TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Posts tagged ‘Shanna Wolf Heart Powell’

SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faces of Brain Injury . . . . . . . . . Shanna Wolf Heart Powell

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury – Shanna Wolf Heart Powell

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 Brain Injury is NOT Discriminating!

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It can happen to anyone, anytime, . . . and anywhere.

The Brain Trauma Foundation states that there are 5.3 million people in the United States living with some form of brain injury.

On “Faces of Brain Injury,” you will meet survivors living with brain injury. I hope that their stories will help you to understand the serious implications and complications of brain injury.

The stories on SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury are published with the permission of the survivor or designated caregiver.

If you would like your story to be published, please send a short account and two photos to me at neelyf@aol.com. I’d love to publish your story and raise awareness for Brain Injury.

Shanna Wolf Heart Powell (survivor)

Powell, Shanna Wolf Heart Survivor 062715 3This was me three years ago. I was in this truck when it flipped and rolled at 60 mph. I had a shattered face and a shattered shoulder. And, I spent some time in a coma. This was the final nail – the one that pushed my PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) into full mode and gave me a TBI (traumatic brain injury). I am not the same me. I am the “new” me. God chose me to still be here. I see it too many times – people are in wrecks and they don’t make it. Powell, Shanna Wolf Heart Survivor 062715 2My survival just makes me even more thankful. (I now make a horrible passenger, as every time the driver swerves, a car looks like it’s going to hit us, or it appears that it is not going to stop, I freak out.) I forget things a lot. I loose what I am saying in the middle of a conversation. I get flustered easily. I have many depressed days and cannot do all the things I used to. I panic for people when I see them getting flown by Care Flight (as I was a “passenger” once). All I can do is say, “God, please help them.”

One day, I had taken my boys to a hospital’s Emergency Room for something, and they wheeled a trauma patient past us. Covered in blood, she was badly hurt from an automobile accident. She was screaming, confused, and scared. They were taking her out to put her on Care Flight. I cried for her and panicked. That was one of the first-known PTSD triggers for me. I have no recollection of the wreck that almost killed me. But, I relived a horrible moment in my life through her. I could only imagine what it was like for me.

Those who care enough to read through my story will read this and then go on with life. But, I live this every day. My TBI (though not as bad as some, and for that I say, “Thank you, God”), my PTSD, and my bipolar disorder will never go away. So, I just have to live with them every day. I cannot do a simple task without issues. For example, I may not understand things when I go to places, like the cell phone store. I don’t understand how to put the airtime cards in my new phone. Instead of telling the clerk, “I have a TBI and don’t understand,” I just say, “Oh, OK.” 😦

Almost every day, something triggers my PTSD, and I fight to stay afloat. People say, “Get over it.” 😦 There is no getting over it! It’s not an easy battle, so please do not tell me to “get over it.” I have lost the memory of a lot of things in my life. I may forget things you just told me. I get confused to the point that I just say, “Forget it. If you try to explain any further, I will just get mad because I don’t get it.” And, I have no filter. I tend to say what I think. So, if I say something and it offends you, move along or unfriend me. It’s not personal.

Powell, Shanna Wolf Heart Survivor 062715 1So “Happy Three-Year Survival” to me! This is why I’m getting the “;” tattoo. And, my story is not over.

To those who think I am stupid and annoying, “Please don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.” And, to those who stayed by my side, stayed my friends, or have become my new friends – “Thank you! Love to all!”

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributor.)

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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.

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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