Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Thinking Outside the Box Isn't Enough

“It isn’t enough to think outside the box. Thinking is passive; get used to acting outside the box.” 
- Tim Ferriss




I love this quote by Tim Ferriss. We cannot think of ourselves as being “typical”. Once I realized that I do not exactly fit any mold, I opened myself up to many possibilities. There are always many solutions to any problem. I am trusting in my physicians as I try to come up with ways in which to lessen my issues that I still have from my Traumatic Brain Injury. I have numerous outlets that I can refer to as I go forward with my treatments. I recently connected with a brain injury survivor from across the country. She is encouraging me and sharing her journey as she has tried to gain her life back. I am open to new therapies and some alternative methods that have helped people along the way. I just got a new ID badge to attend a new alternative treatment center and I will include the picture with my post. Many people are willing to reflect and share about his/her journey. I think that each one of us can gain valuable knowledge from others. 


I have learned an incredible amount from others who have walked along my
path earlier than I. Human interaction is incredible for many reasons. It is my hope that I can continue connecting with others and I am hopeful that they are as willing as I to share their stories.  I have always thought outside of the box, but only now am I beginning to actually act, outside of the box. I am open to hear any therapies that people have found helpful after a brain injury. I will continue to investigate the varying techniques that people have utilized to see if maybe they might be suitable for me. Every one of us from every walk of life should research our own health and what has helped people like us. This previous week, I went myself to a new doctor. I advocated for myself and I showed all the appropriate insurance information. I felt extremely proud of myself as I handled the entire situation myself. I was able to calmly advocate for myself as I have trouble filling out the new patient registration form. Thankfully I was able to dictate my information to a man who worked in the office that was able and willing to scribe my information down for me. I think that it is always better the more frequent that we are able to allocate for ourselves. I was not even nervous about it (as I had been prior). We need to be comfortable with our own life circumstances and ourselves. There will always be situations that arise where we need to verbally advocate for ourselves. The more comfortable that we get with ourselves the easier it will be to speak on our own behalf. Thank you so much for reading and I always look forward to reading any responses that you may have.

~Noelle

Friday, February 16, 2018

Cherish Each Moment, Big and Small

"The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet."
- James Oppenheim


Enjoying the moment and enjoying the passage of time is the secret to living a peaceful and happy life. We must enjoy the simple and insignificant moments in life as much as the events that we look forward to in the future. This previous week my family got a new puppy out at our farm. I had some headaches the last few days because of the rainy weather, but I tried to truly enjoy the puppy and allow myself to focus on the positive aspects that I have in my life currently. The quotation is excellent because it causes people to look at their surroundings and seek happiness in the moment. Each one of us is capable of changing our focus towards that which is currently around us.

We can choose to be actively engaged in our surroundings. I did not allow myself to focus upon the negativity of the uncomfortable feeling of the headache, but rather focus on the fact that we got a new puppy to play with. Every day we always have a choice to focus upon the positive or the negative aspects of life. I feel that with practice, each one of us will get better at creating a more peaceful solitude for ourselves. Everybody has good days and bad days. We can practice to focus upon the positive things that we have surrounding us. Some things we may take for granted; practice taking note of the small blessings in your life and allow yourself to be joyful in your own being. James Oppenheim’s quote should serve as motivation for each one of us to realize that we indeed have the power to create a joyful existence. I for one am always happier when my mentality has a focus. Focus, drive and direction are three key ingredients to a peaceful and proactive life. I think that is why people after an injury must get involved in a mission greater than him or her. Individuals make up this world and we each are capable of many things.

We are capable of redirecting ourselves. When I woke up in pain and heard the rain outside I knew that I had to change my focus from the discomfort. Thankfully, I was able to focus upon the new puppy and helping him to adjust to his new surroundings. I have heard from other survivors that they take part in puzzles to help them to get out of his/her own head and focus upon something. Our minds are capable of being trained and we must take responsibility. We must seek out joy and realize what contributes to our happiness. I think that we must seek guidance from others who have/are going through similar circumstances to us. Once again, I am a huge fan of networking and sharing guidance among people. I will include a picture of my new puppy so you can see. His name is Brady and he helped to take my mind away from my pain yesterday. I thank you very much for reading and I would love to read any comments that you may have. 

