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 is this week’s Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

Julie Attwell (survivor)…I’m in Oz (Australia). AustraliaI recently got out of hospital. I was in because of epilepsy from my acquired brain injury (ABI). My discharge was HUGE for me! I was finally put on the list for rehab for fine motor skills, speech,Hospital Bed walking, reading, and writing. I am able to start being me again. I’m super excited! My injury happened in February of 2015, and I have had no help. Now I am finally getting some. YAY!


David June 14 copy

David Figurski Brain Injury Survivor


David Figurski (survivor)…I’m ecstatic that I finally walked 1.5 miles on the treadmill! I did it at 2.5 mph.


YOU did it!

Congratulations to contributors!


As I say after each post:anim0014-1_e0-1

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(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photo compliments of contributor.)

Comments on: "SPEAK OUT! Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps" (11)

  1. Barbara Asby said:

    That is awesome – keep up the great work.


  2. Joyce Bondy said:

    David, good for you! What a wonderful accomplishment! I am so happy for you. As Donna says, Itty Bitty Giant steps! This I think , is a giant step! Great job. Keep it up, David!


  3. Julie so glad you are getting the rehab you needed. It is so important in the recovery process. Best of luck with all the various therapies 🙂

    David that is an awesome accomplishment!!! Keep going with the treadmill, that is a great workout and way to track your progress 🙂


  4. Congrats on your accomplishment David, and you too Donna for standing by David through his ups and downs. I definitely understand all the ups and downs. It is a battle that never ends, sorry to say. Some days are better, but far more are at least just as hard as your worst. I am working on year 31 post TBI, not an anniversary I treasure when it arrives in November. Please read details about me on my FB page and I give more detail of what I went through. I know you just published my story Donna, thank you very much. Have a great day David and Donna.


    • Charlie, thank you for your encouraging words. Brain injury is so different for each survivor. You certainly have been on the journey for a long time.

      Thanks for taking part in the SPEAK OUT! project.

      Donna O’Donnell Figurski

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Every head injury is so different than any other injury. A broken arm or leg, the bone is set, a cast is put on and six weeks later, it is usually healed. The brain however, cannot be put in a cast, and is certainly not healed in 6 weeks, 6 months, 6 years, maybe never.
    Depending on the area of the brain injured, it can affect so many functions.
    Emotions, memory, physical impairments, and any type of bodily action (internal & external). The body has to be retrained in every way. My muscles contracted deforming my body, so it was not just retraining the muscles how to work, but overcoming the deformations. My memory, short and long term were and still are affected, 30 years post. So you can see it is not as simple as a 6 week bone break fix. It is a lifetime fixer upper, maybe it gets fixed or improves, maybe it does not.


    • Charlie,

      You are so right about that. You said that your injuries are obvious, which is difficult enough for people to understand. Imagine them trying to understand the parameters of brain injury when the injury is invisible.

      We have to keep trying to inform the world. Thanks for your help.

      Donna O’Donnell Figurski

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, the physical aspects of my injury are very obvious, but people do not see or understand the struggles I still have with my memory. When talking, people remind me of different things in general conversation, thinking I just skipped over an item just in talking like many people commonly do. The fact is, I just don’t remember. When talking about yesterday, last month, or the 30 plus years, that’s so much to remember and to forget.
        I also think so much slower than everyone else. When I first tried going back to college, the instructors at the Junior College gave me unlimited time for my test. It was more for my thinking than having to learn how to write again with my hand deformities. That helped me so much. Of course, when I went to the four-year college, only one instructor worked with me. In my two years there, I completed enough for my Junior year before they told me to take time off because of my grades. I never went back.
        I went to the Junior college and got a degree in Mechanical Drafting, and that is what I worked in for 15 years.
        I struggled between many jobs in my short time working. I was able to do the job, just not fast enough. When a new task was given to me, it was like training a new individual over and over again.
        It did not matter that I was the first person there and the last to leave for my shift, I was the disabled person that the boss could not understand my problems, and I had no advocate to help support me. Thus, when it cam time to hire me from the contract, I was released, fired, let go, or whatever. The end result was the same. I had no job, and had to search again. I tried for 15 years and could not tell you how many jobs I had, too many to count. I only hope others don’t have the troubles I had when I tried to work. It was very discouraging!


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