to enjoy their day with family.  I would love to hear what you did to enjoy your father’s day. As always I thank you for reading!

~Noelle

Friday, June 16, 2017

What's Done is Done

“What's done is done. What's gone is gone. One of life's lessons is always moving on. It’s okay to look back to see how far you’ve come but keep moving forward.”  Roy T. Bennett


This quote is one of the hardest in life to satiate upon. We all will go through periods that we wish that we could take back. An incredible lesson in life is learning to always move forward. Of course I wish that my accident never occurred, but I cannot allow myself to consider how my life would have been had the accident never occurred. It did occur and my life is altered. My life now gives me the credibility to speak with others who have undergone his/her own life difficulties. I have had to learn and remind myself quite often that it is okay to reflect upon how far I have come to gather motivation to keep putting one foot after the other. We all have a long road that we are on and we must do our best to never doubt constant forward motion. At times things may be fearful to us but we have to never doubt and keep our faith alive and well. It is important to surround ourselves with loving friends and family. I make sure to always remember this when I am cultivating relationships with people. I enjoy going to see bands and being outside, but more than anything I appreciate being surrounded by people who I care about. Recently I was able to remember just how fortunate I am to be able to be outside and laughing with friends and family. My accident is in my past but I must always move forward. I am able to enjoy being surrounded by people that I care about and to ensure that I continue moving forward. I always try and surround myself with positive people who are always thinking proactively in regards to their lives. Positivity is contagious and therefore we all must try to surround ourselves with positive people. I know that following my injury I absorb emotions quite easily from other people and that I must be sure to always put a great deal of importance in regards to those that I surround myself with. I will always put great importance on this fact and make sure that it is always a priority in my relationships. I would love to hear who else has noticed a slight change in what is important to them in regards to friendships following a life occurrence. I know several people who have had to reassess how they make friendships following a divorce or even after taking a new job. Most of my friends are from many years ago and I still am quite close with several of them. I thank you very much for reading and would love to read any input that you may have.


~Noelle

Friday, June 9, 2017

Be Open to Suggestions




I recently got my Botox injections which help me tremendously with my headaches. I learned that you have to be open to helpful suggestions from various sources. Working in healthcare, mostly everyone who you come across daily is in the business of helping people to feel better. I have included two pictures where you can see that my demeanor increases dramatically from the picture in my office (where the lighting is not ideal for a migraine sufferer) and a selfie that I snapped at my house a few days following the Botox injections. Botox injections have been a game changer for me in regards to me being able to lead a productive life. I feel that it is my duty to be open with other migraine sufferers who are trying to live a productive life. My life was run by hoping and praying that I wouldn’t get a migraine when I had things planned. Botox was suggested to me by a doctor who was in attendance at one of my speeches. Thankfully I took the advice which was suggested to me and have benefitted greatly from the Botox injections. I am able to live my life for the most part without being sidelined by my migraines. I still do get a few break-through migraines but they are far more manageable then they were prior. I am forever thankful to the healthcare provider who suggested that I try Botox injections to lessen the impact that migraines were having on my life. Prior to me getting the injections, the migraines were running my life. I was trying to schedule things and I’d pray that I wouldn’t have to cancel them because of my headaches. Everyone who I was in contact with understood the severity of my headaches and they knew that I may have to cancel. Since getting my Botox injections it is very rare that I have to miss an appointment. I even enjoy going to see bands and listening to the loud music that they play. Thankfully I am able to take part in many activities that were not an option for me before I began my Botox injections. I am thankful that I have been able to reap the benefits of what are possible when Botox injections have the desired effect on people who are migraine sufferers. I am very open to tell anyone who is a migraine sufferer about my positive experience that I have had with the injections. I am hopeful that another migraine sufferer will experience relief in one way or another and then share his/her experience with others. Every survivor has the ability to share what has helped him/her along the way and help to connect the dots for a new survivor. Unfortunately brain injuries happen to 1.7 million people a year so there are always going to be new survivors who are looking to make their recovery as smooth as possible. I thank you for reading and welcome any comments that you may have.



~Noelle


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Conditions are Never Perfect

“Conditions are never perfect. “Someday is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually” just do it and correct course along the way.” Tim Ferris

 Tim Ferris encourages people to not wait or put things off. We have all heard individuals who constantly recite that things will get done eventually but they lack an action to get the task initiated. It gets pushed off to the side and is soon forgotten. It is important to not always find yourself waiting for the “perfect opportunity”. Such an opportunity will never come. We make situations perfect by taking the first step and taking action. Individuals who possess the ability to be “self-starters” are always preferable to those who wait to be spoon fed. Life is about opportunity and seizing the moment. As a survivor of an injury, I pushed the envelope and pushed forward in my recovery regardless of what overly conservative people recommended. Every aspect of my recovery happened and was successful because I did not put things of or wait to try for “perfect” conditions. Every survivor of a brain injury realizes that much of the recovery is far from perfect. I believe that nothing will happen if you are not willing to risk disappointment. To this day I still challenge myself more so then many deem warranted. I know myself and while I may walk a bit awkwardly in heels, I still do like to wear them with dresses or with suits. I know that while I may look a tad awkward if I were to wait for the “someday” that I walk perfectly in heels then I would never wear any of my fancy shoes. Sometimes you just have to grab the bull by the horns and try something. If we all get stuck waiting for that someday to come we may never be able to achieve our true potential. I would love to hear who else has had experience with pushing the limits following a brain injury. I have learned from my experience that there will always be people who do not understand. Following a brain injury I have had to work extremely hard to make things okay for me. I personally enjoy wearing heels with some of my suiting outfits. I enjoy wearing sandals with a heel in the warm weather. I do understand that many people are going to wonder why I make the effort when it is slightly more difficult for me to keep my balance. At the end of the day, I do it because I want to. Each one of us is capable of making decisions that are in our own best interests regardless of what others may think. I have decided to challenge myself and wear heels when I feel that they match my outfit. I very often wear flats, but on certain days I decide to wear heels regardless of what I know others may think. I always try and remember the Dr. Suess saying, “What others think about you is none of your business.” I would love to know what some of you may think. I have included a picture of me in a suit and heels!

~Noelle