SPEAK OUT! – Joyce Hoffman
Donna O’Donnell Figurski
1. What is your name? (last name optional)
2. Where do you live? (city and/or state and/or country) Email (optional)
New Jersey, USA
3. When did you have your TBI? At what age?
April 8, 2009
4. How did your TBI occur?
Hemorrhagic stroke, i.e., a blood vessel erupted
5. When did you (or someone) first realize you had a problem?
I started to convulse at 4 am. My partner saw it, and he called 911.
6. What kind of emergency treatment, if any, did you have? (e.g., surgery, tracheotomy, G-peg)
7. Were you in a coma? If so, how long?
Yes. 8 days
8. Did you do rehab? What kind of rehab (i.e., In-patient or Out-patient and Occupational, Physical, Speech, Other)? How long were you in rehab?
In-patient rehab for 15 weeks, and then Out-patient rehab 2 or 3 times a year
9. What problems or disabilities, if any, resulted from your TBI? (e.g., balance, perception, personality, etc.)
Right-sided weakness. Paralyzed arm. I use a quad cane for walking.
10. How has your life changed? Is it better? Is it worse?
Better—I wrote my 2nd book, “The Tales of a Stroke Patient,” with one hand, all 265 pages, within 2 years.
Worse—I miss my career as a senior technical trainer and writer for legal applications, and I go slowly now – one step at a time.
11. What do you miss the most from your pre-TBI life?
12. What do you enjoy most in your post-TBI life?
Reading and computing
Getting together with friends and family
13. What do you like least about your TBI?
My speaking slowly when I want to talk faster
14. Has anything helped you to accept your TBI?
Time heals all, but I’m not completely there yet.
15. Has your injury affected your home life and relationships and, if so, how?
My partner had to take over, whereas I did most everything domestic before.
16. Has your social life been altered or changed and, if so, how?
A few friends remain. Most of them headed “for the hills.”
17. Who is your main caregiver? Do you understand what it takes to be a caregiver?
Cece is my main caregiver. She understands my dilemmas.
18. What are your future plans? What do you expect/hope to be doing ten years from now?
Doing the same thing I am now—plus more time for lectures
19. What advice would you offer to other TBI survivors
20. Do you have any other comments that you would like to add?
I am starting to NOT resent people who have the ability to go the beach or to run fast. I used to be a runner. My book tells it all. Click the link to buy it
The Tales of a Stroke Patient (from the publisher)
The Tales of a Stroke Patient (from Amazon)
The Tales of a Stroke Patient (Barnes & Noble)
Thank you, Joyce, for taking part in this interview. I hope that your experience will offer some hope, comfort, and inspiration to my readers.
(Disclaimer: The views or opinions in this post are solely that of the interviewee.)
If you would like to be a part of the SPEAK OUT! project, please go to TBI Survivor Interview Questionnaire for a copy of the questions and the release form.