Friday, February 27, 2015

Don't Stop Believing

It is very important to never stop believing. There is no cost and also the largest cost imaginable to your state of mind. I would much rather have too large an imagination and perhaps too lofty of goals than to lose hope. I think that being part of the TBI (traumatic brain injury) community has allowed me to flourish and develop into having the state of mind that I always dreamed and believed that I would have. There is an incredible network of survivors who have banded together (not by choice; rather by circumstance) who need to realize that they are not alone. A sense of community is a beautiful thing. Often the aspect of support is overlooked. Survivors can be inspired by each other.

Sometimes each of us can provide one another with the springboard that we each need to carry forth. We are all still people; regardless of what each one of us has been through we are continuing forth on this journey of life. I believe that knowing that there are others who are progressing forward with the same issues is incredibly comforting. With the development of the internet we can all find support groups for any vice that we have survived through. If you have not personally had an injury there are always places that are specifically designed for family members and support members. I would love to hear who else has utilized support groups for any aspect of life or specifically who has utilized a brain injury support group. I welcome your comments and as always I thank you very much for reading.


~Noelle

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Make Smart Choices

Life is full of choices. Following a brain injury one has the ability and the responsibility to choose to live a healthy lifestyle. There is always the option to be sedentary; in order to maximize your body’s potential it is important to take full example of exercise and great nutrition. It is amazing to feel the benefits of increased energy. Have you ever realized how sluggish you feel following an overload of food? The holidays are notorious for over eating. Neurological fatigue is in place enough; there is no need to add to it. It is often difficult to explain neurological fatigue. My vision doubles up and my balance deteriorates. My family who sees me every day knows that signs that I have done too much and am exhausted based on my gate. Even though I am nearly ten years out; I will always see the effects of my brain injury. I attended a support group and a member of the group shared that the injury was a “life changer”. It often seems to be far more than an injury for anybody living in the “post traumatic brain injury world”. I would love to hear any comments that anyone may have regarding the length of this recovery. There are still improvements that can be made long after the MRI’S have finished changing. Every day is a chance to focus upon improving oneself. I have grown to really enjoy hearing how other survivors are living their lives and what helps them to remain motivated. I have adopted healthy eating habits as well as a steady exercise routine. Walking in the water is an excellent way for a survivor to take advantage of the buoyancy. Many gyms and therapy facilities encourage aquatic aerobics as well as water walking to allow an individual a safe way to work on his/her gait. I would be very interested in hearing who has taken advantage of aquatic therapy as a way to perfect his/her gait and fluency of movement. Life certainly has a different purpose now, as does health. I would love to hear any comments that you may have.

Thank you very much for reading,
~Noelle

Monday, February 23, 2015

Let It Go.....

Idina Menzel is a very famous singer who sang the music that coincides with the children’s sensation “Frozen”. If you ask nearly any child about the animated picture they get very excited and will likely tell you somebody who they knew was a character from the movie for Halloween. Deeper meanings can be found to nearly all songs if you choose to truly listen to the meaning beyond the music. “Frozen” is an animated children’s movie; the song, “Let it Go” applies to nearly every hardship or difficulty that you may have come across. This movie is fantastic because perhaps it allows people to see that holding onto resentment is never advantageous. As long as I was angry regarding my injury I never was able to move forward. Thankfully I did not harbor deep rooted anger for any extended period of time; I will say that while I did I was unable to focus on the task at hand. Once I was able to “Let it go” the bitterness stopped clouding my judgment as I attempted to press forward with my rehabilitation. I would love to hear from whoever else has shared this experience along his/her rehabilitation journey. The movie has become an absolute blockbuster for most children. When I attended the “Frozen on Ice” show earlier in the year I witnessed the vast age difference amongst the people in attendance. There were young children as well as children in their teens. The music I feel teaches a fantastic lesson. Hopefully the children will carry Mendel’s words along with them as they go through the highs and lows of life. I would love to hear who else has gone through a period of resentment regarding his/her injury and then was able to work through it. What assisted you along the way? I have found that exercise as well as healthy life choices has done well to assist me in my proactive methods regarding rehabilitation. I thank you very much for reading my post and I encourage any posts that you may have.

Best Always,
~Noelle

Friday, February 13, 2015

Keep Moving

After an injury it is important to keep moving. There is a statement which states; “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” There is a huge temptation for a person who has sustained a brain injury to allow his/her self to be overtaken by depression. I can only speak for myself in particular, but I certainly realize the cloud that can sneak up on you following a traumatic brain injury. I think of the people who decide to continue to go to the gym regardless of their ability level. There is a double amputee who attends my gym regularly and religiously swims laps. I found myself being extremely inspired by his tenacity and passion for fitness. It is very important to always have a goal and maintain your healthy lifestyle choices.

 The flip side of this mentality is those people who “seem to have everything” that anyone could ever desire for themselves, yet they are miserable. It is very important to try not to compare with people, rather attempt to identify. It is amazing how I have gained such a broader view towards society following my tragic life event. I am almost hesitant to refer to my accident as a tragedy; I know that it certainly was but I was given a second chance to reevaluate how I approach issues that will come forward in my life. I find myself better able to identify with people after my injury. I know that I am older and undoubtedly wiser than a twenty year old kid. This point forward I continue to try and be well adjusted and to try and identify with every person who I meet. It is important to move forward in life with an open mind. I know that there are difficulties that will arise. Yet I feel as though a person who has persevered through his/her own life occurrence that could have been seen as a tragedy shows true character. I still wish that August 2nd had a different outcome than it did, but there is no point in crying over spilled milk. I would love to hear from who else has adopted a similar view on his/her own viewpoint towards a difficult life event. I thank you very much for reading and welcome any reflections or responses that you may have.

