New Story Posted

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Angie and Jesse were a couple with 3 children. Then the unthinkable happened….

In honor of Brain Injury Awareness Month. Check out the story of young love and how it changes in an instant.

https://hopetbi.com/your-stories/the-dearly-departed/jesse-buchanan-dearly-departed/

#ChangeYourMind #BrainInjuryAwarenessMonth  #hope_tbi

 

 

10 Great Ideas for your Brain Injured Valentine

Valentine’s Day has become very commercialized over the years.  There seems to be a lot of social pressure to purchase things for those that you love.  Pressure to “go out and do something together”.  Pressure to “prove” your love with the largest gift, card, or elaborate reservation.  Sometime’s though, for some folks, Valentine’s day is just another day, not different from any other.

However, if you are one of the folks who celebrates this day; one of the ones who gets all twitterpated when you think of what you can do for that special someone or group then this is an exciting day for you. There are things you can do though, to do something special without all the “fuss”. Your brain injury survivor you may or may not be interested in the social congestion and crowds that can fill the stores, restaurants, and traffic.  This holiday can also bring a sense of loneliness, isolation, depression, and melancholy for those who are unable to participate the way they would like to, or with who they would like to.  So sometimes just remembering someone can lift their spirits.

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Valentine’s Day can be a magical time for couples who do celebrate this day, or even those we care deeply about – even those who we are not in a romantic relationship with.  This day has become a day that we are reminded to celebrate love, passion, and belonging.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity for you to take the time to show that brain survivor person you know some affection, friendliness, and that you care for and value who they are as a person…..even if they are now a different person than they used to be.

If you are a solo flyer and have noone to celebrate, consider celebrating yourself and loving yourself for all that you are, all that you have been, and all that you are becoming.  Self care is just as important, if not moreso than the care we give someone else.

Some economical ideas that won’t break the bank and add a personal touch to the day are as follows:

  1. Write a note or “Valentine” with all the accomplishments, positive statements, love you feel, emotions that are positive, and progress your survivor has experienced in the last year.  Deliver to them and consider reading it to them out loud if they have trouble with reading or comprehending written words.  Otherwise, you can present it in any form you choose.  Be careful not to use perfumes or scents on your letter if your survivor is sensitive to these.
  2. Create a picture collage for your “Valentine” as a slideshow, powerpoint, or other program that they can open a file on and play, or that you have burned to a disc.
  3. Create a Coupon book using construction paper, stickers, scrapbook materials, etc.  Spare no creativity here.  This is only limited by your imagination.  Maybe some coupons could be “help make a meal”, “drive you to an appointment”, “write a letter to a provider for you”,  “help you for a couple of hours with household chores”, “watch the kids overnight so you can get uninterupted rest”……you get the idea… Use gel pens, markers, crayons, or other art supplies to jazz it up a bit.
  4. Make a positive quote booklet.  Type or write up motivational quotes and put them in a binder or booklet form and present to your “Valentine” to give them something to refer to whenever they need a pick-me-up.
  5. Provide a delicious treat.  Whether store bought, or homemade, sometimes the personal touch of a box of chocolate, candy hearts with little messages on them, a home cooked meal they didn’t have to make, a plate of warm cookies, or something along those lines can be very special and send a loud message that you care about the little things –  especially if you have considered their dietary restrictions or food allergies (if they have any).
  6. Make a “treasure box of love” – you can include coloring books, crayons, word search, brain activity card games, board games, fidget spinners, sensory objects, puzzles, or things that you know they are personally interested in.  You don’t have to go crazy here.  This can be one thing or a lot of things.  The thought is what counts the most on this one.
  7. Set aside personal time for just you and your partner.  This can be 5 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour.  Whatever their tolerance is for this.  Hold hands, snuggle, or just sharing space together without outside interference can be a welcome experience.
  8. Create an Aromatherapy collection for your survivor if various aromas are a positive experience for them.  This can include incense, candles, tinctures, essential oils, melting wax and warmer, etc.
  9. Run a bath with bubbles, essential oils, or other things your “Valentine” may want to soak in.  Help them into the bath, help wash their back, or perhaps play them some soft music while they relax.
  10. Write a poem or a song for your “Valentine”.  Sing to them or make them a video where you are signing, reading them a poem, or speech with them in mind.

Valentine’s Day is rich with historical developments over the years.  There is really no wrong way to celebrate it.  It’s also okay if you don’t celebrate it.  However, for those that do – make it fun, make it safe, and think outside the box when working to do something special for your brain injured “Valentine”.

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Web Site Updates

Happy 2019.

You may notice some changes happening to our Website.  We are pleased to announce new pages coming to fruition and current pages receiving updates.  So even if you have read a page before, check back for continual updates every once in a while.  Also, you can check the Blog for announcements of updates as well.

Our current page updates for 2019 thus far,  include:

SOCIAL OUTREACH

HOW YOU CAN HELP

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ABOUT ME AFTER THE WRECK

TBI DIAGNOSTICS

SUPPORT GROUPS, SITES, and BOOKS

HOPE TBI AWARENESS

We welcome information, articles, stories, and topic ideas for our website.  We also welcome guest authors for a Blog post as well.

You can reach us at our CONTACT PAGE for more information. Please also let us know of any broken links you may come across.  All work on this website and blog is done as a gift of love and is provided free of charge to the public domain.

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The Elephant In The Room

Elephant In The Room:

~ An English-language metaphorical idiom for an obvious problem. difficult situation/decision, or risk no one wants to discuss, or a condition no one wants to challenge.  An unpleasant experience. question, problem, solution, or controversial issue which is obvious to everyone who knows about the issue, but which is deliberately ignored because to do otherwise would cause great embarrassment, sadness, arguments, or is simply taboo. ~

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What is YOUR “elephant in the room”?   

