TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Posts tagged ‘Traumatic Brain Injury Caregiver’

SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faces of Brain Injury . . . . . . . . . Carol Starke-Pyle (caregiver of her son, Thomas)

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury – Carol Starke-Pyle

(caregiver of her son, Thomas)

presented

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Brain Injury is NOT Discriminating!

bigstock-cartoon-face-vector-people-25671746-e1348136261718It 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.

Carol Starke-Pyle (caregiver of her son, Thomas)

carol-starke-pyle-1

Carolyn Starke-Pyle – Caregiver for Brain Injury Survivor

 

This is my son’s story. Thomas was 43. He trained/rode horses for a living. He was very athletic, vivacious, funny, etc. He came to visit me one Sunday, and, as the day wore on, he became more and more delusional. I called an ambulance. My son knew his name, knew where he was, and walked to the ambulance. I followed to the Emergency Room. I was able to see Thomas twenty minutes later, as he was waiting in the cubicle. He could not talk – he babbled incoherently. He could not sit up or walk. He didn’t know me. He was admitted and was given many tests: a CT (computerized tomography) scan, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), and a spinal tap. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) was called in. It was concluded that Thomas had brain damage. After two weeks, Thomas was transferred to a neurological center. He didn’t know how to swallow, he knew NO ONE, he was in a huge crib, and he was in diapers. More the-brain-hispinal taps and more MRIs. I was told his frontal lobe looked as if a bag of M&Ms had been tossed into it. Infectious/viral disease had been ruled out. It was determined that, due to numerous concussions from falls off horses, his brain had suffered too much damage – which was IRREVERSIBLE! I collapsed when his doctor said, “The Thomas you knew a month ago is no longer with us.” He continued to tell me that my vibrant son would need a nursing home for the rest of his life.

I went onto Facebook and shared my anguish and pleaded for prayers. A prayer chain encircled the globe. Meanwhile, I attended TBI (traumatic brain injury) seminars and met with social workers and more doctors to find a special nursing home for Thomas. Two months later, on my visit, his nurse grinned and said she had a surprise. Thomas was standing up! The next week, he was walking, then talking (he made little sense, but … !), then recognizing us, and then eating by himself. As I was a teacher, I chose to stick up all sorts of stimuli – photos of family, friends, pets, and horses. horse_adoptable_bay_animated_by_hikari_yumi-d5hrf17Thomas slowly improved (contrary to the opinions of ALL specialists). After four months, with short-term memory loss and some loss of intelligence, Thomas was released. I asked his doctor to explain. He looked at me and quietly said, “It is a miracle!”

My son is back to work with horses, has absolutely NO memory of the hospital, has a touch believe-clip-art-at-clker-com-vector-clip-art-online-royalty-free-qep8hi-clipartof short-term memory loss, and is as bright as he always was. BELIEVE IN MIRACLES! I am praying for YOU ALL!

 

(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.)

As I say after each post: Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Commentanim0014-1_e0-1 below this post.

Feel free to follow my blog. Click on “Follow” on the upper right sidebar.

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.

Caregivers SPEAK OUT! ……. Ann Castro Baker

Caregivers  SPEAK OUT!  Ann Castro Baker

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

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

Ann Castro Baker

Ann Castro Baker - Mother and Caregiver for Son, Jesus Castro Hanson

Ann Castro Baker – Mother and Caregiver for Son, Jesus Castro Hanson

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

Plainview, Texas, USA

Email? (optional)

sadeyez1969@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?

My TBI (traumatic brain injury)/stroke survivor is my 23-year-old son, Jesus Castro Hanson. Undiagnosed high blood pressure was the cause of this nightmare. His injury left him with severe brain damage and a limp, and his arm is still numb and just hangs. He spent 29 days in the ICU (intensive care unit). He was in a coma for almost two weeks … and he “died” three times.

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 have been by Jesus’ side since the day it started, which was this past April 3rd. I am the main and only caregiver. I turned a year older in July, so now I am 47.

Jesus Castro Hanson - Brain Injury Survivor

Jesus Castro Hanson – Brain Injury Survivor

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

I was helping my mother care for my 84-year-old father, who has dementia. I am no longer able to give her breaks. Now we both are exhausted.

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

(No answer)

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

My son has a nurse who comes to see him about once or twice a month. But the nurse only checks vitals and asks questions.

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

I have been by my son’s side since the day it began.

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

My son was in a coma for two weeks. I had received my BA degree in ‘14, but I have had serious health issues of my own. My son was taking care of me until this happened.

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?

