TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

SPEAK OUT! Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

Itty-Bitty GIant Steps for Blog

SPEAK OUT! Itty-Bitty Giant Steps will provide a venue for brain-injury survivors and caregivers to shout out their accomplishments of the week.

If you have an Itty-Bitty Giant Step and you would like to share it, just send an email to me at donnaodonnellfigurski@gmail.com.

If you are on Facebook, you can simply send a Private Message to me. It need only be a sentence or two. I’ll gather the accomplishments and post them with your name on my blog approximately once a week. (If you do not want your last name to be posted, please tell me in your email or Private Message.)

I hope we have millions of Itty-Bitty Giant Steps.

Here are this week’s Itty-Bitty Giant Steps.

Karen Hubbard Allen (survivor)…I have an Itty-Bitty Giant Step story. I just suffered another hard blow – to my forehead this time. This will be my third concussion. I fell backwards on ice in 2008, hitting my head. November 18th is when I had the most recent one. It proved to me that the brain controls different things. I just started up with a heel issue, called plantar fasciitis. Getting out of bed in the morning is when the pain hurts the most. I got out of bed, and my knee buckled, causing me to fall into the dresser and the wall and hitting my forehead. I have been a smoker since 2003. Well, whatever part of my brain I hit this time – I no longer smoke; it makes me sick. Sad that this is what made me quit smoking. Yet, it’s a big accomplishment for me.

Derrick Roy Clements (survivor)…I did a Snoopy dance today when I left the eye doctor. I was able to ditch the prism glasses and go to regular glasses. I was also told that they would not be doing any more surgery on my eye orbital and that the plate they put in for it was good. I have permanent nerve damage, such that when I look down, my vision will always be double. One step closer. What everyone, including me, will know is the “final” new me. I still can’t drive yet, but in time I hope to. I know I will never be able to drive an 18-wheeler again, but I am OK with this. I just want to ride my Harley-Davidson, for my heart longs for this. I feel free and alive when I ride. But, today was a victory, and the fight continues. Strength to all.

I live by my motto – Never give up, and never give in.

Natalie Elliott (survivor)…I watched a movie with subtitles. My brain was exhausted afterwards, but I watched the whole thing.

10805531_10152948796301834_531981836_nJo Emery (caregiver)…Luke built me some bookshelves for our lounge room. I designed what I 1502486_10152948796241834_3069128791965391225_nwanted, gave him all the measurements needed, and worked out the timber required. He bought the timber, cut the shelves, and put it together inside, as it was so big. It took about two weeks for him to make it. I love how it turned out, and Luke is very pleased (as he should be). He loves his woodworking and has great ideas, although the difficulty he has is going from his ideas to carrying them out.

Monica Rowe Foutz (family member)…My mother-in-law, Wanda McGuffin, is 5 months post TBI. Today she stood from a seated position without using her hands. It’s itty-bitty to some, but it’s huge to us.

Barb George (survivor) Alrighty! I have been working with an old friend to develop a “Different-Ability Walk, Roll and Stroll.” We have a date (May 16, 2015, in Hoquiam, WA)! I’m VERY excited. It was put together by Grays Harbor Brain Injury Support Group and ME, their insane leader (grin). We have had GREAT response already!

Orpha Harber-Blanchat (caregiver)…I’m happy to report my husband gets his G-tube out tomorrow. His accident was on June 25th. He was coming home from work and was hit by a semi that didn’t stop at a red light. David was in a self-induced coma for 30 days and in hospitals for 80. He is now at a rehab center doing well.

Richard Johnson (survivor)…Shoveling snow…I hate it, hate it, hate it. But I did it, did it, did it. Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Carmen Gaarder Kumm (survivor)…I spent a day at a craft retreat with friends this weekend, and then I came home. I worked three days, and then I cleaned the church the next day. I’m proud that I didn’t have a meltdown.

Michelle Casto Lyons (caregiver)…An Itty-Bitty Giant Step accomplishment: my hubby has been seizure-free for 7 days, AND he made dinner TWICE this week!

Sandra-Madden-Hearts-All-Around-us~~element78Sandy Smachetti Madden (survivor)…I am a published author. My book shipped from the publisher today!! Check it out. Hearts All Around Us. Thanks!!

Corina Mendoza (survivor)…My Itty-Bitty Giant Step is a major step in a positive direction for me. I started my teacher certification in Special Ed, with a focus on blind/visually impaired students and family/consumer sciences for my degree in Hospitality Management.

Scott Sheehan (survivor)…I am building a soundproof fort for my female rescue cat. I also bought a drum set after 6 years of pain, and I am going to train to break a record – 84 hours of play. Gotta take step one. That I’ve learned. Besides being hit by a car three times, having my head smashed into a pipe, and diving into a 4-ft. pool, I walk, talk, and basically defy death EVERY day. (The doctors said that the same injury took Christopher Reeve.) My 18-month rescue cat, Milo, dropped dead in front of me and Babie, his sister. That pain makes the rest nothing. I bought a drum set with his colors and dedicate this to him. Now it gets hard. I play like no other – in a way that “can’t be done.” I’m always underestimated because of my TBI. Now the impossible – 1600 songs with the focus to spin and flip a stick every beat. In front of millions, billions, I hope. The best show ever played! Ambitious? Ha! Easy! The training, choreography, and practice – that’s the hard part. Always said they will laugh and say you can’t do it. But, do the impossible. You are special. Here to change the world. For 84 hours.

Lc Sossaman (survivor)…Every day is a challenge. I went to the grocery store and got the two things on my list (LOL), cleaned the house, and fed the goats and animals. I woke up to snow, but I was still able to get these things done. Cold days are usually hard on me, due to arthritis in places after the wreck, but today went fine. I try to keep discouragement and negativity away.

Amanda Spencer (caregiver)…Ed and I are celebrating 1 year together today!

Danielle Virden (caregiver)…Mine is about my 2-year-old son. Nathan started saying “mommy” and laughing, and he’s learning to sit up.

Sandra Williams (survivor)…I just learned that my organization and memory increased from very low to 90th percentile. The therapies paid off! I still struggle with perception and cognition, but I am working on that too.

Next goal is to begin running again. I want to run a marathon.

YOU did it!

Congratulations to all contributors!

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

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