TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Posts tagged ‘Joshua Puckett’

Caregivers SPEAK OUT! Tatiana Puckett

Caregivers SPEAK OUT! – Tatiana Puckett



Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Puckett, Tatiana Caregiver 1 0713151. What is your name? (last name optional)

Tatiana Puckett

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

Palmdale, California, USA     tatianamdiaz@yahoo.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?

The traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivor is my spouse (Joshua). He was 31. Josh was assaulted late at night outside our apartment building.

4. On what date did you begin care for your brain-injury survivor? Were you the main caregiver? Are you now? How old were you when you began care?

I began care on April 10, 2013, the day Josh left the hospital. I have always been his main caregiver. I was 30.Puckett, Tatiana & Josh 071315

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

I was caring for my two sons, and I was pregnant with the third.

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

I was employed but gradually had to go from full-time to part-time, which got me laid off from that position. My mother-in-law moved in with us, which allowed me to continue working and accept a new job.

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

My mother-in-law takes care of the boys almost around the clock since the date of the injury to now.

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

I began care as soon as Josh got home from the hospital.

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

No. Josh wasn’t in a coma, but he was given a lot of sedatives. Josh is very rebellious and antsy. You can’t tell him to sit still because, even prior to his TBI, he wouldn’t. Josh constantly tried to flee the hospital and the rehab center. I even had to go to the hospital one night in the middle of the night to convince him to stay. I drove between home and the hospital a lot, especially since the hospital didn’t allow children under 12 to visit. My mother-in-law and I had to take turns.

10. Did your survivor have rehab? If so, what kind of rehab (i.e., inpatient and/or outpatient and occupational, physical, speech, and/or other)? How long was the rehab? Where were you when your survivor was getting therapy?

Yes, Josh had inpatient rehab – occupational, speech, and physical therapies. It should have been a lot longer, but Josh managed to talk his way out of it in two days time. When Josh had rehab, I was right there with him.

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

I try to keep Josh calm, which can be difficult. It changes daily and can get really frustrating, but I do my best to keep aggression at bay.

Puckett, Tatiana & Josh 2 07131512. How has your life changed since you became a caregiver? Is it better? Is it worse?

It’s difficult. I feel guilty because I feel torn between work, the kids, and Josh. Josh requires a lot of my time. I feel like my kids are missing out on time with me because, when I’m not at work, I’m with Josh. And, sometimes when Josh needs me, I can’t help him because I need to spend time with my boys.

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

I miss being able to depend on my husband for everyday things. I have to parent with my mother-in-law instead of with my husband, which isn’t bad, but it’s not ideal. Josh can’t be around the kids too long because they overwhelm him. It’s hard.

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

I like watching Josh discover new aspects of his creativity. He has a newfound excitement for writing and painting, both of which have bloomed since his TBI.

15. What do you like least about brain injury?

I find Josh’s new personality to be overwhelming at times. He wants to share every poem, every drawing, and every thought with me, even when I just want a quiet moment.

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

Time. As time goes on, it gets easier, but some days are still really hard.

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

Like I mentioned above for question 12, I feel stretched in every direction. I did before as a working mom, but even more so now. I feel like, in a day, I end up with maybe two minutes to myself, but, once I get those minutes of silence, Josh needs me to listen to a song, a poem, etc. I’m happy for him, but, between work, handling home finances, kids, and him, it’s so tiring.

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

A little. I mean, maybe Josh and I go out a bit more. With his mom home, we get to go to open mics, so Josh can play music and read his poetry.

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

I’d like to say that we will own a home in ten years. We all need space, so this two-bedroom apartment isn’t cutting it.

Puckett, Tatiana Caregiver 2 07131520. What advice would you offer other caregivers of brain-injury survivors? Do you have any other comments that you would like to add? 

Give yourself and your TBIer some space. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. If you feel an argument starting, stay calm and, as calmly as possible, explain that you should both step away before emotions escalate out of control. Remember not to take things personally. It’s not you your survivor’s mad at. It’s a frustrating world, and it’s scary, and your survivor’s lashing out. Just keep calm and step away.


Disclaimer: Any views and opinions of the Contributor are purely his/her own.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributor.)

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On the Air: Brain Injury Radio Another Fork in the Road . . . . . Joshua Puckett and wife, Tatiana

On the Air: Brain Injury Radio

Another Fork in the Road

with Brain Injury Survivor, Joshua Puckett and his wife, Tatiana


Joshua Puckett was just minding his business in his own front yard when he was attacked by a “random
drunk person” causing his brain injury. Now he says he has a “memory of a fish.”Joshua Puckett - TBI Survivor 2013
Memory problems combined with balance issues, anger, and confusion have become the “new norm” in his new life.

But, Joshua is overcoming his deficits by directing his attentions to his art and his music. Both are opening new doors in this talented young man’s life.

If you missed his interview on “Another Fork in the Road” on March 15th, you are in luck. You can listen to the archived show here.Joshua Puckett & Tatiana Puckett

Click the link below to listen to Joshua Puckett, his wife, Tatiana, and me.

See you “On the Air!”

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

with Brain Injury Survivor, Joshua Puckett and his wife, Tatiana

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 with Joshua Puckett




Joshua Puckett was minding his own business in his own front yard when an unknown assailant attacked him. This attack resulted in a life-change for Joshua. Joshua, with his wife, Tatiana, will join me on my show, “Another Fork in the Road,” to share his story about how he … about how they … are adapting to life after TBI.

Come One! Come ALL!

What:        Interview with Joshua Puckett, brain injury survivor. Joshua’s wife, Tatiana, will join Joshua.

Why:        Joshua will talk about his brain injury and how his life is affected by it.

