TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Posts tagged ‘Michael Montepara’

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

SPEAK OUT! Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

 

Itty-Bitty GIant Steps for BlogSPEAK 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.

Karie Jacobson Collins (caregiver)…Today’s victory was that my husband initiated saying “I love you” to me. He i_love_you_by_pambahas responded in kind when I have said it to him. But, this is the first time since the morning he had his accident that he initiated it. My cup runneth o’er.

Jonathan Curtis (survivor)…I just bought myself art paper and colored pencils for the first time. It’s an Itty-Bitty Giant Step that could lead to great things.Writing+and+art+supplies

Michael Montepara (survivor)…My Itty-Bitty Giant Step for this week: I kept all appointments, did chores like Hazel thehappy-pill-sparkling-bottle housekeeper, twice shopped for snowstorms, got a much-needed haircut, refilled meds that I was nearly out of, filled my truck with gas, reached out to an old friend, wrote a letter to my Ex and sent it, contacted a lawyer for advice, sent faxes for a hearing, and managed to piss off several Facebookies! It’s been a busy week so far, and it’s only hump day!

Pam McClurg Richardson (survivor)…Sometimes I OVERTHINK things. I am MY OWN worst enemy! I need to learn not to be so hard on myself. After all, each of us is human with human flaws (with or without a brain injury). 🙂 I came to a point where I realized that Girl_thinking_ct_smI was a different person now than I was before my TBI. It’s OK for me to be a “different” me now and to grieve the loss of the “old” me. Besides, in some ways, I am a BETTER me. 🙂

JR Vigil (survivor)…I moved back to the U.S after Christmas. I was in Orlando in January for a month while I was being fitted for a new prosthetic socket. At the urging of my dad, I searched for a job. (I was actually offered a job, but I turned it down.) When the other job prospects weren’t looking so great, I thought, “Who do I know that I can stay with?” I’ve been in Seattle a little over two weeks, and today I had an interview at a temp agency that offers benefits. This temp agency is paid by companies looking for temp-to-hire workers, so it did not cost me a thing. A few hours after the interview, I bought a car for the first time in my life. I still can’t believe it! I will be applying to business us_map-736562schools in the following months. Driving around in the U.S. is definitely interesting with a brain injury. It’s a good thing we have map apps now because I have gotten lost so many times. There was one time where I had to make five U-Turns – no joke! On the other hand, after about two weeks, I didn’t need the apps for the places I frequented, so there is hope.

 

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 BlogSPEAK 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.

Yourself-Hugged-John Bell (survivor)…I hugged three of my four kids – the oldest couldn’t make it to dinner. (There is no school tomorrow for the two still in grade school because of the weather conditions.) I got in a pre-lunch run, and I plan another run tomorrow night with a run group. (The temperature is predicted to be in the low single digit range; with wind chill, it should feel like -25.) Firewood use has been nonstop. I’m trying to replenish the stock, but I need help to try to keep up with the demand. I just got back from skiing in Colorado with an old friend, but now it’s time to get back to work.

April Snyder Bomysoad (caregiver)…My husband went from having pneumonia to being more aware – all in a week. I am amazed! I can talk to him about my day, and the next day, he would ask me about it. The aide told me about how aware my husband is and how well he is doing. I said you would know, since I see him only once a week. My car has died, so I’ve got to save money to fix it. My husband asked me about it and instructed me on what I should do. It’s so weird – I feel like my husband has returned!

Jonathan Curtis (survivor)…Got friends, got a job, got dates, got transportation, got a nice view of the city, got spending money. I am loving life! I also got a past that22072823-origpic-ba2d02 I find to be remarkable – reminds me that I’m capable of so much more.

Jonathan Curtis (survivor)…I was given a tremendous blessing this morning. I was reunited with a wonderful ex-girlfriend. I haven’t communicated with her for twenty years, yet we chatted like we just dated yesterday!

