Michelle and Joe Patnesky – Parents of Hailee

Check out the story about a mom fighting for the life and proper care of her daughter who was hit by a car January 2021.

When doctors and therapists don’t have faith, sometimes a family’s love and prayers can work miracles.

Michelle Patnesky, the mom of 17 year old Hailee, takes us on a journey with her family as they traverse the system to advocate for their daughter who has sustained a severe brain injury and remains in the hospital.

https://hopetbi.com/michelle-patnesky-caregiver/

Help me welcome our newest HOPE’sters!

Introducing Vera Quijano – Survivor

Check out our newest story submission. at HOPE TBI www.hopetbi.com

Vera Quijano, a dance and yoga Instructor, who is now dancing to the beat of a different drum after sustaining a Traumatic Brain Injury after surviving a vehicle accident, where she was hit by a drunk driver.

Check out her video interview here:https://hopetbi.com/vera-quijano-survivor/

Also check out a song she wrote about her journey called “Post Concussionist” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKLVx5em_fo

At HOPE TBI we welcome Vera as our latest HOPE’ster!!!

That Mother

I just want to say to all you Mothers’s, Step-mothers, Foster Mom’s, and Guardians fulfilling a role as a “mother” figure…..

I see you.

I see your love, your sacrifice, your devotion, your fierce advocacy, your struggle, your effort, your laughter, your tears, your disappointment, your celebrations, your resentment, your anger, your amazement, your exhaustion, your selflessness, and your commitment.


I just want to say to all you Mother’s, Step-mothers, Foster Mom’s, and Guardians fulfilling a role as a “mother” figure….

I hear you.

I hear your cheers, your jeers, your concerns, your focused topics, your questions, your accolades, your encouragements, your motivational speeches, your yelling, your frustration, your grief, your joy, your coaching, your mediation, your compassion, and your ongoing effort at communication.


I just want to say to all you Mother’s, Step-mothers, Foster Mom’s, and Guardians fulfilling a role as a “mother” figure….

Just Be You.

Be the best version of yourself each day, be that disheveled mess, be that organized detailed version of yourself, be true to your values, be that parent that can admit their mistakes, be that parent that lives by example, be a stay at home parent, be a working parent, be a disabled parent, be a retired parent, be scattered, be focused, be hard to understand, be easy to get along with, be the parent that lacks humor, or be the parent that can make your child laugh. Just be YOU.


You are who your child(ren) will remember long after they have grown and you are their influencers for good or evil, love or hate, bravery or fear, joy or sadness, loved or abandoned, condemned or celebrated. You are the beginning of their imprint on the world.


Thank you for being just who you are and adding to the fabric of our world with your ability to be THAT MOTHER.


Happy Mother’s Day!


~Written by Caren Robinson 2021

HOPEster Movement

Join the HOPEster Movement!

Are you passionate, idealistic, and believe in the inherent goodness of others and our collective responsibility to each other as human beings?

Then you are a HOPE’ster!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/hopester/

#HOPEster #hope_tbi #ImaHOPEster

Beating The Stigma of Mental Health

Check Out Our Radio Show from today for

Brain Injury Awareness Month.

Brain Injury Radio Recovery Now – with Caren Robinson and Kim Justus, sponsored by the TBI Network.

(click Title to right) Beating The Stigma of Mental Health

Check out our collection of other Radio Shows here as well:

Publications, Radio, and Outreach

Thank you for visiting the HOPE TBI Website.

Please take the time to make a comment, share your thoughts, and tell us what impacted you the most and what brought you here:

https://hopetbi.com/reviews-and-testimonials/

Your input is important to the development and growth of this website, and we like to know what is going on out there in your thoughts.

Thank you for visiting us! We look forward to hearing from you

Brain Injury Awareness Month

Brain Injury Awareness Month
Join the  #MoreThanMyBrainInjury 
Campaign this March

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) leads the nation in observing Brain Injury Awareness Month by conducting an awareness campaign in March each year.

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) theme for the 2021 to 2023 campaign is More Than My Brain Injury.

About Brain Injury

#hope_tbi

5 Important Brain Injury Recovery Steps

HOPE TBI Podcast
Brain Injury Recovery Steps

Although the vast majority of people recover after a concussion (guess what? a concussion IS a brain injury)…….how quickly they improve, rehabilitate, and return to their daily activities depends on many factors. These factors include how severe their concussion was, their age, how healthy they were before the concussion, how they take care of themselves after the injury, and the resources provided to them regarding their aftercare/recovery process (this means being provided with proper directions, follow up, and educational information by good providers who know what they are doing).

Okay, we say “good providers”. I do want to say that brain science is changing and evolving on a daily basis. It may not be possible for your provider to know all the latest and greatest developments regarding brain injury recovery, so don’t be too hard on them. It is also difficult for the rehabilitation team of providers to know exactly how long a recovery will take, especially at the beginning. This is why it is called “practicing medicine” – not everything is certain or known. The more you know, the more you realize that once you’ve seen one brain injury you’ve seen one brain injury. This means that all brain injuries, and healing abilities from those brain injuries are different (even if they share similar symptomology). A “good provider” would be someone who advocates for their patient, or defers their patient to a provider with specialized training, or who acts as an active listener and guide through the recovery process (even if that means being willing to learn about new scientific breakthroughs and keeping up on their skills, and knowledge base around what they are treating you for). Is that clear as mud? LOL

Do not compare your concussion (brain injury) symptoms and recovery to that of someone else or even to any previous concussions you may have sustained. Each persons injury is different, and the symptoms of each brain injury(even when happening to the same person) may be different and require a different rehabilitation time as well.

