TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Posts tagged ‘Jeannette Davidson-Mayer’

On The Air: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brain Injury Radio “Another Fork in the Road” Daily Living & Organizational Skills

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

with

Panelists: Survivor, Lisa Dryer and Caregiver, Jeannette Davidson-Mayer

Topic: Daily Living & Organizational Skills

presented

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

images-1Living day by day with a brain injury can be an utmost challenge. Juggling fatigue, memory loss, or dealing with concentration issues, to name just a few, can be extremely overwhelming. So how does one overcome these problems while trying to get through the day? These are some of the topics that Lisa Dryer, Jeannette Davidson-Mayer, and I discussed. Some really good ideas came out of the discussion. Tips that be easily utilized to help folks make their lives a bit more simple and controlled. I hope you will listen to the show to find out.

Dryer, Lisa SurvivorPanelist and survivor, Lisa Dryer, talked about having structure in her life, which helps her to stay more organized. Structure adds a balance that helps to make things more predictable. A predictable life is easier to maneuver through.

03 Jeannette Davidson-Mayer 110115Panelist and caregiver, Jeannette Davidson-Mayer, elaborated on her “Central Command Center,” which is located in her kitchen. She said this method worked best for her husband, DeWayne, who received five brain injuries while serving in Iraq. Post-It notes and whiteboards help to keep Jeannette’s family more organized.

If you missed this show, “Daily Living & Organizational Skills” on “Another Fork in the Road” with Lisa Dryer and caregiver, Jeannette Davidson-Mayer on November 1, 2015 don’t fret. You can listen to the archived show here. Click the link below.

See you “On the Air!”

On The Air: Brain Injury Radio “Another Fork in the Road” with panelists: survivor, Lisa Dryer and caregiver, Jeannette Davidson-Mayer on “Daily Living & Organizational Skills”

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

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Caregivers SPEAK OUT! . . . . . Jeannette Davidson-Mayer

Caregivers SPEAK OUT! – Jeannette Davidson-Mayer

presented

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

jeannette davidson-Mayer 0417151. What is your name? (last name optional)

Jeannette Davidson-Mayer

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

New Plymouth, Idaho, USA     2004djmjdm@gmail.com

3. What is the brain-injury survivor’s relationship to you? How old was the survivor when he/she had the brain injury? What caused your survivor’s brain injury?

My husband, DeWayne, has a traumatic brain injury (TBI). He was 38 when it happened. While serving in Iraq, DeWayne survived one Humvee rollover, two close-range IEDs (improvised explosive devices), one helicopter explosion (They were guarding a downed helicopter when the remains were blown-up for disposal), and lastly an IED that went off right under the command seat, where DeWayne was sitting. All this happened in 2005 between May 23rd and October 3rd.

4. On what date did you begin care for your brain-injury survivor?

At the end of October 2004, DeWayne was flown to Madigan Air Force Base in Washington State on the advance plane from Iraq. I made a few trips there to see him. He was allowed occasional trips home. By February 2006, DeWayne was home for good. We didn’t know DeWayne had a TBI until mid-2007. We just knew something wasn’t connecting right in his daily mental functions.

Were you the main caregiver?

Yes. Our daughter as well has learned to be a caregiver over the years.486770_10200560183360321_1086965832_n

Are you now?

Yes

How old were you when you began care?

33

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

No

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

Yes, I was employed. My employer helped above the call of duty. In mid-October 2014, I did have to quit working because DeWayne’s medical needs had increased. Also, I had gone to one of our smaller companies, which is a 10-minute drive vs. a 5-minute walk. DeWayne couldn’t comprehend this change, which created hardships for our daughter and for DeWayne and me as a couple.

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

I couldn’t make it without the love and support of our family, friends, and church family. Help is from driving DeWayne to assisting with happenings at home. Most of all, help is providing an ear to listen.

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

My quality of care has grown over the years. It took a while because I didn’t know how to ask for help. I was embarrassed to ask, and I didn’t understand how to ask either. I felt that if I couldn’t do it myself, I was failing my family.

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

No, but DeWayne was knocked out several times.

10. Did your survivor have rehab?

Yes

If so, what kind of rehab (i.e., inpatient and/or outpatient and occupational, physical, speech, and/or other)?

DeWayne had occupational, physical, speech, and recreational therapies as an outpatient. He also had behavioral health therapy.

How long was the rehab?

Rehab started out three days a week, eight hours a day, for three months at Idaho Elks Rehab. DeWayne was then moved to the Boise VA (Veterans Administration) facility, where he went several days a week. DeWayne still has recreational therapy, physical therapy, and occasionally occupational therapy. And, monthly behavioral health therapy.

Where were you when your survivor was getting therapy?

