Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hardships and Achievement

“If  it doesn’t challenge you; it doesn’t change you”. We should all always be striving to improve. In order to improve you necessarily have to change. People are always changing. After a traumatic brain injury the changes are a bit more tangible than within an individual who has never experienced a traumatic injury. The improvements following a brain injury are so tangible. I will never forget once I finally was able to leave my wheelchair behind. I physically left the wheelchair behind me; I still have that stark memory at the forefront of my mind. My first months following my injury absolutely changed who I am. It has changed the way I view both life and people. I still would be dishonest if I said anything other than that I wish that I never sustained my injury. That being said, I certainly appreciate the intuitiveness that I have acquired. I have learned a great deal about myself and have seen how I am capable of progressing under difficult times. I wouldn’t desire to change any of who I am at this point in my life. It is hard to believe that I would ever progress to this point in my life. I was extremely bitter and angry regarding my injury for quite some time; with enrollment in psychotherapy I have come full circle in my recovery. I now work with and for individuals in the medical field. I am proud of who and where I am. I love the goal of where I am.  It is rare that the company where you work follows suit with what your exact goals are in life. I sustained my injury while in college so I was therefore able to curtail my focus and degree in a direction which has allowed me to flourish. I am very proud of the mission of where I work. I forever will work alongside survivors of brain injury. I am unique after sustaining my injury and my position is unique.  I am so very thankful that I have a purpose and I would encourage all who are able to apply for positions or even volunteer to help an individual gain a sense of purpose.


~Noelle

Monday, March 30, 2015

Happy Doctors' Day


I am forever grateful for where I work. Dr. George Corzo is an incredibly dedicated and proactive physician. I have witnessed firsthand the care and dedication that this physiatrist possesses. He often reports to the hospital where he is the director of rehab services at Riverview Medical Center on the weekends and even after hours. He has a large family, yet he gives the attention to every patient who he cares for as if they were part of his own family. He gives new meaning to the term of bedside manner. I believe that anyone desiring to be a physician, should desire to have the heartfelt persona that Dr. Corzo has with his patients.


~Noelle

Saturday, March 28, 2015

“If it doesn’t challenge you; it doesn’t change you”.

We should all always be striving to improve. In order to improve you necessarily have to change. People are always changing. After a traumatic brain injury the changes are a bit more tangible than within an individual who has never experienced a traumatic injury. The improvements following a brain injury are so tangible. I will never forget once I finally was able to leave my wheelchair behind. I physically left the wheelchair behind me; I still have that stark memory at the forefront of my mind. My first months following my injury absolutely changed who I am. It has changed the way I view both life and people. I still would be dishonest if I said anything other than that I wish that I never sustained my injury. That being said, I certainly appreciate the intuitiveness that I have acquired. I have learned a great deal about myself and have seen how I am capable of progressing under difficult times. I wouldn’t desire to change any of who I am at this point in my life. It is hard to believe that I would ever progress to this point in my life. I was extremely bitter and angry regarding my injury for quite some time; with enrollment in psychotherapy I have come full circle in my recovery. I now work with and for individuals in the medical field. I am proud of who and where I am. I love the goal of where I am.  It is rare that the company where you work follows suit with what your exact goals are in life. I sustained my injury while in college so I was therefore able to curtail my focus and degree in a direction which has allowed me to flourish. I am very proud of the mission of where I work. I forever will work alongside survivors of brain injury. I am unique after sustaining my injury and my position is unique.  I am so very thankful that I have a purpose and I would encourage all who are able to apply for positions or even volunteer to help an individual gain a sense of purpose.

~Noelle

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Keep Moving

Today I am pushing forward with my day, despite the ongoing nagging pain that I am experiencing. I am very happy to report that I came to work right on time despite still enduring a moderate amount on pain. Moderate pain I can endure and I am thrilled that my vision was back to singular so I could safely drive. I would be interested in hearing who else experiences double vision when they experience migraines or any sort of extreme pain. Following my brain injury I have developed a strong resistance to pain in my extremities. I would be interested in hearing who else has heard of a person who has endured a brain injury having either over or under sensation to pain. I know for myself, I have a loss of sensation in my toes. Similarly I will get bloody blisters on my feet without even realizing it. I think that like everything else you have to know yourself. I now realize that the second that I feel a slight glitch from the way a shoe is fitting, I need to remove them and never wait for them to “break in”. A headache is a very different kind of pain. A headache is a sort of all encompassing pain. Headaches can be felt in different areas of your head or even sinuses and face. There has been a great deal of moisture and rain where I live. I am so pleased that I was able to come to work this morning. The weekend is upon us and I will continue to listen to my body and rest up. I hope that you all enjoy your weekend and as always I thank you for reading.

