Wednesday, December 22, 2010
I could not believe it when I read the title of the below article (click on it to read and also be blown away).
Here is a short quote from the article: "Tricare analysis of cognitive rehabilitation discounted studies showing patients benefited from the therapy."
It seems like just basic, common sense that cognitive therapy helps to improve the effects of a TBI. It's one thing if they said this kind of therapy was too expensive, but this is not the issue (or so they say). Let me just tell you that I am sooooooooooo grateful that I didn't have this Tricare medical insurance when my brain was injured. Our poor injured Veterans who do . . . !
Do you think I am going to write a letter to Congress?? ABSOLUTELY. . . and you should too!!
Click HERE to learn how to write a letter to congress (THANK YOU THANK YOU)
Saturday, December 18, 2010
"I can go to the site where I almost died, and I can say, you know what, this is the start of a new life," says Joseph. "I can close that old chapter out and not hold the baggage of the past. I can take my retirement with a lighter heart."
Here is the article and then my thoughts are below.
I see a parallel here. Writing and publishing my book brought me closure. The writing process, for me, was like visiting the battleground was for these soldiers. Maybe it's partly because I'm used to my life with a TBI, but I also believe that all of the investigation I did into "what happened" in my car accident, and reliving it (in a sense) has allowed me to leave it behind and move on. It's called closure.
I applaud these soldiers!
Thursday, December 9, 2010
(You can read similar information all over the place. I absolutely regret it when I don't eat according to these suggestions -- too much sugar, too much salt, not enough vegetables - and I feel . . . bleh!)
Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
(drum roll, please)
TBI Survivor JENNIFER MOSHER
Parent of a TBI Survivor BROOKE GONZALES
TWO recent U.S Military Veterans who sustained brain injuries in combat (I'm honored to meet them)
RON ROSKOS -- President of the Brain Injury Association of Utah and TBI Survivor
Listen to the Podcast (after 7 am on Sunday, November 21st) here.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Maybe in a few years, if my vision reverts back to its old ways, I will look at surgery again. But for now, I feel it's best to wait.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
I didn't ask my brother if I could do this, so I hope it's okay. But after watching the following video on Brainline.org, it got me thinking about how lucky I am to have such a wonderful, supportive sibling.
Watch this video HERE
Brent once told me that my nurse, Duane, at Regional West Medical Center in Nebraska, had him help move me from my bed to the guerny and vice-versa. That really let him feel involved in my recovery.
Sometimes I wonder if loved ones are forgotten during tragedies, especially siblings, as the focus in on helping the injured. My injury and hospitalization was just as hard for Brent as it was for my parents . . . Watch the video and you will see that a Family Therapist agrees with me
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Today I visited a clinic and gained some very helpful insight into my problem!
First, let me just vent and say that a brain injury in and of itself is incredibly neurologically taxing. Add double vision on top of that and, well, a girl's brain can go crazy! The person who performed my eye exam said, "Wow, you can really control your eye movement well!" It was difficult for him to see my sporadic eye movement at first because I've learned how to compensate. I'll take that as a compliment.
He said when you slam the front of your head, like I did, and your brain bounces back and forth, it damages the back, where all the vision nerves are (that said in total lay-man's terms).
Here's what we discovered: My double vision stems from a damaged nerve, not a muscle! And, geez, I can't believe I've lived with this problem for such.a.long.time, because a simple surgery can fix it! Why didn't I look into this before? Actually, I do remember seeing an Opthal. shortly after my accident, and he said surgery would not help -- granted, that was 16 years ago, and medicine has improved since those days.
I am so excited because this means I've peeled away another layer of my onion!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Healing from a Traumatic Brain Injury is like peeling an onion. The layers of injury are deep and today I thought I was going make some headway in my recovery. Here's what I'm talking about:
I have double vision double vision (a.k.a Diplopia) when I turn my head to the left and when I'm looking down (walking down a staircase is extremely challenging for me). I've had this problem since my injury (16 years -- ack!) and yes it's extremely annoying, but I just got used to it. I did do a few weeks of vision therapy at Uptown Vision Clinic in Minneapolis which helped me a lot, but it didn't fix the problem completely. So much time has passed and is it time for a tune-up? Recently I attended a presentation given by another vision therapist and she said "yes."