It has been established time and time again that recovery is usually fastest in the early weeks and months after brain injury. In the first few weeks after a brain injury, swelling, bleeding or changes in brain chemistry and physiological aspects of the brain are often affected, and affect the function of healthy brain tissue. The fastest improvement usually happens in about the first six months after injury. During this time, the injured person will likely show a vast array of improvement and may even seem steadily be getting better. The person continues to improve between six months and two years after injury, but this varies greatly for different people and may not happen as fast as the first six months. It is important to note though that while improvements slow down substantially after two years….additional healing and progress may still occur many years after injury. Also the opposite is true as well. A person who appears to be recovered or rehabilitated may not experience affects or manifestation of their injury until years later.

There are some poignant things to keep in mind regarding recovery from a brain injury.

  • If you suffered from anxiety or depression before your head injury, it may make it harder to adjust to the symptoms of a concussion (brain injury)
  • If you already had a medical condition at the time of your concussion (such as chronic headaches or chronic pain), it may take longer for you to recover
  • Receiving another concussion before the brain has healed can result in brain swelling, exacerbated symptoms, permanent brain damage, coma, or death – especially in our youth. You should therefore avoid activities that could cause you to jolt, bump, hurt, or cause a blow to be made to your head.
  • If you are a woman (female) it may take you longer to recover and you may have more severe symptoms that your male counterparts.
  • Numerous Concussions (brain injuries) over time may cause you to have ongoing serious long-term problems, including chronic memory challenges, difficulty with concentration, persistent headaches, and occasionally, diminished fine motor/physical skills (such as keeping the ability to stay balanced or walk in a straight line).

After reading all this, the question presents itself as,

“Great! Then what things CAN I do to improve my rehabilitation process?”

After all, that’s why you are here to see what that burning question will reveal, right?!?!

Neuro Optometry
  • 1. Vision Testing –
    • I don’t mean like your typical eye doctor or optometrist/ophthalmologist that you would see to get your vision tested for glasses. or your glasses prescription adjusted. They don’t have the specialized training for the help you may need. I am talking about seeing a Neuro-Ophthalmologist/Optometrist (yes there is a difference). A Neuro Optometrist is trained to diagnose and treat neurological conditions that negatively impact the visual system. A Neuro-Ophthalmologist is a medical doctor that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment/rehabilitation of neurological conditions adversely affecting the visual system and specializes in neurology AND ophthalmology.
    • They specialize in visual problems that relate to the nervous system (brain injury, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and diabetic neuropathy). They help patients rehabilitate their vision with specific visual exercises/eye-training exercises that rewire the brain (neuroplasticity). These exercises can be done in the office during a scheduled appointment or at home with the aim being to reduce symptoms and promote visual recovery. These exercises are designed to improve balance, gait, visual information processing, cognitive skills, visual memory, motor skills, double vision, tracking/scanning problems, inability to focus, loss of central vison, strabismus (eye turning), convergence insufficiency, visual field loss, issues with depth perception, etc.
    • They may also, for some patients, prescribe specific optical lenses called prisms (prism glasses)
    • The treatment from this may last weeks, months, and for some patients – years.
    • See additional information about VISION THERAPY.
Auditory Testing
  • 2. Auditory Testing (hearing tests) –
    • Hearing issues are often overlooked in polytrauma patients because of other visible life threatening injuries that often take medical precedence/priority. However, hearing loss may mask or confuse getting a correct diagnosis for other injuries. Some patients have been diagnosed as being unresponsive or uncooperative when it was their hearing that was affected. Issues with the ear can result in problems related to balance, hearing loss, dizziness, vertigo ( the most common vertigo being benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), tinnitus (ringing in the ear), chronic nausea, and headaches. While some of these changes are reversible, others are not. This is the importance of getting auditory testing completed as soon as possible after a head injury.
    • Dizziness is believed to occur in 40-60% of people with traumatic brain injuries. The ear is also the organ that is the most susceptible to blast exposures. The extent of ear damage from a blast depends on a multitude of factors (size of blast, environment, distance from blast, orientation of ear canal to the blast, open or closed area during blast). The most common injury from a blast is a ruptured eardrum (tympanic membrane). There are also cases of traumatically induced Meniere’s Disease.
    • Hearing loss as a result of brain injury causes damage to the inner ear or because there is damage to the brain that produces sound. Auditory problems could be mistake for signs of cognitive deficits attributed directly to a brain injury. Hearing loss also exacerbate the social, emotional, and cognitive affects of the brain injury. It is possible to have cognitive affects related to brain injury AND loss of hearing at the same time.
    • Auditory symptoms may include difficulty understanding speech, especially when there is background noise; difficulty locating sounds (knowing where the sounds are coming from); hyperacusis (extreme sensitivity to sounds); tinnitus (ringing in the ears with no external source of the sound); conductive or sensorineural hearing loss ( damage either to the tiny hair cells in your inner ear – known as stereocilia, or to the nerve pathways that lead from your inner ear to the brain); distorted hearing, etc.
  • 3. Speech Therapy –
    • Brain injuries can cause speech, language, thinking, and swallowing problems. Speech therapists treat all these conditions
    • Types of issues treated are dysarthria (when the muscles you use for speech are weak or you have difficulty controlling them causing slurred or slowed speech that can be difficult to understand), aphasia (impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write), improving cognitive communication skills, and improving memory
    • Goals in treatment by a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)/speech therapist is to help the person speak more clearly; express thoughts more effectively; improve problem-solving, planning, and organization skills; improve speech to make it clearer; reading comprehension skills; improvement of memory using various tools (calendars, notebooks, to-do lists, post-it notes, planner, white boards, etc); learn ways to swallow safely; work on social skills through reading and social cues, etc.
  • 4. SPECT CT –
    • CT and MRI scans provide detailed information on the anatomical structure of the brain. Brain SPECT imaging reveals the function of the brain by measuring blood flow. 
    • Functional brain imaging is not considered a stand-alone diagnostic tool.   While there are varying levels of acceptance among the neurological and psychiatric conditions, the science and technology have been research for decades and there are hundreds of published research studies utilizing SPECT for the evaluation of the various conditions.
    • See our article – SPECT CT
  • 5. Rest
    • Rest and proper sleep is very important after a concussion because it helps the brain to heal. Ignoring their symptoms and trying to “tough it out” often makes symptoms worse.  Physical and cognitive rest is often recommended, however this varies greatly depending on the health of the brain prior to the injury, as well as the force sustained.
    • These activities, patients are advised by healthcare providers to rest from after a brain injury include: reading, using a computer, watching television, playing video games, or working on school assignments. For many people, physical and mental rest until symptoms subside is the only treatment needed for a concussion or other head injury.
    •  During the first 24 hours, the brain needs as much rest as possible, including minimizing mental, and physical stimulation.
    • After 24 hours, if the injured is symptom-free, the injured person may begin the “relative rest” progressive protocol. Relative rest refers to avoiding any mental or physical activity that provokes the concussion-related symptom (for example if they participate in a physical activity and it increases symptoms, then stop that particular activity)
    • Each day a person can add more mental and physical exertion, as long as their activities don’t provoke any concussion symptoms. It is advised to avoid any strenuous exercise for a week or so. If you want to keep exercising, try to keep it light. If you’re a runner, for example, try walking. It’s also best to avoid any heavy lifting for a week. Moderate activity over the long term helps reduce effects of depression, feelings of isolation,
    • Regardless of the severity of your concussion (brain injury), you should be symptom-free before returning to normal activity, and your condition should be carefully monitored by your doctors.

