TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Posts tagged ‘Faces of Brain Injury’

SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faces of Brain Injury . . . . . Jen Swartz

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury – Jen Swartz

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 Brain Injury is NOT Discriminating!

bigstock-cartoon-face-vector-people-25671746-e1348136261718It can happen to anyone, anytime, . . . and anywhere.

The Brain Trauma Foundation states that there are 5.3 million people in the United States living with some form of brain injury.

On “Faces of Brain Injury,” you will meet survivors living with brain injury. I hope that their stories will help you to understand the serious implications and complications of brain injury.

The stories on SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury are published with the permission of the survivor or designated caregiver.

If you would like your story to be published, please send a short account and two photos to me at neelyf@aol.com. I’d love to publish your story and raise awareness for Brain Injury.

Jen Swartz (survivor)

Jen Swartz Survivor

Jen Swartz

One incredible fact that I have learned after sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is that really simple things in life bring me happiness. I

Jen Swartz 2

Jen Swartz

don’t require spending tons of money on a house, on a car, or on an extraordinarily expensive vacation to find happiness. Being with my awesome friends or my family or enjoying the smaller things in life really brings so much joy to my heart. Because I survived something that could have easily taken my life, I know I still have purpose. As do all of you!

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributor.)

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

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SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faces of Brain Injury . . . . . . . Jessica Taylor

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury – Jessica Taylor

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 Brain Injury is NOT Discriminating!

bigstock-cartoon-face-vector-people-25671746-e1348136261718

It can happen to anyone, anytime, . . . and anywhere.

The Brain Trauma Foundation states that there are 5.3 million people in the United States living with some form of brain injury.

On “Faces of Brain Injury,” you will meet survivors living with brain injury. I hope that their stories will help you to understand the serious implications and complications of brain injury.

The stories on SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury are published with the permission of the survivor or designated caregiver.

If you would like your story to be published, please send a short account and two photos to me at neelyf@aol.com. I’d love to publish your story and raise awareness for Brain Injury.

Jessica Taylor (survivor)

One day in 1969, I was out on business for my Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio in Toronto, Canada, and I fell headfirst down an unlit flight of stairs. My head hit against a steel-plated door at the bottom. It caused me to become severely concussed, and I was put into a semi-comatose state. I also had a hemorrhage behind my right 581530_373670692710673_622315000_neye and a contusion of my back. My life hung on a thread. Later when I woke up, I did not recognize my husband or my two very young daughters. My personality change distanced me from everyone I previously knew.

Determined to survive, however, I activated my neurons by writing down sentences, as well as short poems, and memorizing them. I also made a journal of everyday events, as my recent recall was totally shot. I began to study various subjects by going to a research room at a library. The subjects Science and The Supernatural fascinated me, so I studied the works of many writers. I read writings of the Greek writers Plato and Aristotle. I also read Galileo, Einstein, and many others. Subsequently, I found myself to be on a different vibration. I now believe that intensive study activates the dormant neurons of brain-injured survivors so that these neurons then take over for the dead or injured ones. The studying, however, may need to be of a long duration for some survivors.

I have since written my life-story, which is entitled “From Tragedy to Triumph: Journey Back From the Edge.” 456164_373685366042539_2053049192_o(The information is on my website.) I have given talks at brain-injury conferences and at social gatherings in Ireland, UK, Canada, and the US. Also, I have been on many radio shows. Recently, I completed a manuscript based on my years of research. I have been told by many readers that, when it is published, the manuscript will go to universities as a teaching book about the science of religion and the supernatural.

I would like brain-injured survivors to know of my achievements, so that they can have hope and encouragement and think positive. It was, after all, positive thinking that got me to where I am today.

Jessica E. Taylor, author and activist

To learn more about Jessica Taylor, click the following links.

Jessica Taylor Website

Jessica Taylor Facebook

Jessica Taylor Twitter

Jessica Taylor LinkedIn

Jessica’s interview with George Lewis on his show, “Spiritual But Not Religious Show

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributor.)