~Noelle

Friday, February 6, 2015

Ordinary People

Joan Clark is a mathematician who worked alongside Alan Turing (the genius who developed a machine to decode the messages of Nazi Germany. She worked alongside a man (Alan Turing) who struggled interpersonally. Alan did not have many friends in fact he was a bit of a loner. She stated a quote in the movie that struck me as soon as I heard it. “Sometimes the most ordinary people are capable of the most extraordinary things.” I am in contact with many who belong to the brain injury community. Perhaps many who have sustained a brain injury are not impressed by the things that they achieve daily. I have met many people who I believe are absolute mavericks for living independently despite a physical disability. As long as a person has his/her mind and the ability to think they have the ability to adapt and change to compensate for any disability that they have.

Perhaps Alan Turing had a disability in regard to how he associated with people. Personally I have accepted my physical disability in large part because I still have the abilities of my mind. There is an incredible amount of freedom that comes from the ability to adapt and change. There are many who have resigned to the theory of thought which defines intelligence as the ability to adapt to change. An ordinary person can make themselves stand apart from the crowd by realizing that he/she is capable of something extraordinary. Regardless of a person’s physical challenges they can work to develop his/her mind and method of thinking. Daily I come across people who astound me by what they overcome daily to live. I often think of this quote from the movie formulated around the life of Alan Touring. While Alan Touring was physically healthy, he struggled interpersonally and socially. A man like Stephen Hawking has had all of his physical independence stripped from him while maintaining his incredibly innovative and thoughtful mind. People can and should learn from both of these individuals and realize that no life is superior to another.
I thank you very much and I would love to hear your responses on how you have achieved independence despite a physical disability. We can learn from each other and I for one enjoy hearing from those who are compelled to write a response!

~Noelle


Monday, February 2, 2015

Another Ground Hog's Day

Migraine sufferers often suffer in cold and gloomy weather. If you have been in the northeast early in the year, we are no strangers to freezing weather and snow. As a migraine sufferer I typically dread this time of year. The one saving grace is that “Groundhog’s Day” is just a few days way. Regardless of how the day is resolved the day in itself is a tangible sign that warmer weather will eventually come our way. As I am writing this I have sunglasses on to cut down on the glare which I am affected by on a headache day. This is just a bit uncomfortable; I hesitate to even call it a migraine (even though I know it is) since I am able to go about my day but with certain adaptations.

These adaptations are part of life for me at this point and I thankfully do not even miss a beat most times. There are always the days that are exceptions. Groundhog’s Day allows us to look forward to St. Patrick’s Day and thus April and May. I can only speak for myself but I am pumped that Groundhog’s Day is so soon. I know that many people disregard this day (which I can understand) yet I feel it serves as a tangible reminder that warmer and drier weather is imminent. I am in contact with many brain injury survivors who also suffer from migraines and there is always a unanimous jubilation regarding the end of the cold and dark winter.

This weekend is the super bowl and also the initial mark of spring. Regardless of an early spring or a late spring, the day marks that spring is coming. Everyone needs to look for a bit of positive energy in his/her life. Certainly there will be some people who may look at you as over-enthusiastic; to them I say, “You do what works for you and I’ll do what works for me”. It comes down to knowing yourself and what helps to make you tick. Positive energy is absolutely beneficial to so many. I would love to hear from any of you who agree or have seen positive changes in his/her life following a positive life event. Please remember there is never an event too small.

I thank you all so much for reading.
Stay Positive,
~Noelle

Monday, January 26, 2015

Err on the Side of Caution

There are risks that we all encounter every day. Depending on where you live; the weather can pose hazardous conditions. Driving a car in general is a risk. It is also a phenomenal achievement for an individual hoping to gain independence. Following a brain injury, this privilege is often suspended. Fortunately I was able to regain my reaction time which allowed me to regain this mode of transportation. This week there is an impending snow storm which may make the driving conditions hazardous.

 That being said, I may cut my day short to be sure that I will not be on the roads during the coming climax of this weather. There are varying degrees of risk that must be negotiated. Charles Lindbergh is quoted as saying, “I don’t believe in taking unnecessary risks, but a life without risk isn’t worth living.” This quote allows an individual to realize that there will always be risky situations that we come upon in life. Perhaps the difficulty comes from deciphering which risks are warranted and which risks are not worth the attempt. Perhaps it takes a lifetime to fully master how one is going to conduct his/her self. There are methods that an individual needs to practice when deciding to attempt a hazardous situation.

I would love to here who has decided to abstain from a certain activity or activities as a result of his/her disability. The elderly, the very young and the disabled need to heed mostly every caution. It is important not to put the emergency medical staff at unnecessary risk. I always think of individuals that “brave” extremely hazardous avalanche conditions to seek a thrill by skiing in life threatening conditions. The emergency medical staff has families also and I hate to hear of the risks that they endure to rescue a person who never should have attempted the feat in which they got hurt. I would love to hear any reflections or experiences that you may have had. It is scary to consider what now I consider as warranted risk in comparison to what I would have considered as a thrill before I sustained my injury. As always, I thank you very much for reading.

 ~Noelle