TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Posts tagged ‘Bart Boughner’

SPEAK OUT! Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

SPEAK OUT! Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

Itty-Bitty GIant Steps for Blog

 

 

SPEAK 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 donnaodonnellfigurski@gmail.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.

Bart Boughner (survivor)…I found my old horse this past month. I haven’t seen him since 2004. Today (yeah!) I remembered I can scan pictures to send to the new owner. Yesterday I tried the camera – not so good. I love days like today!

Bart Boughner, 2 months after TBI, poses with his horse.

Bart Boughner, 2 months after TBI, poses with his horse.

Ever So Dirty, aka Hannah and Rightly Zipped, aka Bubba

Ever So Dirty, aka Hannah and Rightly Zipped, aka Bubba

The big one is my old mare, Ever So Dirty, aka Hannah. She had two babies for me. The one I just found is the little one, Rightly Zipped, aka Bubba.  I still have the sister, and – funny thing – they were born on the same day, two years apart, and with the same parents.

Olivianjeana Collazo (caregiver)…Our biggest accomplishment has been finding fish oil and other things to help our son with his brain injury, which happened in July. All that the doctors could say was the worst. I can’t wait to show them our son now. He is doing half the things they said he wouldn’t! Thanks for reading.

Peter Cornfield (survivor)…Peter uses innovative measures to move a basket of firewood to the fireplace using only one hand. See his inspirational video on You Tube. Moving Wood With My Stick.

Jamie Fairles (survivor)…Hi, Donna. As of yesterday, I’m off for four weeks from my B SW (Bachelor of Social Work) field practicum placement until my second term begins in the new year. I have the rest of this practicum to finish, a second field placement, and only two more full courses until I’m a social worker!

 Heather Sivori Floyd (caregiver)…BIG NEWS to share! Kinda nervous to share but really excited! Had a meeting with a few people from Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky today. They have written something for bicycle helmet legislation for children. It will be called TJ’s law!! Very exciting! Now to get the right people involved to get this thing passed.

William Jarvis (survivor)…Donna, a big step for me was moving. Five months ago, I thought it would be impossible, due to my TBI and walking with a cane. However, I am now in my new home in Myrtle Beach. I got a lot of support from family and friends. You can do more than you think! Don’t be afraid to try things.

Debbie Madison (survivor)…I went to my first Christmas party, and I didn’t hide in the bathroom! It wasn’t so bad, and I had a nice time with my husband.

Debbie Madison (survivor)…I finished the shopping, and I sent out cards without losing addresses or the list.

Julie-Ann Manners (survivor)…It’s Wednesday here in Oz (Australia). I just got out of the hospital on Monday. [I was in due to my epilepsy from my ABI (acquired brain injury).] And this is HUGE FOR ME. I have finally been put on the list for rehab for fine motor control, speech, walking, reading, and writing!! Eventually I will be able to start being me again!! I’m so super excited!! My injury happened this year in February, and I have had no help, and now after Christmas, I am finally going to be able to get some! YAY!!!!

Michael Montepara (survivor)…Okay, here’s one of my Itty-Bitty Giant Steps: I am thankful that this week I did not have to sleep in my truck in the cold. AMEN.

Shanna Wolf Heart Powell‎ (survivor)…I accomplished grocery shopping tonight with out a break down, except for the pig head they were selling at the store!!! I broke down and cried in Walmart!!!

YOU did it!

Congratulations to all contributors!

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

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

SPEAK OUT! Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

Itty-Bitty GIant Steps for Blog

 

 

SPEAK 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 donnaodonnellfigurski@gmail.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.

Bart Boughner (survivor)…For me, these past ten days were hard, but I held my head up and I did what is best for me and my kids. I allowed outside people to talk with my doctors. My kids are more than willing to help me with just my being honest. I showed them all my meds and explained every one of them. I stayed true to myself, and things turned out well! It’s never a good thing to hide things from people. I always stay an open book to anyone who wants or needs to know.

