Thursday, June 29, 2017

It's Never too Late to Change Your Life for the Better

“It’s never too late to change your life for the better. You don’t have to take huge steps to change your life. Making even the smallest changes to your daily routine can make a big difference in your life." Roy T. Bennett

I try and live everyday with this in my mind. Drastic changes to your daily routine are not needed. Small tweaks to your daily routine can make a big difference over time. Following an injury you may feel as though much of your life is out of control. It is important that you remain in control of what you can. I have spoken with many survivors and I try and convey the importance of not using substances. It is vastly important to eat a healthy diet and to understand what is going in your body. Following a brain injury we are even more reactive to what we put in our bodies. Every day I am sure to not ingest things that are poor in regards to my health. I think that sometimes we all feel as though we could use a change in our lives but we are unsure of how to go about attaining it. Huge changes are not always necessary. We all have the ability to try and improve our daily routines. This morning I made sure to go out of my way to wish the valet drivers at the hospital a fantastic day. The smile that I received this morning was a great way to start my day! My change that I need to make is to not be so critical of my physical features. I need to remind myself daily that one’s life worth is not based on how he/she looks in an outfit. This morning the warm smile that I received had way more to do with my attitude than anything else. I know that I am not alone in my thinking because weekly I talk with patients about the importance of a good attitude and the benefits that it can have on your rehabilitation. One resident who I visited with made it his mission to report to me weekly about his bird friends that he had made his unofficial pets from one of the rehabilitation centers. That was an example of a small change that he made to his daily routine that drastically improved his state of mind! It is my hope that people understand how greatly things can be impacted by small changes made to your everyday routine. Roy T. Bennett’s quote is one hundred percent true. Minute changes are all that is needed to your daily routine. Daily actions become automatic and non-spectacular over time. One small difference or alteration to the routine is fantastic and can greatly help you over time. I am hopeful that I will be able to continually increase my state of mind. I know that I need to continually work towards being okay with whom I am following my injury. Even though my injury was a long time ago I will be forever be working towards being okay with who I am in my body post brain injury. I thank you very much for reading and I would love to hear any thoughts that you may have.

~Noelle

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Summertime Enjoying Surfrider


“Happiness comes when we stop complaining about all of the troubles that we have and instead offer thanks for all of the troubles that we don’t have.” Unknown

It is now the summer and it is awesome to be able to enjoy the beach and the water. Living in the northeast I truly experience the chill of winter and also the heat of the summer. I went down to the beach and was happy to see the ocean; the club that I attended even had palm trees planted. Even though palm trees are not native to my area, they added a lovely touch to the beach club. The beach has an amazing ability to make you forget any troubles that you may have. The vast ocean is a subtle reminder of how small we are in the world. The beach allows us to feel at peace. Following a brain injury many of us have difficulty walking in the sand. I am certain that I don’t walk quickly on the sand. I was still able to meet people down at the beach and my friends know me and they understand the difficulties that I have from my brain injury. It is my hope that everyone who has had a brain injury will surround themselves with people who understand. I can assure you that there are people who understand. It is incredible to offer thanks for the gifts that we are given. There are always five thousand things to be thankful for to contradict any complaint that we might have. I think about how fortunate we are to have the ability to enjoy and celebrate on the beach. At the beach there is always the hustle bustle of the families organizing their barbecues for the evening. Summer to summer the children of the families grow up. My niece and nephew are such great swimmers now. I completely feel as though it was only yesterday that they were in swimmies and only stayed in the shallow end of the pool. My walking in the sand is certainly a bit of a challenge for me but as long as I am surrounded by caring people who understand I do not mind. The children greatly enjoy the beach and it is good for our family to be able to go and support each other. It is my hope that every survivor of brain injury does not allow the injury to dictate where they are able to go during times that they enjoy. For as long as I can remember I have always greatly enjoyed the beach. I still do and I likely always will. I would love to hear what you do to enjoy your summer months. I thank you very much for reading and would love to hear any responses that you may have.

