TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Posts tagged ‘Hemorrhagic Stroke’

Survivors SPEAK OUT! Karina Seda

Survivors SPEAK OUT!     Karina Seda

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

03 Karina Seda

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

Karina Seda

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

I live in Orlando, Florida, USA.     Email: livingwithoutlimitswithkarina@gmail.com

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

My brain injury was in 2008 when I was 15 years old.

4. How did your brain injury occur?

After surgery, my intracranial pressure rose and caused a hemorrhagic stroke. (An artery popped.)

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

Regarding the stroke, everything happened in the hospital, so the nurses were the ones who identified it. But if we go a few years back, my journey began when I was 12 years old and was diagnosed with an aneurysm.

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

I was rushed back to the operating room, and they used the defibrillator twice to bring me back. They also opened my cranium again to stop the bleeding. R

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

Yes. I was in a coma for two weeks.

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)? How long were you in rehab?

I took in-patient rehab for one month and out-patient rehab (occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and health guidance) for around four years – until my insurance reached its limits.

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

I had lost all movements of the left side of my body, including speech, and my eyes were stuck facing a single direction.

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

Everything changed, including career, eating habits, social activities, and desires. However, everything changed for the better: I am living with a purpose, married with my soul mate, and helping others to be the best version of themselves.

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

I miss my social life and my friends.

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

I enjoy being able to see life at a young age with a completely different point of view. I like living with gratitude, admiration, compassion, and wisdom.

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

I don’t like the headaches.144-1447424_migraine-cartoon

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

I realized that everything happened with a purpose.

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

I’ve been affected by seeing how my situation changed the people around me and by how they treated me.

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

24 Karina SedaYes. In the past, if anyone called up to do something or to go somewhere, I could easily say “Yes.” It was hard to adjust to a life where I could not. Also, I try to do everything myself, but it is a bit hard whenever people try to help when I really don’t need it.

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

At the beginning, my mother was my caregiver. But now, I am my own caregiver. Yes, it takes a lot of passion, patience, and dedication to help some who, at the time, cannot help themselves.

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

I hope to keep living in the best version of myself and to be living my purpose. And I expect to keep working on my recovery. I also want to be helping others in a transformational way so they also can do the same.

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 survivors with your specific kind of brain injury.

It was very frustrating to be living in suffering for a long period of time by myself. Having the right support, accountability, and system can be a tremendous help in working towards recovery.

15 Karina Seda Banner Living Without Limits20. What advice would you offer to other brain-injury survivors? Do you have any other comments that you would like to add?

Never give up! It is never too late to reintegrate into life in a healthy way and work towards recovery.

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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.

Jessica…Made it to about ten houses Trick or Treating with my kiddos before it became too much for me. BUT I am CELEBRATING because I only went to a few last year, and I don’t even really remember it! I post this for those mourning the loss of the “old you.” It gets better. No, I’m not able to do what I used to do, but I have learned/am learning to appreciate the little victories in life, and I am counting my blessings. I have a great husband, who took over for me, and I got 30 minutes of “alone time” before my kids returned. (Isn’t that what most moms want – “alone time”? LOL.)

Bernadette McSorley Futch…After having a hemorrhagic stroke at 11, I got a job when I was 16. Basically I lived my life as though nothing happened. Now that I have had three additional surgeries to control seizures, I decided I have to slow down and focus on keeping my terminally ill husband comfortable. When he does pass, I would like to call the Board and tell them why I let my Massage Therapist license lapse. I plan to try to get back to doing massage. Being able to laugh at yourself helps, and there is always Faith.

YOU did it!

Congratulations to all contributors!

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

Survivors SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . Cheri R. Hicks

Hicks, Cheri Aftrer TBI 050914

Survivors SPEAK OUT! – Cheri R. Hicks

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 

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

Cheri H.

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

Jackson, MS, USA

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

February 28, 2014     Age 37

4. How did your TBI occur?

Hemorrhagic stroke as a result of elevated blood pressure from postpartum eclampsia (10 days postpartum)

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

While at home, I felt what seemed like a bomb was going off in my head, and my neck became very stiff. The pain radiated down my spine. I was disoriented and unable to put words together. While being treated for suspected eclampsia at the hospital (I had recently delivered our second child), my nurse noticed one-sided weakness when she asked me to smile.

