Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Live like you were dyin'

"I hope you get the chance; to live like you were dyin." 

I am back after being away for some time due to yet another accident. This experience has allowed me to realize how truly fortunate I am. I have and continue to see that those who remain by your side during difficult times are rare. I have had to spend several more days in the hospital and my family has shown themselves to be incredible. I distinctly recall that at the moment of impact feeling as though I was in a good place and that if it was my time; I had to trust it. Thankfully, I am recovering and it seems that my team of phenomenal doctors are up to the challenge of trying to get my life back. I have put my health, my faith and my trust into my team of treatment professionals. Tim McGraw’s song, “Live like you were Dyin’ is incredible and it helps to put into words the way that I am feeling.

This life is not a sprint; it is a long and often arduous venture that each one of us embark on. I believe that it is one of our biggest challenges to find meaning and to find a way to have purpose in each one of our days. I try and visit and share strategies with individuals that are embarking on his/her rehabilitation journey. I try to tell everyone who is/has gone through an injury that they should take note and celebrate those who stand by them. Along our journey, we will see that there are many that cannot handle our situations. We must not be upset with them but rather focus on ourselves and the journey that we have laid out before us. My migraines are still quite an issue for me and now since my most recent accident I have to not allow myself to strain my vision too much by staring at a computer screen. I am beginning to get a headache now, so I will end my post now but I will be back within the week. I apologize for my absence and I so look forward to any comments that you may have.

~Noelle

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Never Turn Your Back on Hope

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” 
- Martin Luther King Jr.

Throughout life, there will always be disappointments. We have to remain hopeful and realize that miracles happen every day. We have to never give up our dreams. We all must maintain hope. No matter what happens in our lives there is always reason to keep the hope alive. Every day is a chance for us to follow our dreams and to keep our dreams alive. Maintaining positivity is very important to who we are.  We cannot give up on our dreams. Each one of us has a story. Those of us that have had injuries are forever in pursuit of regaining our faculties. New breakthroughs are made every day and we have to be patient and realize that they are happening all around us. We have to be open to the new opportunities that are available for us. Through our various friends and loved ones we can keep researching new possibilities. We all can expect to have various times of disappointments. We can decide that those disappointments not going to run who we are. We can have different hopes every day and it is important that we never put a limit on it. We have to know that small or finite disappointments are going to occur. Hope is not something that you can overdo. It is healthy for all of us. I am so happy that I was able to advocate for myself at an alternative therapy physician’s office. I try to maintain a positive frame of mind and always am positive to stay hopeful. 

We can choose (in my opinion have to) take full responsibility for our lives and choices. We have the responsibility to maintain a positive outlook. Our days can be so much more productive as long as we are dedicated to maintaining our positive outlook. Following an injury we strive to regain our autonomy. Positive thinking is incredibly important and we must strive to conduct our lives in ways in which to do so. Always choose relationships with people who try and conduct themselves in the same way that you do. Hope is limitless. We should always try to bring about hope in our lives. We can choose to enjoy the activities of every day. We can choose to be enamored of the environment around us. Following my injury I have a far greater appreciation for the sunrise and the sunsets. So many people get too wrapped up into insignificant things and miss the true beauty that is this life. I thank you very much for reading and as always I welcome any responses that you may have.

~ Noelle

Monday, February 26, 2018

Change yourself. Change the world.

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons or the wind but you can change yourself.” - Jim Rohn

Every one of us has a responsibility to choose our correct path in life. Every day we can choose to wake up in distress or we can choose to wake up and push forward toward what we want. Now is the time. Planning is important but we must hold onto the fact that this is our life. Every passing moment is a moment that we will not get back. I try to make myself get to the gym because I realize that it is with these decisions that I am shaping my life. We have to choose wellness for ourselves. We are in control. We can choose to live healthy and make healthy decisions. I will include a picture of me before I went to the gym this previous weekend. Every day we can choose to be proactive and make positive decisions for ourselves.

I love to learn about my heritage. This week I am going to an Irish concert at Monmouth University. My ancestors were of Irish decent and I find it interesting to learn about the Irish music and the dancing. I cannot change myself but I can adapt the way I live my life. I made a vow to stay activity driven in the colder months and I am happy to say that I have stayed true to my vow and my activity level this winter has been far more than it has in the winters past. I am happy to report that I feel better with this change and I would recommend it for all. How have all of you maintained your goals that you may have set out at New Years? I always am true to the gym and I always try to eat healthy. My big change this year was to try to remain active through the winter. I find that the more that you do the more that you continue to want to do. My arm is doing well with the alternative therapy that I have begun. We have to make an effort for ourselves. This is our life and we are in control. I believe that where there is hope there is possibility for healing.