Idaho Elk’s Rehab, Boise VA Medical Center, Tri-Cities Physical Therapy, St. Luke’s Spinal Care

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

DeWayne has many difficulties. He has fixations. He’s easily lost, confused, and disoriented. He tires easily. His short-term memory is a problem. DeWayne doesn’t always understand what is happening around him or what is being said to him. Also we don’t always understand what he is trying to say to us. He suffers from migraines/headaches. He has silent seizures, bi-lateral hearing loss, tremors, and sensitivity to light.

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

I can’t really say if life is better or worse because of the TBI. We are both different from the deployment alone. I am the lucky wife because he came home alive, which is a celebration in itself.

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

There is a lot I miss (for example, long hiking trips and long conversations). But, the trade-off is worth it.

14. What do you enjoy most in post-brain-injury life?Jeannette Davidson-Mayer & DeWayne

We have learned to depend on each other completely – as spouses and as a family. We tend to stand up for what we believe in. We hold on tighter. We often show each other how important we are. We travel off-season, which is nice because the crowds are less. Nicer indeed!

15. What do you like least about brain injury?

We never know what to expect from day to day, yet it is also a positive, for we never have a dull moment.

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

Through many trials and errors, we have finally discovered our saving grace. Our kitchen has become our “Central Command Post.” Our lives center around our kitchen. We were able to set up an atmosphere that can adapt to DeWayne’s ever-changing daily new normal. Post-it Notes and whiteboard markers saved our family.

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

Of course, DeWayne’s TBI has affected home life, relationships, and so on. We have lost.

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

Our social life has been cut. We don’t go out as much. We avoid crowds, noisy situations, and places that make DeWayne uncomfortable. I also have become uneasy about the same things that make DeWayne uneasy.

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

Our plans for the future are to continue to live in joy and love together, to share our lives with our children as they continue to grow, to travel the world in an RV, and to reach out to others to show them that they have the inner strength needed to move forward. (How they move forward is unique to each family.)

20. What advice would you offer other caregivers of brain-injury survivors?

Never give up. Give in from time to time. Let it out – cry or scream. Then look back on what is happening to find ways to make adjustments or to find solutions to the challenges. Know that you are not alone. You yourself, along with your family, have so much to offer.

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

Military families are not alone in living with TBIs and/or PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and in being caregivers. We didn’t sign up for this life, but we have it. Now let’s figure out how to keep moving forward, so we can reach higher, dream bigger, and hold on tighter.

To learn more about Jeannette Davidson-Mayer, you can listen to her interview with me on “Another Fork in the Road” on blogtalkradio.com or at R4 Alliance.

 

Jeannette Davidson-MayerThank you, Jeannette, for taking part in this interview. I hope that your experience will offer some hope, comfort, and inspiration to my readers.

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

(Photo compliments of Jeannette.)

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

As I say after each post: 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.

On the Air: Brain Injury Radio “Another Fork in the Road” with Jeannette Davidson-Mayer, Caregiver – Military Spouse

On the Air: Brain Injury Radio

“Another Fork in the Road”

with Jeannette Davidson-Mayer, Caregiver – Military Spouse

presented by Donna O’Donnell Figurski

images-1

When Jeannette Davidson-Mayer’s husband, DeWayne, had five brain injuries – the result of his active duty in Iraq – Jeannette became his caregiver. To combat this 24-hour job, Jeannette redesigned her kitchen to become the family’s “Central Command Post.”  Jeannette will discuss how she, DeWayne, and their daughter make11023816_10204963754366844_8119135603280691384_n this system work for them.

If you missed her interview on “Another Fork in the Road” on April 19th, you are in luck. You can listen to the archived show here.

Click the link below to listen to Jeannette Davidson-Mayer and me.

See you “On the Air!”

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

with Jeannette Davidson-Mayer, Caregiver – Military Spouse

Click here for a list of all “Another Fork in the Road” shows on the Brain Injury Radio Network.

“Another Fork in the Road” . . . Brain Injury Radio Network . . . Interview: Jeannette Davidson-Mayer

putthis_on_calendar_clip_artYOU Are Invited!

When Jeannette Davidson-Mayer’s husband, DeWayne, had five brain injuries – the result of his active duty in Iraq – Jeannette became his caregiver. To combat this 24-hour job, Jeannette redesigned her kitchen to become the family’s ?Central Command Post.” Jeannette will discuss how she, DeWayne, and their daughter make this system work for them.

Come One! Come ALL!

What:        Interview with Jeannette Davidson-Mayer, caregiver to spouse, DeWayne Mayer

Why:        Jeannette will talk about how she and DeWayne and their daughter live on the TBI Trail.

Where:     Brain Injury Radio Network

When:       Sunday, April  19th, 2015

Time:         5:00p PT (6:00p MT, 7:00p CT, and 8:00p ET) 90 minute showjeannette davidson-Mayer 041715

How:         Click: Brain Injury Radio Network

Call In:    424-243-9540

Call In:     855-473-3711 toll free in USA

Call In:    202-559-7907 free outside USA

or SKYPE

If you miss the show, but would like to still hear the interview, you can access the archive on On Demand listening. The archived show will be available after the show both on the Brain Injury Radio Network site and on my blog in “On the Air.”

