Monday, April 20, 2015

Dreams are Magical, Insightful and Surreal

“A skillful man reads his dreams for self-knowledge, yet not the details but the quality.” 

Ralph Waldo Emerson captures how everyone should evaluate his/her dreams. Along the long and winding path of life everyone will have varying degrees of dreams. Emerson reminds us that the specific details are not what should be most important to a person. The quality and the overall feeling as to how a person is left feeling following a dream is what truly should be valued. If a person dreams that they are president, maybe they never will be president but rather they should take notice and consider how confident they are feeling. Perhaps the actual details are not the most important but rather the overall feeling of how well you felt in your elevated position in society.

You can carry on the confidence with you into the workplace and as you associate with different people throughout your day. Sometimes people utterly dismiss the dreams that he/she has had because they seem so unrealistic and therefore many see them as totally inapplicable to their everyday lives. Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds us that people who are knowledgeable and well adjusted do not always take dreams literally. There is often much symbolism that a skilled man can interpret and evaluate in relation to his life.

Earlier on in my recovery I used to have dreams where I would fly around the skies along with superman. Obviously these dreams were totally unrealistic but they were a clue into how great I was feeling at the moment. Similarly there were times when I would have a depressed dream where I was unable to rescue a drowning puppy. Neither one of my recurrent dreams made much sense as to being any bit realistic; I was able to evaluate how and why I may have had the dreams that I did. I would love to hear some interpretations from others who have had notable dreams. I thank you very much for reading and look forward to any responses that you may have.

~Noelle

Monday, April 13, 2015

Commitment Leads to Action

A brain injury is truly an all encompassing injury. Vast improvements can certainly be made, but they require a deep rooted sense of commitment in order to achieve. A quote by Marcia Wieder simply states, “Commitment leads to action. Action brings your dreams closer.”

The ups and downs that coincide with a brain injury make it very necessary for an individual to have 100% commitment to his/her cause. The people whom I have met that are progressing far in their recovery have an unrelenting sense of commitment.

There is an overwhelming sense of honor that can be felt when a survivor witnesses a fellow survivor who is earlier in the recovery process. It is for this reason that I choose to continue in my support groups and continue attending workshops that provide a wealth of knowledge to those hoping to learn more regarding his/her injury. I have a definite commitment to learning as much regarding my injury as possible.

I would encourage all survivors to attend a support group. It took me nearly ten years before I was finally ready to stop denying my injury. No matter how hard I tried to always live a life “away” from my injury and disability, I finally feel as though I have come full circle by engaging myself in our traumatic brain injury population. I would love to hear who else has seen a change in his/her willingness to engage within their disability population after some time.

Only those who have traveled along your same path can truly relate and empathize when you have gone through a traumatic brain injury. Support groups are offered for nearly every affliction or hardship in life; I never found myself attending any support groups until I was afflicted by a traumatic brain injury.

I thank you very much for reading and as always I look forward to any responses you may have.

~Noelle


Friday, April 3, 2015

Joy

“Keep your face to the sunshine; you cannot see a shadow.” Helen Keller reminds us to do all in our power to try and live an upbeat life. Anyone who is familiar with the story of Helen Keller knows that she had every reason to feel sorry for herself and to be bitter. Helen Keller is certainly a role model for how I attempt to live my life. It is important to remember that somebody always has it worse off. We are all human; we all have our days where we feel a little sorry for ourselves or question why something happened to us. All we can do is make an effort and try. Whenever I begin to feel sorry for myself regarding my brain injury, I try and remind myself of inspirational people such as Bethany Hamilton or Helen Keller. Bethany Hamilton sustained her injury very early in life. Bethany was only 13 when she sustained the shark attack which left her both with a permanent disability and also left her a hero and a maverick to many. I am sure that Bethany has had her moments of frustration with her disability (as we all have). Those moments do not have to override the joy that individuals can feel to have another chance at life at all. There are always those who have things better and worse than any of us. In the wake of a brain injury, it is easy to find yourself consumed with your own thoughts and situation. It is pivotal that an individual try to get outside of his/her own psyche and situation. It is for this reason that I greatly encourage people to volunteer. I would love to hear from who has had the opportunity to volunteer and the impact that it has had on his/her life. I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend and a shout of joy as the warm weather is coming! Thank you for reading.