Jesus was a patient at a place known as Trustpoint Rehabilitation Center, and I got to stay with him. (When I stated I never left his side, I meant it!) There he received physical, occupational, and speech therapies. On the day we left, he took his first steps on his own. It was a proud and emotional moment for all.

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

Jesus needs help doing particular tasks, like holding things, opening things, and sometimes pouring things. He can dress, feed, and shower himself after relearning how to. His brain damage is severe – you can’t make instructions long and hard. Sometimes even if the instructions are short, he is still not able to do it. His short-term memory is non-existent, but surprisingly his long-term memory is on point.24-7-clockface-md

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

I hate saying “for the worse,” but my life is at a standstill. I watch over my son 24/7, with no breaks. We had been quarantined to our home for two months because of his catching C. diff (the bacterium Clostridium difficile – one of the most important causes of infectious diarrhea in the U.S.) again. He is finally done with the Dificid (Fidaxomicin – an antibiotic), so we are now beginning to go for walks – nothing too far because he will get tired and will trip a lot.

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

I miss leaving the house and not worrying about leaving Jesus alone. Now I have to make sure he is with me at all times. We can’t stay long because he either gets tired or annoyed from all the lights and noise. So I guess you could say I miss my freedom.

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

I am relearning my son. I often say I lost my son in the ICU, and this young man is Jesus in the outer shell, but on the inside, he is a stranger … who I am beginning to know. Sometimes, my son wakes up, and he seems like he is six years old – and those days can be refreshing because of his sweet innocence. Other days, he will wake up as his 23-year-old self – some days are good, while others are just plain horrible because of his temper (which is new; he never really had a temper like this before).

15. What do you like least about brain injury?

ridkzo85tI mostly have a hard time with my Jesus’ temper. I do not like arguing with my son … but, then again, it is his frustration as well. It tears at my heart. This brain injury really altered my son’s life forever. It is tough on him and on me.

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

Yes – his scar. I know that may be a weird answer, but those days when he is either clueless or starts to yell at me, I look at his scar and automatically soften. I know he doesn’t mean it. He has been through so much for his age.

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

I really do not have friends. I think some people are afraid to approach him because of his scar and his mentality now. Family members are good about it. But some people just sit back and stare. It has been different for all of us. I am still single. I recently started a long-distance relationship (very long distance, another county as a matter of fact) and it is going well. My son is happy to see the light back in my eyes.

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

Social life? What is that exactly? I go nowhere. I only go out once a month to pay bills … and then back home to my son. I did mention we are starting to go on walks, so the fresh air is wonderful for both of us.

Jesus Castro Hanson - Brain Injury Survivor

Jesus Castro Hanson – Brain Injury Survivor

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

I have faith that in ten years my son will be much better. I hope it will not happen again. I monitor his vitals three times a day. I make sure he eats right and exercises, gets plenty of sleep, and drinks enough water. I would hope that ten years from now my son will be able to be on his own. That is a long time … if he needs my help, I will be at his disposal. I gave him my word that I would not leave him until he was back to somewhat normal. He still has a long road ahead of him.

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

If there is a support-group in your town or close enough for you to go to, GO! I do not have that option, but I would love it if there were a support-group for the both of us here. If you must cry, cry in the shower … no one can tell! (Just say you got shampoo in your eyes.) Never lose your temper or let your survivor see you get that way. Even if you need to walk away for a minute or two to collect yourself, then do so and go back. Many people find God and pray – that seems to help them. SING! SING! SING! Music does wonders!

(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.)

As I say after each post: Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Commentanim0014-1_e0-1 below this post.

Feel free to follow my blog. Click on “Follow” on the upper right sidebar.

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.

 

Caregivers SPEAK OUT! Bob Millsap

Caregivers SPEAK OUT! Bob Millsap

presented

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Bob Millsap - Caregiver

Bob Millsap – Caregiver

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

Bob Millsap

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

Glendale, Arizona, USA

Email? (optional)

robertemillsap@gmail.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?

My wife, Shelly, is the brain-injury survivor. She was 46. It happened because of a freak accident in our home – a bottle of homemade ginger-ale exploded just as Shelly walked by. It broke her nose and bruised her face, but the TBI (traumatic brain injury) symptoms did not become apparent for two weeks.

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 January 17, 2013. I was 45. I was then and am now Shelly’s main caregiver.

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

Yes. Our boys were 12 and 18 at the time.

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

Yes. I worked many hours. I had an employer who was not very understanding. This was very challenging. It made me re-evaluate things career-wise.

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

No. We lived at the time in Victor, Idaho (near Jackson Hole, Wyoming). We were in a very rural area. There was no family support near us.