~Noelle

Monday, March 23, 2015

Bravery

Bravery and patience are two incredibly valuable attributes that every person should try adamantly to attain. Helen Keller is quoted as declaring, “We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.” Helen gives those who struggle a reason to keep battling against their vices. Regardless of how brave an individual seems to be, we could all use further inspiration. Life could never contain only joy. To be life there has to be a certain amount of trials and tribulations. Both bravery and patience necessarily require a form of difficulty to exist. Although it may seem easier if there was never a reason for a person to display bravery or patience; an individual’s character and values clearly shine through as you witness them progress through difficulty and hardship. An individual’s character in the face of hardship is what I am wholeheartedly drawn to at this point in my life. There is a level of respect that coincides with resilience. While I had always dreamed of a life of leisure and ease, I find myself so much more fulfilled in the presence of achievement and thus hard work. I would love to hear who else has found themselves being more drawn to individuals who have undergone some sort of difficulty like themselves following a hardship or an injury. I remain in contact with many people who have various forms of disabilities whom I met in college. Many of them are drawn to others who have similar hardships. Maybe they are not exactly the same as theirs; they find it much easier to associate with those that understand. It is similar to how many divorcees with children prefer to only date others who are in the same life circumstance as themselves. There is an incredible amount that can be said for befriending people who are in similar circumstances to you. With the development of the internet there are various ways to meet up and interact with people who have similar interests to you. I encourage everyone that I know to take advantage of the resources that are available to each and every one of us. I thank you very much for reading and would encourage any responses that you may have.

~Noelle

Friday, March 20, 2015

It's Gonna Be the Best.....

There are good days and bad days for all of us. Yesterday I had a rare migraine (which I barely get since the implementation of the Botox injections). I was not able to go to work. It also coincided with a substantial snowfall in our area. I remained in my house with sunglasses on the entire day. This morning I awoke with a spring in my step as I was not in pain. It’s amazing how sometimes perfectly applicable songs come on the radio.  While I was on the way to work the song, “Gonna Be the Best Day of My Life” came on. This may not be the “Best day of my life”, but I am not in pain and that alone makes it a far better day than yesterday. Perception and attitude can make a huge difference as to how people treat you. This morning I am wondering who else interprets songs differently after an altering life event. This may not be the absolute best day of my life but I am so overjoyed that I was able to come into work today! I am in contact with many survivors and I know that there is a great deal of us who have various nerve pains. Unanimously every individual who I have spoken with regarding pains have shared that the cold and damp weather makes things worse.

Today is certainly not warm, but there is no precipitation. This is a much better day than yesterday. All we can do is hope that each day is a in some way a slight improvement on the last. Today is still bitterly cold but on the bright side, the weather forecasters said that likely the storm that we had yesterday will be the last! I am already thinking about warm weather and swimming pools. The winter is not a favorite season of mine at all; it passes as with everything. Faith that things will improve again is what keeps us going. I encourage everyone who I am in contact with to always remember that things will always get better. There will be times that they get worse, only to be followed by things getting better again. I try and always focus on the positive because nobody wants to be around negativity. I am hopeful that my head will remain as peaceful as it is currently. Bright lights and computer screens are triggers so I will always have to be aware. I thank you very much for reading and I hope that you keep your eyes on the stars and your feet grounded!

