Your Life Matters

Believe your body. Trust your body. If something feels “off” then check it out. Be bold. Be brave. Keep striving to find answers to help you live YOUR best life.

Forget the naysayers, those who do not support your personal growth, and those who seek to bring you down.

You do not need to live the life others think you should be living; not the life others want you to live; not the life that cannot be reclaimed in the way you lived it before; not that familiar life from the past that you grieve being lost

This is YOUR life….your NEW NORMAL. Own it. Embrace it. Learn from it. Thrive in it!!!

Lone Wolf Journey

Your destiny is in your hands. Stay strong. Keep going. Never give up. Be bold. Be different!

#hope_tbi #survivorjourney
#polytrauma

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May the 4th Be With You

I spent the whole week anticipating when January 4, 2018 would arrive.

I was awake past midnight drinking in the fact it was finally here. I eventually went to bed confident I would wake up again in a few hours. I did wonder if I would feel differently.

It has been 4 years since the wreck happened as of Thursday January 4th, 2018. It has been hard to separate my life from that one catastrophic event and the events that took place around that time. It’s like my body’s cells hold the memories my mind cannot seem to bring to fruition in their entirety….even now.

All day my body ached, spasmed, and refused to cooperate with me. All day, with each deep breath and slow measured movement I was reminded that even though it was four years ago and a different time entirely – the pain goes on.

All day with each deep breath I was grateful. To be able just to breathe and be aware of what was around me seems like such a precious gift. To be able to hear the kids waking me up and to hug them and touch their beautiful faces was such a simple pleasure I lost for a while back then. To walk (albeit slow, painfully, and guarded) around and touch a door, a counter, the wall, a picture, and descend the 13 stairs that always feel like an accomplishment to tackle…going up or down – was a gift I remain grateful for still.

I have a life. No, it’s not my old life. It’s not a life without daily physical pain. It’s not a life without struggles on many unseen levels. Hell, it’s not even the life I wanted, dreamed of, or imagined for myself at this age. It is starkly different. However, it is still valuable. In many ways, even with all the seeming uncertainty my life still matters and I love my life even more.

The value of having love from a person who truly believes you and believes IN YOU cannot be overstated. That love pulled me through dark pain, dark thoughts, and from the other side where HOPE dies, Faith falters, and the darkness of depression laps up the drips of ongoing pain and overwhelming fatigue. Love, patience, acceptance, tolerance, validation, and empathy. I am blessed with these every day from my husband, my mom, my kids, my brother, and most of my providers.

I am stuck. Stuck between true determination, progress, and fortitude and a stagnant knowing acceptance of this pain going on for eternity. Stuck from moving forward as each step forward drags me backwards towards the abyss a little more each time. Stuck being a hypocrite of sorts because I work to find value in the pain and limitations of these disabilities. Even though I find myself begging for relief from my Creator as some days it is too much to bear. Stuck with wanting to work and bring awareness to Polytrauma and Traumatic Brain Injury ….all while having the consistent lack of cooperation from my body, mind, and utter lack of motivation.

I feel relieved for meeting people, groups, and providers who truly value life as I now know it and help me stay on track.

I feel like I should be saying something wise, positive, and upifting today to all of you reading this. Yet I have nothing else but that which I already continue to give. My transparent self.

So much swimming in my head today. So much healing validation. So much continued angst and so much continued life force to pay forward.

Let us remember the 4th Anniversary of my survival, my youngest son’s survival (and that of Greta the other driver). Let us remember that this was the day Caren died four years ago and was brought back; to show that HOPE lives and all things are possible as long as we dont get tunnel vision. With a little Faith and a whole lot of self-determination I embrace the desire to SURVIVE!!!

To all you other warriors out there standing up to your own dark sides and embracing the changes that continue to engulf you…or to those who are helping them face their daily battles….thank you. May you know peace, may you know relief, may my strength be the light saber that helps you find your own independent path as well.

At the end of the day, do your best. Make every effort count and never ever give up HOPE. May the 4th be with you!!!

Thanks For Following HOPE TBI

I just wanted to thank those of you who have signed up on our email notification list here on our website http://www.hopetbi.com

I also want to thank you if you “liked” our page on Facebook and follow the Blog posts. It means a lot to me and hopefully what I write is helpful to you or someone you know in some small way.  If you haven’t liked our page on Facebook yet….now’s your chance.