6. What kind of emergency treatment, if any, did you have?
(e.g., surgery,

tracheotomy, G-peg)

There were two ambulance rides. (The first facility thought it was an aneurysm, and they were not equipped to repair it.) I had multiple CT scans, a decompressive craniectomy, post-op ventilation, and nasogastric feedings.

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

No

8. Did you do rehab? What kind of rehab (i.e., In-patient or Out-patient and Occupational, Physical, Speech, Other)?
How long were you in rehab?

I did 30 days of In-patient therapy [physical (PT), occupational (OT), and speech (ST)]. I am currently doing Out-patient rehab three times a week (3 hours a session for PT, OT, and ST).

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

Left neglect, balance issues, blurred vision

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

I can’t do what I want when I want. But, I guess my life is better. I don’t really know why though. I guess it’s better because I realize how short and precious life is. Also, through this whole process, I’ve made some really good friends and met some really great people whom I would have never met otherwise.

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

I miss picking my son up from school, being independent, and being able to drive.

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

I love challenging myself and seeing how strong I really am.

13. What do you like least about your TBI?

There are so many things. I especially dislike having to rely on others to do things for me and waiting for the things I once took for granted to come back.

14. Has anything helped you to accept your TBI?

I don’t know. My TBI does not define who I am. I will become the whole person I was before and settle for nothing less.

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

Yes. I can’t be the stay-at-home mom I once was and care for my own children.

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

Yes, but I also had our second child (two under 2) ten days before my TBI.

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

My husband is my main caregiver. I only know physically what it takes to be a caregiver.

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

I intend to have a full recovery and become the same person I was before my TBI. I hope to travel to interesting places with my family.

19. What advice would you offer to other TBI survivors

Find a way to keep a positive attitude, and give 100% of yourself to your therapy. Also, find someone to talk with about how you’re feeling, and never give up!

20. Do you have any other comments that you would like to add?

There will be bad days, but each new day will also bring new advances and victories. Time is both a healer Hicks, Cheri Before Tbi 050914and your enemy. You need it to heal, but you can’t wait for the long days to pass until you are better. You will be a stronger person because of your experience, and nothing will ever scare you again.

 

Thank you, Cheri, 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 Cheri.)

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.

Survivors SPEAK OUT! Joyce Hoffman

Joyce Hoffman – Before her TBI

SPEAK OUT! – Joyce Hoffman

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 

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

Joyce Hoffman

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

New Jersey, USA

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

April 8, 2009

4. How did your TBI occur?

Hemorrhagic stroke, i.e., a blood vessel erupted

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

I started to convulse at 4 am. My partner saw it, and he called 911.

6. What kind of emergency treatment, if any, did you have?
(e.g., surgery, tracheotomy, G-peg)

Tracheotomy

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

Yes. 8 days

8. Did you do rehab? What kind of rehab (i.e., In-patient or Out-patient and Occupational, Physical, Speech, Other)?
How long were you in rehab?

In-patient rehab for 15 weeks, and then Out-patient rehab 2 or 3 times a year

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

Right-sided weakness. Paralyzed arm. I use a quad cane for walking.

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

Better—I wrote my 2nd book, “The Tales of a Stroke Patient,” with one hand, all 265 pages, within 2 years.

Worse—I miss my career as a senior technical trainer and writer for legal applications, and I go slowly now – one step at a time.

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

Total independence

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

Reading and computing

Getting together with friends and family

13. What do you like least about your TBI?

My speaking slowly when I want to talk faster

14. Has anything helped you to accept your TBI?

Time heals all, but I’m not completely there yet.

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

My partner had to take over, whereas I did most everything domestic before.

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

A few friends remain. Most of them headed “for the hills.”

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

Cece is my main caregiver. She understands my dilemmas.

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

Doing the same thing I am now—plus more time for lectures

19. What advice would you offer to other TBI survivors

Patience

20. Do you have any other comments that you would like to add?

I am starting to NOT resent people who have the ability to go the beach or to run fast. I used to be a runner. My book tells it all. Click the link to buy it

The Tales of a Stroke Patient (from the publisher)

The Tales of a Stroke Patient (from Amazon)

The Tales of a Stroke Patient (Barnes & Noble)

 

Joyce Hoffman - After her TBI

Joyce Hoffman – After her TBI

Thank you, Joyce, 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.)

 

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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