TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Caregivers  SPEAK OUT!  Charity Hamilton

(caregiver for her momma)

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 

Charity Hamilton – Caregiver for her Momma

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

Charity Hamilton

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

Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, USA

3. What is the brain-injury survivor’s relationship to you?

The survivor is my momma. 🙂

How old was the survivor when he/she had the brain injury? What caused your survivor’s brain injury?

My mother’s affliction is brain cancer and seizures. It was diagnosed in 2012 when she was seen after a car accident. (She didn’t remember what happened.) The hospital was going to let her leave, but we demanded a CT (computerized tomography) scan and an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), as her husband (now deceased) knew something was wrong. That’s when the cancer was found. It had apparently started as a child!

4. On what date did you begin care for your brain-injury survivor? Were you the main caregiver? Are you now? How old were you when you began care?

I became my mother’s only caregiver in 2016, as her husband helped care for her, but he recently passed due to bad health. I am now her full-time caregiver. I am 24.

5. Were you caring for anyone else at that time (e.g., children, parents, etc.)?

I have three beautiful children of my own, whom I care for.

6. Were you employed at the time of your survivor’s brain injury? If so, were you able to continue working?

I was then and am now a full-time employee.

7. Did you have any help? If so, what kind and for how long?

I had no help after my mother’s husband passed.

8. When did your support of the survivor begin (e.g., immediately – in the hospital; when the survivor returned home; etc.)?

I began care immediately after my mother was diagnosed.

9. Was your survivor in a coma? If so, what did you do during that time?

No

10. Did your survivor have rehab? If so, what kind of rehab (i.e., inpatient and/or outpatient and occupational, physical, speech, and/or other)? How long was the rehab? Where were you when your survivor was getting therapy?

My mother had no rehab.

11. What problems or disabilities of your brain-injury survivor required your care, if any?

My care was needed whenever my mother had seizures. I also helped her deal with memory loss. I assisted her with medications, and I helped her with showers.

12. How has your life changed since you became a caregiver? Is it better? Is it worse?

With everything I have on my plate, my life is complicated and very busy. Only brain-injury-caregivers truly understand.

13. What do you miss the most from pre-brain-injury life?

I miss not being so busy!

14. What do you enjoy most in p

Charity Hamilton – Caregiver for Mom, Jean Jones

ost-brain-injury life?

I enjoy talking to mom and going out and about with her.

15. What do you like least about brain injury?

I don’t like the tons of errands and feeling like the parent.

16. Has anything helped you to accept your survivor’s brain injury?

Caregiving came naturally because she’s my mother and I would never let her be alone.

17. Has your survivor’s injury affected your home life and relationships and, if so, how?

Yes. My mother’s brain injury has made home-life and relationships tough and stressful sometimes, as they don’t understand I HAVE to care for my mother – no one else will.

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

Not really. I didn’t have a social life before my mother’s diagnosis.

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

My future is nursing.

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

Have patience!!

 

(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 SPEAK OUT! Caregiver Interview Questionnaire for a copy of the questions and the release form.

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Comments on: "Caregivers SPEAK OUT! . . . . . Charity Hamilton (caregiver for momma)" (7)

  1. I understand how difficult it is Charity, and I admire everything you are doing for your Mom. I am in a similar situation, but opposite, as I had the tbi 32 years ago, I was only 18. I had and still have severe physical impairments along with seizures, which are now controlled with four medicines. It took 27 years after the accident to find the right combination of meds.
    I live with and help my Mom now since my Dad passed. Good luck with everything, it sounds like your hands are full with the kids and now your Mom. You mentioned becoming a nurse, so this will give you eyesight to future patients if they are difficult for whatever reason. Not sure how far along you are, but I feel you will be a good one.
    Patience is the key word. Congrats on what you have achieved so far.

    Like

    • Charlie, I love how you share so much of yourself in your posts of encouragement to others. Thank you.

      Donna O’Donnell Figurski
      survivingtraumaticbraininjury.com
      donnaodonnellfigurski.com

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have become so open and forthright about myself since the accident Donna. I know it has been almost 32 years ago, I was only 18 years old. I was such a bashful young man when it happened. I could of ever opened up about myself like this back then.
        The reason I share so much information is because I needed the same information when I had my accident and tbi. I had nowhere to go, I did not know anyone with a tbi, other than the other patients when I came out of my coma.
        It seemed like there were so many young people my age, in the hospital at the same time. I wish I would have started a journal back then, to tell you about Dawn, Lee Anne, Stephanie, Ernie, I just cannot remember all of them, or much about them. It has been too long. There were more young women than men.
        I would want no one to go through I’ve been through. But in a strange way, it will have been the best things ever, at least for me.
        Now, I can speak of what I know, and not what they say I should know because I read it in a book.

        Like

  2. You are awesome. Thank you for being a great care taker and advocate for tbi’s. Best of luck to you both!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gm1123,

      It’s so important to sometimes be acknowledged for things that you do without a thought. gm1123, thanks for giving that encouragement to Charity.

      Donna O’Donnell Figurski
      survivingtraumaticbraininjury.com
      donnaodonnellfigurski.com

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Charity Hamilton said:

    Hello, and thank you allfor for your wonderful comments. Unfortunately she gave up her battle on Easter this year. Emotionally and financially I am in pain. She is now in her resting place as she wanted to be at. I visit her every morning above my dresser where she sits with a teddy bear she loves that her husband had purchased her.

    Like

    • Charity, I am so sorry to hear your sad news. Your mother will live on in your mind and heart.

      Donna O’Donnell Figurski
      survivingtraumaticbraininjury.com
      donnaodonnellfigurski.com

      Like

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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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