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

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SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faces of Brain Injury . . . Alexis Turcotte

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury – Alexis Turcotte

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 Brain Injury is NOT Discriminating!

bigstock-cartoon-face-vector-people-25671746-e1348136261718

It can happen to anyone, anytime, . . . and anywhere.

The Brain Trauma Foundation states that there are 5.3 million people in the United States living with some form of brain injury.

On “Faces of Brain Injury,” you will meet survivors living with brain injury. I hope that their stories will help you to understand the serious implications and complications of brain injury.

The stories on SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury are published with the permission of the survivor or designated caregiver.

If you would like your story to be published, please send a short account and two photos to me at neelyf@aol.com. I’d love to publish your story and raise awareness for Brain Injury.

0092415 Alexis Turcotte Survivor 1Alexis Turcotte (survivor)

So many people ask me how I can be so positive after all that I’ve been through. Well, the answer is that I’m not going to dwell on the crash. I don’t say, “I almost died, so I’m going to sit here and be worthless.” Instead, I’m going to show that I’m better than all the labels I’ve been given. So many people have said, “Oh well, since your hospital papers say … then you can’t do ….” My response has always been, “Can I please prove you wrong before you say I can’t do it?” I make an effort to change the negative to a positive. Why? Because there’s so much to be positive about – so much to be grateful for.

092415 Alexis Turcotte Survivor 2
For crying out loud, I was given a second chance to live! The crash happened two days after my birthday. (One photo is from my birthday. I’m uninjured. The other is of me in the hospital in a coma.) I was in the passenger seat of the vehicle. The firefighters had to cut the door off to get to me, since I was unconscious at the scene. My skull was fractured in two places; my left foot was shattered; my left leg was broken in half (the bone was sticking out); and my nose, jaw, left shoulder, and pelvis were broken. The firefighters were told that I wouldn’t make it. The crash happened September 20, 2014. I awakened from the coma in late October, and I left the hospital on December 4.
I was told by doctors not to return to school, but I wanted to go back. I did return on January 5. I continued my courses, including my college-prep course and my two AP (advanced placement) courses. I earned As in all but one of my courses. I was also told that I wouldn’t graduate on time, but I pushed myself to do so with hours of online schooling to make up for the semester of school I missed. I wanted to show that, just because I have a label, I’m not a nothing.
I am good now. I’m still in pain due to the screws restricting my foot, but soon my doctor will remove them. Then I should be able to work out and run again. I also want to return to my team in girls’ flag football. (My coach will only allow me to play if I get written consent from my doctor and a parent. My doctor said I should be OK to play in six months.)

11734112_1057605137584263_505801146_oMy story shows that miracles do happen.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributor.)

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

SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faces of Brain Injury . . . . . . . . . . . Tony Hernandez-Frazione

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury – Tony Hernandez-Frazione

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 Brain Injury is NOT Discriminating!

bigstock-cartoon-face-vector-people-25671746-e1348136261718

It can happen to anyone, anytime, . . . and anywhere.

The Brain Trauma Foundation states that there are 5.3 million people in the United States living with some form of brain injury.

On “Faces of Brain Injury,” you will meet survivors living with brain injury. I hope that their stories will help you to understand the serious implications and complications of brain injury.

The stories on SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury are published with the permission of the survivor or designated caregiver.

If you would like your story to be published, please send a short account and two photos to me at neelyf@aol.com. I’d love to publish your story and raise awareness for Brain Injury.

Hernandez,-Frazione, Tony Survivor 070715Tony Hernandez-Frazione (survivor)

This is my six-month anniversary. Here’s a bit of my story. Six months ago, I started a new job. It was my first day – I put a starter on a Ford F350 to show the bossman I knew what I was doing. I finished up and left the house where I was at, made a right onto Beach Blvd. to get to South Side Blvd. It was an ordinary day like any other. Right before I got to South Side, a school bus pulled out right in front of me and changed my life and others’ lives forever. I collided with that bus, and a bigger part of me was killed in the process. Life as I knew it was changed forever. I know some of you don’t care and won’t read all this, but my message is this: Count every day and moment like it’s your last. Hernandez,-Fragione, Tony Survivor 070715Hug and kiss your children and loved ones every day, even if you’re upset at each other, because it could be your last. I thank God every day that I see my daughter, and I breathe again. I thank God too for the few true friends that were there and still are, when so many have left because of the “new” me. But, I don’t look at “me” any differently.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributor.)