Joshua Edward Daniel (survivor)…I joined a gym today. I have a hard time running now. I get lightheaded, but it should get better. 🙂

Michael Montepara (survivor)…I’ve had a few nice Itty-Bitty Giant Steps this week.graphics-laundry-basket-181953 I scheduled a follow-up with the vision surgical team for Friday morning. I washed clothes, swept floors, did some shopping, tried several times to contact my Ex, and kept sane for another week! Yippee!

Cindy McFaden Samartino (caregiver)…Good news today! My husband and I won a Cindy McFaden Samartinosweetheart photo contest with this picture from our December wedding. And, I had a preliminary part-time job interview, with a follow-up on Sunday. AND, I was finally able to get the stubborn stain off the shower floor.

 

Jim Ward (survivor)…Friday I had the second interview for a job. The position is with an environmental consulting company in the Madison, Wisconsin area. The interviewGot a Job lasted a whole fifteen minutes! It took longer to drive there through the drifting snow! I was asked a few questions. The last question was, “When can you start?” I almost blurted out, “Where is my office?” :} (LOL) I didn’t though. I start next week! I feel so blessed, and I am very thankful. I want to thank everyone for the prayers, the good wishes, and the positive thoughts to help with the outcome. People told me after I left the hospital, “You won’t be able to work again.” Well, thankfully, they were wrong! Work hard at it, have faith, and believe in yourself!

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.

DeWayne Banner  (survivor)…I fixed the lights on my Jeep. I am proud of myself. I loved working on cars when I was younger, but I have not been able to do much since my accident. I think I’ll try some more.

Driving a carGlenda Gale Coker (survivor)…I survived a TBI when I was six years old. Post TBI, I had regular classes in school, got a college degree, got married, and learned to drive. And, I’ve had the same job for two years.

Jenni Flores (survivor)…I like “Itty-Bitty Giant Steps.” Last week, I continued using my manual wheelchair, even after I got out of the hospital; I took all my pills on time; and twice I made my own arrangements (and trusted people) to go and see my husband.

award_certificate_w_stampShell Lawson  (survivor)…I thought I’d share this – not to boast, but to encourage. I have a severe TBI and I just made the Honor Society. I did it all on my own, with a couple of exceptions: during my first semester, I had friends help me with a couple of essays via the ‘net, and I get extra time on my tests. I believe you can do anything you put your mind to. 🙂

Michael Montepara (survivor)…A pleasant “Good morning,” Donna. I had a semi-good week this week. I have been cleared from mental health, and I met with my lawyer about my SSI (Supplemental Security Income) hearing next week. Maybe 2015 will finally turn that corner, and things will iron out…MAYBE.Susan Cursive

Susan Shacka  (survivor)…I made it through three weeks of bible. (For me, it’s hard to read and concentrate.) Also, I wrote my name in cursive at occupational therapy.

Daniel Wondercheck (survivor)…I received my TBI on July 23, 1991. I live in Kansas. I have a personal assistant for 26.5 hours per week. I use a wheelchair (full-time) as a result of the TBI. In October 1993, the Social Security Administration eBay Power Seller TRSdeclared me totally and permanently disabled. In August 2003, I started selling collectibles on eBay for something to do. Selling collectibles on eBay morphed into a full-time business. I am now an eBay Power Seller with 100% positive feedback.

 

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)…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.

Roy Anthony (survivor)…I broke off a toxic relationship that has taken a good part of me. Now is the start of gaining my life back.

Wendy Coulter (survivor)…I went outside into my front yard without a cane! First time since the accident in March!

Sherrie Crusha (survivor)…I put in a back door with only hand tools.

10678844_389594007862776_6836148097400106876_nLaura Doughty (survivor)…Saved a dog. He is a stray. Really cut up. Scares really easily. No doubt he has been abused. He needs love and care. It was the right thing to do. He is a boxer – named after the boxer, Jack Dempsy. Dempsy is happy here.