“NEVER GIVE UP ON A HEAD INJURED PATIENT. – Recovery Occurs for the rest of a person’s life. Give people the type of treatment that they deserve. ~David Hovda, PhD

Thank you for visiting the HOPE TBI Website.

Please take the time to make a comment, share your thoughts, and tell us what impacted you the most and what brought you here:

https://hopetbi.com/reviews-and-testimonials/

Your input is important to the development and growth of this website, and we like to know what is going on out there in your thoughts.

Thank you for visiting us! We look forward to hearing from you.

Year of the SEVEN

HOPE TBI PODCAST

Today is my RE-BIRTHDAY.  I am 7. 

That is seven years since the accident that rocked my world and changed everything forever.  Seven years since becoming the walking dead to the actually breathing and eventually living.

There is no culture in the history of the world and no religion where the number seven is not a powerful and positive number. 

The number seven is a number that represents and symbolize introspection, inner wisdom, truth, and the origination of life. It is said to represent security, safety, rest, and is considered lucky throughout our history and through many civilizations.

Seven is known as the number of total completeness and perfection – most often related to a spiritual direction, though the physical part cannot be ignored or discounted either. It derives much of its meaning from being tied directly to God creating the world, where the world was created in six days and God rested on the seventh day – creating the foundation of the seven-day-week we use to this day (for those that believe in that line of thought). The number seven is also featured in the Book of Revelation (seven churches, seven angels, seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven stars). The Koran speaks of seven heavens and Muslim pilgrims walk around the Kaaba in Mecca (Islam’s most sacred site) seven times. In Hinduism there are seven higher worlds and seven underworlds, and in Buddhism the newborn Buddha rises and takes seven steps.  There are also the 7 deadly sins (pride, greed, lust, gluttony, envy, anger, sloth) and the 7 virtues of the spirit (chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, humility OR also known as faith, hope, charity, fortitude, prudence, temperance)

Most of us have even heard about the seven wonders of the world, so seven is special to the global community as well.  In fact, regarding every day life, studies have shown that most people can retain roughly seven items of information in their short term memory ( a real challenge with a brain injury let me tell ya). That is why phone numbers in the U.S. and many other countries tend to have seven digits (not counting the area code part of the number).

In fact, even when focusing on healthy sleep hygiene, it is recommended to get seven hours of sleep (less than five or more than nine and your risk for heart attack, stroke, angina, and a host of other non-restful issues increases).

Over the last seven years I have really learned to see obstacles and limitations as opportunities and a reason to really lean on HOPE and embrace faith and allow myself to BE hopeful.  To give permission to myself to accept a new type of paced existence.  But what does that REALLY MEAN…to have HOPE?