~ Noelle

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Open Your Mind to New Challenges, New Opportunities and New Possibilities

“When you open your mind, you open new doors to new possibilities for yourself and new opportunities to help others.”  - Roy Bennett

My father is getting a new puppy today. I will have the joy of a new puppy and the hope that I am going to see a new doctor this afternoon to discuss different options to aid with my movement disorder.
Each one of us can be a messenger to others. We have to be willing to take down our guard and trust those who are open to helping us. I do not live my life just for me. I believe that I survived in the manner that I did to share hope and encouragement. My journey I hope can be educational for others and it is my mission to encourage other survivors. We have to be open. I am going to a new doctor today to see if there are other alternative therapies to employ to aid me with my Dystonia.  I have been using Botox for years and I am open to the possibility of a new therapy. I have an excellent team of doctors around me that know my mission and they are all aiding me in my mission to become more functionally independent. I consider myself very lucky that I have a team of excellent doctors around me. After a brain injury, we all deal with our own challenges and sometimes it is incredible to realize that maybe the doctors know best and maybe they have tools at their disposal that we never dreamed of on our own. I am going to put my trust into these doctors and believe that they will help me. I think that you have to trust professionals and be vulnerable to their suggestions. They want you to improve and I believe that is what life is all about. My injury was many years ago now and I will not lie dormant. I am going to seek out the best methods to help and improve my life.

My father is getting a new puppy today. I will have the joy of a new puppy and the hope that I am going to see a new doctor this afternoon to discuss different options to aid with my movement disorder.

I am very hopeful regarding my appointment this afternoon. A new set of professional eyes will see me and examine my case. If I can gain more normal control over my arm, I feel as though my quality of life will be much improved. I would love to hear from anyone who deals with any form of movement disorder. It is extremely difficult when you have a region of your body that is involuntarily tremoring.  I know that nothing is a cure all. I am hopeful that I am on the right track. I am hopeful that you will all keep me in your thoughts and send positive vibes my way for my appointment this afternoon. At the end of the day I need to remember how fortunate I  am to be able to drive myself to this appointment this afternoon. I will certainly check back in and let you know how my appointment goes.

Thank you very much for reading and I look forward to reading any responses that you may have.

~Noelle

Monday, February 12, 2018

Super Bowl: A Family Tradition

"I believe in traditions; I believe in the idea of things being passed between generations and the slow transmission of cultural values through tradition."
- Graham Moore


I attended a small super bowl gathering at my brothers this past weekend. My father and I joined my brother and his family as he had a bunch of people over to watch the game. His children are getting older and it was a great experience. I had a friend take a picture of my goddaughter and I; which I will include with this post. The joy of everyone sitting around in his or her jerseys has become a yearly tradition. Traditions are fantastic. My brother’s children are being brought up in a house where football will forever be a very important aspect! I have never felt the same passion for football because I could never play. I was thrilled that I could join along. It is fantastic to watch as my brother brings up his family. It is hard to believe that my big brother now has his own family. 

Following a life altering accident, we need to be close to our families. Over the years, I have remained close with my family. I realize that my family are everything to me. They are the people who have stood by my side in the good times and the bad. We as survivors need to grow while remaining close to our home base. I will forever recall how my family has stuck by me through it all. I am not sure that I will have children of my own and as a result, I am extremely close with my brother’s. I would love to hear from any survivors about their feelings about having a family of their own. This path of life that we are on is long with many turns and hills. We have to look to one another to guide us along the way. I have recently been searching for others who are familiar with dystonia. I have dystonia in right arm as it resulted from my head injury. I am pursuing what ways people have found relief from this. I would be so grateful for any input that anyone could give me on this matter. I feel a new sense of purpose and I am enthusiastic about finding new methods to better combat this dystonia. Thank you very much for reading and I welcome any responses that you may have.

~Noelle

Friday, February 2, 2018

Groundhog Day Advice: Always Move Forward

"Groundhog’s day is upon us!  Another February 2 and another Superbowl is here!"

Groundhog’s day is upon us! Another February 2 and another Superbowl is here!

We need to make every day purposeful. Following an injury, it is tempting to plod through your days. It is important to make annual celebrations and to never give up on your dreams. Every day is a new chance to achieve. It is important to not allow yourself to slip into Bill Murray’s character in the movie Groundhog’s Day.

Remember that every February 2nd is the day that the whole country begins looking forward to the next season. We each have to be joyful that we are able to enjoy and prepare for the change in season. I am gathering my jersey for the Superbowl this weekend. I get excited every year for the Superbowl and for Groundhog’s Day. I recently have begun looking into further opportunities to further control my right arm. We have countless resources that are available to us by using the internet. I see many specialists and I greatly value all of their opinions. Prior to making any decision, I reach out to several of my support groups and ask who has had experience with what I am considering. I am very blessed that I work alongside numerous healthcare service providers that are more than willing to offer me educated advice regarding the method that I am considering.

After an injury, we are works in progress. We each have to decide which methods we are going to pursue. The internet provides us with an open forum on which we can communicate with others and gather insight. I am going to try and utilize all of my available resources to gain knowledge as to the most suitable step forward for me in my journey. I have gained back much of my cognition and I am always nervous about ingesting anything that may slow me down. I refuse roll over and quit trying to improve myself. Recovering from brain trauma is a lifelong journey. I believe that we should all always keep working to better ourselves. I am curious as to what types of things you are doing to further yourself along this journey. I am thankful for all that read my posts and I look forward to any responses that you may have.

~Noelle