TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Posts tagged ‘seizures’

Caregivers SPEAK OUT! . . . . . Charity Hamilton (caregiver for momma)

Caregivers  SPEAK OUT!  Charity Hamilton

(caregiver for her momma)

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 

Charity Hamilton – Caregiver for her Momma

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

Charity Hamilton

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

Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, USA

3. What is the brain-injury survivor’s relationship to you?

The survivor is my momma. 🙂

How old was the survivor when he/she had the brain injury? What caused your survivor’s brain injury?

My mother’s affliction is brain cancer and seizures. It was diagnosed in 2012 when she was seen after a car accident. (She didn’t remember what happened.) The hospital was going to let her leave, but we demanded a CT (computerized tomography) scan and an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), as her husband (now deceased) knew something was wrong. That’s when the cancer was found. It had apparently started as a child!

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 became my mother’s only caregiver in 2016, as her husband helped care for her, but he recently passed due to bad health. I am now her full-time caregiver. I am 24.

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

I have three beautiful children of my own, whom I care for.

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

I was then and am now a full-time employee.

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

I had no help after my mother’s husband passed.

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

I began care immediately after my mother was diagnosed.

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

No

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?

My mother had no rehab.

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

My care was needed whenever my mother had seizures. I also helped her deal with memory loss. I assisted her with medications, and I helped her with showers.

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

With everything I have on my plate, my life is complicated and very busy. Only brain-injury-caregivers truly understand.

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

I miss not being so busy!

14. What do you enjoy most in p

Charity Hamilton – Caregiver for Mom, Jean Jones

ost-brain-injury life?

I enjoy talking to mom and going out and about with her.

15. What do you like least about brain injury?

I don’t like the tons of errands and feeling like the parent.

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

Caregiving came naturally because she’s my mother and I would never let her be alone.

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

Yes. My mother’s brain injury has made home-life and relationships tough and stressful sometimes, as they don’t understand I HAVE to care for my mother – no one else will.

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

Not really. I didn’t have a social life before my mother’s diagnosis.

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

My future is nursing.

20. What advice would you offer other caregivers of brain-injury survivors? Do you have any other comments that you would like to add?

Have patience!!

 

(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 SPEAK OUT! Caregiver Interview Questionnaire for a copy of the questions and the release form.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

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TBI Tales . . . . It’s OK to Say “OK”

It’s OK to Say “OK”

by

Barbara Wilson Asby

(presented by Donna O’Donnell Figurski)

Barbara Wilson Asby - TBI Survivor

Barbara Wilson Asby – TBI Survivor

For the first time in over five years, I finally broke down and reached out to my husband for help today when I was having a seizure.

Why in the world do we have to be so darn strong all of the time?? For those who don’t really know me, I am going through a change right now – my seizures have gotten worse for the past few weeks or so. Today was no different. I don’t know if it was caused by the traveling, the holidays, or the stress of the Redskins versus the Cowboys game (LMAO), but I started having the seizure just after noon.

I began watching the game and started feeling worse – no, not Redskinsdue to the game (LOL). “We” (the ‘skins, that is – LOL) were looking pretty good at this point. I started going downhill quickly, and hubby watched this. He kept asking what to do. There really isn’t anything a spouse can do. I am the type that likes to be alone when these things are happening.

Then I started to feel like I was going to faint. I personally think there is no worse feeling than when your body puts you through this, especially when the feeling stays right there – not making up its mind what to do. I call it a “brown out.” For 30 minutes or so, I fought the brown out.

David Asby - husband of Barbara Wilson Asby

David Asby – husband of Barbara Wilson Asby

Then I looked at my husband and said, “Now don’t freak out, but I am going to faint. Don’t freak out, OK?”

He came over to me and said, “OK. Baby, is there anything I can do?” OMG, how nice it felt for him to be there with me.

I said, “No. Just don’t freak out! OK? Just don’t freak out!”

Meanwhile, I was the one freaking out because he was there. I normally handle things so much better when no one is around (LOL). Then I just gave in and had my hubby hold me. I was so wiped out – too tired even to cry. He put his arms around me and said, “Breathe, Baby. I am here. Just breathe – calm down.”

So for once, I did breathe. Dang it! Why do people with a TBI have to be so STRONG!!!!!

(Disclaimer: The views or opinions in this post are solely that of the author.)