But, I wasn't so sure my problem was a "vision one" as much as a "neuro one," therefore I contacted The Hearing and Balance Center in Salt Lake because I'd learned at the BIAU Conference that the dizziness and double vision I experience might be because my Inner Ear was damaged. What is your Inner Ear, you ask? Well - read HERE to find out!
To make a long story short
This is what I mean with my onion analogy. I will just need to keep peeling away at the effects of my injury until I am better.
Tomorrow I will call the neuro-ophthalmologist . . . another layer in the onion.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I just got word that several people have purchased my book as an Ebook for their iPad!
iPad's are A.W.E.S.O.M.E. Well, I don't personally have one, but I wish I had one. I'd probably download books left and right. My little mini laptop now feels so old-school.
It only costs $9.99 and a click right HERE to download my book to your iPad.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
First I wrote it, and now I want to speak it (the word)!
My next attempt at speaking "the word" is coming up on Thursday, September 2, 2010 in Pleasanton, California at the Rotary Club International meeting. The meeting averages 60 people. I'm not at all nervous and very excited (okay, maybe just a little nervous). I've already done a couple presentations at Brain Injury Support Groups in Utah, but that's different because TBI Survivors already "get it."
I will speak for 20 - 25 minutes and then open it for about 5 minutes of questions. I'm eager to see what people will ask because it seems like the injury has become more and more prevalent and more and more people know someone with a Traumatic Brain Injury.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
The Brain Injury Association of Minnesota (my home state!) has a goal to collect 100,000 folded origami cranes! WOW.
How can you help? Unless you are interested in folding origami cranes yourself, I'd love it if you could help in the following way:
1. Fellow TBI Survivor (from MN too!) is folding 1,000 cranes (a bold move) and has developed her own fundraiser to donate $1,000 to this project ($1 for each crane, an even bolder move).
2. Go HERE to donate (any little bit helps, she has just over $300 left to go)
Monday, July 26, 2010
What is there to connect with in Western Nebraska, besides small farming towns that raise corn, soybeans, and wheat? And wait, I can't forget about the University of Nebraska's famous football team - winning FIVE national championships (anyone who knows me is probably wondering how I knew that football fact - hey, I know more than you think). Well, it is a well-known fact that the amazing Regional West Medical Center is in Scottsbluff, Nebraska - which is also WESTERN Nebraska!
Today, as one of three Level II Trauma Centers in the state, Regional West provides 24-hour emergency and trauma care for patients throughout the Nebraska panhandle and eastern Wyoming. The 180-bed facility is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
MOST IMPORTANTLY, it is the place that kicked off my rehabilitation from a Traumatic Brain Injury. Not to be dramatic, but I credit it as the place where my life was saved. Writer Teresa Clark highlights my experience in a recent newsletter. It's beautiful and inspiring (even for me to read).
Monday, July 19, 2010
I mean, I know how my accident affected me and those close to me, but not an EMT who comes in contact with many, many injured people. I just assume that she'd forget little old me. Her letter brought me to tears . . .
As I wipe away my tears, thank you Carla.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
It gives great, helpful resources and very well-written information for TBI Survivors. I love it. What I love even more, is that this last update included a beautiful article entitled, "Brain Beautiful".
Click HERE to read this fabulous article.
Friday, June 11, 2010
My RWMC visit in Nebraska is now passed and it was a lot of fun, and very eerie for my parents. Of course, I don't remember any part of being in the hospital, but my parents certainly do!
"It smells the same," Dad said. And Mom pointed out the table they always sat at in the cafeteria. I saw my two respiratory therapists (they still work there and still remember me!), a couple nurses who took care of me, and my neuro-surgeon, Dr. Beehler.
Dr. Beehler is 84 years old now. He claims to remember my case but could not recall all the details. "You fractured your neck, right?" he said.
"Yes, you put a Halo Brace on me!"
Then he said something that surprised me. "We don't do the Halo Brace anymore," he said. "That's old skool. Now we fuse the bones back together . . . " or something to that effect. He was sort of giggling because my accident was long ago and medicine has progressed so much.
"You were alive back when we used Halo Braces?" That's what the next generation of doctors will say about my case.
I feel old.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
It's been more than 15 years since I was a patient in the ICU at this hospital, and they've bringing me back! I'm honored to be invited to their first ever annual "Trauma Survivor's Tea." It will give me a chance to reconnect with some of the important people who took such great care of me after my car accident.
Click HERE to read News at Regional West
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Sometimes I wonder if exercise, combined with nutrition, is a cure-all for everything.
