Thursday, February 27, 2014

Dancing In the Rain....


I was at a friend’s condo and I noticed a sign she had in her living room: “It’s not about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s learning how to dance in the rain”. As soon as I saw that quotation I immediately felt it spoke to me. Recovery from a brain injury requires that many things need to be learned in different methods than they had previously. The ability to learn new approaches and methods allows for a person to be able to recover and assume a different life. As I always reiterate, “attitude is everything”. Things regarding a Traumatic Brain Injury may not be for the short term. I am 6.5 years out and I know that there are some things about me that will likely always be hindered by my TBI. As a result, I have not thrown in the towel; rather I have learned how to put my contacts in with my left hand. I now know that I am far more dexterous with my none dominate hand than most people ever will be. I wear eyeliner every day (I did pre-injury as well); except now I apply it with my left hand. I wear contacts everyday as well; I have learned to do them seamlessly with my left hand. I feel that this adaptation of learning to use my non dominate hand is very similar to somebody deciding that they will no longer wait until it is no longer raining before they return to dancing.

As soon as I saw this quote I immediately made the association with life. People who have sustained a TBI need to be open to learning new ways to do things. I would never have been sure that I could do this; until I had to. An uncle of mine had a shoulder surgery and as a result he will be unable to use his dominate right hand for 3 to 6 months. He told my parents that he is miserable and he feels bad for me that I always use my left hand. My response, was “no it is definitely not easy, but my left hand has learned to assume dominance”. Basically my body has realized that rather than “waiting for the storm to pass”, I have learned new and different ways to “dance in the rain”. Waiting I feel does nothing for us as we are attempting to get our lives back.

Developing new ways to accomplish everyday tasks despite what our injuries may have left us with is a prime example of learning to dance in the rain. Once again using our adaptation will help us as we go on through life. A popular song line is, “life’s about changing nothing ever stays the same”. Recovery from a TBI often does result in a very different life. The task at hand has to be to encourage those who are in recovery and allow them to never feel alone. I would love it if I could gain some feedback regarding that previous statement.

~Noelle

Monday, February 10, 2014

Open to Interpretations.......


            Every element in our daily lives has at least two interpretations. After a life altering event; an individual has to look at the positive side. I encourage a person to always try and be open to the uplifting interpretation of any situation. It is far too easy to fall into the negative. Forward motion is the only way to progress. We cannot change the beginning of our story; but we can always change how we would like it to progress. This moment in time is the first moment of the rest of your life. I repeat this notion to myself quite often as I realize that indeed certain things are different now then they were prior to my injury. I have far more emotional depth than I did prior to my injury. I also realize that I am indeed resilient. I feel that not many individuals are fearful of tackling the grief that comes with a brain injury. Certainly there are moments of grief that accompany a life altering event. There also has to be an effort to move forward. I hope that I am helpful to people because I do not try and pretend that all is sunny all the time. I always press on and I have been successful in my recovery; yet I am not afraid to be honest and I believe that it is my duty. I am on the Brain Injury Association for my state and we have meetings where we discuss the legislation that is being proposed and what the next objective should be. I don’t think I ever would have been on a state advisory council if I had not had first hand experience with this injury and the adjusting to life process after one has sustained such. I hope that every person and family who has endured an injury can attempt to focus on the positive light and be so thankful for what they have. I do my best to remain in contact with many people who are attempting to carry on in their lives despite whatever injury they have endured. I want to do my part to help and support others because I know that an injury does not just happen to one person. It is family wide. I thank you for reading and I would love to read any comments that you may have.

~Noelle