This does not mean that I was positive all the time. I can tell you that! Oh no, far from it.  See, HOPE does not necessarily equal optimism or positivity. Sure optimists are often more positive than those that are caught up in dark moments/thoughts, or with overwhelming feelings of defeat and depression when faced with a “new normal” where they literally have to learn everything again.  However, even the most pessimistic/negative person can have HOPE for things to be different or improve.  I can personally attest to the facts that there have been many dark moments/thoughts over the last seven years.  Yet being able to hang onto HOPE, hang onto the belief that I was here for a specific reason (even though I didn’t know what that was) and then making the effort to LIVE and embrace my life in every form it came to me in became my focus and continues to unfold as my reality.

This day is spiritually significant to me.  It is physically significant to me. This day is emotionally significant to me and I am pleased to be able to take another breath….to reach another goal……to live a new dream and embrace new aspirations and possibilities.  I am pleased to be guided by Faith, HOPE, and LOVE.  I am pleased to be able to FEEL pain, FEEL elation, FEEL defeat, FEEL supported, FEEL misunderstood, FEEL heard, FEEL sadness, FEEL happiness, FEEL lost at times, and FEEL accomplished.

I am grateful to be allowed to have an avenue to share my journey with all of you and HOPE I can offer some measure of HOPE for someone who may end up reading this today. 

So happy RE-BIRTHDAY to me.  This is the YEAR OF THE SEVEN.  The year I loudly embrace that special introspection, inner wisdom brought forth, speak my truth, and continue the celebration of life.  I accept what seven has to offer: security, safety, rest, and while pacing myself, cherishing how lucky I am to continue to rewrite my own history.  I open my arms to the Universe and to my experiences and hold hands with HOPE, while  living in the moment and looking forward to the future, while building on that visualization.

Grateful for another blessing and another opportunity to draw in breath one more time.

Thank you for visiting the HOPE TBI Website.

Please take the time to make a comment, share your thoughts, and tell us what impacted you the most and what brought you here:

https://hopetbi.com/reviews-and-testimonials/

Your input is important to the development and growth of this website, and we like to know what is going on out there in your thoughts.

Thank you for visiting us! We look forward to hearing from you.

9 Essential Resources for Migrant Workers Affected by COVID-19

Image via Pixabay

9 Essential Resources for Migrant Workers Affected by COVID-19

At Hope TBI, our mission is to offer guidance and support to those affected by traumas of any kind. This includes physical, mental, and emotional traumas sustained before, during, or after your migration to the United States — or as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic. As such, the nine links below will connect you with the different resources that may be available to you amid COVID-19 — especially if you’re facing deportation, struggling to find work, looking for medical testing, or need help putting food on the table.

Medical, Unemployment Insurance, and Employment Resources

These three resources will help you to understand your rights as a migrant worker during COVID-19 — and find new work opportunities if you’ve lost your job.

Financial Assistance

During the coronavirus crisis, migrant and undocumented workers can benefit from the following financial assistance programs.

  • Explore the different immigrant response funds that may be available to you and your family during the pandemic.
  • Contact your state’s Social Services Agency to check your eligibility for food, cash, or child care assistance.
  • Locate a food bank near you if you’re struggling to put food on the table due to job loss or any other reason.

Legal Resources

Whether you’re facing deportation or need one or more legal documents translated into your native language, these three resources can help.

  • Visit Informed Immigrant to find a complete list of regional and national resources for immigrants during the coronavirus crisis. You’ll find resources on financial assistance, mental health, healthcare, education, housing, and more.
  • Look for top freelancers to help with everything from translating and understanding legal documents to handling the legalities of deportation proceedings.
  • Facing deportation but can’t afford to hire a lawyer? Look for free or low-cost legal assistance.

The coronavirus pandemic has been devastating for the U.S. economy, and billions of lives have been disrupted in one way or another. With the nine resources above, hopefully you’ll have all the information you need to find new work opportunities, get tested for COVID-19, obtain legal counsel, and make ends meet during this unprecedented time.

Submitted By:

Diane Harrison

Healthpsa.info

diane@healthpsa.info

Thank you for visiting the HOPE TBI Website.

Please take the time to make a comment, share your thoughts, and tell us what impacted you the most and what brought you here:

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Your input is important to the development and growth of this website, and we like to know what is going on out there in your thoughts.

Thank you for visiting us! We look forward to hearing from you.

Call To Action for HOPE TBI

Thank you for visiting the HOPE TBI Website.

If you have found value in this Site, in any of the content, any of the stories you have read, learned any information that you didn’t know before, felt validated, felt hopeful, appreciated the vast resources provided, can relate to anything you have read, or listened to in these pages, then this is a Call of Action for you.

Please take the time to make a comment, share your thoughts, and tell us what impacted you the most and what brought you here:

https://hopetbi.com/reviews-and-testimonials/

Your input is important to the development and growth of this website, and we like to know what is going on out there in your thoughts.

Thank you for visiting us! We look forward to hearing from you.

REVIEWS and TESTIMONIALS

Transition Ability

Let’s start your journey. Contact me for a FREE 30 Minute Life Coaching Consultation.

Sometimes its the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination ~Drake

If you can’t fly, then run; If you can’t run, then walk; If you can’t walk, then crawl; but by all means, keep moving.
~ Martin Luther King Jr.

#vitalabilityllc #transitions #ability #hope_tbi #lifecoach #trauma #braininjury #survivor

Thank you for visiting the HOPE TBI Website.

Please take the time to make a comment, share your thoughts, and tell us what impacted you the most and what brought you here:

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Your input is important to the development and growth of this website, and we like to know what is going on out there in your thoughts.

