Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Groundhog's Day

Another Groundhog’s Day is upon us and thus another anticipatory moment of the future. Groundhog’s day comes every Feb 2 and people have come to expect its arrival as a sign that spring is on its way.  While the Groundhog has not been proven as correct in many instances; people still look forward to Groundhog’s day as a sign that spring is inevitably coming. Typically February is a month where people begin to consider how long the duration of the winter will be. While this winter has been mild for the most part we do have some snow on the ground from the last storm that we had. This being the case has had many people considering if there will be an extended duration of winter or an early spring. I typically do not place much credibility on the famed groundhog; I rather look at it as a sign of another spring inevitably coming. Every season has its own anticipatory elements and spring I am positive is no different. I am already getting excited watching as the days are beginning to get longer. The sunsets are beautiful right now as the air is still crisp and clean. There is often the smell of fires in the distance while a clear and clean sunset can be witnessed. These are the beautiful moments of this time of year.

I know that late January through March are not typically thought of as pleasant in regards to the weather, but I have been able to walk outside and enjoy the lovely scenery several times over the last few weeks. Hopefully I will continue to get opportunities to walk outside and enjoy the scenery. Regardless of how the Groundhog feels in regards to his shadow I will continue to do my best to enjoy this temperate weather. I would love to hear who else has experienced a new appreciation for nature and beauty following a traumatic event.

The Super bowl is coming and another time to get together and celebrate is about to be upon us. Celebration times are different now for me following my injury. My celebration times are about friends and family at this point. I think that in addition to getting injured I have matured a great deal since my college days (prior to getting hurt). I would love to hear from anyone who has witnessed their social lives taking on a different form as they get more advanced in years.

~Noelle

Friday, January 29, 2016

Passing on earth we mourn others rejoice to meet

“Life is eternal, and love is immortal,and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.” Rossiter Worthington Raymond

Death is a painful reality of life. People need to try and understand that we all will go through the pain of having to bury a loved one. I do not see death as a final measure for people. People live on in loved ones thoughts and I believe that they live on in the actions and thoughts of loved ones. I recently went to a wake of a former patient whose family I had grown extremely close to while he was in one of our hospitals. The love that could be felt amongst this family allowed me to realize how truly loved and admired he was. I can’t imagine the pain and difficulty that is involved with the passing of a parent. I can only hope that I will try and live in accordance with the quote by Rossiter Worthington Raymond. The family of the deceased man I am sure will be in a state of mourning for quite some time. My heart goes out to them and I can only hope that they realize what a beloved man he was. He worked hard in his own therapies as well as he encouraged as many people as he was able to interact with while in the facility. At his wake I witnessed several people who worked alongside him while he was in the hospitals. His wife and his children were exceptionally broken up and emotional. It is my understanding that they believe in life after death and it is my hope that they will be able to achieve some level of piece in knowing that he has now entered a new dimension of life. He will live on forever in the hearts of those who love him. The love and the warmth that was felt from this family must have been an indicator of how close knit they were. Family and loved ones draw strength and support from each other in these times of deep need. Every person and every family will grieve differently and everyone is entitled to their own grief process. Others who have passed will have the pleasure to meet those beloved members of our living world who have crossed over. Regardless death will always be difficult it is just my hope that I can help to be supportive of those that are going through the grieving process. I depend so much on my parents it is very difficult for me to imagine any life without them. I am just going to make sure that I am as gracious and loving to them as possible while I have them. I thank you very much for reading!

~Noelle

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Success is to be measured...

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he (or she) has overcome. - Unknown

Success is not a static and inflexible notion. A successful person is someone who has achieved things regardless of the difficulties that he or she has been forced to overcome. There is not a choice in my opinion in many cases. A person must decide that he/she is not going to be sidelined by whatever obstacle that they face. An inspiring individual to me is one who is not sidelined by any difficulties that they may face. I look to my peers and I envision many people who have had devastating brain injuries and yet they have not allowed themselves to be sidelined. I have found that by attending support groups with others who have sustained similar life circumstances to me, I can compare and learn what has helped the majority of those who are in my same situation. I look towards Bethany Hamilton again and while she has attained the status of a world champion in surfing, one does not remember her solely because of her surfing ability. Bethany is an incredible success because of what she has overcome. Bethany has become an incredible role model for amputees and others who have disabilities. I am thrilled that there is a present day superb athlete who has overcome so much to excel in an arena where her passion lies and was not taken away from a sport that she so desperately loves despite her accident which involved a tiger shark attack. Accidents come in many forms to many different people, any unplanned event which has resulted in an altered life circumstance can certainly be categorized as an accident. Everybody has a story and in the world of brain injury it is always incredibly enlightening to learn and hear about how everyone’s story and journey is different. We can all learn from each other and we all need each other for support. I enjoy sharing who serves as role models for me and hearing who serves as primary role models for others. Attaining a disability does not have to be the end of a person. Joining together with people who are willing to compare thoughts and ideas in regards to overcoming various disabilities can be helpful and a key to being better understood. I thank you so much as always for reading and would love to hear any thoughts that you may have.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Practice makes things easier

Practice and repetition are the only sure fire ways to ensure that things will get easier and more automatic.