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

About Me and My Blog!

SPEAK OUT! for Brain Injury 

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Writer, Blogger, Radio Host, Speaker

1 Donna Featured PhotoWRITER

My completed memoir, “Prisoners Without Bars: A Caregiver’s Story,” starts the minute my husband, David, had his brain injury. He was exercising. He did one more chin-up than his normal twelve. That dreaded thirteenth changed our lives forever. The story carries the reader through three unwanted brain surgeries – none of which David was expected to survive and which reduced him to an infantile state. “Prisoners Without Bars: A Caregiver’s Story” portrays David’s first eighteen months of struggles through recovery, therapy, and rehabilitation, while heralding his strength and persistence. I have included an epilogue to bring the reader up to date on David’s recovery and David added his flair to the story and his personal touch by writing the afterword. “Prisoners Without Bars: A Caregiver’s Story,” documents my dedication to helping David recover and details how we picked up the pieces and glued our lives back together. The story will make you laugh. No – brain injury is not funny, but life without humor during recovery from brain injury would be unbearable. It will also make you cry. No doubt! But, mostly it will offer hope to brain-injured survivors, their caregivers, and their family and friends. “Prisoners Without Bars: A Caregiver’s Story” is my completed memoir currently searching for an agent

I have four stories published for children in three books with Scholastic in their Education Department. Also, three biographies about notable Native Americans are scheduled for publication in two anthologies in early 2016.

BLOGGER2 Donna Collage

My blog, Surviving Traumatic Brain Injury, was the brainchild born from my realizing how many people are living with brain injury. At least 5.3 million people, just in the United States alone, are affected by brain injury. That is an astounding number! After being a part of this huge community for almost ten years, I knew I had to raise my voice, and I realized I could use my writing skills to reach a large audience.  Social media was not yet a part of folks’ lives when David had his brain injury, so we invented our own wheel. But now, with so many social media sites where brain-injury survivors, their caregivers, and their family and friends can search for information, I felt it was senseless for them to invent their own wheels. I wanted to help. The blog began with the Survivors SPEAK OUT! interviews, which gave survivors a voice, using my blog as their stage. That venue became hugely successful, and soon the Caregivers SPEAK OUT! interviews evolved. Soon after, many more categories followed as I saw a demand for them. The categories are listed below with a brief description.

BLOG CATEGORY DESCRIPTIONS3 Donna Collage

Brain Injury Resources

The Brain Injury Resources category houses various informational topics, including books, movies, documentaries, facts, and research about brain injury.

Caregivers SPEAK OUT! Interviews

Read interviews from caregivers of brain-injured survivors. If you are a caregiver, this is where you can tell your side of the story. Look for the Caregivers SPEAK OUT! Questionnaire below.

 Caregivers SPEAK OUT! Questionnaire

This is the Caregiver Questionnaire. It’s easy – just fill out the 20-question template. (All the directions are on the page.)4 Donna Collage

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury

Meet brain-injured survivors and their caregivers on “Faces of Brain Injury.” Their candid and heart-wrenching stories will help readers understand the serious implications and complications of living with brain injury.

 If you’d like to share your story on “Faces of Brain Injury,” please send it to me at neelyf@aol.com. I’d be happy to consider it. (Please put “Faces of Brain Injury” in the subject line.)

 SPEAK OUT! Guest Bloggers

Everyone has a story. In this section, Guest Bloggers can SPEAK OUT! about topics relevant to brain injury and special to them.

 If you have a Guest Blog you’d like to share, please contact me at neelyf@aol.com. I’d be happy to consider it. (Please put Guest Blogger in the subject line.)

SPEAK OUT! Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

When you are living with a brain injury, no accomplishment is too small. ibGs provides a platform for brain-injury survivors and their caregivers to shout out their BIGGEST (or smallest) recent accomplishment. Share yours now!