Best Always,
~Noelle

Failure & Progression

There are many issues that someone who is recovering from a brain injury will come across where the road is not paved. A person has to develop his/her own confidence in which to proceed. Family support is instrumental in helping to guide and encourage him/her. I am convinced that I may not have progressed as far as I have without my supportive family (who has always been by my side). The path/road to recovery is different for everyone. I can promise that there will be numerous bumps and unexpected changes in direction along the way. “Do not be embarrassed by your failures; learn from them and begin again.” An individual will never succeed in everything that they attempt. This recovery is like life; it is a long path where there will be numerous attempts that are attempted that will not work out as planned. It is very important that a survivor not feel defeated by an attempt that does not go as planned. I am convinced that certain attempts are meant simply to be learning experiences. This injury caused me to mature many years beyond my chronological age. I have heard a countless number of times that I am wise beyond my years. I feel that I may have needed to in some light. Obviously I never would have chosen to endure my injury, yet I did need to grow up a bit. I was very silly and valued my physical appearance more than I valued much else. Little did I know that my fitness is what ultimately saved my life. While I began running because I wanted to lose weight and look a certain way, the strength of my respiratory system is what kept me alive when I contracted pneumonia and my one lung was punctured. I did not realize that my life would benefit from the cardiovascular strength that I had obtained from trying to get skinny. There are often incredible benefits that you may obtain unknowingly. I would love to here any comments that you may have in relation to my post. I thank you very much in advance.

~Noelle

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

“Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be lead by your dreams”



Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be lead by your dreams”

It is so important to not allow any issues to divert you in the way that you live your life. Rehabilitation from a brain injury is extremely consuming of both your mind and body. It is important to never abandon your dreams. While a person is going through any all encompassing activity it is entirely too easy to have tunnel vision. 

Often you hear of people who are entirely consumed by his/her career. The recovery and rehabilitation from a brain injury is in my opinion the hardest job that any of us will ever have. There is certainly the journey to regain your physical modalities; there is an equally daunting task of regaining your state of mind. 

I encourage individuals to take advantage of relaxation therapies and to participate in talk therapy to help as much as needed. I know in my case a neurological psychologist was automatically put on my schedule of therapies since I was admitted to undergo cognitive rehabilitation. 

To this day I still see a therapist monthly. I would go more frequently if or when I begin to sense my life and emotions becoming. I know many people who feel as though talk therapy is a beneficial method and they take part in it regularly without ever having sustained a physical trauma to speak of. 

By taking part in talk therapy a person can discuss his/her problems and make sure that they do not take on too great of an integration in his/her life. Balance is key; having a professional to assist you as you talk through your issues and prioritize them can greatly assist as you proceed through life. Issues and problems should not be permitted to overpower dreams. 

I would love to hear what issues you have come across in your recovery, and if/when you utilized talk therapy to help you along your way. I thank you very much for reading!

~Noelle

Only You....

Each person can only control his/her mind. If you think about it that is all that we need to control because our whole world is as seen through our eyes. Our perception of the world and how we envision ourselves can determine whether or not we become proactive or stagnant in our recoveries. I am in contact with many survivors and the trait that unites all individuals who are living a productive life is that of positivity. I know that it is not easy; it’s very trying at times but as survivors we have to try and keep the faith and maintain that every day we can attempt a little something that will be better than the day prior. I would love to hear who has taken on the positive role in your life?

My family has undoubtedly been my largest and most encouraging support base. I know several survivors whose adult children have stepped up and have taken on the role as premier encouragers to his/her disabled parents. I always try and focus on the positive, sadly enough for every family that draws closer post neurological insult there are two that crumble. The dynamics of a household completely change following a brain injury. Adults who have served as the caregivers in this house very often will now themselves need care and to be supervised as a young child would. I would love to hear who has had experience with this. I thank you very much for reading!

~Noelle

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Every Accomplishment Begins With A Decision To Try....

Every accomplishment begins with the decision to try. Motivation is an incredible factor that is the corner stone to every achievement that an individual achieves. There also has to be a knowledgeable decision to abandon a goal if it is too farfetched to be attainable.  The road back to mainstream society after having been in the safe haven of the hospital for many years is what really causes uncertainty after many months (or in some cases years) for a survivor looking to battle back from an injury. People who lack motivation are often disabled in their own right. With all that the head injured community has been through, it is my hope that all can summon motivation within his/her self.

