TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Archive for November 26, 2014

SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

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.

Roy Anthony (survivor)…I broke off a toxic relationship that has taken a good part of me. Now is the start of gaining my life back.

Wendy Coulter (survivor)…I went outside into my front yard without a cane! First time since the accident in March!

Sherrie Crusha (survivor)…I put in a back door with only hand tools.

10678844_389594007862776_6836148097400106876_nLaura Doughty (survivor)…Saved a dog. He is a stray. Really cut up. Scares really easily. No doubt he has been abused. He needs love and care. It was the right thing to do. He is a boxer – named after the boxer, Jack Dempsy. Dempsy is happy here.

Dunton IV, George FrederickGeorge Frederick Dunton IV (survivor)…My big accomplishment for the week was being able to babysit three very young kids for 3 hours.

John Hatten (survivor)…Well, Donna, I’ve been working with HOPE Beyond Trauma (www.HOPEBeyondTrauma.com) to build a new service for Survivors of Brain Injury, an online teleconference/teleseminar/support group. We plan on starting before February (the gods being willing). It’s a pretty big step for a survivor of a serious brain injury.

Kelley (survivor)…My big step is helping others. We all were snatched from death for a reason. My reason is to help others. My estranged, alone father needed to be put into a home and get care. I found him one of the best in our area that takes a couple of Medicaid patients. He gets the best care, and I can visit him almost every day, since I put him so close to me. He has dementia, and so do I (but not as bad as he does). I am able to give him cognitive exercises, since I had rehab for over a year and know them very well. His nurses say he’s getting better all the time. I forgave him and am his only guest and caregiver. What I’m accomplishing makes me feel good.

Carmen Gaarder Kumm (survivor)…Today’s test – I passed with flying colors. My car slipped into a ditch. I didn’t panic, couldn’t get out, didn’t panic. I called my husband. He got me out! I didn’t cry; I didn’t yell; I kept my head! Yay!

Susie Farrell Mayowski (caregiver)…My daughter actually wanted a hug and had a smile on her face tonight. I was almost in tears with that.

Grant Mealey (survivor)…Hi, Donna. OK, so I learned this week that when my voice escalates, it causes heck to break loose. So, it’s apparently up to me to keep things calm by leaving for a while before a problem happens. I’m a little nervous, since I am neither quiet nor mellow. I have been working on this for a few days and seem to be doing well. I have learned I can voice concerns over things, as long as I remain calm. OK, it’s a big step forward, and I can do this. No one deserves to be yelled at.

Michael Montepara (survivor)…My Itty-Bitty Giant Step for today was actually waking up, getting dressed, and having at least one cup of coffee. For me, that small accomplishment is a lot harder than one would imagine.

Michael Montepara (survivor)…My Itty-Bitty Giant Step accomplishment is getting outdoors in bitter 16-degree cold, starting and de-thawing my poor truck, and taking my friend to his uncle’s house a few towns away. For me, movement in cold mornings is extremely difficult! Stay warm, be well, and smile a little smile today.

Shanna Wolf Heart Powell (survivor)…Last week I went Christmas shopping – first time since my TBI (approximately two and a half years ago)!!! I forgot what I was doing once, but I didn’t panic, and I didn’t stress!! I dominated the situation!!! But, I do have to do a return/exchange tomorrow!!! I got one item wrong!!! Not bad, considering, I guess!!

Scott Sheehan (survivor)…Eighty-four hours of world peace. No hate or anger, and I will play any song for anyone in the world during my record-breaker. Ambitious? Thanks to you, even more so now. As support grows, so does the ambition. Got my first sponsor. The focus it takes makes me a blithering idiot. My speech and vision are affected. Learned to play blindfolded. Been called a retard thousands of times. And I open up to you now because “it’s time” (the name I always wanted to call a band). But it’s time, to make Ma and Dad proud. And save the world. And no better time than my 50th birthday. Hahaha. An old guy. Doing the impossible. With a traumatic brain injury, no less. I know this is long. Understand this is huge. And now, you are a part of it. Hour 85, I will probably die. But not until then. For Ma, Dad, Milo, and you and to save the world! A lot of work to do in the next 13 months.

Laurie Whyte (survivor)…I realize what depersonalization means! I’ve been a chameleon since my injury – just doing what everyone else does or asking for advice all the time. Or over-sharing. Not really knowing my own mind. It’s been 9 years, and I’m starting to think for myself.

YOU did it!

Congratulations to all contributors!

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

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