Send it to me at neelyf@aol.com. I’d be happy to consider it. (Please put Itty-Bitty GIANT Step in the subject line.)

My Book: “Prisoners Without Bars: A Caregiver’s Story”

You can read about my book under “Writer” above.

SPEAK OUT! NewsBits

NewsBits is the place to go to find out the latest in the news about brain injury. 5 Donna Collage(Well, it was the “latest” when I published it. I’m sure it’s still interesting, though.)

On The Air: Brain Injury Radio “Another Fork in the Road” 

My radio show, “Another Fork in the Road,” airs the first and third Sundays of each month at 5:30pm Pacific Time. The show features brain-injury survivors and/or their caregivers. It also delves into the problems and issues that survivors and caregivers live with each day. Professionals, including therapists, are also interviewed on the show. If you can’t tune in to the live show, don’t fret. You can listen to the show anytime. It’s archived. Just find the show you want to hear and click the link. (“On The Air Show Menu” in the sidebar of my blog has a list of all my shows and provides their links.)

On the Air! Show Menu

This is the place to go if you are looking for a great show about brain injury. All of my shows are listed here with a link that will carry you directly to the station to listen. So, sit back, relax, and learn.6 Donna Collage

So, Whaddya Think?

Is there something you are passionate about in this brain-injury world? Do you want to be heard? Your opinion matters! You can SPEAK OUT! on “So, Whaddya Think?

Send your opinion piece to me at neelyf@aol.com. I’d be happy to consider it. (Please put So, Whaddya Think? in the subject line.)

Survivors SPEAK OUT! Interviews

Read interviews from brain-injured survivors from all walks of life. Brain injury is NOT discriminating. If you are a brain-injured survivor, this is where you can tell your side of the story. I’d be happy to consider it. Look for the Questionnaire Template below.

Survivors SPEAK OUT! Questionnaire

This is the Survivor Questionnaire. It’s easy! Just fill out the 20-question template. (All the directions are on the page.)

TBI Tales7 Donna Collage

The stories that are shared here by a variety of survivors and caregivers will make you laugh and cry – sometimes at the same time. They may delight you or they may shock you, but I can guarantee that the stories will offer you courage and hope.

If you have a TBI Tale you’d like to share, please contact me at neelyf@aol.com. I’d be happy to consider it. (Please put TBI Tale in the subject line.)

and Explore More …
You’re just going to have to click to find out. Go ahead! You know you want to.

RADIO HOST

Becoming a radio host had never entered my mind and may be just about the biggest surprise in my life. When I was approached to join the Brain Injury Radio Network on blogtalk radio, I was hesitant. Probably more like…are you kidding me? It took some convincing and a lot of soul-searching before I said, “Yes.”

I wondered what skills I had for this job, and I began to think – always dangerous. I had been a teacher for more than three decades, entertaining my audience of more than four hundred six- to eight-year-olds – teasing them into learning to “read, ‘rite, and do ‘rithmetic.” Believe me, teachers nearly stand on their heads to keep their little “twerpsters” entertained – a must, if you are going to keep their attention.8 Donna Collage

I am also in the theater and periodically climb onto the stage to cavort with other actors in front of hundreds of play-goers, so I thought maybe this radio-host thing might work. After all, if I can speak in front of hundreds of people who are directly in front of me, speaking to thousands of invisible listeners should be a cinch. So, yes, I decided to join the network.

Well, it’s not a cinch, and I still get the butterflies before each show, but as soon as my intro music plays, I am in the zone. My 80-minute show flies by, and when I invite my audience to tune in again in two weeks and the mics shut down, I savor the satisfaction of a job well done.

Since I’ve lived in the brain-injury world for more than ten years as the caregiver for my husband, David, I’ve learned a lot and was eager to share my knowledge with others. I’ve been with the network for more than a year now, and I have hosted more than twenty-seven shows.