Thank you for visiting us! We look forward to hearing from you.

Vital Ability, LLC

This is a long time coming. I have finished my educational training as a Certified Holistic Life, Career and Executive Coach. I am specializing in Transitional Life Coaching, Brain Injury Recovery Life Coaching, and Disability Life Coaching.

I work with a diverse array of clientele from the general public – including medical patients, caregivers, providers, soldiers/veterans, business owners, executives, public officials, professionals, entrepreneurs, LGBTQ, parents, older Teenagers, and others from around the world through virtual connections.

 My training incorporates holistic coaching techniques, traditional coaching methods, Brain Based coaching, Ontological coaching, Emotional Intelligence (EQ) coaching, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) coaching, and Positive Psychology coaching.

Also, I am pleased to offer Medical Advocacy Consultant services to those looking to have a bit more support on their rehabilitative journey. Please see the website to get more information on these different services.

www.vitalability.com

Learn more about Vital Ability in this Interview:

Vital Ability, LLC Interview

Please feel free to share this page with anyone you think would be interested. Thanks for supporting me.

I wish you are peace, health, and happiness. Let me know what you think and don’t hesitate to reach out. You are not alone. You are a miracle!!!

~Caren Robinson~

Thank you for visiting the HOPE TBI Website.

Please take the time to make a comment, share your thoughts, and tell us what impacted you the most and what brought you here:

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Your input is important to the development and growth of this website, and we like to know what is going on out there in your thoughts.

Thank you for visiting us! We look forward to hearing from you.

We Support Black Lives Matter

Some of our readers may think to themselves why is all this focus being put on Black lives…don’t all lives matter?

Saying Black Lives Matter does not mean other lives don’t matter. Not at all.  In fact, saying All Lives Matter (though coming from a good place for most who embrace that term) misses the crux of the Black Lives Matter movement.  Saying “All Lives Matter” pulls the attention away from Black Lives, who are the ones that are and have been heavily discriminated against for generations.

Black Lives Matter is a rallying slogan/anthem that speakes out about police brutality and systemic racism.  It calls for a shift in statistics where Black people are twice – three times more likely to be killed by a police officer while unarmed, compared to a white individual. As a nation we need to pay attention to all of our races and cultures equally and stop acting like Black Lives are devalued in some way.  Saying “All Lives Matter” diminishes and dsicounts the focus on the violence and discrimination Black individuals face every day. Black Americans are disproportionately impacted by not only police violence, but systemic racism.  By saying Black Lives Matter, we are saying that Black Lives Matter as much as White Lives.

We support racial justice and we support equality.

Examples below of the difference between saying Black Lives Matter vs saying All Lives Matter:

If you see someone’s house on fire getting destroyed, you don’t stand there and yell at the fire department to put water on your house that’s not burning because you have a house too. No, you focus on the emergency in front of you at that moment and give everything you got to save that house and protect the people in that house that is burning.

Giving attention to the burning house is not saying your house doesn’t matter. It’s not saying your life or all the other houses and lives in the neighborhood don’t matter. It’s saying we need to focus on what is burning right now and not ignore this fire because their lives matter too.

~compiled based on a comic strip by Kris Straub

If you see a person on the ground who fell and cut their knees open and they are bleeding profusely and people are trying to help put pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding until help comes….

You don’t stand there and yell at them saying “Hey I have knees too, in fact I have two of them – what about my help…what about my knees?”

No….you focus on the person that’s bleeding and needs that lifesaving help in that moment. You triage and prioritize.

That doesn’t mean that if you may injure your knees in the future or have injured your knees in the past that your knees don’t matter. What it means is that the knees that are bleeding now need the most immediate attention because those bleeding knees matter too – and are more emergent to take care of now in this moment….not just yours.

~Caren Robinson

 

Black Lives Matter!

THE_BLACK_LIVES_MATTER_MOVEMENT

Thank you for visiting the HOPE TBI Website.

Please take the time to make a comment, share your thoughts, and tell us what impacted you the most and what brought you here:

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Your input is important to the development and growth of this website, and we like to know what is going on out there in your thoughts.

Thank you for visiting us! We look forward to hearing from you.

Down The Rabbit Hole during COVID-19

Brain Injury Radio Show

Kim and Caren discussed, reaching out and staying connected during this difficult time in our history. We discussed tips and ways to stay connected.

We took callers .. Interested in hearing how our listeners are coping with the “New World” and their thoughts, fears, feelings.

This show is a gathering place for anyone seeking recovery from the challenges of life on life’s terms. We discuss useful tools that have helped us lighten the load, of our journey through recovery. This is a “we” recovery program, because it is in the “we,” that we find the new “me.”

We focus on the four A’s of Recovery: Awareness, Acceptance, Action and Adaptation. This is a place for survivor’s striving to become thrivers, which takes a large dose of Warrior!

Hosted by Kim Justus, author of In a Flash: Miracles Here and Beyond found at inaflash.org & “Like” at facebook.com/inaflash.org   Co-Host is Caren Robinson found at: hopetbi.com

LISTEN TO SHOW HERE

 

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Thank you for visiting the HOPE TBI Website.

Please take the time to make a comment, share your thoughts, and tell us what impacted you the most and what brought you here:

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Thank you for visiting us! We look forward to hearing from you.