Bob Calvert (survivor)…I have had five surgeries since my last trip to Iraq and Afghanistan. I keep hoping that there won’t be any more surgeries. But, it looks like I have no choice for a hernia, and the first of two foot-surgeries did not go well. Next week, my doctor is asking Medicare to approve a wheelchair so I can get out of my apartment. Sometimes it gets to me, but what keeps me going is when I keep hearing story after story of what our military men and women and veterans have gone through as a result of their service to our country and what many of them go through every day. That keeps me sitting at this computer as long as I can every day and keeping our talk show (www.talkingwithheroes.com/about) and our mission going.

Michael Coss (survivor)…I am now starting to walk indoors without a cane – 9 years post injury. “Everything is possible when you believe.”

Penelope DeYoung (caregiver)…My husband had finished 13 days of HBOT (hyperbaric oxygen therapy), when, on Tuesday, October 28th, at 3:00 in the morning, I woke up to the bed’s shaking to find him having a grand mal seizure (the second one in five weeks and only the third in two and a half years). He was blessed in more ways than one. First, he had it in the night, so he was already lying down and on his side. I also kept my cool as I called 9-1-1. My husband has made a giant step forward because the doctor dropped a seizure medication that we now know was causing “brain fog.” He upped the dosage of another anti-seizure drug that was making my husband sick when it was started this past summer, but now his body has adjusted to it, and he is tolerating it very well. The higher dose of the “better” anti-seizure drug and the HBOT together have made Jim much more aware. He has shown initiation and motivation. We went to a spaghetti dinner in our hometown last night. People were awed by how much difference they noticed in his awareness. He knew many more people than I did. It was great to see so many people come up to him and say, “It is so good to see you.” Jim’s response to them was, “It is so good to be seen!” I love the progress he has made cognitively! Thanks for letting me share!

Jamie Fairies (survivor)…Hi, Donna. I saw your post on the wall of the group I created – Supporting ABI (Acquired Brain Injury). I thought that perhaps creating that group in 2007 to promote the awareness of brain injury and the Peer Mentor Support Program for those affected by brain injury would be considered an Itty-Bitty Giant Step. I am a survivor of multiple brain injuries.

Melanie Leatherman (survivor)…An Itty-Bitty Giant Step is something small that’s a big deal for us, right? I’m 4 years post. Every year, I’ve tried to go back to my old profession as a stylist, but it never worked out. Friday I tried again, and I could! Awesome feeling. I think it’s a big accomplishment for me. I can pretty much do everything now that I was told I couldn’t. I live alone with my 13-year-old and cook, wash her clothes, and make her lunches for school – things that most mothers don’t realize how big of a deal that is.

Barbara Zirilli-Lonergan (caregiver)…Today is day 40 for my dad. He’s still in the early stages of his recovery. He’s currently in a vegetative state, and he occasionally responds to commands. I am just thankful for today. Love to all of you.

John E. May (survivor)…I have an incredible giant step. I’m still breathing and unnaturally happy!

Grant Mealy (caregiver)…I’m reminded again not to be so hard on my partner, who has PML (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy). He is not what he used to be, and he never will be again. He did not go through a bad illness to irritate me. I will forgive myself for yelling and move foreword. We are lucky to have each other.

Melinda Murphy (survivor)…One of my secrets that very few people knew was that I lost the ability to tie my shoes after my accident because I was unable to tie a bow. Well today, for the first time in over three and a half years, I did it. I have been crying for an hour. It’s the little things as well as the big that are so very important in that whole “independence thing.” God is so good to me.

Marti Lynch Owens (caregiver)…Gene’s Itty-Bitty Giant Step was last night (November 8th). (His accident was September 25th.) His trach has been removed. He said, “Home, Marti,” and I replied, “Not yet.” He asked, “Why?” and I tried to explain. He was angry, but I didn’t care – I was so happy to hear him speak. He always has emotions. After I left, the hospital called. He got himself out of bed. He was sitting on floor and pulled out his feeding tube, but he is fine – Thank God!

Shana Storms (survivor)…My Itty-Bitty Giant Step is that I went back to school. I got my BS degree. Now on to my MS.

