Monday, January 26, 2015

Err on the Side of Caution

There are risks that we all encounter every day. Depending on where you live; the weather can pose hazardous conditions. Driving a car in general is a risk. It is also a phenomenal achievement for an individual hoping to gain independence. Following a brain injury, this privilege is often suspended. Fortunately I was able to regain my reaction time which allowed me to regain this mode of transportation. This week there is an impending snow storm which may make the driving conditions hazardous.

 That being said, I may cut my day short to be sure that I will not be on the roads during the coming climax of this weather. There are varying degrees of risk that must be negotiated. Charles Lindbergh is quoted as saying, “I don’t believe in taking unnecessary risks, but a life without risk isn’t worth living.” This quote allows an individual to realize that there will always be risky situations that we come upon in life. Perhaps the difficulty comes from deciphering which risks are warranted and which risks are not worth the attempt. Perhaps it takes a lifetime to fully master how one is going to conduct his/her self. There are methods that an individual needs to practice when deciding to attempt a hazardous situation.

I would love to here who has decided to abstain from a certain activity or activities as a result of his/her disability. The elderly, the very young and the disabled need to heed mostly every caution. It is important not to put the emergency medical staff at unnecessary risk. I always think of individuals that “brave” extremely hazardous avalanche conditions to seek a thrill by skiing in life threatening conditions. The emergency medical staff has families also and I hate to hear of the risks that they endure to rescue a person who never should have attempted the feat in which they got hurt. I would love to hear any reflections or experiences that you may have had. It is scary to consider what now I consider as warranted risk in comparison to what I would have considered as a thrill before I sustained my injury. As always, I thank you very much for reading.

 ~Noelle

Friday, January 23, 2015

Inspiration From Unlikely Avenues....

Recognizing who your population is can lead to inspiration from many unlikely avenues. By owning who you are and how you easily could have ended up allows you to recognize the benevolence of those around you. I was positively shocked at the impact that interacting with a former patient had on me. An individual who underwent very similar rehab and hospitalization is now living semi independently. There was an overwhelming sense of pride that I felt come over as I recognized the improvement and the sense of independence that had been assumed. I have a renewed sense of who I am and where I am going. I feel that I can get many people to attend a support group that my company is planning to begin at one of our hospitals. Surprisingly I felt entirely at home being surrounded by several former patients.

This represented tangible growth. No longer did I feel uncomfortable. My position and also my attendance to support groups have allowed me to grow into a well adjusted brain injury survivor. I used to compare myself to every survivor who I came in contact with; no longer do I feel the need to compare. I was able to gain inspiration from the individuals that I was able to meet. A female who is very close in age to me showed me her apartment where she lives herself. I was incredibly proud of her.

Witnessing her has given me a renewed since of ambition to be less dependent on other people to assist me in the daily activities of life. I would love to hear who has returned to living independently following a brain injury. I definitely have some anxiety in regards to living on my own. I just genuinely enjoy companionship. I am not sure that living on my own should ever be a goal of mine; seeing a comrade who is successfully living on her own has allowed my eyes to be open to the possibility. I did not expect for the meeting to have such a profound impact. Clearly, one never knows how certain situations can serve as a positive impetus towards living more independently. Thank you so much for reading! ~Noelle

Monday, January 12, 2015

No Victory too Small

There are small miracles and victories every day. An individual needs to make an attempt to take notice of every small victory that they observe. I accomplished a flight home from Florida myself. Newark International Airport is not entirely user friendly; it is extremely intimidating. Thankfully the employees were fantastic and were very willing to answer any question that I had. Now my first flight alone is behind me. It is now just a memory. Now that the accomplishment is behind me, I am relatively positive that I will not choose to travel alone when I am given the option. The choice will not be made out of fear. I enjoy making connections with the people who work in the airport as well as the people who are traveling themselves. I now join the population in accomplishing a mode of travel (as an individual) that many people use. I only travel for vacation. My position thankfully does not require that I travel beyond my state. I would love to hear who has returned to traveling by his/herself following a brain injury.

I am friendly with many survivors and they helped to put my mind at ease. It is bizarre to look consciously throughout your contacts to find people who have faced the same dilemma as you yourself are facing. It is beautiful to no longer classify something as a dilemma. Flying alone has now been accomplished. My situation puts me in a bit of a funny spot; my issue was not the actual flight itself. I have never really had a phobia of flying at all. My issue came from knowing which lines to go through to proceed through security. The people working in security were very nice. I felt as though they were prepared to work with somebody who may have a disability. My mother was able to get a gate pass so she was able to accompany me to the area before I had to get on the plain. I am very happy to be able to have a   flight under my belt that I did myself. I would love to hear who else has traveled themselves after a brain injury. I am pleased that I have never had an issue with my headaches on a plane. Many people who suffer from headaches have extreme problems with the altitude changes and thus pressure changes. I thank you very much for reading and as always I welcome any responses that you may have.


~Noelle