Before my brain injury, I exercised what I thought was a lot. I belonged to a gym during college and I'd go five times per week . . . once every six months, and sporadically in between. I was your average, super-busy-I-know-I-should-go-to-the-gym-but-I'm-too-tired college student. Who has the time for exercise?
After my brain injury, I searched high and low for something, anything to relieve my constant brain overloadness (I know that's not a word, but it makes the most sense right now).
Consistent fitness gave me the relief I was looking for! Consistent is the operative word
Now I make time to exercise as it makes my brain feel better. I look at my fitness classes at the gym as my 2nd job. I wouldn't just not show up to work one day, therefore I wouldn't just not show up to the gym on class days. It's all about commitment and habit.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Tonight I went to the Intermountain Neuro Rehab Brain Injury Group where a doctoral student from Brigham Young University gave a presentation about Anxiety Reduction in an Anxious World.
I approached the speaker at the end to thank him for his words of wisdom. One thing led to another and I pitched my book (neuro-psych grad student? BYU? "This guy will love reading my story," I thought), and gave him my card.
The next statement would be music to any writer's ears. This guy said, "You're Jennifer Mosher? Oh, I've heard of you!"
This is no joke, let me tell you. I feel like a little celebrity in the Utah Neuro World!
(Ryan, if you happen to read this, I hope it's okay I blogged about tonight, but the whole thing meant so much to me)
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
My humanities major did wonders for my confidence as a writer, and nothing for my career. "Should I have majored in marketing?" I'm recently asking myself. I absolutely LOVE marketing my book, as this has become way more fun for me than writing it (not surprising since writing BECAME painful as I was uncovering details of a part of my life I wish could be erased). Alas, it cannot be and my TBI is here to stay.
So the real purpose of this post is to explain ALL.OF.THE.VERY.COOl.MARKETING "things" I am currently executing.
1.Here are the different places online where you purchase my book:
`Barnes and Noble.com
`The Brain Injury Association of America http://www.biausa.org/
2. AND YOU CAN BUY IT RIGHT OFF THE SHELF AT THE KINGS ENGLISH BOOKSHOP IN SLC. 1511 EAST 1500 South (SEE PHOTO ABOVE)
4. I sent a copy of my book to Craig Hospital in Englwood, CO (where Kevin Pearce is recovering)
5. Book reviews on Brainline.org, Amazon.com, Lulu.com, http://massagebyjenni.com/home.html (check out blog)
6. A reporter from the newspaper in Scottsbluff, NE contacted me and would like to do a story.
7. An article spotlighting me and my recovery will be printed in Wasatch Women Magazine within a week or so (online version)
8. I've also already spoken at the Intermountain Neuro Rehab Brain Injury Group and May 6 I will speak at the BYU Brain Injury Support Group.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
In case you don't know, Gnocchi is a delicious Mediterranean Dumpling and an alternative to pasta.
What does this dish have to do with Traumatic Brain Injury?
Absolutely nothing. However, my package said, "World Peace Begins in the Kitchen" on the back and included 8 different, beautiful quotes from famous people such as Eleanor Roosevelt and Mother Theresa. One statement in particular came from Richard Bach (the author who wrote Jonathan Livingston Seagull).
It got me thinking about my own life and the fact that I didn't die in my car accident.
Here is the test to find out whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't.
- Richard Bach.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
I try to organize my sleep according to the following five rules. I saw a nice improvement in my quality and length of sleep when I started using this list. Now I take Ambien (just 5 mg) every night and this combined with the below hygiene list and WOW. GEEZE. HOT-DIGGITY. I feel like a normal woman most of the time. I'm practically the Jennifer Mosher that I used to be!
- Create a regular sleep routine. Stick to going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, even on the weekends. Some people find that setting a bedtime alarm as well as a morning alarm is a good reminder of when it’s time to go to sleep. You’ll find that once your body adjusts to a regular routine, you’ll start to wake up refreshed.
- Reserve your bed for sleeping and sex only. Avoid stressful, sleep-robbing activities, such as watching TV news or scary movies, (or paying bills!). Some people find that a hot bath or soothing music before bedtime helps. If insomnia does strike, leave the bed and walk around for a while.
- Don’t go to bed hungry. Enjoy a high-protein snack, such as, reduced-fat cheese, a slice of deli turkey, or reduced-fat yogurt and a few nuts before going to bed.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages or other foods containing caffeine after about noon, and limit alcohol in the evening. Caffeine can stay in your system for up to 24 hours, and while alcohol may make it easier to fall asleep initially, it also causes more frequent nighttime awakenings.
