Monday, May 9, 2016

Life is not merely to be alive

“Life is not merely to be alive, but to live well.” - Marcus Valerius Martial

A large trend in healthcare as well as society is the gravitation towards wellness. In a perfect scenario there would not be a need for hospitals, yet being realistic they are entirely necessary. Once a patient goes through treatment the goal is always to dismiss them while at the same time providing them the proper education to prevent them from returning for the same vive that originally landed them in the hospital. There is a vast difference between living and living well. Prior to my education that I attained in regards to my diet, I was simply existing and going through the motions of daily life. I lacked the energy that I have since attained by adhering to the advice of a nutritionist. I am slightly embarrassed that I neglected myself and my organs for so many years. On the journey of life there are always opportunities and time to redirect how you are living towards a healthier and more proactive lifestyle. Your organs will improve as well as your immune system. Doctors and hospitals will always be necessary yet it is a beautiful thing to only utilize them when entirely necessary. An “after care” plan is delegated to each patient as he or she prepares to leave the facility and venture back into his/her daily life. I have taken the wellness guidelines to heart and since I have been adhering to my diet guidelines I am such a happier and more productive individual. I do still suffer from headaches but much less so than I did prior. There is quite a strain of dark and wet weather that is currently present in the northeast. This uncharacteristic weather of May has had my allergies and migraines running wild. I am sure to make sure that I do not miss a day at the gym in an effort to maintain my energy and thus my wellness. There is a stark difference between living and living well. I am thrilled that I finally took the advice of professionals. I thought that I knew better because I was working out incessantly. What I didn’t realize was that my body needed nutrients in which to function at its optimum. I have an MRI scheduled for Monday so that they can assess if anything new is occurring in relation to my brain injury. I doubt that there are any changes I just think that we have been in an extremely dismal and wet weather pattern in the northeast. I would love to hear any thoughts or opinions that you may have and I thank you for reading.

~Noelle

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

If you're going through hell

“If you’re going through hell, keep on going; face that fire walk right through it….”

I have been very frank and honest about how disruptive the migraines that I endure following my brain injury. The Botox injections have solved them nearly entirely so it is clear to see how distraught I became at the return of the horrendous migraines. I was unsure as to why they had returned with such a vengeance. After suffering for a week I scheduled an appointment with my neurologist. I showed him where the pain was and inquired as to why the migraine pain had changed locations after so many years. Immediately he inquired about any medicine changes that I had within the previous few months. I did begin an anti anxiety med about 4 months ago. The doctor looked up the side effects and saw that TMJ was indeed a side effect that has been noted from individuals who have taken the med. My neurologist suggested that I discontinue the medicine and ask my dentist about this relatively common side effect of many medicines. I saw my dentist yesterday who confirmed that I do have some limited mobility in my jaw and he conquered with my neurologist. I am still very uncomfortable but at least I know the root cause of the pain. I am going to pick up my retainer from my dentist on Monday. That is soon, yet so far away. I have no experienced pain of this magnitude since before I began my Botox injections. My jaw is really beginning to bother me so I am going to head home before I am too distracted by the pain. I thank you very much for reading and would love to hear any reflections that you may have.

~Noelle

Thursday, April 21, 2016

You are always a student

"You are always a student, never a master. You have to keep moving forward." - Conrad Hall

In my days of horseback riding this was very evident. Even though I trained less experienced riders, a person always needs to take lessons themselves to stay sharp. The world is everyone’s arena and each and every one of us has to keep striving for improvement. I feel as though I am doing quite well but these migraines are still and likely always will be a challenge for me. I have learned that aromatherapy helps me to a large extent. I learned of that from a coworker of my brother whose husband suffers with migraines. I am not a fan of painkillers. They certainly have a use and are extremely effective, but I forever will be trying to develop coping skills to help me manage this pain. I am always going to be open to new suggestions for methods that have worked for others who are migraine sufferers. I think that advice from people who have walked a portion of your path is incredibly advantageous as you are attempting to balance your life. I think that life is about the connections that you make with people. People can be supportive and excellent when they are given the opportunity to do so. People who are afflicted with similar conditions realize how daunting they can be to your everyday life. Social media has provided a very useful platform for people to compare experiences. I am very thankful to you for reading, and I welcome any thoughts that you may have.

~Noelle

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Don’t stop believing

There are many times in life when we all need some encouragement. Journey’s song is fantastic because it is an inspirational tune that you find yourself humming as you go through your day. Nobody ever said that the path of life was going to be easy; a mantra such as Journey’s refrain can encourage a person to keep pushing forward with his/her day. An individual needs to believe in his/her self. Nothing can be accomplished without the belief that you indeed can succeed. When I was first injured I was extremely depressed that I was wheelchair bound; that stress was converted to kinetic energy as I began to ask questions as to how I could improve. I think the most important aspect of my recovery was the fact that I never stopped believing that I would improve. At this point I have attained much of a recovery yet I have residual issues. I realize that my right arm will likely always be extremely limited in what I can use it for. Despite the chronic nature of my condition in my right arm I still try and strengthen it to make it as useful as possible. I can never allow myself to stop putting forth effort to improve. In life if you are not putting forth effort to move forward you are not truly living. Journey’s song is fantastic because it has a joyous melody and the vocals speak incredibly to people as they are in many different aspects of life. The weather today is rainy and it is causing a headache in me as I type this; I cannot allow myself to lose hope. I have to always believe that I will get more tolerant of these headaches. I would love to hear any responses that you may have and I thank you very much for reading.

~Noelle

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.