~Noelle

Monday, June 19, 2017

Celebrate Your Parents (and Your Pets)

Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad.  
- Anne Geddes

This previous weekend was father’s day. I am so thankful to both of my parents for the way that they have stepped up for me. I truly believe that after an injury we need to celebrate and be able to step outside of ourselves. Often I consider how fantastic both of my parents have been in the wake of my injury. I am not your typical thirty-two year old and I depend on them a great deal in ways I am sure that are unlike their constituents. The thing that I am positive to make sure is that I am incredibly appreciative for all that they do for me. Father’s Day and Mother’s Day I feel are both small opportunities for children to share their appreciation for their parents. I feel that a person should never pass up an opportunity to thank their parents for all that they do. I have been incredibly fortunate in that my parents have always stepped up to support me.

After my injury my father came to the hospital every day following work. At one point I remember I was scared to take a shower because I feared that the water would be cold; my father came to the hospital before work to ensure that I would be given a warm shower. I will never forget how incredible my parents were to me throughout my injury. No matter what I do to show my appreciation it will never be enough to show my true gratification for all that they do for me. This previous weekend I celebrated Father’s day out at my Dad’s farm in Cream Ridge. I have included a picture of one of my Dad’s dogs that was enjoying the pool on a warm afternoon.


It is always important for you to get outside of yourself and to celebrate other people. This weekend I celebrated my father and all that he has done for me while enjoying his pool and his animals. Sundays are nice days to wind the week up and prepare for the upcoming week ahead. I was able to reflect upon the week while relaxing and enjoying great company. My brother wasn’t able to attend as he had previous commitments but he will bring his family out at another point. It is interesting for me to witness how as we are getting older, my brother now has a family of his own. The torch has been handed over and now it is my brother who has a blossoming family with young children. I was sure to send all of the fathers who are friends of mine well wishes and I truly hope that they were able to enjoy their day with family.  I would love to hear what you did to enjoy your father’s day. As always I thank you for reading!

~Noelle

Friday, June 16, 2017

What's Done is Done

“What's done is done. What's gone is gone. One of life's lessons is always moving on. It’s okay to look back to see how far you’ve come but keep moving forward.”  Roy T. Bennett


This quote is one of the hardest in life to satiate upon. We all will go through periods that we wish that we could take back. An incredible lesson in life is learning to always move forward. Of course I wish that my accident never occurred, but I cannot allow myself to consider how my life would have been had the accident never occurred. It did occur and my life is altered. My life now gives me the credibility to speak with others who have undergone his/her own life difficulties. I have had to learn and remind myself quite often that it is okay to reflect upon how far I have come to gather motivation to keep putting one foot after the other. We all have a long road that we are on and we must do our best to never doubt constant forward motion. At times things may be fearful to us but we have to never doubt and keep our faith alive and well. It is important to surround ourselves with loving friends and family. I make sure to always remember this when I am cultivating relationships with people. I enjoy going to see bands and being outside, but more than anything I appreciate being surrounded by people who I care about. Recently I was able to remember just how fortunate I am to be able to be outside and laughing with friends and family. My accident is in my past but I must always move forward. I am able to enjoy being surrounded by people that I care about and to ensure that I continue moving forward. I always try and surround myself with positive people who are always thinking proactively in regards to their lives. Positivity is contagious and therefore we all must try to surround ourselves with positive people. I know that following my injury I absorb emotions quite easily from other people and that I must be sure to always put a great deal of importance in regards to those that I surround myself with. I will always put great importance on this fact and make sure that it is always a priority in my relationships. I would love to hear who else has noticed a slight change in what is important to them in regards to friendships following a life occurrence. I know several people who have had to reassess how they make friendships following a divorce or even after taking a new job. Most of my friends are from many years ago and I still am quite close with several of them. I thank you very much for reading and would love to read any input that you may have.