Reviews and Testimonials

Hello HOPEster’s,

I wanted to reach out and share our latest and greatest page with all of you.  It is our Reviews and Testimonials page.

If you are seeing this message in your email you have subscribed to our email notification list.  That means you care enough about our content to want to be notified when we post something new.

If you are coming on this Blog post by scanning our Site, please take time to also leave your review and feedback after exploring a bit.

We would be thrilled and grateful if you would take a few moments to type up a review or feedback about our website and submit it in the comment section of our new page.

You can reach our page here:

https://hopetbi.com/reviews-and-testimonials/

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reviewstestimonials

Brain Injury Awareness Month – Radio Show

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Check out our recent Radio Show with Caren Robinson and Kim Justus as Co-hosts.

Kim and Caren will be discussing the basics of Brain Injury in an effort to raise up the understanding, as we begin Brain Injury Awareness Month. Among the topics discussed will be: Mindfulness Techniques, Meditation, Positive Psychology, EMDR and other holistic techniques. Building bridges and synapses the Non Pharma way!  In keeping with my shows this month .. We will have more give aways .. Marchtacular!!  One survivor, supporting another. Every show has a promo give away – Listen to win!

This show is a gathering place for anyone seeking recovery from the challenges of life on life’s terms. We discuss useful tools that have helped us lighten the load, of our journey through recovery. This is a “we” recovery program, because it is in the “we,” that we find the new “me.”

We focus on the four A’s of Recovery: Awareness, Acceptance, Action and Adaptation. This is a place for survivor’s striving to become thrivers, which takes a large dose of Warrior!

Listen To Show Here

 

HopeTBIglobalawareness

Awareness Matters – Rock the Vote!!!

Okay….as an advocate for patients with brain injuries and those going through transitions in their life….part of that advocacy and role of consulting is being authentic and realistic as well. While I have compassion for what Biden is going through health-wise….I also must be pragmatic and realistic about what we as a Country are watching and a lot of America is missing.

We are watching in Biden a man struggling with brain changes that make him inept for the role of President of the United States. He is losing time, memory, has numerous bouts of aphasia and an obvious onset of what appears to be dementia. While he may go on to live many more years and contribute to society in other ways……the decline is palpable and not representative of what our Country needs or requires of a Commander -in-Chief.

Biden is NOT someone that should be in a role that requires strong mental faculties to run this Country…..he absolutely can not win against Trump or any other Republican candidate for that matter.

Bernie is our only hope at this point to have a fair, constructive, and challenging election in November. It won’t be a challenge if the DNC foolishly allows Biden to continue on. Biden will lose and should lose as he is just as dangerous for our Country as is Trump.

I hope Bernie pulls out a win to face off against Trump. I hope there is not a Baker convention that picks someone less qualified or not even in the running…as the Superdelegates would surely do….

We are facing a historical and pivotal shift in our Country and have been for quite sone time I only hope it shifts in the way that saves our Country and its democracy….not destroys it.

Please make your voice heard…VOTE!!!

https://youtu.be/jXtm1or9tjo

Love, Sex, and TBI – Beyond the Chocolates

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Come and Listen to our recorded Radio Show called Recovery Now with Kim Justus and Caren Robinson as we talk about Love, Sex, and TBI – Beyond the Chocolates.

We would love your feedback.  Feel free to share the link and start a dialogue.

https://www.blogtalkradio.com/braininjuryradio/2020/02/13/love-sex-and-tbi-beyond-the-chocolates-on-recovery-now-with-kim-caren

 

Sex Therapists, Counselors, and Educators

https://www.aasect.org/referral-directory

 

Sex and Disability Furniture and Alternative Assistive Devices

https://www.morethansextoys.com/pages/pleasure-able-sex-and-disabilities

https://www.intimaterider.com/

https://yourkinkyfriends.com/2018/07/04/sex-toys-and-furniture-for-people-who-live-with-disabilities/

No Glove No Love – Safe Sex After Brain Injury

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Sex and Disability

Sexuality is one of the most complex aspects of life but, the sexual lives of people with disabilities have been disregarded and stigmatized. As a result, sexuality as a form of pleasure and an expression of love is not taken into account or even recognized for individuals with disabilities.

Sexual expression is influenced by cognitive and emotional processes and is dependent on functioning anatomical and physiological systems, in other words, our brains control our sexual organs and responses.

Before resuming sex with a partner, boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse, talk about it with your doctor or therapist and be guided by their advice.  Make sure you are clear and talk with your mate about your expectations, fears and feelings, including consent. Communication is key! Remember to not put too much pressure on yourself, focus on pleasure and not technique. You may need to change your same old lovemaking style and experiment with other sexual activities which can include

  • oral sex and mutual masturbation
  • utilization of sexual aids/toys/furniture
  • to increase intimacy, concentrate on boosting the romance in your relationship by offering lots of affection, complementing and saying nice things to each other and celebrating big and small occasions.

Importance of safe sex

After a TBI, it is just as important for you to protect yourself from unplanned pregnancy and from sexually transmitted disease as it was before your injury. Even if a woman’s period has not returned, she can still get pregnant. Here are some tips to help with birth control and protection from sexually transmitted disease.

