Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Only Constant is Change

"Never give up on your dreams. Day after day do not ever lose sight of your goals."


Me and my new companion, 10-month-old Bella.
I have shared many times that being alone gives me extreme anxiety. I am getting older, (33 and living with my parents is not where I saw myself ever when I used to imagine myself at this age.) I was dealt a difficult hand and as a result I deal with some issues that many people my age do not deal with. I have found that my love of animals has allowed me to live independently from my parents. I recently purchased a ten-month-old puppy who has given me an incredible amount of companionship. With her, I feel secure and I can exist independently. I will include a picture of her and me with this post so you can see she is only eleven pounds so she is not exactly a protector for me, yet she provides the companionship that I was lacking.

I was very hesitant to spend any nights alone in a house because my anxiety and depression would get out of control. Me purchasing this puppy from the ASPCA was the best decision that I have made in a very long time. It is truly unbelievable the difference in my life that she has made. I am sure that my parents often wonder why I did not do this sooner, but I do not believe in “what if” thinking. I think that a pet can be wonderful especially for a person who struggles with anxiety or depression. I feel a new sense of independence and responsibility that I haven’t felt before. The old statement, “The only constant is change” has come naturally and in due time in my case. I would encourage anyone who is finding difficulty in living alone to invest in a pet from the local animal shelter. I found my best friend and she helps me to be okay with being by myself. I hope that you all are enjoying your summer and I would love to hear any reflections that you may have.


~Noelle

Monday, July 9, 2018

When it Comes to Style, Make Your Own Rules


“Create a look that’s made for you.” 
- Madonna


This Fourth of July I did not go out to any restaurant or bar. I still chose to get into a summer dress so that I felt as though I did something. I spent the holiday with a close friend and his children. There is no doubt that I was extremely overdressed for our informal BBQ dinner, but I really was not concerned. I truly dressed for me. I hope that everyone has been able to make each holiday their own. I love that this year I didn’t have to go paint the town with a bunch of my friends. My friends are excellent and they have gotten me through a lot, yet it is still such a wonderful feeling to not feel the need to get dressed up to look the part for doing the “single scene.”

I have never felt “normal” going through my life after my brain injury; I am happy to report that I am truly getting there. I have taken many steps to improve my endurance, my headaches and mostly my state of mind. I for once now feel as though there may be a future for me. I am no longer living fully at my parents’ residence. I have a wonderful little dog who has allowed me to feel okay when other people are not around. I have worked extremely hard and now I finally feel that I will be okay. I still really do not enjoy being by myself; my dog is the perfect companion for me. I will include a picture from the fourth of July so you will all see that even though I was at a BBQ, I still dressed for me. Every day that we wake up we should always choose an outfit that makes us feel good. Sometimes people will refer to us as self-indulgent, but I say, no matter. We have to figure out what makes us function at our best.

I thank you very much for reading and I shall include a picture from this previous holiday.

~Noelle

Friday, June 29, 2018

When the Going Gets Tough...

"It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy. Tough times pass, tough people don’t."

I withstood another accident a few months ago and now I feel that I am finally getting back to me. I am able to come and do the job that I love; a few months ago I was still too fatigued and struggling with migraines terribly. I am very fortunate that the organization that I work for is so understanding. After my head injury, I am plagued with many vices. Just when I feel that I have withstood enough, I endured another accident. I now feel that I am truly returning to me and getting back on schedule to do the things that I want to do to live a productive life. My migraines have absolutely been heightened when I was hit in the face with the airbag. As a result, I felt as though I was back to square one in regards to the headaches. My diligent team of doctors came up with a med for me to try in conjunction with my Botox injections. I feel much better and I am able to return to my typical daily activities. Unfortunately, my endurance did suffer and I need naps after being stimulated for several hours at a time. I was very fortunate in that to the naked eye I did not sustain any serious/life altering injuries. My left leg got a severe hematoma that had to be drained of blood and fluid four times. Luckily I was able to avoid surgery. My injury to my head (resulting in the migraines) were severe enough that I have been unable to work.

I finally feel that I am back. I am back to the capacity that I am capable of right now. We all will endure certain trials and tribulations in our lives. We must go forward with our lives and slalom around the obstacles that are our roadblocks. This weekend I look forward to spending time with my family and some friends. My parents will open the pool and we will all be able to enjoy the outdoor recreation that has solidified the summer as my favorite. My parents had a pool party two weeks ago that I was able to go to and I included a picture. I so look forward to spending time with my family and friends. I am so thankful to have escaped yet another near life ending accident. At the end of the day; I have learned that each and every one of us takes risks every day. We must cherish everyday and live it to the fullest. Always remember to tell those you love how much they mean to you and remember that tomorrow is never guaranteed. Live your best life now and tell those you love how much they mean to you. I thank you all so much for reading and I would always love to read any thoughts that you may have.

~Noelle

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