I would love to hear from anybody else who has acquired a tremor with their brain injury. I have hope and I love these support groups that I have found online. Many people in the world go through similar circumstances as we do. With the internet we can look for many support groups online and we can share with one another. I thank you very much for reading and I would love to read any thoughts that you may have. ~ Noelle

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Thinking Outside the Box Isn't Enough

“It isn’t enough to think outside the box. Thinking is passive; get used to acting outside the box.” 
- Tim Ferriss




I love this quote by Tim Ferriss. We cannot think of ourselves as being “typical”. Once I realized that I do not exactly fit any mold, I opened myself up to many possibilities. There are always many solutions to any problem. I am trusting in my physicians as I try to come up with ways in which to lessen my issues that I still have from my Traumatic Brain Injury. I have numerous outlets that I can refer to as I go forward with my treatments. I recently connected with a brain injury survivor from across the country. She is encouraging me and sharing her journey as she has tried to gain her life back. I am open to new therapies and some alternative methods that have helped people along the way. I just got a new ID badge to attend a new alternative treatment center and I will include the picture with my post. Many people are willing to reflect and share about his/her journey. I think that each one of us can gain valuable knowledge from others. 


I have learned an incredible amount from others who have walked along my
path earlier than I. Human interaction is incredible for many reasons. It is my hope that I can continue connecting with others and I am hopeful that they are as willing as I to share their stories.  I have always thought outside of the box, but only now am I beginning to actually act, outside of the box. I am open to hear any therapies that people have found helpful after a brain injury. I will continue to investigate the varying techniques that people have utilized to see if maybe they might be suitable for me. Every one of us from every walk of life should research our own health and what has helped people like us. This previous week, I went myself to a new doctor. I advocated for myself and I showed all the appropriate insurance information. I felt extremely proud of myself as I handled the entire situation myself. I was able to calmly advocate for myself as I have trouble filling out the new patient registration form. Thankfully I was able to dictate my information to a man who worked in the office that was able and willing to scribe my information down for me. I think that it is always better the more frequent that we are able to allocate for ourselves. I was not even nervous about it (as I had been prior). We need to be comfortable with our own life circumstances and ourselves. There will always be situations that arise where we need to verbally advocate for ourselves. The more comfortable that we get with ourselves the easier it will be to speak on our own behalf. Thank you so much for reading and I always look forward to reading any responses that you may have.

~Noelle

Friday, February 16, 2018

Cherish Each Moment, Big and Small

"The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet."
- James Oppenheim


Enjoying the moment and enjoying the passage of time is the secret to living a peaceful and happy life. We must enjoy the simple and insignificant moments in life as much as the events that we look forward to in the future. This previous week my family got a new puppy out at our farm. I had some headaches the last few days because of the rainy weather, but I tried to truly enjoy the puppy and allow myself to focus on the positive aspects that I have in my life currently. The quotation is excellent because it causes people to look at their surroundings and seek happiness in the moment. Each one of us is capable of changing our focus towards that which is currently around us.

We can choose to be actively engaged in our surroundings. I did not allow myself to focus upon the negativity of the uncomfortable feeling of the headache, but rather focus on the fact that we got a new puppy to play with. Every day we always have a choice to focus upon the positive or the negative aspects of life. I feel that with practice, each one of us will get better at creating a more peaceful solitude for ourselves. Everybody has good days and bad days. We can practice to focus upon the positive things that we have surrounding us. Some things we may take for granted; practice taking note of the small blessings in your life and allow yourself to be joyful in your own being. James Oppenheim’s quote should serve as motivation for each one of us to realize that we indeed have the power to create a joyful existence. I for one am always happier when my mentality has a focus. Focus, drive and direction are three key ingredients to a peaceful and proactive life. I think that is why people after an injury must get involved in a mission greater than him or her. Individuals make up this world and we each are capable of many things.