Where:     Brain Injury Radio Network

When:       Sunday, March  15th, 2015

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

How:         Click: Brain Injury Radio Network

Joshua Puckett - Survivor 2013

Joshua Puckett – Survivor 2013

Call In:    424-243-9540

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

Call In:    202-559-7907 free outside USA


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 Joshua Puckett.)

Survivors SPEAK OUT! . . . . . Joshua Puckett

Survivors SPEAK OUT! . . . . . Joshua Puckett


Donna O’Donnell Figurski


Joshua Puckett TBI Survivor - 2013

Joshua Puckett
TBI Survivor – 2013

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

Joshua Puckett

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

Los Angeles, California, USA

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

April 1, 2013     I was 31 years old.

4. How did your TBI occur?

At 2:00 am, I went outside to have a cigarette to calm a Tourette’s attack. Apparently I offended a random drunk person because he then beat what should have been the last drop of life out of me.

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

My wife got up wondering where I was. I was face down in the grass with the sprinklers on.

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

I was in an induced coma for a few days; I had my periorbita (the area around the eye socket) replaced; and I spent a lot of time at Rancho Los Amigos, a rehab center here.

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

I was in a medically induced coma for three days.

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 had physical therapy and speech therapy.

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

Artwork by Joshua Puckett TBI Survivor - 2013

Artwork by Joshua Puckett
TBI Survivor – 2013

My balance is bad – I use a cane now for that. I can’t seem to eat no matter how hungry I am. I can exhibit confusion or anger. I have the memory of a fish!

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

I changed every aspect of my life. Only very recently have I started seeing the gifts that came with my TBI. I have become so much more understanding to the struggles of all people. At the same time, I also feel more isolated and alone than ever.

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

I miss everything and, simultaneously, nothing. I was and am now an even more complex person. But, eating without my TBI would be like getting a tooth pulled.

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

Artwork by Joshua Pucket TBI Survivor - 2013

Artwork by Joshua Puckett
TBI Survivor – 2013

I love that my TBI gave me the clarity to know what is actually important in life.

13. What do you like least about your TBI?

Food is still the biggest culprit.

14. Has anything helped you to accept your TBI?

I did a lot of talking in the mirror. Also I became an alcoholic. Once I stopped that stupid show, things really started to open up for me.

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

At first, it was very tough. Two of my sons are severely autistic, and I was their full-time caregiver and nurse. Raising them was no longer in my hands. But recently, I have gotten insight about them that I wouldn’t have had before, and we are closer than ever. My marriage is trying. We are getting to a place where we are ready to part ways. Too much is different now – as much as we do not want it to be.

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

I was as social a butterfly as you could be. Now people and crowds terrify me. I was a night owl, which sucks now because I am afraid of the night too. PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) simply sucks.

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

I am able to care for myself, but I require some help – specifically with memory, eating, emotional swings, and childcare.

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

Honestly? I would like to change the world, helping everyone who wants or needs it.

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.

Best hint? Be honest with yourself. Other people are important, but the one you have to spend your life talking to all the time is you. I also choose not to judge myself anymore.

I judged and hated myself for so long because of my TBI. But at the same time, I wanted to be there and to understand myself. Other people can’t. And that is good. I don’t want others to feel like this. But I can be honest with myself.

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

TBI sucks. But let’s be honest, was your brain a well oiled machine before? This is a hurdle, but it can also be an opportunity to become the strongest, the happiest, and the most potential-fulfilling self you can – in ways that you can only do now with this wisdom, albeit possibly with a cane and some other assistance. 🙂

To learn more about Joshua Puckett, a very talented musician and artist, check out his You Tube videos. Here are some to get you started.

Viary: TBI

Viary: TBI and I (my “accident”)

TBI and I: The documentary

Joshua Puckett TBI Survivor - 2013

Joshua Puckett
TBI Survivor – 2013

Thank you, Joshua, 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.

(Photos compliments of Joshua.)



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.

Beckie (caregiver) and Jerry…An Itty-Bitty Giant Step from a spouse’s viewpoint:

I’m learning to ease off. He is still a man. He can do and think for himself – just differently. And when I do NOT micromanage, we both are better. (P.S. TBI still sucks.)

Joyce Benavidez (survivor)…Today was the anniversary of my twin birth/death. Thanks to the wonderful support and encouragement I have on Facebook, I made it through my first year without a seizure.

Sara Catherine Birch (caregiver)…My husband managed several days last week without a daytime nap. Yesterday our daughter kept him from sleeping after a shopping trip, but he still managed to make it to bedtime without shouting at any of us. Very happy.

Joey Buchanan (survivor)…I’m getting the leaves out of the pool.

Joy Cameron (survivor)…I survived (LOL). It was a hell of a week, and I am still here, fighting and putting one foot in front of the other.

Natalie Elliott (survivor)…Here’s my Itty-Bitty Giant Step: I survived Thanksgiving with family. I put the tree up, but I had to put it together four times because following a sequence is taxing and very difficult.

Debbie Madison (survivor)…I survived Thanksgiving without killing my brother! And I had a great time!

Gena Marie (survivor)…I flew on an airplane for the first time and did OK. I never thought I would make it safely, but I did.

Joshua Puckett (survivor)…Despite being engulfed by a lot of the flooding feelings this week, I was able to maintain calm throughout. I never went St. Helens. So progress. That’s my Itty-Bitty Giant Step.

Kimberly June West (survivor)…I went on a trip and didn’t have a panic-attack!!

Sandra Williams (survivor/caregiver)…I had a successful IEP (Individualized Education Program) meeting. I fought back so many flashbacks and tears. When it was over, the staff said they couldn’t even tell if I was nervous. I still battle negative thoughts, but I ate two meals today – so huge for me since I wasn’t eating but a few times a week!

YOU did it!

Congratulations to all contributors!

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)


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