Tuesday, September 23, 2014

To the Question, You're the Only Answer.....

There are many questions that we will come across throughout this injury. In fact, I have felt that I have faced many issues and questions which I work tirelessly to create my own solutions. “To the question of your life, you are the only answer. To the problems of your life you are the only solution.” Jo Coudet perfectly addresses the issues in life. There are always several ways to solve a problem, a person with a brain injury, has to be slightly more deliberate in choosing an action and the methods to go about to solve a problem. Sometimes it is difficult to focus on the task at hand when your emotions are elsewhere. I have to deliberately refocus myself when I start to feel myself wander. I don’t feel this way much anymore; I know what skills I have to enact to keep myself focused. As far out of this injury as I am, I will always need to use my silent repetition strategy to anchor myself to my topic. I think it is important to speak about this on this blog because this is a place where I am hoping that survivors and families of survivors can come to compare experiences. I think that as much as I put towards fully understanding the difficulties that come alongside this injury; the easier it will get for me. There will always be some things that are a trigger for stress in me. I realize that the best way to try and diffuse these stressors is to study and learn as much as I can about this injury and about what has helped people as they progress forward in this ongoing recovery. By taking of the disguise of the hidden struggles that go along with a TBI, as a portion of the population we can work to compile some of the best strategies for getting back to the independent life that we all strive towards. As we always learned in early science, obtaining a method towards achieving an experiment or in this case independence. I would love for many people to submit his/her methods that they have used or are considering on here, so that survivors who have already used certain methods can share their experiences and results here. Today I am going to get some Botox injections in my right shoulder. I am largely independent, but I need to be driven to the facility because it is in a high traffic area. That is and always will be part of my life. I do drive but not in congested areas. I know that there are many people who have had no injury that don’t ever do city driving.  At the end of the day I have to be thankful that I have the supportive family that I do. There are times that I feel insecure about continuing to depend so heavily on my parents for things; but it allows me to take part in the things that allow me to be as functional as possible. Thank you very much for reading and as always I welcome any comments you may have.

~Noelle

Friday, September 12, 2014

Support

It seems as though I need to credit my injury for enabling me to have the credibility that I do to have my position. I know that it was my recovery that has allowed me to represent hope to families of patients and patients themselves. My position has allowed me to become rather specialized in regards to this injury. I can’t believe that something that I wished and prayed had not occurred has opened up so many doors for me. I am going to attend a support group for survivors and family members. I am hoping that maybe I will meet some friends who are like minded to me. I know that although I get down on myself, in the arena of brain injury I am looked up to by survivors and families. It is good for me to look to my population and know that I am not alone. I think that the best description of this injury is the “hidden injury”. It is absolutely an injury that nobody besides maybe a plastic surgeon would immediately pick up on.

I say that because a plastic surgeon told me that half of my face was paralyzed. I was furious at his comment because nobody had ever said that to me. I invite any survivor to comment on any facial paralysis that they might have experienced along his/her journey. Often I meet with patients, recently I met with a group of stroke survivors who compared stories regarding the frustration of not being able to be understood. As with most things the speech can greatly be improved with time and therapy. Even though the population of brain injury survivors is a small one, there are a great many similarities amongst us. I have grown so much emotionally, yet I still do care a great deal about how I look. It feels strange to have many parts of me be so different. My injury was so long ago, but I will never forget about it. I am convinced that my mission now is to affect those who are venturing through the recovery. I think it will be good for my position if I get exposed to as many brain injury survivors and stroke survivors as possible. I would love to hear who has attended a support group and what the experience was like. As always I thank you very much for reading.

~Noelle

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Another Labor Day Has Gone By......

As another Labor day has come upon us; it is a sign of things progressing as they always do. The children will begin to go back to school and get ready for their walks to school. Several of my friends are teachers; and they have all been working on their lesson plans. The Halloween candy is out; and it will be cold before we know it. I am not excited for the cold weather. It is strange to realize that now my friends are Mom’s as they are beginning to do back to school shopping for their children. It seems like yesterday when we were doing back to school shopping for ourselves. I am getting far more comfortable with my brother’s children as they begin to get older. My goddaughter is very much how I am in relation to animals. It is awesome to see how my brother’s kids are each developing their own personalities. I greatly enjoy children to a certain point. I also enjoy the freedom to give them back to their parents. I just love the summer. I will always love it. The fall will without fail have awesome weather. Then the winter will have the holidays and the excitement of the children. Maybe I will ask my brother if I can go pumpkin picking with his family. These Botox injections have allowed me to function. I don’t need perfect; I am so thankful to be able to be functional. As the cold weather approaches; I have to understand that as every other year; the time of warmth will return again. I thank you for reading and would love to read any comments you may have.

~Noelle