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photo compliments of Jeannette Davidson-Mayer.)

On the Air: Brain Injury Radio Another Fork in the Road . . . . . . Bob Calvert, Jeannette Davidson-Mayer, and Juliet Madsen

On the Air: Brain Injury Radio

Another Fork in the Road

Helping Veterans & Troops Return From War

with

Bob Calvert, Jeannette Davidson-Mayer, and Juliet Madsen

images-1Meet my guests.

Bob Calvert, host of “Talking With Heroes” on Blogtalk Radio, will be my guest this evening. Bob has made numerous trips to Iraq and Afghanistan, where he talks with and brings hope to the troops serving in our military. As some of you know, TBI (traumatic brain injury) is the signature injury of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Bob Calvert - Host of

Bob Calvert –
Host of “Talking with Heroes”

It is estimated that there are more than 11,000 troops who are affected with brain injury because of explosions from IEDs (improvised explosive devices), and many more troops experience concussions from the blasts. Often troops exhibit no obvious effects of brain injury until much later. So what happens to those troops while in the field? How can a commanding officer identify a troop who has a concussion? What happens to troops when they come home with these injuries? Those are a bunch of questions that I have. Bob and I will talk about how his show helps troops in the field and at home. We’ll also discuss the kinds of problems troops face when they return. Jeannette Davidson-Mayer, caregiver of her husband, a returned troop, and retired troop and brain injury survivor, Juliet Madsen will be joining Bob and me.

Jeannette Davidson-Mayer

Jeannette Davidson-Mayer Caregiver

Wife, mother, and caregiver, Jeannette Davidson-Mayer’s life took a new turn when her husband, DeWayne had his 5th accident in the service of the US Military. When in 2006, DeWayne was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, post traumatic stress disorder, spinal injuries, as well as other medical problems, Jeannette stood up to help him. She became his advocate. Jeannette believes that both love and humor are vital to strengthening family relationships. I agree with her.

Juliet Madsen copy

Juliet Madsen TBI Survivor & USA Veteran

Juliet Madsen was a member of the United States Army for more than 17 years before she was retired from the Army due to medical conditions. Juliet is not only actively involved in her own recovery, but she is an advocate for other veterans. Juliet strongly believes in helping brain-injured troops and their families have a better quality of life and she tries to make a difference in the lives of those who were injured in the line of duty while serving our country.

Jeannette and Juliet both hold positions on the Board of Directors for R4Alliance. R4Alliance is an organization whose goal is to support military families through therapeutic and recreational activities. I love that concept. As a teacher of young children I believe that learning through play is key to success. So why wouldn’t fun through therapeutic and recreational activities also be a good way to approach healing with brain injury survivors? Sounds good to me.

Thank you, Bob, Jeannette, and Juliet, for sharing such wonderful information about what you each do to help veterans, troops, and their families cope with returning home from the wars with me and my listeners on “Another Fork in the Road” on the Brain Injury Radio Network.

Click the link below to listen to Bob, Jeannette, Juliet, and me.

See you “On the Air!”

Helping Veterans & Troops Return From War

Click here for a list of all “Another Fork in the Road” shows on the Brain Injury Radio Network.

“Another Fork in the Road” . . . Brain Injury Radio Network . . . Bob Calvert, Host of “Talking with Heroes”

YOU ARE INVITED!

putthis_on_calendar_clip_artDid you know that there are more than 11,000 troops who are affected with brain injury because of explosions from IEDs (improvised explosive devices), and many more troops experience concussions from blasts? We NEED to know more about brain injury and how we can avoid it.

Bob Calvert of “Talking With Heroes,” TBI caregiver, Jeannette Davidson-Mayer, and TBI survivor, Juliet Madsen join me on “Another Fork in the Road” to discuss the plight of brain-injured troops returning home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

                                   Come One! Come ALL!

What:        Interview with Bob Calvert of “Talking With Heroes,” with TBI caregiver, Jeannette Davidson-Mayer, and TBI survivor, Juliet Madsen (Jeannette and Juliet of r4alliance)

Why:        Bob, Jeannette, Juliet, and I will discuss the difficulties troops face as they return home with brain injuries.

Where:     Brain Injury Radio Network

When:       Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Time:         5:00p PT (6:00p MT, 7:00p CT, and 8:00p ET) 90 minute show

How:         Click: Brain Injury Radio Network

Call In:    424-243-9540

Call In:     855-473-3711 toll free in USA

Call In:    202-559-7907 free outside US

or SKYPE

If you miss the show, but would like to still hear the interview, you can access the archive on On Demand listening. The archived show will be available after the show both on the Brain Injury Radio Network site and on my blog in “On the Air.”

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photo compliments of Bob Calvert.)

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