You can listen to my radio show, “Another Fork in the Road,” on the Brain Injury Radio Network. My show airs the first and third Sundays of each month at 5:30pm Pacific Time. On my 80-minute show, I interview guests in the brain-injury world, including survivors and/or their caregivers, delving into their lives to better understand how they cope with daily living after brain injury. I invite folks from the medical professions, such as therapists, who are willing to offer suggestions and hope to survivors. I talk with folks in brain-injury communities, such as troops from the combat zones of recent wars and athletes from the battlegrounds of the playing fields. I address many topics pertinent to brain injury with my panel of brain-injury survivors and caregivers.

Tune in! Click on Brain Injury Radio and look for “Upcoming Broadcasts.” (My show will be advertised about two days before the first or third Sunday of each month.)

You can listen to the shows anytime. They’re archived. Just click on On the Air! Show Menu on my blog. See you “On the Air!”

SPEAKER9 Donna Collage

If you’ve read the section above about my being a radio host, you will already understand why I have chosen to become a spokesperson for brain injury. Though brain injury has been around for forever, it seems that it is finally coming to the forefront as our troops arrive home with traumatic brain injury – what the world is calling the “signature” wound of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Recently too, there is a lot of attention to the head traumas that many football players have received, resulting in serious repercussions for them, such as memory loss, unrestrained anger, and even early dementia. Sadly, many players have completely lost hope and have resorted to suicide. Of course, with the baby boomers reaching their “golden” years (and some not so golden), they are finding that many of them and their loved ones are requiring caregivers in their lives simply to manage day-to-day living. And that’s where I come in. With my knowledge and experience of being a caregiver for my husband, David, for more than ten years, I have learned a fair bit and would like to share my knowledge to help others.

Need a speaker? My 90-minute PowerPoint Presentation, “What Caregivers Need to Know,” is for anyone with a brain injury, anyone who is caring for a brain-injured person, or anyone with any interest in learning more about brain injury. For details or to schedule me for your event, please contact me at neelyf@aol.com.

Below is my brochure.

Click on photos to enlarge.

10 Brochure 111 Brochure 2

SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faces of Brain Injury . . . Marc Tima

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury – Marc Tima

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 Brain Injury is NOT Discriminating!

bigstock-cartoon-face-vector-people-25671746-e1348136261718

It can happen to anyone, anytime, . . . and anywhere.

The Brain Trauma Foundation states that there are 5.3 million people in the United States living with some form of brain injury.

On “Faces of Brain Injury,” you will meet survivors living with brain injury. I hope that their stories will help you to understand the serious implications and complications of brain injury.

The stories on SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury are published with the permission of the survivor or designated caregiver.

If you would like your story to be published, please send a short account and two photos to me at neelyf@aol.com. I’d love to publish your story and raise awareness for Brain Injury.

Marc Tima (survivor)

Marc Tima 1 Survivor 090715Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a crazy, life-changing event. When I was fourteen years old, I was in a pretty bad car accident, in which I suffered a TBI. I was life-flighted to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. I was in a coma for about three weeks. My doctors prepared my parents for my remaining in a vegetative state. God, my family, and I had other plans. At one point, the doctor told my parents that if she were a betting woman, she would not bet on my chances. My mother was in tears and began to weep. My father, on the other hand, said, “I’ll take that bet, and my son will prove you wrong.”

I spent three months in the Rehabilitation Institute of Pittsburgh. After my rehab, I was barely able to start my tenth-grade year of high school. Instead of getting As and Bs like I used to, I scraped by with Cs and Ds. During my coma, my entire body atrophied. Instead of being a top football and basketball player, I was made a team manager for football and basketball. I spent much of high school crying because of my shortcomings. But, I cried to myself in my room. I also spent every free second I had working out and getting stronger. By my junior year, I was able to get back on the football team. My coaches were worried about my getting injured again, so they would not let me play in the varsity games. I spent my eleventh-grade football career on the scrub team. During practice, I would outplay all the seniors who were able to play varsity. My grades were still very poor, but my short-term memory was improving little by little. By the time I was a senior, I was a starter for football and a top defensive player in western Pennsylvania. My grades were still poor, but they were improving. I got recruited to play football for Duquesne University. Though my high school grades were poor, they let me into Duquesne Marc Tima 2 Survivor 090715because of my football and some heavy pleading from my mother.