~Noelle

Friday, June 9, 2017

Be Open to Suggestions




I recently got my Botox injections which help me tremendously with my headaches. I learned that you have to be open to helpful suggestions from various sources. Working in healthcare, mostly everyone who you come across daily is in the business of helping people to feel better. I have included two pictures where you can see that my demeanor increases dramatically from the picture in my office (where the lighting is not ideal for a migraine sufferer) and a selfie that I snapped at my house a few days following the Botox injections. Botox injections have been a game changer for me in regards to me being able to lead a productive life. I feel that it is my duty to be open with other migraine sufferers who are trying to live a productive life. My life was run by hoping and praying that I wouldn’t get a migraine when I had things planned. Botox was suggested to me by a doctor who was in attendance at one of my speeches. Thankfully I took the advice which was suggested to me and have benefitted greatly from the Botox injections. I am able to live my life for the most part without being sidelined by my migraines. I still do get a few break-through migraines but they are far more manageable then they were prior. I am forever thankful to the healthcare provider who suggested that I try Botox injections to lessen the impact that migraines were having on my life. Prior to me getting the injections, the migraines were running my life. I was trying to schedule things and I’d pray that I wouldn’t have to cancel them because of my headaches. Everyone who I was in contact with understood the severity of my headaches and they knew that I may have to cancel. Since getting my Botox injections it is very rare that I have to miss an appointment. I even enjoy going to see bands and listening to the loud music that they play. Thankfully I am able to take part in many activities that were not an option for me before I began my Botox injections. I am thankful that I have been able to reap the benefits of what are possible when Botox injections have the desired effect on people who are migraine sufferers. I am very open to tell anyone who is a migraine sufferer about my positive experience that I have had with the injections. I am hopeful that another migraine sufferer will experience relief in one way or another and then share his/her experience with others. Every survivor has the ability to share what has helped him/her along the way and help to connect the dots for a new survivor. Unfortunately brain injuries happen to 1.7 million people a year so there are always going to be new survivors who are looking to make their recovery as smooth as possible. I thank you for reading and welcome any comments that you may have.



~Noelle


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Conditions are Never Perfect

“Conditions are never perfect. “Someday is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually” just do it and correct course along the way.” Tim Ferris

 Tim Ferris encourages people to not wait or put things off. We have all heard individuals who constantly recite that things will get done eventually but they lack an action to get the task initiated. It gets pushed off to the side and is soon forgotten. It is important to not always find yourself waiting for the “perfect opportunity”. Such an opportunity will never come. We make situations perfect by taking the first step and taking action. Individuals who possess the ability to be “self-starters” are always preferable to those who wait to be spoon fed. Life is about opportunity and seizing the moment. As a survivor of an injury, I pushed the envelope and pushed forward in my recovery regardless of what overly conservative people recommended. Every aspect of my recovery happened and was successful because I did not put things of or wait to try for “perfect” conditions. Every survivor of a brain injury realizes that much of the recovery is far from perfect. I believe that nothing will happen if you are not willing to risk disappointment. To this day I still challenge myself more so then many deem warranted. I know myself and while I may walk a bit awkwardly in heels, I still do like to wear them with dresses or with suits. I know that while I may look a tad awkward if I were to wait for the “someday” that I walk perfectly in heels then I would never wear any of my fancy shoes. Sometimes you just have to grab the bull by the horns and try something. If we all get stuck waiting for that someday to come we may never be able to achieve our true potential. I would love to hear who else has had experience with pushing the limits following a brain injury. I have learned from my experience that there will always be people who do not understand. Following a brain injury I have had to work extremely hard to make things okay for me. I personally enjoy wearing heels with some of my suiting outfits. I enjoy wearing sandals with a heel in the warm weather. I do understand that many people are going to wonder why I make the effort when it is slightly more difficult for me to keep my balance. At the end of the day, I do it because I want to. Each one of us is capable of making decisions that are in our own best interests regardless of what others may think. I have decided to challenge myself and wear heels when I feel that they match my outfit. I very often wear flats, but on certain days I decide to wear heels regardless of what I know others may think. I always try and remember the Dr. Suess saying, “What others think about you is none of your business.” I would love to know what some of you may think. I have included a picture of me in a suit and heels!