  • Do research to help figure out what method of birth control and protection from sexually transmitted disease are best for you.
  • Because of changes in thinking abilities, it may be harder for you to remember to use protection or to remember to take it with you.
    • You can plan ahead by always carrying a condom or other method of protecting yourself and your partner.
    • For women who use birth control pills, or a device that must be replaced, using a calendar or alarm on a smart phone can help you remember to take the pills or change the device.
  • If you are unsure whether your partner has a sexually transmitted disease or has been intimate with others who have such disease, it is safest to use a condom.
  • If you have engaged in any risky sexual behavior, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases and get treated if you test positive.

Consent should not be assumed

Each of us is responsible for making sure we have consent in every sexual situation. If you are unsure, it is important to clarify what your partner feels about the sexual situation before initiating or continuing the sexual activity. Consent should not simply be assumed by:

  • Body language, Appearance, or Non-Verbal Communication: One should never assume by the way a person dresses, smiles, looks or acts, that they to have sex with you.
  • Dating relationships or previous sexual activity: Simply because two or more people are dating or have had sex in the past does not mean that they are consenting to have sex with you.
  • Marriage: Even in marriage, a person should not assume they have consent for sexual activity. Marital rape is as serious as any other sexual assault.
  • Previous Activity: Consent to engage in one sexual activity at one time is not consent to engage in a different sexual activity or to engage in the same sexual activity on a later occasion.
  • Silence, Passivity, Lack of Resistance, or immobility: A person’s silence should not be considered consent. A person who does not respond to attempts to engage in sexual activity, even if they do not verbally say no or resist physically, is not clearly agreeing to sexual activity.
  • Incapacitation: Alcohol consumption or use of other drugs can render a person incapable of giving consent. Alcohol is often used as a weapon to target individuals and is used by perpetrators to excuse their own actions.  Additionally, Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct laws apply to a perpetrator regardless of whether or not they were drinking. It is important to remember that sexual assault is never the survivor’s fault, regardless of whether they may have been intoxicated.

The term “sexual assault” means any unwanted, nonconsensual sexual contact of any kind (including kissing) obtained through the use of force, threat of
force, intimidation, or coercion.

Rape is unwanted, non-consensual sexual contact that includes penetration (i.e. vaginal or anal penetration, oral sex, and genital touching) obtained through the use of force, threat of force, intimidation, or coercion. 18% of all rapes and sexual assaults are reported to be committed by strangers, which means that most of these crimes are committed by someone the victim knows, is close with or related to (according to the 2017 Bureau of Justice’s).

Myths About Disability and Sex

  • Disabled people can’t have sex.
  • Disabled people have to pay for sex.
  • Disabled people aren’t sexy. 
  • Disabled people don’t want or need sex
  • Disabled people only have kinky sex
  • Disabled people can’t have sex
  • Disabled people only have sex with other disabled people
  • Disabled people can’t have kids
  • Disabled people shouldn’t have kids because they can pass on their disability
  • If you have sex with a disabled person you will catch what they’ve got
  • Disabled people are a burden on their partners
  • People living with a disability can’t have “real” sex
  • Disabled people need protection, like kids
  • Disabled people have more important things than sex to worry about
  • Disabled people are brave and courageous to try sex (no, it’s just adapting to a lifestyle)
  • All persons in wheelchairs are chronically ill, frail, or sickly

Facts About Disability and Sex

  • People with disabilities can be sexual and enjoy sex
  • Some people who use a wheelchair can still feel “down there”
  • Sex is not just all about each others “privates”, it’s about intimacy as well
  • Mobility aids can be a fun addition
  • People with a physical disability don’t just “lie there”
  • Disabled people can have sex and enjoy it
  • Disabled people sometimes choose to pay for sex like people who aren’t disabled
  • Disabled people are sexy
  • Disabled people can have sexual desires/needs
  • Disabled people can have kids and build families of their own
  • People with disabilities can identify as LGBTQ too
  • All people need to learn about and understand sex
Also check out our web page called Sex After Brain Injury and Trauma

disabilityandsex

The Dirty Dozen – 12 Ways To Cope With Memory Loss

It can be very frustrating if your life is being negatively impacted by your memory loss and someone (often a friend, provider, or relative) who doesn’t truly understand your experience says, “Oh, I forget things too…”

You may hear some people say that everyone has memory loss, especially as we get older.  To some extent that is a true statement.  We all have moments where we walk into a room and forget what we walked in there for, or forget where we laid the keys down at.  However, here is where it differs. Memory loss as a result of a disease process, injury, or due to the use of certain medications is different than the memory loss we experience as part of the natural aging experience.

Several conditions, other than aging can cause significant memory loss.  Some of these may be reversible with treatment.  Some are permanent, even after treatment. Regardless of whether reversible or permanent,  if it is effecting your life in a negative way, or robbing your quality of life, you may find some of the tips below to be helpful in helping you manage the memory loss you or a loved one may be experiencing

Some examples of memory loss that are not included in the natural aging process are the following:

  • Brain injuries – traumatic or acquired (such as blunt force trauma, accident, encephalopathy, falls, blood clots, stroke, transient ischemic attack, aneurysm, medications, drugs, etc)
  • Result of brain surgery (all surgeries carry risk, especially surgeries involving the brain – examples may include shunts, removal of diseased tissue or tumors, repairing bleeds, repairing puncture or crushed wounds, etc)
  • Brain Diseases (like a tumor, hydrocephalus – fluid in brain, or other rare disorders) and other Diseases (like Huntington’s, Muscular Dystrophy, Parkinson’s Disease)
  • Infections of the brain – such as syphillis, HIV/AIDS, Lyme Disease, other viruses
  • Vitamin B1 or B12 deficiency – good nutrition is imperative for brain health
  • Hypothyroidism  ( a common secondary condition that can be acquired after head injury and often undertreated; some can be hereditary and if left untreated can exacerbate symptoms)
  • Kidney or Liver disorders
  • Dementia/Alzheimer’s  (may be acquired secondary to brain injury, inherited, or from other unknown processes)
  • Emotional Disorders – stress, anxiety or depression can cause forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty concentrating and other problems that interrupt the ability to function in daily life)
  • Alcoholism, smoking, or drug use
  • Sleep Deprivation – quantity and quality of sleep affect our memory processing

Here are 12 ways that may help you manage your memory loss in a more functional way, helping to maintain as much dignity and independence as possible.