Dunton IV, George FrederickGeorge Frederick Dunton IV (survivor)…My big accomplishment for the week was being able to babysit three very young kids for 3 hours.

John Hatten (survivor)…Well, Donna, I’ve been working with HOPE Beyond Trauma (www.HOPEBeyondTrauma.com) to build a new service for Survivors of Brain Injury, an online teleconference/teleseminar/support group. We plan on starting before February (the gods being willing). It’s a pretty big step for a survivor of a serious brain injury.

Kelley (survivor)…My big step is helping others. We all were snatched from death for a reason. My reason is to help others. My estranged, alone father needed to be put into a home and get care. I found him one of the best in our area that takes a couple of Medicaid patients. He gets the best care, and I can visit him almost every day, since I put him so close to me. He has dementia, and so do I (but not as bad as he does). I am able to give him cognitive exercises, since I had rehab for over a year and know them very well. His nurses say he’s getting better all the time. I forgave him and am his only guest and caregiver. What I’m accomplishing makes me feel good.

Carmen Gaarder Kumm (survivor)…Today’s test – I passed with flying colors. My car slipped into a ditch. I didn’t panic, couldn’t get out, didn’t panic. I called my husband. He got me out! I didn’t cry; I didn’t yell; I kept my head! Yay!

Susie Farrell Mayowski (caregiver)…My daughter actually wanted a hug and had a smile on her face tonight. I was almost in tears with that.

Grant Mealey (survivor)…Hi, Donna. OK, so I learned this week that when my voice escalates, it causes heck to break loose. So, it’s apparently up to me to keep things calm by leaving for a while before a problem happens. I’m a little nervous, since I am neither quiet nor mellow. I have been working on this for a few days and seem to be doing well. I have learned I can voice concerns over things, as long as I remain calm. OK, it’s a big step forward, and I can do this. No one deserves to be yelled at.

Michael Montepara (survivor)…My Itty-Bitty Giant Step for today was actually waking up, getting dressed, and having at least one cup of coffee. For me, that small accomplishment is a lot harder than one would imagine.

Michael Montepara (survivor)…My Itty-Bitty Giant Step accomplishment is getting outdoors in bitter 16-degree cold, starting and de-thawing my poor truck, and taking my friend to his uncle’s house a few towns away. For me, movement in cold mornings is extremely difficult! Stay warm, be well, and smile a little smile today.

Shanna Wolf Heart Powell (survivor)…Last week I went Christmas shopping – first time since my TBI (approximately two and a half years ago)!!! I forgot what I was doing once, but I didn’t panic, and I didn’t stress!! I dominated the situation!!! But, I do have to do a return/exchange tomorrow!!! I got one item wrong!!! Not bad, considering, I guess!!

Scott Sheehan (survivor)…Eighty-four hours of world peace. No hate or anger, and I will play any song for anyone in the world during my record-breaker. Ambitious? Thanks to you, even more so now. As support grows, so does the ambition. Got my first sponsor. The focus it takes makes me a blithering idiot. My speech and vision are affected. Learned to play blindfolded. Been called a retard thousands of times. And I open up to you now because “it’s time” (the name I always wanted to call a band). But it’s time, to make Ma and Dad proud. And save the world. And no better time than my 50th birthday. Hahaha. An old guy. Doing the impossible. With a traumatic brain injury, no less. I know this is long. Understand this is huge. And now, you are a part of it. Hour 85, I will probably die. But not until then. For Ma, Dad, Milo, and you and to save the world! A lot of work to do in the next 13 months.

Laurie Whyte (survivor)…I realize what depersonalization means! I’ve been a chameleon since my injury – just doing what everyone else does or asking for advice all the time. Or over-sharing. Not really knowing my own mind. It’s been 9 years, and I’m starting to think for myself.

YOU did it!

Congratulations to all contributors!

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

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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.

Everything and nothing. GM1123 😊

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