~Noelle


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

If Something Stands Between You and Your Success...

“If something stands between you and your success, move it.” Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

If a person is in the correct state of mind, inspiring occurrences are all around us. A safe haven for me and many other survivors that I am in contact with is the gym. I do all that I can to ensure that my body remains healthy. Certain things have happened that are out of my control but there are plenty more things that are in my control. I am sure that I avoid toxins and bad food in my daily nutrition. Following a brain injury it seems that many things are out of our control, we must remain in control of what we can control. I am certain that I have made my decision part of my life at this point. I consistently try and improve my balance and my state of mind. Both of these things can be worked on at the gym. I am proud to say that the overwhelming sentiment that I have absorbed from survivors who I am in contact with is much of the same. That being said, I am relatively certain that most survivors that I am in contact with are proactive in their approach to their recoveries. Family members of injured individuals who do not look to improve themselves I am sure can be frustrated. The key is to try and remain encouraging without allowing his/her frustration to take over. Many things can come between you and your success. It is important to remember that we are always in control of what we do. We are in control of our daily activities and we have the capability of not giving up. When I saw this sign at the gym I was immediately moved by it and I thought of the many individuals who are in recovery. We all view things differently based on our own life’s experiences. I am positive that my view of life is far different from most of the other people in the gym who see that sign. It is a good reminder that you never know the eyes that people are looking at the world with. We can never know everyone’s story. It is important to not be callus in regards to others. I try and take inspiration from every avenue possible. It is important to remember that everyone has a different story and everyone brings different experiences to the table. Inspirational sayings are excellent for all people but they are certainly even more so for someone who has endured an injury. I would love to hear how you feel in relation to inspirational sayings and how you feel that they might affect somebody who has endured an injury differently.

~Noelle


Friday, June 2, 2017

If we want to direct our lives, we must control our actions.

“In essence if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.” Tony Robbins 

We need to take notice of what becomes habit. It is very important to plan out our daily actions. There will always be special occurrences yet we need to take notice and make sure that our everyday behaviors are done in support of our grand plans. As a brain injury survivor there are many things that are out of our control. I myself as a brain injury survivor was desperate to find things that I could control. In life there are so many aspects of daily living that those who have never been injured take for granted. As a survivor I recall when I was first able to do my contacts and how big of a deal that was to me. Now as the years have gone on I do my contacts daily without thinking about the accomplishment that it was when I was first able to wear my contacts without struggling. I hope that all survivors take notice of the seemingly small accomplishments that they are able to conquer every day. A survivor must take notice and celebrate the small things that they are capable of each day. An individual needs to take ownership over his/her actions. As a brain injury survivor an individual needs to never lose sight of the accomplishments that he/she is capable of. It is a huge accomplishment for a brain injury survivor to prepare his/her own meals and perform daily activities of daily living. These are things that are taken for granted by so many but as survivors we cannot. Certainly many things are different and in many ways more difficult; but we must give thanks that we have a life. If we are fortunate enough to have a life it is my hope that we will be fortunate enough to be in control of our daily actions. Obviously it is the goal for every survivor to be in control of his or her daily activities and life. Daily it is far too easy to begin to take things for granted once again; reflection and encouragement helps us to be in the state of mind where we can reflect and satiate on our successes. It is necessary in my opinion to not lose sight of your successes ever. Granted, it is not always easy and often we need to be reminded of our successes so that we can have our heads up regarding the next challenge on our agenda. Consistent actions must be remembered as consistent achievements. If you are a survivor of a brain injury, there was a time when you couldn’t have done much of anything independently. It is important to remember this in your daily life as you remain enthusiastic regarding your day to day tasks. I thank you so much for reading and would love to hear how you remain motivated in your day to day lives.

~Noelle