TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Survivors SPEAK OUT! Ina M. Dutkiewicz

presented

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 

Dutkiewicz, Ina M. Survivor 041316

Ina M. Dutkiewicz – Survivor

 

1. What is your name? (last name optional)

Ina M. Dutkiewicz, pronounced “Ena”

2. Where do you live? (city and/or state and/or country) Email (optional)

Milford, Michigan, USA     inadutkiewicz@gmail.com

3. On what date did you have your brain injury? At what age?

I had my brain injury on February 3, 2010. I was 43 years old.

4. How did your brain injury occur?

While driving to work, I slid through a stop sign because of black ice. I was hit by a pickup truck.

5. When did you (or someone) first realize you had a problem?

I was immediately put into a coma.

6. What kind of emergency treatment, if any, did you have?

I was in the Neuro-Intensive Care Unit for three weeks. A feeding tube was in my belly, and an incision was made in my forehead (to relieve the pressure on my brain from bleeding, I think).

7. Were you in a coma? If so, how long?

Yes. I was in a coma for a total of four and a half weeks. My coma was not medically induced.

8. Did you do rehab? What kind of rehab (i.e., inpatient or outpatient and occupational and/or physical and/or speech and/or other)?

I started inpatient rehab for six weeks at a head injury place where I had to live (Origami in Mason, Michigan). Then I was able to transition to outpatient rehab. I still have to return daily for therapies and doctor appointments. I have done physical therapy, occupational, speech, and language therapies, driving therapy, and vocational therapy

How long were you in rehab?

I did rehab for a total of five years. I still do counseling every other week.

9. What problems or disabilities, if any, resulted from your brain injury
(e.g., balance, perception, personality, etc.)?

I have gait issues, memory problems, and word-finding difficulty. My personality changed. (I’m more docile – easy going – now.) My pelvis was broken on both sides from my seat belt, which means I have daily pelvis/hip pain. I have also had a headache every day since my car accident. Some days, they’re only pressure; others, pounding.

10. How has your life changed? Is it better? Is it worse?

My life has changed 100%. My husband divorced me a year after my car accident, so now I live with my mom. I do not work. I am on disability, which is barely enough to live on.

11. What do you miss the most from your pre-brain-injury life?Dutkiewicz, Ina M.car

I miss my friends.

12. What do you enjoy most in your post-brain-injury life?

I like that I am more laid back and not as serious.

13. What do you like least about your brain injury?

I dislike that I feel lost some days. I’m not working, and I don’t have anything worthy to put my hand to. My kids are now grown and living on their own. They have their own families. Also, my ex-husband has moved on to a girlfriend. It’s like I was left behind. 😦

14. Has anything helped you to accept your brain injury?

My Christian faith has been a HUGE help to me.

15. Has your injury affected your home life and relationships and, if so, how?

I have no friends from my past (pre-TBI) life. It is sad.

16. Has your social life been altered or changed and, if so, how?

My life has totally changed. I now spend my days with my mom – going to things she enjoys at the Senior Center. I am not really with people my age. While I enjoy the time with her, I long for age-appropriate friends.

17. Who is your main caregiver? Do you understand what it takes to be a caregiver?

My mom is my main caregiver. Yes, I realize how my TBI has changed her life. I know that she has had to give up things to support me.

18. What are your plans? What do you expect/hope to be doing ten years from now?

I really would like to get a part-time job in the future. My experience is with office work. I was an Executive Assistant before my car accident, helping with payroll and AP/AR (accounts payable/accounts receivable) on top of taking care of all correspondence that left the car dealership I worked at.

Dutkiewicz, Ina M. Survivor 2 041316

Ina M. Dutkiewicz – Survivor

I19. Are you able to provide a helpful hint that may have taken you a long time to learn, but which you wished you had known earlier? If so, please state what it is to potentially help other survivors with your specific kind of brain injury.

My helpful hint is that it is okay to be different. In a lot of cases, brain injury truly is an invisible disability. In outward appearance, we look “normal” (whatever that is). That means that we can easily blend in, but oftentimes it is hard to keep up. We need to find our own group of people to hang out with who understand where we are coming from and what we deal with on a daily basis. A support-group is a good place to start.

20. What advice would you offer to other brain-injury survivors? Do you have any other comments that you would like to add?

Don’t give up on yourself. Others can turn away and leave you, but your strength comes from you – no one can ever take that away from you. AND, you can rely on yourself to struggle through your low days and celebrate your victories!

 

(Disclaimer: The views or opinions in this post are solely that of the interviewee.)

If you would like to be a part of the SPEAK OUT! project, please go to TBI Survivor Interview Questionnaire for a copy of the questions and the release form.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributor.)

 

As I say after each post:

Feel free to leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Comment” below this post.

Please follow my blog. Click on “Follow Me Via eMail” on the right sidebar of your screen.anim0014-1_e0-1

If you like my blog, click the “Like” button under this post.

If you REALLY like my blog, share it intact with your friends. It’s easy! Click the “Share” buttons below.

If you don’t like my blog, “Share” it intact with your enemies. That works for me too!

Advertisements

Comments on: "Survivors SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . Ina M. Dutkiewicz" (4)

  1. What a great thing to do! I related to some of her answers. Thank you for showcasing this ‘hidden’ injury.

    Like

    • gm1123,

      I appreciate your reading and commenting on my blog. I hope it left you with some inspiration.

      If you have a brain injury and would like to share, I would be happy to publish your interview, too.

      You can contact me here or at my email, neelyf@aol.com

      Donna O’Donnell Figurski
      survivingtraumaticbraininjury.com
      donnaodonnellfigurski.com

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Cheryle Zillmer said:

    I am so proud to have known you Ina! You are an inspiration to many. You are a strong woman who has overcome multiple obstacles in her life. I enjoyed reading your blog! Keep it up. I hope to see you again someday. You have much to share with others!

    Like

    • Cheryle Zilmer,

      Thanks so much for reading my blog and commenting on Ina’s interview. I hope that she will see your comment, which was so encouraging.

      Donna O’Donnell Figurski
      survivingtraumaticbraininjury.com
      donnaodonnellfigurski.com

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

Ten Thousand Days

The long and winding journey after loss

Wordcrafter9's Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Tripambitions

It contains the world best places and things.

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.

Everything and nothing. GM1123 😊

Bienvenue. I’m thinking this is the spot where I am to write a witty, flowery personal section that pulls you in......I got nuthin’

Teresa472002's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

The Concussion Blog

An Education and Communication Outpost from an Athletic Trainer's Perspective

Howdy Hydrocephalus

Understanding my unique gyroscope

Recoveryofthemind.com

Head Injuries Change Everything

Sheri Lawrence de Grom

From the literary and legislative trenches.

With Grace ALWAYS

...doing my best to live a life of grace...

Mild to Moderate

TBI - Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Hope for Trauma

TBI - Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Lisabeth Mackall

Finding our way back

My Broken Brain

Putting the pieces back together again after encephalitis

The Visger Group

TBI - Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

melissacronin.com

TBI - Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Inside Danielle's mind

Striving for serenity

%d bloggers like this: