TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Posts tagged ‘TBI Caregiver Questions’

SPEAK OUT! . . . You Are Invited! Launch “Another Fork in the Road” on Brain Injury Radio Network: Donna Tells Her Story Aug. 4, 2014

Come one! Come ALL!putthis_on_calendar_clip_art

What:        Launch “Another Fork in the Road” on Brain Injury Radio Network: “Thursday, the 13th – an unlucky day!”

Why:         Donna tells about the onset of David’s Traumatic Brain Injury and their life together after TBI.

Where:     Brain Injury Radio Network

When:       Monday, August 4, 2014

Time:         5:00p PDT (6:00p MDT, 7:00p CDT, and 8:00p EDT) 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 (Archived show) will be available after the show

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

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Caregivers SPEAK OUT! Diane Caldwell

SPEAK OUT! – Diane Caldwell

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

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

Diane Caldwell

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

Columbus, Ohio, USA     ladydi147@yahoo.com

3. What caused your survivor’s TBI?

Car accident – Sept. 24, 2010

4. On what date did you begin care for your TBI survivor? Are you the main caregiver? How old were you when you began care?

I started caring for my daughter after she was sent home from Dodd Hall, OSU, an In-patient rehabilitation facility, in December 2010. I was 53 years old. My daughter was 28.

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

Yes. I was caring for my grandson – my daughter’s son.

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

Yes. I was employed and somehow managed to keep my job, mainly because I have had the same employer for a 20-plus years. My daughter still required 24×7 care, but I was able to work from home for about 6 months until she could be left alone at home. She was bed-ridden and wheelchair-bound during that time.

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

No. Occasionally her brother would stay with her while I went to the store, but her behavior was a little scary to him (i.e., she would be talking coherently one minute, and the next she wouldn’t know who he was).

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

Immediately. She was life-flighted from the accident scene and was on life support in critical condition for several days. I went to the hospital daily.

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

Yes. I went to the hospital every day, but at that time, the doctors thought she had a slim chance of making it. I still cared for my grandson. I prayed.

10. Did your survivor have rehab? If so, what kind of rehab? (i.e., In-patient and/or Out-patient and Occupational, Physical, Speech, and/or Other) How long was the rehab? Where were you when this was happening?

Yes. She had In-patient rehab (occupational, physical, and speech therapy), and then she had Out-patient rehab when she was sent home. Her rehab totaled about 5 months. I usually went with her to her appointments, as she required special transportation (due to the wheelchair) and was often left waiting for a return ride home. She was afraid to be left alone.

11. What problems or disabilities of your TBI survivor required your care, if any?

Short-term memory problems, emotional swings and instability, suicidal actions, personal safety issues

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

My life is just different now. Some things are better, some things worse.  My life changed dramatically, as I was living alone previously. We walked through some dark days together, so it was very rough at first. My daughter’s personality changed, and her IQ dropped into the mildly retarded range. My daughter knew she was not who she used to be, and she didn’t embrace who she was after the accident for about 18 months. Today, my life is better. My relationship with my daughter has reached a depth most people never get to experience. I learned a lot about myself too, and I became a much more spiritual person. I believe in miracles!

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

Time to myself, freedom to travel

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

Sleeping!

15. What do you like least about TBI?

How it impacts relationships. For a while, I felt like I lost my daughter, even though she was alive. Everyone works through it differently.

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

Yes. I got connected with OSU TBI Network.

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

Yes. My daughter and grandson live with me and rely on me as a result of the TBI. It’s like being a single mom again.

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

Yes. I am unable to attend functions where I will be away overnight. I don’t like leaving my daughter alone since she started having seizures.

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

I guess I don’t really think about that too much. I would like to be retired by then and do some fun things with my daughter and grandson.

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

Don’t isolate yourself! Learn as much as you can about TBI. Reach out for help. (I didn’t do that enough.) Be patient, loving, and caring. Take it one day at a time.DIane C. daughter

 

Thank you, Diane, 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 Diane.)

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

Caregivers SPEAK OUT! Trish Herzog

SPEAK OUT! – Trish Herzog

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Herzog Trish 042314  photo

 

 

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

Trish Herzog

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

Platte City, Missouri, USA         herzogtrish@gmail.com

3. What caused your survivor’s TBI?

An auto-racing accident

4. On what date did you begin care for your TBI survivor? Are you the main caregiver? How old were you when you began care?

June 6, 1998     I was the main caregiver.     I was 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 TBI? If so, were you able to continue working?

No. I was a housewife.

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

Yes – in-home caregivers for 11 years, until my husband passed away in 2009 as a result of complications from his TBI.

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

Immediately – in the hospital

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

Yes – for 6 days. I cried, prayed, journaled, and read books and pamphlets about TBI to educate myself about the condition as much as possible.

10. Did your survivor have rehab? If so, what kind of rehab? (i.e., In-patient and/or Out-patient and Occupational, Physical, Speech, and/or Other) How long was the rehab

In-patient for 3 months

Out-patient for over a year and off and on, as needed in the years

Where were you when this was happening?

I was with my husband during most therapies, except for speech. They suggested against my being there, as I was too much of a distraction for him. He didn’t filter things as well after he suffered the TBI.

11. What problems or disabilities of your TBI survivor required your care, if any?

My husband was full-care. He was paralyzed from the waist down and remained in a wheelchair for the remaining 11 years of his life. He suffered memory issues and speech dysphasia issues initially. His motor skills were also affected. He had significant spasticity in his legs. He had a shunt put in due to hydrocephalus. He suffered a few strokes after his TBI over the years. We spent quite a bit of time in and out of the hospital for various infections and health issues

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

My husband died in 2009. I cared for him and managed his care in our home from 1998-2009. It was exhausting at times, but I wouldn’t have had him anywhere else. After he passed, it was quite an adjustment period for me. Losing him and losing the chaos of daily life, with therapists and caregivers in your home, was quite the change

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

I missed our intimacy. We were still able to cuddle and be affectionate, but I became the stronger role in our relationship after he was injured. I missed my protector, my confidante, etc. We still had that together, but the dynamic was somewhat changed. He was still my best friend.

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

I can’t explain how, because my husband was my best friend and we were so close, but, in the years after he was injured, we became even closer at deeper levels. We were in this together, and we fought the battles of day-to-day TBI life together.

15. What do you like least about TBI?

It took away the husband I loved and married and left me with a different one. I loved him just as much, but in some ways very differently.

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

We saw humor in so many things on a day-to-day basis. You have to find the humor in the basic things. Our general positive outlook on life and love for each other helped us survive and thrive in the shadow of TBI.

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

It changed our dynamic completely. I took on more of a motherly role with my husband. My parents, seeing everything I was dealing with and managing, developed a greater respect and appreciation for me as an adult and not just as their little girl. I was making life-and-death decisions and handling rather scary things.

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

Yes. It was isolating, to a certain extent. Life moves on for others after the initial traumatic occurrence, but you are still dealing with the day-to-day of your new TBI life. The real friends and family will hang around. You find out who your diehard friends are.

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

I am doing it now. As I said, my husband died in 2009. I have been rediscovering who I am for over four years now. It’s still a process. I was a caregiver for so many years. It was who I was, and when he passed away, my entire purpose and reason for existence went away too. I had to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and re-invent myself…solo. It’s an ongoing process.

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

You have to take care of yourself. If you are going to be in it for the long haul, respite is a must! In the years of dealing with a loved one with a TBI, there were ups and downs, sadness, laughter, eureka moments, and exhaustive moments. It was all worthwhile, every minute of it. I am a far better person today because of the hand my husband and I were dealt back in 1998. I have a much greater appreciation for many things we often take for granted – life, love, health, all of them. I miss my husband, and I wish I still had him with me…TBI or no TBI.

 

Thank you, Trish, 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 Trish.)

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

TBI Caregivers SPEAK OUT! – Questionnaire

TBI Caregivers SPEAK OUT! Questionnaire

I have developed a TBI Caregiver Interview page on my blog, Surviving Traumatic Brain Injury. My interview consists of 20 questions that can be answered easily. I hope the page will provide information, inspire other TBI survivors, and connect people.

If you’d like take part in this project, please visit my site at TBI Caregivers SPEAK OUT! – Questionnaire. You can copy and paste the questions and your answers into your email program and send your interview to me at donnaodonnellfigurski@gmail.com. I will do my best to publish every interview. (I will only edit obvious typos, punctuation, for clarity, and to fit the format.)

If possible, please send a photo to include with your interview (optional, but preferred).

You will also need to fill out the release form so I can publish your interview on my “Surviving Traumatic Brain Injury” blog.

 

RELEASE FORM:

I, ____(FULL NAME)____, on this date (e.g., 04/01/2014), ____________, give Donna O’Donnell Figurski permission to use my interview on her “Surviving Traumatic Brain Injury” blog. (Your first and last name must be included on the Release Form, even if you do not want it posted on the web.)

Please put an “X” before the statement you agree with.
____I give Donna O’Donnell Figurski permission to use my last name.
____I do not give Donna O’Donnell Figurski permission to use my last name.

 

Please answer as many questions as you feel comfortable with. Your answers can be very brief; but, if long, your answer should be no more than 100 words. You may send your answers to me at donnaodonnellfigurski@gmail.com.

 

QUESTIONNAIRE for a TBI Caregivers SPEAK OUT!

 

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

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

Questionnaire th-9

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?

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

15. What do you like least about brain injury?

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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