Thursday, September 27, 2018

One Person Can Make a Difference (With a Little Help)

“One person can make a difference and everyone should try.” 
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Pressing n through life you have to admit that you can’t do it all yourself. I found a great deal of comfort from understanding that humans are social creatures and that we need the input of others to help to put our mind at ease. I accomplished a heck of a lot since I was injured and at this point in my life I am terrified about finding a place to live alone. I am following my own advice and putting one foot in front of the other; it is not always easy. I feel that I need to be honest with other survivors. We are not alone. I pass my time by going to support groups and being a kind shoulder for others to depend on. I feel better about myself by being an ear for others. 

I survived to provide support to others. I am trying to gain more purpose for my life by always putting my best foot forward and being a resource for others. Last night I went to a charitable meeting for an organization in North Jersey. The organization is expanding and they are providing assistance for those with disabilities in my home state. I find myself in a bit of a predicament as I am high functioning for a brain injury survivor yet I still need some assistance when trying to live alone. My biggest hurdle will be passing the time alone. I will have to get myself a service dog. I live a life of service to others; I know that I need help right now. I have been reaching out to others that I know who have been presented with the predicament of getting a place to live themselves. Everything is better when you are with people. I know that I need to be around people tonight so I am going to check to find a support group in my area. My father has been incredible and he has stepped up and is functioning as both my father and my friend. I encourage everyone that I know to try and be a friend to somebody. We all need friends and it is never okay to be alone with your thoughts. It is my wish that everyone knows that they are not alone.

There are many  people who suffer in silence and it is a prayer of mine that people can get into psychological treatment and gain the support that they need. I will be in counseling for the rest of my life and I am not embarrassed about it. I thank you for reading and it is my hope that everyone will get the help that they need.


Monday, September 17, 2018

Out On a Limb

“Why not go out on a limb? That is where the fruit is. In life go out on a limb.” 
- Mark Twain

It seems for right now, fall has come! The kids are back at school and the weather has changed from the hot and hazy days of summer to rather chilly and rainy very quickly. My allergies are not loving the quick temperature change that is for sure! I implemented a new theme last year of trying to stay active even as the weather begins to get chilly. I will continue to “go out on a limb” as Mark Twain says and continue to do new things. It is important to remember that great things happen when we take calculated risk. Obviously we can never put ourselves in danger, but within reason we have to be willing to take risks. For myself I realize that getting back behind the wheel of a car after my injury was something that I so desired to do. I know that for many after an injury this is not possible and it took me over a year of practicing with a driving instructor before I was cleared for the road.

My next limb that I will attempt to go out on is the limb of living on my own. I am scared but I know that this is the next branch that I must crawl out on to be independent. I am so happy that I have all of you to share my insecurities and worries with. We all have them. Please never feel alone whenever you feel overwhelmed by life’s challenges. In the wake of a brain injury there will be many experiences that seem “new” to us if we have never done them before. I have never lived fully on my own. I always had roommates. At this point in my life I need to put on my “independent pants” and prepare for this new venture. I know that I am not alone. I will have various supports in place and aids to come and help me with some of the food preparation as well as the laundry if I need assistance. Sometimes after a brain injury we need to know that we are not alone. My family is incredible but they have their own lives. Each one of us is living our own story. Each one of us will have to decide how far we are willing to go out on a limb. In the game of our lives we are the main character and we have to keep moving forward day by day. We look to gain support from others. I had to surrender my dog back to where I got her because my living situation changed. In the future I think that another dog will be instrumental in my future. I recently met a patient through work, who shared with me the incredible companionship that his service dog provides him with. I thank you all very much for reading and I welcome any responses that you may have.

~ Noelle 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Cherish Each Memory. Enjoy Each Moment.

"Enjoy each moment and cherish each memory; life is short but sweet for certain."

School is back in session and the teachers and children are back in the classrooms. I am not ready to let go of the summer memories. I will include a picture from the beach with my niece. When summer comes to an end we have to hold onto our memories and traditions. My father has a BBQ every year with his grandchildren. Myself and my brother and his children will venture out to his house tomorrow. We will all go in his pool and have lobsters as usual. My brother I know will cook some ribs in the smoker and a great time should be had by all.

I have included a picture with my niece from several years ago during a family vacation to Cape Cod. I really enjoyed the experience of being with family in the beautiful scenery of a vacation. I am hopeful that we will go again in the future. We have to plan another vacation in the future so that we can build memories with my brother’s kids. It is incredible to witness how quickly kids grow up. At the end of the day my brother and I have incredible memories from our annual trips to Cape Cod.

Seeing my brother with his family is really incredible. I am witnessing my brothers family growing up before my eyes. I love that I am part of their lives. Family is a gift and I am very lucky to have one. This weekend hopefully will be good weather so we will have one last summer Saturday in my Dad’s pool. The kids are very fortunate because their cousins have pools as well so they get to go to many houses to go in pools. My niece has the same heart as I do and she adores animals. I am watching her grow up with her animals as I did.

I think that memories and animals are huge parts of childhood. My brother and sister in law are doing a fantastic job in raising their children.  My niece and nephew are very close to my father’s dogs as well. I will report back next week as to how the weekend goes and I hope that you truly enjoy your weekend!


Saturday, September 1, 2018

Labor Day!

Labor Day! Wow life just keeps on rolling!  
Try to embrace every moment and be thankful for your life!

The children are preparing to go back to school and the stores have already started putting out Halloween decorations! I have learned that we need not rush through our lives. I have shared that I am extremely stressed right now; it is not all about me. After an injury or a traumatic event it is easy to put our entire focus onto ourselves. Life is not about focusing on ourselves and we need to try and shift our attention elsewhere. My family is going to have two pool parties to celebrate the ending of summer. My brother’s children and dog will come out to my father’s house and we will all enjoy the pool. My Mom is having her own party on Labor Day itself. I am going to try and live in the moment!

The best advice that I think that I was given was to always stay present in all that you do. An old man once told me that “the secret to life is to enjoy the passage of time”. I think that it is both beneficial and helpful reflect daily on the many gifts that we are all given each day. We all woke up free from oppression today. We are free and are encouraged to pursue our dreams. It is important to get together with friends and allow ourselves to be joyful as we proceed on in our days. I have included a selfie that I snatched after getting dressed at my Mother’s house. I am very fortunate that even though my primary residence is no longer at my Mom’s house; I do go there very often as I work near there. I am very fortunate in many ways.  I am at a point in my life where I do need to find a living situation that will be more permanent for me than my current residence at my father’s house. I am incredibly grateful for all that everyone has done for me since my accident. I know that my parents are senior citizens now and that they shouldn’t have to be worried about their adult child who has survived a brain injury. I am going to try hard to keep looking forward towards the next place that I will live. I need to realize how fortunate I am to have all of my parents still on this earth with me. I know that I have the support of fellow survivors who realize what I am going through at this point in my life. I hope that you all have a fantastic holiday weekend! I will check in with you next week!