If you have a story to share and would like to be a part of the SPEAK OUT! project, please submit your TBI Tale to me at donnaodonnellfigurski@gmail.com. I will publish as many stories as I can.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

As I say after each post:

Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Comment” below this post.anim0014-1_e0-1

Please follow my blog. Click on “Follow” on the top right sidebar. (It’s nice to know there are readers out there.)

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.

Survivors SPEAK OUT! – GeorgeAnna Bell

  SPEAK OUT! – GeorgeAnna Bell

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

10570970_836853459658124_752128615_n1. What is your name? (last name optional)

GeorgeAnna

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

San Tan Valley, Arizona, USA

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

My first was at the age of 6 years old. I have had multiple concussions as a child. I had yet another head injury in 2001 and another concussion from another car accident on June 25, 2014. I am now 40 years old.

4. How did your TBI occur?

My first brain injury was from a bicycle accident – I lost control of my bike. I flipped over the handlebars and landed on the right side of my head, cracking my skull. The concussions were from falls; sports; an ATV (all terrain vehicle); motor vehicle accidents; rapes; abuse; falls; and being young, foolish, and idiotic.

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

My parents realized I was a different child the day they brought me home from the hospital.

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

I’ve been treated by the ICU (intensive care unit). I’ve had eye/vision therapy and cognitive behavior therapy. I attended specialized schools – junior high school and senior high school – that were for children with mental, emotional, physical, and developmental disabilities.

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

Yes     72 hours

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 did not go to a rehab center. I got everything from schools, specialized doctors, etc.

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

I have a balance problem, dizziness, seizures, short- and long-term memory loss, mental illness (anxiety, depression, mood disorder, personality disorder), cognitive issues, social issues and social anxiety, headaches and migraines, numbness and tingling in my extremities, ringing in my ears (the ear, nose, and throat specialist calls it tinnitus), insomnia, vision and hearing issues (optic and audio nerve damage), and blurred vision (on and off). I am easily confused and distracted. (For example, I cannot multitask. I have to do one thing at a time. Otherwise, I get flustered and stressed out.) I am sensitive to lights, sounds, or distractions. I developed fibromyalgia, tremors, and speech issues, all of which the doctor thinks are the result of my head injury. I also have arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis). I have a developmental disability (due to the age at which I sustained my first head injury) and learning disabilities. I attended a special educational school from 7th grade until my senior year because I could not stay mainstream in a public school.

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

I honestly do not know because I was so young when my first head injury occurred. However, over the years, I have sustained multiple head injuries. (For example, because of a short-term coma and concussions, I have increased mental, emotional, and physical issues.)

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

I wouldn’t remember what it was like before because I was only 6 years old when I sustained my first head injury.

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

I am grateful for my Significant Other – the ONLY person I personally know who is supportive of me and tries to be understanding.

13. What do you like least about your TBI?

I dislike how people treat me. People act as if I am some kind of idiot because I am slower than others, and then they look at me as if I have serious issues. I hate being judged. I want people to treat me as I would treat them. I don’t want them to judge me and look at me and say, “Well, you look fine.”

14. Has anything helped you to accept your TBI?

People’s ignorant behaviors and idiosyncrasies

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

My parents did not want to deal with my issues. They did not allow me to speak of my issues to anyone because it embarrassed them that they had a child with a disability. They still do not like my talking about my disabilities and TBI. However, I tell them I am a full-grown adult now, and I say to them, “If you do not like it, do not listen.”

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

I have issues keeping friends. People tend to easily get annoyed with me. I tend to get frustrated easily, too. As for relationship with guys, I was always told I am a very taxing person – annoying, weird, and psychotic. I have had nicknames given to me by guys over the years: pain-in-my-ass, crack baby, wacko, weirdo, dumbass, stupid, idiot, retarded, sensitive bitch, nagging bitch, crazy, worthless.

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

My main caregiver is my boyfriend. No, I do not understand 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 would love to open a 501c3 animal shelter and help unwanted animals – mainly dogs. I would like to extend the knowledge I currently have on animal studies and have better knowledge and understanding of the animal behavior.

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.

Do not stop trying. Eventually it will work out.

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

I encourage you to just try your best and keep trying. Do not give up. Once you give up, you lose everything, and it is not easy to get everything back again – even if you are able to get things back again.10695279_836854542991349_1216029697_n

 

Thank you, GeorgeAnna, 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 GeorgeAnna.)

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No memory of the day that changed my life

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.

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