TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

 SPEAK OUT! Guest Blogger Danielle Karst

Balls of Yarn

Girl Blogger cartoon_picture_of_girl_writing

I was amazed when I finally got the first ball untangled from the mess of four different spools. First, I was surprised to see that I had two spools of the same color. After I had gotten the first two untangled, I was relieved to know that I was halfway there.

I had been a devoted crocheter a year and a half ago. Because I finally felt peace with my life, I decided to pick up crocheting again. But when I returned to crocheting, things were in a mess.

I don’t mean to dwell on the past, but the tangled yarn reminds me of my situation from long ago. After my accident, things were a mess. You can imagine how hard it was being a young athletic girl and suddenly finding out that I couldn’t walk.

Back to the yarn – once I found the end of one yarn untangled, I noticed it was the other end of the yarn that I was trying to separate! So, there I was, with only two different colors of yarn and four separate ends. I got one yarn unwound, only messily winding it on top its respective skein. The navy blue was all separated from the other colors, but it was still caught in a web of tangles. After that was finally taken care of (or I got too close to it with a pair of scissors), I vowed to sit there and wind them into balls.

Great balls of yarn – in a tangled mess

My difficulty with the yarn is a metaphor for my life after TBI. It took a while, but I eventually realized how my difficult situation was a blessing in disguise. If I had gotten the dark blue string totally unwound, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to wind it into a ball (the other end was in the shawl that I was making), so it actually turned out to be good that I needed to cut the yarn. I could then wind the other end into a ball! The same is true about my horrible car accident. If that didn’t happen, I would not have done a lot of things that I have accomplished. My life would be completely different. I would not have chosen the field of study that I did. Being in all of that rehab helped me see that I wanted to help others in the same type of situation. I attended Longwood College because they have the best Therapeutic Recreation major. It allowed me to pursue a career. Now I work at a nursing home. If the car accident had never happened, I wouldn’t have met my husband. (We met on MySpace, the big Internet social networking site from like 10 years ago, because he had seen that we had gone to the same high school and college.) Who knows? I might have been involved with someone else, probably someone who had not gone to Longwood College. I met wonderful friends at Longwood and at my place of employment. Of course, I also became close to the older adults that I care for.

Danielle Karst pondering the complexities of living life with a Traumatic Brain Injury

Danielle Karst – pondering the complexities of living life with a Traumatic Brain Injury

So, no matter how tangled life may get, keep your mind open to see the blessings coming from the storms.

“Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience and we soon shall see them in their proper figures.”
Joseph Addison

 

Thank you, Danielle.

Disclaimer:
Any views and opinions of the Guest Blogger are purely his/her own.

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No memory of the day that changed my life

My name is Michelle Munt and this is my story about surviving a brain injury and what I continue to learn about it. This is for other survivors and their loved ones, but also to raise awareness of what can happen to those in an accident. This invisible injury too often goes undiagnosed and it can be difficult to find information about it. I will talk about things that have helped me as I continue to recover and invite others to see if it works for them too.

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