  1. Make a memory board (with important names and frequently used phone whiteboard2numbers).  Hang somewhere visible, so it can be seen and utilized daily.  Update the same day weekly or as schedules change.
  2. Create a life story book, photo album or something digital that is labeled to help identify who and what is important to remember (people, places, experiences).  Get assistance to from someone you trust (such as a family member or professional) to do this. This can include pictures, question and answer format, or whatever works for your particular needs. This serves as a dual purpose as well, as it can also be used by professionals or caregivers to understand more about you as well.
  3. Cognitive stimulation. This involves activities and exercises that stimulate thinking, concentration, communication and memory. braingamesgenderUtilizing brain exercise sites such as  Lumosity , Constant Therapy, and CogniFit Brain Training; play strategy games (like cards, checkers, chess, crossword puzzles, word finds, puzzles); coloring, drawing, or listening to different types of music.
  4. Utilize a reminder system (this may include calendar, white boards, chart on the wall).  It could be color coded as well (so a different color for each person or different color for each appointment on schedule – just make sure you use same color each time you do the schedule). Using A Planner or a Calendar App? –  write down things right away – without exception. Always keep the planner with you wherever you go.  If you get a call about an appointment, write it down IN THE PLANNER.planner  If something changes in the schedule, write it down IN THE PLANNER.  Label cupboards and storage containers as a reminder of where things are kept; label doors as a reminder of which room is which.
  5. LISTS are your friends and great reminders (note: if you have trouble writing, use a voice recorder or dictaphone to make lists).  Consider making permanent signs – even having them laminated, to remind you of things you need to do regularly (for example – sign by the sink reminding you to wash your hands before cooking or before leaving the bathroom).  Make a list for things you are running out of and leave attached to the refrigerator door (this is a great way to make a grocery list you take to the store with you).  Make a list of what bills are due on what days and how much each bill is that is due, along with how it is paid.  Make a list of daily tasks that need accomplished.  Make (or have someone make) a checklist to hang by the front door that includes what you need when you leave (for example: purse/wallet, phone, phone charger, planner, meds, bottle of water, keys, sunglasses, ear plugs, jacket, etc).  Use the checklist EVERY TIME before you walk out the door.  This reduces chances of forgetting things.
  6. stickynotesUse post-it/sticky notes. You can use them anywhere in your home or personal workspace to remind you to do specific tasks (such as a sticky on a library book that has to be returned by a certain date, or start load of laundry today, etc).Once you have completed the task, it’s important to throw the post-it/sticky note away. This way you won’t accidentally redo what you already finished.
  7. Use a mobile smartphone (cell phone). Many mobile phones have a built-in voice recorder. Use this  to record information that you need to remember or add items to your virtual calendar. You could also leave recorded notes, play it back later, or review those notes at the same time each day.  Also cell phones are great resources for text reminders, checking emails, and having access to a GPS (such as Google maps) to utilize to keep from getting lost. Use your phone to take picture of your whiteboard schedule that week so when you leave home you can look at the picture even if you aren’t at home to see it.  Use an app to record incoming/outgoing phone calls (check your State or Country laws first though, about recording these in your particular location).
  8. Medicine/Pill reminder box.  This will help you see whether you have taken your medications for that day (this helps to prevent taking your medications more than once). Some models have am/pm, and other times of the day; pillboxsome can be set to remind you when to take your pills, with an alarm, vibration or flashing light.
  9. Use an alarm clock, a watch with an alarm, or a kitchen timer to remind you when you need to leave the house for an ­appointment, or when you have to check something cooking in the oven. Write down why you have set the alarm – so you know why it is ­going off. (I cannot tell you the number of times I have had an alarm going off and then sat there wondering why I set it. So notes are very helpful – put by the alarm)
  10. Never leave the room when you are cooking.  You may forget what you were doing and this increases risk of burning your food, burning up a pan, or causing a fire.  Never leave the room when water is running in a sink or bathtub. You may forget about it and cause a flood.
  11. Appointments and Meetings. In advance, make a detailed list of what you want to say, questions you have, agenda for meeting, etc.  If you are going to a medical appointment, bring a pre-typed list to leave with the provider of all other providers/specialists (make sure this includes their addresses, phone numbers or contact informatioLeadership with educationn), all medications and their dosages (remember to list any herbs, supplements taking), and list of concerns. Record meetings or appointments to go back and listen to later and take notes from the recording.
  12. Don’t procrastinate. Whenever possible, doing things when they’re on your mind rather than later so you don’t have to worry about forgetting them. Try to utilize the same routine every day as much as possible.  Routine reduces chances of forgetting.