Sunshine Struble (caregiver)…GIANT! January 6th will mark two years for my beautiful boy. He has not slept in his room since the incident – at first because his body was incapable of doing stairs, then because he was so fearful of being away from Mom and Dad. Tonight he is sleeping in his newly designed (in his way) room. I am so proud. It brings tears to my eyes.

Sandra Williams (survivor)…I can exercise without shaking. My shaking wasn’t from fatigue. When I began any form of a stretch and held, my legs would shake, even at the beginning. It’s not the same as shaking when your muscles are tired.

Sandra Williams (caregiver)…My son asked for his own 504 meeting and accommodations at work. (Section 504 is a federal law that protects students with disabilities from being discriminated against.) He said, “I need you to fight for me, Mom. The school isn’t listening.” It’s the first time he has admitted he needs help!

YOU did it!

Congratulations to all contributors!

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

 

 

Survivors SPEAK OUT! Bart Boughner

SPEAK OUT! – Bart Boughner

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 

Bart Boughner - TBI Survivor

Bart Boughner – TBI Survivor

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

Bart Boughner

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

St. Williams, Ontario, Canada

3. When did you have your TBI? At what age?

37

4. How did your TBI occur?

I fell about 5 feet off a step ladder at work, striking my head on the concrete foundation.  It happened ~45 minutes before the end of the day…the day before my daughter’s 8th birthday.

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

The seriousness of my fall was realized about a half hour later. My leg couldn’t hold me, and I had blood coming from my ear and cuts on my wrist.

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

I was in the local hospital for about five hours. They didn’t ship me earlier to a trauma center because they didn’t think I would make the trip. They took a wait-and-see approach, since the bleeds didn’t change too much. I was in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) for 1 week, and then I was in the Step Down Unit for another week. I was then moved back to my local hospital for 3 more weeks.

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

No

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 had outpatient rehab for 1 year for physical, occupational, and speech therapies, then again 2 years after I was hospitalized.

How long were you in rehab?

Just over 1 year

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

Well now, I have an issue with short-term memory;  I severed my olfactory nerve, affecting my senses of smell and taste; I experience exhaustion; I have a problem with sleep; and I have no tolerance.

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

For 11 1\2 years, my life was worse to the point that I gave up. I went into a hole and rarely went out. My marriage went down hill fast, since we couldn’t communicate. My marriage ended September 16, 2013. I lost so many friends and family, some from my own choice. I found it hard to trust.

11. What do you miss the most from your pre-TBI life?

My energy and my love of life

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

Now I have my own independence. My kids chose to live with me. I’m letting go of the past and now living now.

13. What do you like least about your TBI?

Overwhelming situations, severe headaches, lack of patience

14. Has anything helped you to accept your TBI?

The first neuro doctor told me straight out I would be different. Also my new independence is helping me accept my TBI.

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

My injury destroyed everything, but eventually my kids had the chance to know me for myself without people telling them things. It’s the best thing that happened.

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

Yes, I became reclusive and couldn’t tolerate too many people at once. Now I’m better.

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

I am my own caregiver. Yes, I do understand about caregivers.

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

I’m building on my bucket list. I plan to continue enjoying life and laughing with my kids. Soon I will be 50. What I’ll be doing in 10 years is hard to say. I live life day-to-day.

19. 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 TBI survivors with your specific kind of TBI.

Speak for yourself, instead of letting others do it for you. Realize that the past is the past. Nothing can bring it back. Learn to laugh again and not to be so frustrated when you can’t accomplish things. Find support groups (e.g., Facebook) early.

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

Be strong. Keep your voice, and let it be known. Never dwell on things – they can put you in a deep, dark place with only a small window of light. Believe in yourself. If friends treat you differently, tell them. If they cannot adjust, then let them go on your terms. LIVE, LOVE, AND LAUGH!!!!!!!!

Bart Boughner - TBI Survivor with his children

Bart Boughner – TBI Survivor with his children

 

Thank you, Bart, for taking part in this interview. I hope that your experience will offer some hope, comfort, and inspiration to my readers.

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

(Photos compliments of Bart.)

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.

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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.

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