We are capable of redirecting ourselves. When I woke up in pain and heard the rain outside I knew that I had to change my focus from the discomfort. Thankfully, I was able to focus upon the new puppy and helping him to adjust to his new surroundings. I have heard from other survivors that they take part in puzzles to help them to get out of his/her own head and focus upon something. Our minds are capable of being trained and we must take responsibility. We must seek out joy and realize what contributes to our happiness. I think that we must seek guidance from others who have/are going through similar circumstances to us. Once again, I am a huge fan of networking and sharing guidance among people. I will include a picture of my new puppy so you can see. His name is Brady and he helped to take my mind away from my pain yesterday. I thank you very much for reading and I would love to read any comments that you may have. 

~ Noelle

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Open Your Mind to New Challenges, New Opportunities and New Possibilities

“When you open your mind, you open new doors to new possibilities for yourself and new opportunities to help others.”  - Roy Bennett

My father is getting a new puppy today. I will have the joy of a new puppy and the hope that I am going to see a new doctor this afternoon to discuss different options to aid with my movement disorder.
Each one of us can be a messenger to others. We have to be willing to take down our guard and trust those who are open to helping us. I do not live my life just for me. I believe that I survived in the manner that I did to share hope and encouragement. My journey I hope can be educational for others and it is my mission to encourage other survivors. We have to be open. I am going to a new doctor today to see if there are other alternative therapies to employ to aid me with my Dystonia.  I have been using Botox for years and I am open to the possibility of a new therapy. I have an excellent team of doctors around me that know my mission and they are all aiding me in my mission to become more functionally independent. I consider myself very lucky that I have a team of excellent doctors around me. After a brain injury, we all deal with our own challenges and sometimes it is incredible to realize that maybe the doctors know best and maybe they have tools at their disposal that we never dreamed of on our own. I am going to put my trust into these doctors and believe that they will help me. I think that you have to trust professionals and be vulnerable to their suggestions. They want you to improve and I believe that is what life is all about. My injury was many years ago now and I will not lie dormant. I am going to seek out the best methods to help and improve my life.

My father is getting a new puppy today. I will have the joy of a new puppy and the hope that I am going to see a new doctor this afternoon to discuss different options to aid with my movement disorder.

I am very hopeful regarding my appointment this afternoon. A new set of professional eyes will see me and examine my case. If I can gain more normal control over my arm, I feel as though my quality of life will be much improved. I would love to hear from anyone who deals with any form of movement disorder. It is extremely difficult when you have a region of your body that is involuntarily tremoring.  I know that nothing is a cure all. I am hopeful that I am on the right track. I am hopeful that you will all keep me in your thoughts and send positive vibes my way for my appointment this afternoon. At the end of the day I need to remember how fortunate I  am to be able to drive myself to this appointment this afternoon. I will certainly check back in and let you know how my appointment goes.

Thank you very much for reading and I look forward to reading any responses that you may have.

~Noelle

Monday, February 12, 2018

Super Bowl: A Family Tradition

"I believe in traditions; I believe in the idea of things being passed between generations and the slow transmission of cultural values through tradition."
- Graham Moore


I attended a small super bowl gathering at my brothers this past weekend. My father and I joined my brother and his family as he had a bunch of people over to watch the game. His children are getting older and it was a great experience. I had a friend take a picture of my goddaughter and I; which I will include with this post. The joy of everyone sitting around in his or her jerseys has become a yearly tradition. Traditions are fantastic. My brother’s children are being brought up in a house where football will forever be a very important aspect! I have never felt the same passion for football because I could never play. I was thrilled that I could join along. It is fantastic to watch as my brother brings up his family. It is hard to believe that my big brother now has his own family. 

Following a life altering accident, we need to be close to our families. Over the years, I have remained close with my family. I realize that my family are everything to me. They are the people who have stood by my side in the good times and the bad. We as survivors need to grow while remaining close to our home base. I will forever recall how my family has stuck by me through it all. I am not sure that I will have children of my own and as a result, I am extremely close with my brother’s. I would love to hear from any survivors about their feelings about having a family of their own. This path of life that we are on is long with many turns and hills. We have to look to one another to guide us along the way. I have recently been searching for others who are familiar with dystonia. I have dystonia in right arm as it resulted from my head injury. I am pursuing what ways people have found relief from this. I would be so grateful for any input that anyone could give me on this matter. I feel a new sense of purpose and I am enthusiastic about finding new methods to better combat this dystonia. Thank you very much for reading and I welcome any responses that you may have.

~Noelle