HOPE TBI – FACEBOOK (FB) (online support and information Group)

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Love you guys muchly.  Never give up HOPE!!!

Hurtin’ for Certain

pain

 

Events are typically considered traumatic when they threaten the life or bodily integrity of the individual who experiences them. After experiencing a trauma people tend to develop certain predictable reactions.   Examples are the following:

  • Persistent and unwanted thoughts, memories, or dreams of the event

[while I have no memory of the wreck I was in, since I started dreaming again, I dream of being in wrecks, of my kids or family members dying in wrecks, and am consumed with many unwanted thoughts and various levels of anxiety when in a vehicle that varies from day to day.  On my worst days this creates a lot of fear and anxiety]

  • Heightened physiological arousal, such as tension, nervousness, irritability, startling easily, poor concentration, or poor sleep

[I can attest to all of this. This is one of the largest part of my recovery that I continue to work on and that gives me the most challenging hurdles to overcome and deal with]

  • Avoidance of places or things or events that are reminiscent of the traumatic event

[ I can’t say that all of this necessarily applies to me. I do like to avoid driving in bad weather, as it makes me quite nervous and fearful.  Stop and go traffic heightens my traffic anxiousness, and I have a lot of other challenges while riding as a passenger now…especially]

So, that being said, the wreck I was in was absolutely a traumatic experience.

I always felt I had a high pain tolerance before the wreck. I may have, I did give birth twice after all. Yet now I believe I was mistaken.  Childbirth Labor does not compare to multiple fractures and the chronic pain that never goes away from multi-system traumas.  At least with childbirth, eventually the pain stops and repeating that process is a choice.

My tolerance for pain has grown ten-fold.  What I would have gone to the hospital for before, I wouldn’t even blink at for a Tylenol now.  That being said, I have sunk into a new acceptance of this chronic pain filled body I live in now.  I accept it as my new normal.  My new cloak of pain I have become accustomed to.  Chronic pain that some days holds me hostage from accomplishing what I desire.  That is, until it raises its ugly head to show me it can still get worse with white hot nerve pain, muscle spasms, and a debilitating wave of continual sharp anchors that drag me down.

I have always had an intuitive relationship with my body.  A polytrauma screws all that intuitiveness up.  Some days it’s hard to know what is up or down or sideways with where that chronic pain is located.  Some days I can point right to its origin. Other times it feels like it is all over me and I can barely walk or pick up my feet.

I have been hurting a lot since I got off of the pain pills on my own.  My back aches, my feet intermittently get pins and needles.  My right knee doesn’t want to cooperate with that left foot that tends to drag by the end of the day.  My neck feels puffy, tight, and just hurts and acts like it has a little storm in there shooting electric lightening bolts down my arm to my fingers and up to my ear now and again.  My ribs that are plated, like to play musical ribs for the spasms and often include the right lung and back in their spasm just for fun.  My head throbs and I feel such intense exhaustion. Most days, it is a struggle to just get moving. Add that on top of the random high pitched dog whistle sound in my ear/head at inconsistent times.  Makes things quite interesting.

I am driving more now too…so that means no muscle relaxers or pain medication while on the road or doing errands. I am strictly diligent about this.  Of course, the trade-off  to taking on more responsibility is being more irritable, hurting more,  having more intense muscle spasms, shooting nerve pain, and dragging myself around literally days and weeks at a time without being able to get on top of the pain and discomfort.

joint pain

I am a whining mess as I type this as I so get tired of hurting and aching.  Here is the irony though.  I love being alive so much, and value life so much, that the value of living is worth more than the miserable pain that continues to come in waves.

I got news for ya’ ….Chronic pain threatens body integrity as well.  Any new flares that are not the new normal are seriously emotionally and physically exacerbating.  It’s like “seriously how much must I take”.  So the trauma continues and I remain….Hurtin’ for certain.

Emotional Lability – Web Page Update

Check out our latest Website Page – updated with additional relevant information.
You can find this under the “Rehabilitation Journey” Tab.  Then click the dropdown for “Emotional Lability”.
or go directly to page here:  Pseudobulbar Affect – Emotional Lability

 

 

 

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