Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Appreciating Gifts

I have learned that much of maintaining happiness and forward progression is as a direct result of our state of mind. Post injury before I began my position; many people who care for me wondered how I would handle revisiting my injury on a daily basis. I did not have a daily position prior to obtaining my current, and I am proud to say that I have pleasantly surprised those who were concerned as to how I would adjust to my newly founded daily obligations. I have flourished and allowed myself to develop into an integral part of the healthcare team.

I am committed to expressing the need and desire for an injured individual to become a part of anything greater than his/herself. I believe that utilizing my experiences for the benefit of others has perfectly played into my absolution to the occurrence of August 2, 2005. I still have my moments, and am by no means completely distant from having emotional moments of frustration.

My positions as both an employee of Meridian Health and as a member of the State Advisory Council to Traumatic Brain Injury have permitted me to put my best foot forward while being truthful in regards to what to expect in relation to the life altering event of brain injury. I have benevolently corrected well intentioned family members and even fellow employees as they have expressed the visible improvement that they believe a patient will notice daily. I chime in to remark that having been a patient, one does not see or feel the improvement from day to day. I will never forget the response of my physiatrist as I walked unaided to her office several months after I was discharged from the hospital. While I felt as though things were progressing, they were not going nearly as quickly as I had hoped. My physiatrist was astounded that I had walked unaided into her office. I knew that I walked far differently than I had prior and was not nearly as enthusiastic in regards to my coordination. I try and convey to both the families and the patients that there will certainly be trying times in the future of the recovery.

Recovery is different for every individual, yet as a former patient I remember all too well the trials and tribulations that I encountered along the journey. This role is one that I have come to appreciate as a gift. It is certainly an unorthodox gift and not one that I would ever hope that an individual receives but it is my gift. I would love to read any comments you may have and I appreciate you reading.

~ Noelle

Monday, June 9, 2014


Over this past weekend, I was exposed to an incredible, engaging and extremely therapeutic practice. Meditation and the cognition of Mindfulness was introduced to me as a way that everyone can separate from his/her anxieties and self- induced pressures to focus on the present moment. The commonality amongst the peaceful and emotionally healthy individuals is the acceptance and appreciation of where they are at the present moment. The awareness of where one is in space and time through a practice called meditation can assist as one continues on in his/her life. The acceptance and appreciation of where one is in space and time can help as an individual strives for self empowerment. There has to be a necessary element of peace as one decides to venture forth. The individual always has the element of free will; if he/she decides that status quo is satisfactory then the utilization of true acceptance can help an individual to be aware of each peaceful moment in time. It seems as though the vast majority of people who we come across trek through the motions of life mindlessly. Post injury I try and be far more aware of the directions of my thoughts. Watching this introductory video to meditation allowed me to hear about the directions of my thoughts in a tangible sense. As with all newly learned practices there has to be an individual’s decisions to put forth effort to focus his/her mind away from the tangent distractions the constantly creep into each our minds. I try and focus upon the importance of my companionship at the retirement homes and the ability that I have to ease the minds of the families or the cognoscente patients in the hospitals. I am fortunate in that relating to patients and people keeps my mind from going astray for the most part into mindless and pointless thought. After work however, I am plagued by the draw of slipping into tangent and unfocused, mindless thought as everybody else. I am aware that the ability to comprehend these two differing aspects  of thought are in fact a level of thinking that it took me years to regain. I thank you very much for reading and I would love to hear any comments you may have.