~Noelle

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hardships and Achievement

“If  it doesn’t challenge you; it doesn’t change you”. We should all always be striving to improve. In order to improve you necessarily have to change. People are always changing. After a traumatic brain injury the changes are a bit more tangible than within an individual who has never experienced a traumatic injury. The improvements following a brain injury are so tangible. I will never forget once I finally was able to leave my wheelchair behind. I physically left the wheelchair behind me; I still have that stark memory at the forefront of my mind. My first months following my injury absolutely changed who I am. It has changed the way I view both life and people. I still would be dishonest if I said anything other than that I wish that I never sustained my injury. That being said, I certainly appreciate the intuitiveness that I have acquired. I have learned a great deal about myself and have seen how I am capable of progressing under difficult times. I wouldn’t desire to change any of who I am at this point in my life. It is hard to believe that I would ever progress to this point in my life. I was extremely bitter and angry regarding my injury for quite some time; with enrollment in psychotherapy I have come full circle in my recovery. I now work with and for individuals in the medical field. I am proud of who and where I am. I love the goal of where I am.  It is rare that the company where you work follows suit with what your exact goals are in life. I sustained my injury while in college so I was therefore able to curtail my focus and degree in a direction which has allowed me to flourish. I am very proud of the mission of where I work. I forever will work alongside survivors of brain injury. I am unique after sustaining my injury and my position is unique.  I am so very thankful that I have a purpose and I would encourage all who are able to apply for positions or even volunteer to help an individual gain a sense of purpose.


~Noelle

Monday, March 30, 2015

Happy Doctors' Day


I am forever grateful for where I work. Dr. George Corzo is an incredibly dedicated and proactive physician. I have witnessed firsthand the care and dedication that this physiatrist possesses. He often reports to the hospital where he is the director of rehab services at Riverview Medical Center on the weekends and even after hours. He has a large family, yet he gives the attention to every patient who he cares for as if they were part of his own family. He gives new meaning to the term of bedside manner. I believe that anyone desiring to be a physician, should desire to have the heartfelt persona that Dr. Corzo has with his patients.


~Noelle

Saturday, March 28, 2015

“If it doesn’t challenge you; it doesn’t change you”.

We should all always be striving to improve. In order to improve you necessarily have to change. People are always changing. After a traumatic brain injury the changes are a bit more tangible than within an individual who has never experienced a traumatic injury. The improvements following a brain injury are so tangible. I will never forget once I finally was able to leave my wheelchair behind. I physically left the wheelchair behind me; I still have that stark memory at the forefront of my mind. My first months following my injury absolutely changed who I am. It has changed the way I view both life and people. I still would be dishonest if I said anything other than that I wish that I never sustained my injury. That being said, I certainly appreciate the intuitiveness that I have acquired. I have learned a great deal about myself and have seen how I am capable of progressing under difficult times. I wouldn’t desire to change any of who I am at this point in my life. It is hard to believe that I would ever progress to this point in my life. I was extremely bitter and angry regarding my injury for quite some time; with enrollment in psychotherapy I have come full circle in my recovery. I now work with and for individuals in the medical field. I am proud of who and where I am. I love the goal of where I am.  It is rare that the company where you work follows suit with what your exact goals are in life. I sustained my injury while in college so I was therefore able to curtail my focus and degree in a direction which has allowed me to flourish. I am very proud of the mission of where I work. I forever will work alongside survivors of brain injury. I am unique after sustaining my injury and my position is unique.  I am so very thankful that I have a purpose and I would encourage all who are able to apply for positions or even volunteer to help an individual gain a sense of purpose.

~Noelle

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Keep Moving

Today I am pushing forward with my day, despite the ongoing nagging pain that I am experiencing. I am very happy to report that I came to work right on time despite still enduring a moderate amount on pain. Moderate pain I can endure and I am thrilled that my vision was back to singular so I could safely drive. I would be interested in hearing who else experiences double vision when they experience migraines or any sort of extreme pain. Following my brain injury I have developed a strong resistance to pain in my extremities. I would be interested in hearing who else has heard of a person who has endured a brain injury having either over or under sensation to pain. I know for myself, I have a loss of sensation in my toes. Similarly I will get bloody blisters on my feet without even realizing it. I think that like everything else you have to know yourself. I now realize that the second that I feel a slight glitch from the way a shoe is fitting, I need to remove them and never wait for them to “break in”. A headache is a very different kind of pain. A headache is a sort of all encompassing pain. Headaches can be felt in different areas of your head or even sinuses and face. There has been a great deal of moisture and rain where I live. I am so pleased that I was able to come to work this morning. The weekend is upon us and I will continue to listen to my body and rest up. I hope that you all enjoy your weekend and as always I thank you for reading.

~Noelle