I successfully flew again down to Florida myself. I certainly had a bit of anxiety regarding the flight but nowhere near the anxiety that I endured before my first solo flight last year. I now know that even though I am not a huge fan of flying myself, I am capable of doing it. Capability is a huge hurdle for anyone, especially for a person who has had his/her world and independence rocked by a brain injury. I am pleased to report that I no longer feel that I require my parents to accompany me on a flight. I am very fortunate in that my parents provide a tremendous amount of support. I am pleased that I was able to take my maiden voyage by myself last year. I am proud that my parents did not have to worry about me getting down to Florida myself. I learned that I cannot allow myself to live paralyzed by fear. There will always be things that are not going to be easy and that I will be uneasy about; but I am proud that I have been able to take two flights myself. Now I was driven to the airport by my father both times and he helped me navigate to the gate, but you have got to start somewhere. I still find the airport itself extremely stressful and I am not sure that I will ever get dropped off at the curb to navigate the security and the boarding myself but I do know that there are many people who are uncomfortable in the airport themselves. I am not one who has ever had nerves about the actual flight itself. I am uncomfortable with navigating through security. Thankfully I know that this flight was a bit easier than the last flight and the next flight will be even easier than that. I adore my parents and am very fortunate that they are willing and able to help me in as many ways as they do. I would love to know who has had experience with flying themselves following a traumatic brain injury. The entire experience of the airport is overwhelming for many people and I am very fortunate that both times that I have flown myself I have been able to be accompanied by a parent who has gotten a gate pass. There is an impending storm this weekend so I am hopeful that you all will be able to get refuge from the storm and have a warm and safe weekend.

~Noelle

Monday, January 11, 2016

Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing

Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous New Year by believing. Believe in yourself. And believe that there is a loving Source - a Sower of Dreams - just waiting to be asked to help you make your dreams come true. Sarah Ban Breathnach

Sarah Ban Breathnach helps to solidify the importance of self-awareness in motivation. A person must realize the effect that they can have on others. A connection that I have made in one of our hospitals sustained a secondary illness. The patient has a tight knit network of loving family. A relative made a phone call to my office and requested that I come to support the family during this trying time. Sometimes we don’t realize the affect that we can have towards others. In this New Year I am attempting to take a leap of faith and go forward with a sense of confidence as I am able to comfort those who I come into contact with. Belief is an amazing thing for people. Belief, security and confidence are three things that can help a person to be secure in what they are destined to do. I wish that I had never sustained the injury that I did; seeing as how I did I am not sure that I could be doing more of a meaningful purpose for loved ones who have witnessed a loved one go through a devastating injury. I am proud that I can assist to bridge the gap between loved ones and understanding. I am going to Florida for vacation next week and I will fly myself again. I can recall the incredible nerves that I had before I took my first flight myself last year. It all worked out and while I am still not thrilled regarding flying myself I am sure that I will be fine as I was last time. I have to continue believing that I will be okay in both my professional life and my personal life. I am doing all that I can to become as versed as possible in my knowledge of traumatic brain injuries. My hope is that I can bring inspiration and hope to every family that I visit with. Patients also who are going through a trying time I am hopeful that I can offer encouragement. I share with them some of my insecurities and share that I get nervous about things as well. By sharing any of my uncertainties I have heard that people feel comforted and that they are not alone. I thank you very much for reading and I hope that you enjoy your week! As always I welcome any comments that you may have.

~Noelle

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year

“Whatever you do or dream you can do — begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it”. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang van Goethe helps to inspire and keep people motivated. Everyone needs encouragement to begin what they have been anticipating. A new year is a fantastic new birth of sorts for many people. The beginning of the year leads to many new resolutions. There is a fresh and clean palate for a person to reestablish what is most important to them. There are two schools of thought regarding New Year’s Resolutions; some believe that great change is possible by sticking to the promises that a person makes to themselves on that day. Many other people (myself included) believe that New Year’s is a way of further solidifying the way that you live your life.  I made a promise to myself to reestablish my workout routine. We are only a few days in but I am happy to report that I am so far sticking by my resolution and have made it of definite importance that I am trying to live a healthy and balanced life. I need to revamp the way that I am eating. I have always eaten very low calorie and low fat but I am not sure that I am eating enough. With everything the best way to obtain a plan is to ask elders who are schooled within the area that you are looking to obtain advice. I have dreamt and I believe am making it a reality to increase the healthy and nutritious parts of my diet. I am hoping that my energy will increase and that I will be better prepared to begin and round out my days. I follow many brain injury blogs and have seen that nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are paramount to help a person to live a healthy and energetic life. I am fortunate in that I am able to sleep quite well even though I have had an injury. Sleep disruption is a primary complaint of many people who have sustained a brain injury. I am interested to hear of any New Year’s resolutions that you may have made. I see new years as a refreshment of ideas that one already has within his/her self.  I hope that you all had a fantastic holiday season and I hope that you are all revamped to tackle 2016.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Holiday Cheer

“This is my wish for you: peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays!” - D.M. Dellinger

The holidays are upon us and no matter which holidays that you celebrate I encourage you all to try and maintain D.M Dellinger’s quotation. The holidays are about company and about love. In my opinion peace of mind is the most important aspect of the holidays. Things happen in families that are beyond all of our control. My heart is always with those that are going through hardship at this time of year. It is my deepest desire that every person will have energy and the desire to pursue their dreams this holiday. The wealth of family should be felt by all. True wealth can be felt in the love of family. I am hopeful that the children who will be in attendance at these holiday parties will learn the importance and the joy that is felt through family.

This year is extremely temperate and it is my hope that we can each satiate on the prosperity and joy that is in those around us even as the weather begins to get colder and less inviting. The warmth from one another should come directly from our hearts and hopefully we can each be joyous and dream filled as this year winds to a close. Every year each of us gathers with family and friends at this time of year to welcome in the holidays. Individual religious preference has far less to do with the holidays than does love for family and friends. A family member of mine is going through much medical difficulty this year and my prayers are with him and his family. I am staying up to date and following along with the various online groups that I am a part of. Warmth and love are universal and can be felt by all. I encourage each and every one of you to enjoy your holiday and I am enthusiastic to read any comments that you may have to share among our community. I am so thankful for you to read and I wish you all the most spectacular of holidays.