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

My support started once my wife’s TBI symptoms became apparent.

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

Shelly was unconscious for twenty minutes.

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?

Shelly had to relearn to walk and talk. She worked with a couple of alternative
providers that we will always be thankful for. She continues to do home therapy.

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

Shelly has severe PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), so I help any way possible for this. I try to keep daily life as simple and consistent as possible, with constant support and advocacy. I do the driving and I manage her medications.

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

It hurts so much to witness Shelly live this every day. But I am more patient and understanding as a person. I don’t sweat the small things as I used to.

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

I miss Shelly’s being able to live life without fear.

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

I like that the deep bond in our immediate family has strengthened.

15. What do you like least about brain injury?

I dislike knowing that Shelly must face challenges every day.

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

Dealing with this has been made possible by our faith in God, our love for each other, and Shelly’s AMAZING outlook. I never see her feeling sorry for herself. It’s amazing and inspiring.

17. Has your survivor’s injury affected your home life and relationships and, if so, how?iloveuredflyingheartsgifanimatedimagesfreedownloadbannerlove-gifphotographicclipartmobileiphoneipadscreensaverbackgroundfreeclipartanimationgifmaniahd3diloveyou

Our relationship is stronger than ever. It has really given us perspective on what is important. Our two boys are very compassionate and understanding. I am very proud of how they handle this.

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

We moved back to Arizona earlier this year, and that has been great for Shelly! It was lonely for her in rural Idaho, even before the accident. Some of her friends have been
GREAT once she got back here. Others … not so much. We try to make
sure to stay out of loud, chaotic, or unpredictable situations. We adjust to our new normal. Shelly’s TBI is truly an invisible injury, so some friends and family understand … some do not.
19. What are your plans? What do you expect/hope to be doing ten years from now?

I would love to see Shelly be able to have a rewarding, peaceful life outside of the home. She is such a kind and helpful person. I always believe there is a way that her experience with TBI and PTSD can greatly help others.

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

Shelly Millsap - Brain Injury Survivor Bob Millsap - Caregiver

Shelly Millsap – Brain Injury Survivor
Bob Millsap – Caregiver

Take one day at a time. Be patient. Ask questions of the medical and rehab communities. Search for answers. Try not to ask “Why me?” and feel sorry for yourself. Rid yourself of negative situations and negative people. Be flexible and have thick skin. Find support-groups to become involved with.

(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.)

As I say after each post: Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Commentanim0014-1_e0-1 below this post.

Feel free to follow my blog. Click on “Follow” on the upper right sidebar.

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.

Caregivers SPEAK OUT! . . . Lynn Sandoval

Caregivers  SPEAK OUT!  Lynn Sandoval

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 

Lynn Sandoval - Caregiver

Lynn Sandoval – Caregiver

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

Lynn Sandoval

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

Brady, Texas, USA

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 brain-injury survivor is my husband. He was 39 years old when he had the brain injury. He was in an automobile accident. His car was hit twice, once head-on. The first car hit my husband’s car at ~95 mph. This hit spun my husband’s car around, and a second car, following the first car, hit my husband’s car in the rear at ~85 mph. My husband’s car was spun back around and finally came to a rest in the middle of the road.

4. On what date did you begin care for your brain-injury survivor?

I began care the day after my husband’s accident – when I was able to get to the hospital where he had been flown.

Were you the main caregiver?

In the beginning, my husband had hospital care in addition to mine.

Are you now?

I have been my husband’s only caregiver since he came home from the hospital.

How old were you when you began care?

I was 52.

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 brain injury? If so, were you able to continue working?

Yes, I was employed. I have been able to utilize FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) and sick leave. I have continued working whenever I am able to.

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

I have not had any help at home caring for my husband.

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

My support began in the hospital, and it continues to this day.

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

My husband was in a coma the first few days. While he was in a coma, I stayed by his bedside and talked to him. I touched him on the areas that weren’t bandaged to let him know I was there.

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)?

My husband had physical, speech, and occupational therapies in the hospital. They continued when we got home, once I got him set up for evaluations.

How long was the rehab?

k20116138My husband is still in physical therapy, and he recently started occupational therapy again. (He had “graduated” from occupational therapy about a year ago, but his neurologist requested that he do it again.)

Where were you when your survivor was getting therapy?

I was there with my husband during the beginning therapies, but after some time, he went to the therapies alone. Now we work together on exercises at home.