Anyway, the hits in college football were too hard for my head. So, I had to give up football. I stayed at Duquesne, though, and earned my degree. I worked extremely hard in high school to earn Cs and Ds. At Duquesne, I worked just as hard, but now I was getting As and Bs. In fact, when I graduated from Duquesne on the Dean’s List, my parents contacted that doctor who bet against my father on my recovery. He showed her my academic record at Duquesne. And, she took my parents out to dinner as payment for losing the bet she made with my dad.

I now have a Master’s degree in Exercise Science, own an “Anytime Fitness” in Ohio, and am a personal trainer. Several of my clients are TBI survivors, whom I help with their recoveries.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributor.)

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

SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faces of Brain Injury . . . . . . . . . Shanna Wolf Heart Powell

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury – Shanna Wolf Heart Powell

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 Brain Injury is NOT Discriminating!

bigstock-cartoon-face-vector-people-25671746-e1348136261718

It can happen to anyone, anytime, . . . and anywhere.

The Brain Trauma Foundation states that there are 5.3 million people in the United States living with some form of brain injury.

On “Faces of Brain Injury,” you will meet survivors living with brain injury. I hope that their stories will help you to understand the serious implications and complications of brain injury.

The stories on SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury are published with the permission of the survivor or designated caregiver.

If you would like your story to be published, please send a short account and two photos to me at neelyf@aol.com. I’d love to publish your story and raise awareness for Brain Injury.

Shanna Wolf Heart Powell (survivor)

Powell, Shanna Wolf Heart Survivor 062715 3This was me three years ago. I was in this truck when it flipped and rolled at 60 mph. I had a shattered face and a shattered shoulder. And, I spent some time in a coma. This was the final nail – the one that pushed my PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) into full mode and gave me a TBI (traumatic brain injury). I am not the same me. I am the “new” me. God chose me to still be here. I see it too many times – people are in wrecks and they don’t make it. Powell, Shanna Wolf Heart Survivor 062715 2My survival just makes me even more thankful. (I now make a horrible passenger, as every time the driver swerves, a car looks like it’s going to hit us, or it appears that it is not going to stop, I freak out.) I forget things a lot. I loose what I am saying in the middle of a conversation. I get flustered easily. I have many depressed days and cannot do all the things I used to. I panic for people when I see them getting flown by Care Flight (as I was a “passenger” once). All I can do is say, “God, please help them.”

One day, I had taken my boys to a hospital’s Emergency Room for something, and they wheeled a trauma patient past us. Covered in blood, she was badly hurt from an automobile accident. She was screaming, confused, and scared. They were taking her out to put her on Care Flight. I cried for her and panicked. That was one of the first-known PTSD triggers for me. I have no recollection of the wreck that almost killed me. But, I relived a horrible moment in my life through her. I could only imagine what it was like for me.

Those who care enough to read through my story will read this and then go on with life. But, I live this every day. My TBI (though not as bad as some, and for that I say, “Thank you, God”), my PTSD, and my bipolar disorder will never go away. So, I just have to live with them every day. I cannot do a simple task without issues. For example, I may not understand things when I go to places, like the cell phone store. I don’t understand how to put the airtime cards in my new phone. Instead of telling the clerk, “I have a TBI and don’t understand,” I just say, “Oh, OK.” 😦

Almost every day, something triggers my PTSD, and I fight to stay afloat. People say, “Get over it.” 😦 There is no getting over it! It’s not an easy battle, so please do not tell me to “get over it.” I have lost the memory of a lot of things in my life. I may forget things you just told me. I get confused to the point that I just say, “Forget it. If you try to explain any further, I will just get mad because I don’t get it.” And, I have no filter. I tend to say what I think. So, if I say something and it offends you, move along or unfriend me. It’s not personal.

Powell, Shanna Wolf Heart Survivor 062715 1So “Happy Three-Year Survival” to me! This is why I’m getting the “;” tattoo. And, my story is not over.

To those who think I am stupid and annoying, “Please don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.” And, to those who stayed by my side, stayed my friends, or have become my new friends – “Thank you! Love to all!”

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributor.)

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