Is it an invisible injury or illness? Have you been diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Is it a Polytrauma you are recovering from?

Is it chronic pain?

Is it Survivor guilt?

Is it lack of sexual libido or change in your sexuality since your injury/illness?

Is it your inability to describe to others what you are going through or have gone through?

Is it the coping skills that you must use and choose to tell noone about?

Is it your bravery, your sheepishness, your courage, your fears?

Is it pride in how much you have acccomplished?  How far you have come?

Is it depression, anxiety, or disappointment in your lack of progress?

Is it lack of confidence?  Is it overthinking and overconfidence?

Is it your inability to return to the same type of work you used to do?

Is it your desire to return to work, yet unsure of what that picture looks like for you?

Is it caregiver burnout?

Is it provider fatigue?

Is it a source of deep grief, sense of loss, or mourning?

Is it something that you have put in your past and no longer wish to speak about? 

Is it something you want to speak about, yet others are ready to move on and not speak about it?

Talking about the things that are bothering you can help clarify them and put them in perspective. In never addressing the “elephant in the room” a general uneasiness, sense of frustration, stagnation, loneliness, and untrustworthy environment can breed a life of havoc and confusion. Break your silence and be blunt in a productive manner.  Perhaps even seeking out a therapist to assist you with working through some of the adjustments would be advantageous for you.

Avoiding an issue causes more harm than good….always. When discussing an issue, it is imperative to remain as calm as possible.  Using anger or yelling to communicate can absolutely make things less constructive – especially if you are having trouble finding the words to say and the best way to deliver them.  Being objective can be super tough.  However, it can be helpful if you make a list of facts.  Now, when I say facts.  I am not speaking about how you feel, how you think, or what your assumptions are.  I am talking about facts that you can prove with empirical evidence, historical evidence, and a paper trail.

elephantagitationKeep in mind when talking about that “elephant in the room” that sometimes the very people who need to hear the topic being talked about are the least receptive to hearing it.  That often means that person might even be you.  Being receptive to talk is important. It is equally as important to actively listen. Support from others that share the same or differing opinions about the issues you wish to speak about will make it not about you, but about the issue and how much it impacts others who have gone through the same thing, or are currently experiencing the same challenges.  Support groups (even if they are online) can be an amazing source of support, ideas, and encouragement.

A resolution or plan is something that is accomplished over time. Open communication without apathy,  fear, or hopelessness is an integral part of finding what works best for you. Keep an open mind and be willing to have multiple conversations about that “elephant in the room”.

Taking that challenge which is deliberately ignored and opening up a dialogue about it, changing whatever it is that is holding you back from being your best self.  This is how to make progress, step outside your comfort zones, and switch an unspoken taboo topic into a healing process.

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New Year Message To You

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Those recovering from injuries or trauma are often mired by numerous appointments, sorting through providers who may or may not know how to deal with their injuries, symptoms, or chronic pain.

Those recovering, while blessed to have survived are also overwhelmed with new “normals”, new limitations, new or ongoing financial devastation since their injuries, and also new opportunities for growth. Those recovering have lost friends, colleagues, and family members who couldn’t “handle it”, “understand”, or who simply just kept moving on with their lives while the one recovering was caught in a time warp of change and foreign experiences.

You have been through a lot this year and I hope it ends with a smile on your face. I hope that happiness is able to fill your heart and life more often in the coming year. Love and time is a great healer. I encourage you to be gentle and kind to yourself and those who strive to help you out, no matter how small the acts of kindness you receive are.

Slow down a bit and work on not overthinking. Find time to rest your body and your mind. Healing comes with rest and time. Healing also comes from pushing forward and keeping the body and mind moving. The key is learning to set personal limits, boundaries, and pacing yourself.

Set a goal. It doesn’t matter if it is a small goal or a larger more challenging goal. Take small steps towards your goal. Each step is one step closer to achieving the end result, whatever that may be for you. Share yourself with others. 
Never give up HOPE and belief in the greater good. Allow yourself to see the light despite all of the darkness.

Someone, somewhere, is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree. Pay it forward by planting one small kindness at a time, and help cast the shadow of your fears and limitations behind you.

I wish you enough. Enough love. Enough pain relief. Enough progress. Enough happiness. Enough joy. Enough progress. Enough life. Enough of all that you need in the New Year.

Happy New Year!!!

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Patient Spotlight – The Scapula Institute

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What a normal scapula should look like when not fractured or damaged.
So I have been very fortunate to have survived many rare injuries from the wreck. My journey continues with a new life plan and growing gratitude.
 
I am also fortunate to have my patient story spotlight featured in the 2nd Volume of “The Scapula Institute’s Newsletter”
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Scapula before plated – dark areas in center of scapula are broken and or missing bone
 
Take a moment to read and share this with as many people as you can. The more we can bring awareness to Polytrauma and the amazing medical breakthrough outreach that the Scapula Institute does, the more lives can be impacted and saved.
 
Many thanks to Dr. Peter Cole and his trauma team for all of their efforts on the behalf of bettering the world one patient at a time.
 
 
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View from Back – Right Side Plated
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After Reconstructive Surgery of Ribs and Scapula
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Beautifully Broken

Sometimes feeling broken goes beyond the obvious physical fractures sustained by a physical injury.

Sometimes the scars that are left behind are not even visible to the eyes. Jagged streaks of struggle with each swell of effort and perseverance.

The only way to effectively deal with your past, your limitations, and experiences is to make a future out of it.

No matter if your scars are visible or invisible – have no shame – you are beautifully broken and worthy of healing and love.

Listen: https://t.co/0rFM3S3oSf

#hope_tbi #beautifullybroken