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 neelyf@aol.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

Anonymous (caregiver)…I almost don’t want to post this because so many spouses of TBI survivors are hurting and are facing separation or divorce, but maybe someone needs to hear it. My guy is making travel and anniversary plans. He is remembering to say, “I love you” I_love_you_by_Pambaand “Thank you.” That is such a huge step! Emotions have been very hard for him. It is difficult for him to think of how others feel. I am so blessed that this progress means so much. It may seem small to those who think of TBI as ventilators and the ICU (Intensive Care Unit), but for those of us living the long-term path to building a new normal, this is huge. I am also learning to find my new normal. I am learning to become a better person. I am learning to take a deep breath before I react, to give him room to explain, and to invite him to communicate. I am learning to give him all the cues he needs not to go into an angry self-defense mode when I need to talk about something he doesn’t want to hear. I am learning to give him safe options out instead of making him feel backed into a corner. He is meeting me half way. He is trying to hold on to those cues and to “push pause” on his response. It has been a long road, but this week I see progress. I will give part of the credit to my own personal rehab program. As a military family, we owned a home at our last duty station. When he had to leave the Army due to his TBI, we were mid-remodel. He is alone at our old house, working on finishing the work THANK YOU on speech bubble price labelson the house. Well not completely alone – he is with the family mutt. I worked with the dog, and he is a real anchor for my hubby. The dog gets noodgey when hubby’s sugar is down, restless and pacing when it is up. (The dog woke up my hubby when his sugar dropped at night.) The dog responds to my guy’s moods and anger. My husband is able to talk about the dog being skittish.progress We can talk about emotional balance in that context. He can’t yet talk about himself, but the dog is becoming his personal barometer. I know that there will be rages and shoving again. I know that he may leave us in his pain. I know that there will be days when I wonder if I should have left. I know there will be days when I want to go. I know that he may make bad choices about money. I will maintain my own bank account and resources in case I need it. I will make sure my kids and I feel as safe as we can. I will make sure that I can care for my beloved and our kids. Today – I SEE PROGRESS! Talking about all of this helps me daily as I learn to make the best of this TBI life.


Jeremy Dorr (survivor)…Sometimes I go for a walk in my neighborhood. It doesn’t do anything, but I can clip-art-walking-199243walk and think about things and have “me” time. gg65255707My brain is always on and seems to be working at 500% (LOL). The walk helps my brain shut off so I can sleep. I hope this can help someone out. Even if the world walks away from you, you can build back better. Staying positive has helped me, even though at times it’s hard.Dave Villarreal Award 11156302_452286041605770_1808858156142049527_n


Dave Villarreal  (survivor)…I received an award for 100 hours of volunteer service to the Veteran’s Administration.


YOU Did It!

Congratulations to all contributors!

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

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