There are varying levels of achievement and they can be attained in many different ways. Every single achievement begins in the same manner; the decision to try. Certainly there will be many cases in which things do not turn out like planned. At least you know that if you put forth a valiant effort you tried. Sleep can be attained far easier if one knows that he/she has put forth all his/her might to attain the desired goal. I attempted to attain my insurance license several years ago; this goal should not have ever been a desire of mine- a few days into the course I concluded that I should abandon my goal of attaining the producer’s license. This abandonment of mine did not cause me to feel inadequate. In certain cases it actually shows proper insight to realize that efforts should be directed otherwise. I would love to hear some experiences of survivors from the individual or from family members. I am so happy to keep in contact with all of the readers. I wish you all a fantastic St. Patrick’s Day and I look forward to any and all responses that you may have.

~Noelle

Every accomplishment begins with the decision to try.

Every accomplishment begins with the decision to try. Motivation is an incredible factor that is the corner stone to every achievement that an individual achieves. There also has to be a knowledgeable decision to abandon a goal if it is too far fetched to be attainable.  The road back to mainstream society after having been in the safe haven of the hospital for many years is what really causes uncertainty after many months (or in some cases years) for a survivor looking to battle back from an injury. People who lack motivation are often disabled in their own right. With all that the head injured community has been through, it is my hope that all can summon motivation within his/her self. There are varying levels of achievement and they can be attained in many different ways. Every single achievement begins in the same manner; the decision to try. Certainly there will be many cases in which things do not turn out like planned. At least you know that if you put forth a valiant effort you tried. Sleep can be attained far easier if one knows that he/she has put forth all his/her might to attain the desired goal. I attempted to attain my insurance license several years ago; this goal should not have ever been a desire of mine- a few days into the course I concluded that I should abandon my goal of attaining the producer’s license. This abandonment of mine did not cause me to feel inadequate. In certain cases it actually shows proper insight to realize that efforts should be directed otherwise. I would love to hear some experiences of survivors from the individual or from family members. I am so happy to keep in contact with all of the readers. I wish you all a fantastic St. Patrick’s Day and I look forward to any and all responses that you may have.

~Noelle

Friday, March 6, 2015

Fortunate

I am forever grateful to the medical community. A colleague of mine who is not my physician suggested to me that I inquire to see if Botox was a viable option for me to help and control my headaches. I did just as was suggested; my quality of life is completely different. I know that it is very easy to complain; I am forever grateful that my insurance company helps me to get my injections covered. Although when my migraines are in full swing; I would pay nearly anything to get relief. I am so happy that I am alive at a point in time where Botox is now FDA approved as a treatment for my headaches. I would love to know who else has had experience with Botox injections to reduce the number of headache days that one sustains. I do not want to stay on the computer for an extended period of time as that does worsen my headache. I would love to hear any experiences and responses that you may have had.

Thank you very much for reading!

~Noelle

Desire

A person can only go as far as he/she desires. Obviously there are things that occur that are beyond our sphere of control; but an effort for change has to be made if change is desired. “The starting point of all achievement is desire.” Napolean Hill succinctly encapsulates exactly what I am trying to express with his quote. The desire for change has to be greater than the desire to stay the same. I interpret the desire to be the same as a desire to do nothing. I see every day as a new day to achieve. People are different; I enjoy waking up at 5:30 in the morning and beginning my day. My brother who I adore has a completely different desire. If on a vacation he much prefers to sleep in and then do nothing. Now that he has children his wife has them on a schedule to have the children experience as many things as possible. I do not have children, yet I enjoy taking a proactive approach to my days.

I am always trying to plan out my days and I prefer to find a gym if I am on vacation. My desire to always be doing something is far greater than my desire to do nothing. Following a brain injury there are always two options; a person can be content not desiring to do anything or a person can desire to push themselves and to get back as much of his/her normal life as possible. My desire is to work daily, yet my migraines are a bit of a hindrance. I have accepted that some weeks are better than others and especially when my Botox is wearing off, there is always about five days of pain. I try to talk myself through and continue to go to the gym to try and alleviate my headaches. I do greatly enjoy that I am in contact with so many survivors who can hopefully understand migraines resulting from a brain injury. In all actuality, migraines are migraines; many people experience them who have never had a TBI. I have found that while they are not universal to every TBI survivor, there are a great many of people who have suffered TBIs who do experience them at some point in their recovery. I would be so interested in hearing who is familiar with migraines after his/her injury and also anyone who has utilized Botox injections to help and combat his/her headaches. I thank you very much for reading and I look forward to reading any responses that you may have.

~Noelle