TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

SPEAK OUT! Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

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

Anna Bailey (caregiver)…How can I not get excited! I’m not even two days out of nesting (the babying you get before 100% gg60955512thrown to the wolves on you own), and I got a 100 on my QA. I am surpassing department goals. (That has been the case since I’ve been taking calls.) And, I actually exceeded team goals, which are higher than the department goals. I really love my job! Bring on the money!

Anna Bailey (caregiver)…Well, today my husband’s day couldn’t have been made any better. He loves his diesel trucks, and I entered to win some tickets to the diesel nationals and won! They asked about his story because to win we had to say whom we would take and why we should get picked. Truck 12955796331379458534monster truck.svg.hiI mentioned that he is a wounded warrior and that he has wanted to go since he heard about it. They picked us, and they asked if we needed any special accommodations. I told them we do – that our service dog is coming. They then upgraded us to hang out in the suites. 🙂 He needed this, and I was shocked that I won. My husband is amazing. He has done so much for our family, and I am glad I could help make this wish come true.

Runner 9664-illustration-of-a-man-running-pv

Nate Croom (survivor)…I had my TBI in 2008. I had to relearn how to walk, and I still have balance issues. But, this past Sunday, I ran my first marathon (in Lincoln, Nebraska).

Gill Evans (caregiver)…Had a moment today. We were walking our border collie through the park. Holding_handsAlthough it was cold, the sun was shining. Hubby grabbed my hand. No words were said. I felt a feeling I haven’t felt for quite some time – relaxed and happy. Precious times.

Kristina Hopkins (caregiver)…I can’t believe that exactly five years ago, I married the most amazing man. Not only did we exchange vows and rings that day, but he also got on his knees and gave my girls rings and vows as well. Wedding rings anluortrouwI am so honored and proud to have this remarkable man in my life. Tommy, I love you, Sweetie! You truly are my partner in every way. I can’t believe it’s only been five years when it feels like forever. Thank you for marrying me, Tom Hopkins, Jr.!

Jasmine Oldham (survivor)…We had a win today! Ten months post injury and my husband was Couples Counseling ClipArt-AfterTheFire7admitted to an outpatient rehab program in Toronto. They’re going to include couples counseling for us! It also means two months off work for him, so maybe I’ll see snippets of the guy I love, now that he will have less on his plate. For today at least, I’m hopeful and excited.

Bobbi S. Poff (survivor)…I had four strokes within the last four years, and I had fourteen aneurysms and fourteen seizures. I can walk and talk now. I’m proud oDid It congrats-you-did-itf my accomplishments. It’s been a long, hard battle, but I did it!

Lc Sossaman (survivor)…After four years post TBI, I made it to my and my husband’s 10-year anniversary. The last four years have been quite a bit for any regular couple to make it, but we did. The memory of what was and now what is has made the last four years more difficult. Happy Aniversary thI have to pat myself on the back. (LOL) I was a nice person before, and I still am or try to be, but I am hardheaded about things I believe in, and I make it quite clear. I didn’t do it before accident, but I do it now. I am happy with it, just fine. So, learning to be more clear about things is my accomplishment.

Jenn Von Hatten (survivor)… My TBI occurred on Valentine’s Day 2011. My car was T-boned due to freezing rain. I was only going to work for a meeting. I survived to see my oldest children graduate from high school. The father of my youngest child, Hanna, decided he wasn’t happy and kicked me out. For the next 2-3 weeks, I looked for a place to live in our small community, as Hanna goes to school there. During that time, Hanna’s father mentioned 50-60 times that I was brain injured and that my frontal lobe was injured. I wasn’t sure if I, as a TBI survivor, could live on my own and have joint custody of Hanna, who was only five at the time. Yes I Can

My Itty-Bitty Giant Step is: YES, I CAN! With a frontal-lobe injury, which affects my executive functioning, I am able to take care of Hanna, now seven, and myself. When the third anniversary of my car accident was looming, I was bummed out. Stärke-Logo_200pxSo, I got a tattoo – “Stärke.” “Stärke” means “strength” in German. I’ve had to have a lot of inner strength to get this far in my recovery. In addition to sustaining a TBI, I also fractured a rib and vertebrae. When I was discharged from the hospital, I was in a wheelchair. I graduated to a walker, to a big quad cane, and then to a mini quad cane. When I’m in the house, I don’t use anything, unless I’m really tired or sick. I’m a fall risk and disabled. So what if I can’t work as a nurse – I’m alive! I watched my oldest children, Emma and Liam, graduate, AND I have joint custody of Hanna. An Itty-Bitty Giant Step, I HAVE TAKEN!

YOU Did It!

Congratulations to all contributors!

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

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