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

Now my husband is able to do things for himself, but I still have to get his medications together for him every day because he doesn’t remember if he’s taken them or not.diabetes_medications

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

Since I’ve become a caregiver, I have discovered that people will withdraw from situations because they don’t understand TBI (traumatic brain injury). It has its ups and downs, but we are now seeing more positive steps and are hopeful for the future. I have found that I am more depressed and feel alone because I am more involved with making sure everything is OK for my husband, but I am learning to take time for me.

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

Life before my husband’s TBI was a lot less stressful – being able to leave the house and not worry if he is OK. Now I keep my phone with me continuously so that, if he needs something, he can call and I’ll be there for him.

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

I am grateful that I still have my husband with me.

15. What do you like least about brain injury?

I dislike the frustration and confusion that my husband feels when he is trying to remember something and he can’t.

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

Yes – support-groups and reading – and more reading – on anything and everything I can find about TBI and about what can and can’t be beneficial – not only for him, but for us and our relationship.

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

Yes. I find I am hyper-aware of anything and everything my husband does in an effort to keep him safe. The relationships with his family and friends have become nonexistent. It hurts my husband so much to feel that no one cares about him.

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

Yes. We don’t go out much anymore because my husband doesn’t like being in large, noisy crowds and because it is difficult for him to stand or walk for extended periods of time.

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

My husband’s plans are to hopefully get approved for disability insurance and then to return to his job (that they are holding for him) part-time so that he can financially contribute to our family. My plans, if we are able to get some additional income instead of just mine (which has been our income for almost the last two years), would be to find a job to use my Master’s Degree. I just completed my degree program this past year in psychology. I’d like to work with other traumatic-brain-injury survivors and help advocate for them. Here in our small town, nothing is available.

Lynn Sandoval - Caregiver

Lynn Sandoval – Caregiver

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

I would say that, despite the difficulties in being a caregiver, caregiving can be rewarding – when together you see the progress your survivor is making because of his or her drive and determination and because of the support and love that you give him or her. It is tiring, it can be frustrating, and you may feel like screaming – these are all normal responses. The key is to remember to take a moment, to try to take care of yourself (this is the hardest thing), and to believe in each other.

 

(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.)

 

As I say after each post: Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Commentanim0014-1_e0-1 below this post.

Feel free to follow my blog. Click on “Follow” on the upper right sidebar.

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.

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

SPEAK OUT! Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 

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 neelyf@aol.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 is this week’s Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

 

Janice Tindle - Survivor

Janice Tindle – Survivor

Janice Tindle (survivor)…My accomplishment is getting published after my TBI (traumatic brain injury). I have a blog (janicetindle.com), where you’ll find all my links. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I’ve been published in Caregiver magazine, Fearless Caregiver, and TBI Hope and Inspiration magazine. I’m also a contributor to TheMighty.com. I raise awareness about TBI and dystonia (a neurological movement disorder). I recently won the 1pg. Short Screenplay Contest. My entry, entitled Galicia’s Granite, was performed at the Novel Writing Festival. It’s on YouTube. I just fought two spam sites and got them to remove my article, 7 Ways to Support a Loved One with a Traumatic Brain Injury, off their sites. kids-hand-writing-clip-art-hand_with_pencil_5CAnnie Ricketts has it posted (with my permission) on her site, biglobalpicnic.org. I’m very proud of that article. I’m working on a several books and hope to become a PAID writer very soon!

 

 

Raine Turner - Caregiver & Author

Raine Turner – Caregiver & Author

Raine Turner (caregiver)…I am going to brag – big huge momma brag! My son [my brain-injured son, who was not supposed to survive, never mind thrive; my drug-dealing son, with a federal criminal record; my son, who is now at the University of Calgary studying a dual degree in Business and Actuarial Science (I said I was going to brag) and getting 80s (yes, on a reduced course load and with tutors)] is thriving against all odds. congrats-you-did-itThis same young man was actually the KEYNOTE speaker at the Brain Injury conference in Ottawa, which is supported by the federal government! So, if you think you cannot achieve, cannot fight, or cannot rise up to be at a higher level than the one on which you are at, you should put on your “big boy” or “big girl” underpants and work hard. You WILL rise up to be at a level higher than the one you are at now. It will not be easy; it will not be fun; but you will improve your life. If you need, I can always “kick your ass” to achieve more, as I did for my son! I am so excited; I am so proud of him! He has worked so hard for so long. My son is my HERO!

Raine Turner, the author of “Only Son… Only Child,” will be a guest on my show, “Another Fork in the Road” on Sunday, August 21, 2016, at 5:30pm Pacific Time, with her son, Ryan. I hope you will join us.

