TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

SPEAK OUT! Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

 

Itty-Bitty GIant Steps for BlogSPEAK 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.

Debra Cody (survivor)…I am so grateful to have my husband Phil by my side. I know that his life has been forever holding_hands_1changed by my injury and that he could walk away and have a much easier life, but he chooses to stay. I thank God for giving Phil the love in his heart and the strength of character to continue to hold my hand every day!

Karie Jacobson Collins (caregiver)…It has been a busy weekend here. On Friday night, we attended the service-awards banquet for my hubby’s work. He received an award for 25 years of service. Award 515wwJCwmXLWhile we were there, he repeatedly told me to be quiet – loudly. It was a bit embarrassing. Fortunately, we sat with people whom we are close to, and they helped to smooth things over. It still hurt, though. Then today, we went to a local event, called “The Crystal Classic,” with our daughters and grandsons. Then we washed his truck and vacuumed it out. (It has been unseasonably warm here, so he has been wanting to do that for a week now.) Then we went to dinner with our youngest daughter and her family before going to watch our oldest grandson ride mini-broncs in a rodeo. As we were leaving the restaurant after dinner, my husband apologized for being rude to me the night before. I almost passed out! This is the first acknowledgement of his bad behavior. Miracles never cease! It may never happen again, but I will take it for today. It was a great day.

Erica Renee Gilliam-Chiles (caregiver)…Today I saw my husband run. Fourteen months ago, he couldn’t move his left side. Being an active duty Marine, he had as one of his top goals to be able to run again, and he did!

15278739Kayla Bradberry Knight (caregiver)…Last year on February 13, my husband, Wyatt, took me out for a Valentine’s Day dinner. He and the kids gave me cards that morning. I was on cloud nine. Who would have thought that five days later my husband would be fighting for his life and our families would be turned upside down? God has taught me many lessons this year. Most of all, I’ve learned that earthly possessions mean nothing. Sure, they make one happy for a while. But no gift, flower bouquet, or box of chocolates could take the place of what I have today. My husband is still here! Oh, how happy it makes me to be able to say that! He may not realize that it’s even Valentine’s Day. Nor will he walk through the door with a gift, BUT I still get to hug him. The kids and I still get to tell him how much we love him. That, my friends, is irreplaceable. Don’t just sign that sweet card or have those beautiful flowers delivered. Show that person how much he or she means…not just today, but every day!

Sophia Hill Kusderci (caregiver)…My husband knows that I’m sad a lot living isolated in Germany. This past week, he said to me, “I try to talk to you. It’s why I ask you, ‘What are you doing?’ and ‘What are you reading?’ ” It was such a surreal moment that he “got it,” and I realized he’s trying very hard to make me happy. It’s nearly fourteen months, and I’m thankful for where we are right now. It’s not perfect, but it’s so far from where we were last year. It seems so small in real life, but for me, it is huge.cartoon-love-u-187615

Shelley Lawrence (caregiver)…My husband and I were in a shop today, and we walked past a huge Valentine’s Day stand. He stopped, looked at it, turned to me, and said, “I’d forgotten, but do you know that I love you so very much anyway?” I just grinned and said, “Yes!” How simply AWESOME is that!

Darcy Clarkson Leslie (caregiver)…Valentine’s Day – another gift-giving holiday with my brain-injured husband. I’m getting to hate this day because either he forgets or gives me a gift that his former wife would have liked. Last year at Christmas, he picked out a very large and bulky bracelet and watch set that was full of rhinestones. “You need a heart_&_key_2watch because you’re a nurse,” he said. I don’t do big. I don’t do bling. I am not a nurse. Today he gave me a necklace – a heart with a small key. “Now you really have the key to my heart,” he said. He picked this out himself. This is the first sign that my husband is really starting to get to know me again, and that is the best gift of all! Thanks for listening.

Lynn Sandoval (caregiver)…Today was a great Valentine’s Day for us! I had run to the gas station to get gas to mow the lawn, and I left my husband at home with his sister. When I returned home, I went into the kitchen and there was my husband – walking all by himself without his walker! It was the first time. thHe hadn’t realized that he did it at first. He just turned to walk over and try the chili that his sister had just made. When he got to the sink, he realized what he had done. He started walking back the other way, and that’s when I walked in. I began crying, and he walked over and hugged me. It was amazing!!! Best Valentine gift I’ve ever gotten!

 

YOU did it!

Congratulations to all contributors!

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

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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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