TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Posts tagged ‘Barbara Wilson Asby’

Survivors SPEAK OUT! Barbara Asby

Survivors SPEAK OUT!  Barbara Asby

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Barbara Wilson Asby

Barbara Wilson Asby – TBI Survivor


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

Barbara Asby

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

Norfolk, Virginia, USA

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

My brain injury happened over seven years ago. I was 41 years old.

4. How did your brain injury occur?

Pesticide Toxic Exposure

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

Some symptoms occurred during the first couple of days during the exposure. Symptoms gradually got worse after the following two weeks and beyond.

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

hospital5I went to the Emergency Room after a week, because of shortness of breath and cognitive issues. They found an enlarged lymph node in my lung. This finding was followed up by other specialists. I had MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging), an EEG (electroencephalogram), a SPECT (single-photon emission computed tomography) scan (a test that uses a radioactive substance and a special camera to determine how an organ is functioning), and other tests, to name a few.

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


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

Yes. I had occupational, speech, and vestibular therapies.

How long were you in rehab?

My therapy has been on and off from 2010 to the present.

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

I have problems with balance, perception, cognitive abilities, memory, organizational skills, and word retrieval. I am plagued with fatigue, headaches, and partial seizures.tired-woman

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

I am now disabled and unable to work in my former job as an IRS (Internal Revenue Service) agent.  (This injury happened on the job.) My life is better because I realize how important life really is. It’s worse because I realize what I took for granted.

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

I miss the ability to work and have a career. I really miss not having a better memory, more energy, and the organizational and multitasking skills that I once had.

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

I am aware of the beauty that life has to offer. I see the good in life and in people.

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

I dislike the fact that others aren’t willing to educate themselves about TBI (traumatic brain injury) or try to understand what others go through. People lose interest over time – they do not want to hear about your problems or your pain anymore. I think this is the greatest suffering from my TBI.education-clipart-9c4y5zycE-1

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

It’s been over seven years, and I am still trying to accept my brain injury. It still changes – it’s hard to accept when it does not stay stable. Therefore, I can’t accept something when each day is different.

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

Yes. It has ended my marriage.

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

Yes. Due to the balance and sensory issues, my social life has been greatly affected.

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

I am my caregiver.

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

My future plan is to write a memoir. I also want to volunteer to help others who have a brain injury.

18. Are you able to provide a helpful hint that may have taken you a long time HistoryMissionusewhereveriStock_000017322294Smallto 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 advice is to look for support-groups and to try to reach out to others. Also, educate yourself with brain injury material.

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

Just reach out to other survivors – we are a big family. We understand – when others do not. TBI survivors – like other survivors – are strong. God kept you on this earth for a reason. Keep your chin up. Look to others for strength, and give others strength when it’s needed. BIG HUGS.

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

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

As I say after each post: Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Commentanim0014-1_e0-1 below this post.

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SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

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 StepsAdamchcik, Clydeine Caregiver for son 061115

Clydeine Adamchick (caregiver for her son)…My son was six when it happened. His brain injury took away most of his ability to learn. But, it left him more creative. He has overcome so much. He graduated high school, and he is writing a book.

gaoqingqichekuanpingbizhixiazai_385371_11Barbara Wilson Asby (survivor)…I had an awesome visit with Dr. O. today! I’m 100% clear for all my driving needs. I will go through testing to start going back for occupational therapy in September. Sooooo, I think I am going to take the plunge. A newer car is coming soon. I shall start looking next week, I think. It might be hard departing ways from my “silver bullet.” (LOL)

counseling+cartoonNatalie Elliott (survivor)…I went to my counseling appointment.

YOU did it!

Congratulations to all contributors!

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.

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

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

Feel free to follow my blog. Click on “Follow” on the upper right sidebar.

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

If you don’t like my blog, “Share” it with your enemies. I don’t care!

Feel free to “Like” my post.

TBI Tales . . . . It’s OK to Say “OK”

It’s OK to Say “OK”


Barbara Wilson Asby

(presented by Donna O’Donnell Figurski)

Barbara Wilson Asby - TBI Survivor

Barbara Wilson Asby – TBI Survivor

For the first time in over five years, I finally broke down and reached out to my husband for help today when I was having a seizure.

Why in the world do we have to be so darn strong all of the time?? For those who don’t really know me, I am going through a change right now – my seizures have gotten worse for the past few weeks or so. Today was no different. I don’t know if it was caused by the traveling, the holidays, or the stress of the Redskins versus the Cowboys game (LMAO), but I started having the seizure just after noon.

I began watching the game and started feeling worse – no, not Redskinsdue to the game (LOL). “We” (the ‘skins, that is – LOL) were looking pretty good at this point. I started going downhill quickly, and hubby watched this. He kept asking what to do. There really isn’t anything a spouse can do. I am the type that likes to be alone when these things are happening.

Then I started to feel like I was going to faint. I personally think there is no worse feeling than when your body puts you through this, especially when the feeling stays right there – not making up its mind what to do. I call it a “brown out.” For 30 minutes or so, I fought the brown out.

David Asby - husband of Barbara Wilson Asby

David Asby – husband of Barbara Wilson Asby

Then I looked at my husband and said, “Now don’t freak out, but I am going to faint. Don’t freak out, OK?”

He came over to me and said, “OK. Baby, is there anything I can do?” OMG, how nice it felt for him to be there with me.

I said, “No. Just don’t freak out! OK? Just don’t freak out!”

Meanwhile, I was the one freaking out because he was there. I normally handle things so much better when no one is around (LOL). Then I just gave in and had my hubby hold me. I was so wiped out – too tired even to cry. He put his arms around me and said, “Breathe, Baby. I am here. Just breathe – calm down.”

So for once, I did breathe. Dang it! Why do people with a TBI have to be so STRONG!!!!!

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

If you have a story to share and would like to be a part of the SPEAK OUT! project, please submit your TBI Tale to me at donnaodonnellfigurski@gmail.com. I will publish as many stories as I can.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

As I say after each post:

Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Comment” below this post.anim0014-1_e0-1

Please follow my blog. Click on “Follow” on the top right sidebar. (It’s nice to know there are readers out there.)

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

If you don’t like my blog, “Share” it with your enemies. I don’t care!

Feel free to “Like” my post.

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