 

Matthew Vickers - Survivor

Matthew Vickers – Survivor

 

Matthew Vickers (survivor)…A huge feat for a traumatic brain injury survivor tubshower11who can’t walk or stand and only has the use of his right arm and hand … For consecutive weeks, I have independently showered, and that includes completing all necessary transfers.

 

 

YOU did it!

Congratulations to contributors!

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributors.)

 

As I say after each post:anim0014-1_e0-1

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

Feel free to follow my blog. Click on “Follow” on the upper right sidebar.

If you like my blog, share it intact with your friends. It’s easy! Click the “Share” buttons below.

If you don’t like my blog, “Share” it intact with your enemies. I don’t care!

Feel free to “Like” my post.

Caregivers SPEAK OUT! . . . . . Ian Lees

Caregivers  SPEAK OUT!  Ian Lees

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 

 

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

Ian Lees

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

Tipp City, Ohio, USA

e99290a9147c6b8d6ef54bc0694e98853. 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 survivor is my wife. Her brain injury happened on July 5, 2005, the date of the accident. We were rear-ended in a motor vehicle accident.

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?

My care began on July 5, 2005. Yes, I am the main caregiver. I have been since the accident.

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 brain injury? If so, were you able to continue working?

Yes, and I still work.

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

I had no help really from anyone who lives close by.

husband-and-wife-hi8. When did your support of the survivor begin (e.g., immediately – in the hospital; when the survivor returned home; etc.)?

My support began the day of the accident.

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?k20116138

Yes, my wife did rehab for a while. She did occupational, speech, and physical therapies. I took her to rehab twice a week.

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

I take her for everything. She hasn’t worked or driven a car since 2005, contrary to the doctor’s point of view.

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

My life hasn’t gotten worse. My wife has no real social life outside of me or unless she visits her family. She has depression and other issues.

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

I miss lots of things. The list is long.check-list-hi

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

I am in school for neuroscience and psychology because the doctors don’t have answers or don’t have the honesty to tell the truth. I read lots. I have spent most of my time reading books and studying. I am always looking for answers. My wife and I do cook together and have outings.

15. What do you like least about brain injury?

I don’t like how the brain injury has left my wife mentally. She is not on most medications because they have side effects we don’t care for.

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

My reading and going to school have helped. It was either divorce or find ways to take care of my wife. So, why not make a life and career out of this – and take care of her?

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

Yes. In many ways

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

(No answer)

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

My plans are to get a degree and hopefully to help others get a better understanding of what to expect and what not to expect. There are dos and don’ts. I am a veteran and would like to help them, as well as others.

th-120. What advice would you offer other caregivers of brain-injury survivors? Do you have any other comments that you would like to add?

Suggestions: educate yourself as much as you can, and don’t always believe what you hear or read without checking other resources. There is a long road ahead, and it will keep you busy. For me, the more I read, the better I understand. It has cut down on arguments and fights. When you live with TBI (traumatic brain injury) and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), you see life from a whole different perspective.caring-for-the-caregiver

 

(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.)

 

As I say after each post: Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Commentanim0014-1_e0-1 below this post.

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If you don’t like my blog, “Share” it with your enemies. I don’t care!

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

SPEAK OUT! Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 

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 neelyf@aol.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 is this week’s Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

 

Brown, Rebekah Survivor

Rebekah Brown – Survivor

Rebekah Brown (survivor), as told by her caregiver mother…I am really excited! After over two years of not eating, Rebekah is interested in food. I have been able to feed her orally with a pouch of yogurt for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She opens her mouth for it and sucks it out. Previously, she would bat food away whenever we would put it into her mouth. Now she actually wants it and is participating in feeding!

My heart is exploding for her and what all this opens up for her. All this began the day BEFORE she started stem-cell therapy.

Rebekah Brown - Survivor - 1st time eating in 2-years

Rebekah Brown – Survivor – 1st time eating in 2-years

 

This is significant because it shows the benefits coming from HBOT (hyperbaric oxygen therapy). (Why is this not covered by insurance?) Thank you to everyone who has supported Rebekah, prayed for her, and contributed to her rehabilitation. It is working!

 

YOU did it!

Congratulations to contributors!

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

As I say after each post:anim0014-1_e0-1

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

Feel free to follow my blog. Click on “Follow” on the upper right sidebar.

If you like my blog, share it intact with your friends. It’s easy! Click the “Share” buttons below.

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Feel free to “Like” my post.

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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.

Everything and nothing. GM1123 😊

Bienvenue. I’m thinking this is the spot where I am to write a witty, flowery personal section that pulls you in......I got nuthin’

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