- Refrain from exercise three hours before bedtime. Regular exercise is encouraged during the day because it can give you more energy and help you sleep better at night, but it also releases the hormone epinephrine, which can make you more alert. That’s why it’s best to exercise earlier rather than later if you suffer from insomnia.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
(pause) Let me think about that again ... umm ... ahh ... nope, I still stand firm. There is n.o.t.h.i.n.g better, except a full-body massage from a really, really great therapist such as JENNI CURTIS.
I met Jenni at 24 Hour Fitness in Salt Lake. We are both die hard SCULPT (9:15 a.m.) and SPIN (10:15 a.m.) attendees every Monday morning. Yeah, you heard right. That's TWO classes back-to-back e.v.e.r.y Monday! Crazy? Nope. I love these classes (with expert fitness instructor Denise Druce). Besides, consistent exercise at the gym makes my brain feel soooooooooooooooo much better.
Not only is Jenni a workout and outdoor enthusiasts - she bikes and boards (I confess a personal jealousy towards her guns - I'm referring to her biceps, by the way), but Jenni is a really, really great massage therapist. And she reviewed my book on her blog!
Click HERE to read Jenni's blog/review.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
I learned two things:
1. The state of complete unconsciousness with no eye opening is called coma (I was in this state for about one month).
2. The state of complete unconsciousness with some eye opening and periods of wakefulness and sleep is called the vegetative state (I was in this state for another few weeks? Not sure exactly but something like that).
Twenty to 40% of persons with injuries this severe do not survive. Wow, statistics like this one really hit me hard, as it’s a reminder of how lucky I am (gulp!).
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
The King's English Bookshop
1511 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84105
Tel: (801) 484-9100
I'll be selling copies and I don't know what else! PLEASE COME! Please?
Check out The King's English right HERE
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Admittedly I haven't checked the website for a couple days. Well, I checked it JUST NOW and got some exciting news: I sold 9 books in one day. Okay, okay. Anyone who knows anything about book sales, knows that an author needs to sell a heck of a lot more than 9 books in one day to make it in this business! I remember once I heard a speaker at The League of Utah Writers who told us he got so excited once he hit the 1000 sales mark. Then someone in "the business" rained on his parade and told him 1000 was just peanuts.
I'm waaaaay past the 1000 mark, and it feels pretty wonderful!
Okay, JUST KIDDING about hitting the 1000 mark!!! (I know, I know, that probably wasn't even funny, but it's late and I'm tired).
I have a potential speaking gig on the horizon which might bring a lot of sales. More info later when it materializes because right now it's just talk between me and a friend (who has connections).
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
I love this website! Why? Because it's sooo well done.
Professional. Informative. Newsworthy.
It has four sections:
1. TBI Basics
2. For People with TBI
3. For Family and Friends
4. For Professionals
It includes links to personal stories (where you will find a link to "The Smile on My Forehead: Memoir of My Life With a Brain Injury". How cool is that?)
Sunday, January 24, 2010
So, now what exciting thing can I blog about my own life. Well, let me tell you. You want exciting? Just wait. . .
Three weeks ago I had Deviated Septum Surgery (my nose was forever stuffed and I honestly haven't been able to breath well, like, EVER). Now don't go get all excited. That's not the exciting part. Dr. Tagge (best ENT in SLC) put me on a Penicillin antibiotic after the surgery to prevent infection.
"Are you allergic to any medication?" multiple nurses and doc asked me and of course I said no because I'm not. UNTIL NOW! Yes, that's right everyone. I had an allergic reaction and I broke out into a miserable case of Hives as a reaction to the Penicillin.
Raise your hand if you've ever experienced Hives. If your hand is in the air, then you understand me when I say that Hives are by far the WORST thing that has ever happened to me (since my 1994 car accident of course). It was as if my entire body broke out in pimples. My lips were scaly and swollen. I itched e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e (written like that for emphasis). I tried Benadryl but it didn't help one single bit. I called my ENT and he prescribed me Prednisone (a Steroid), and after nearly one week of misery, the hives were gone.
And then I got a serious, but plain old COLD after that. I'm blaming it 95% on the smog and inversion that hangs over the air in Salt Lake City (worst air quality in the country right now) and 5% on the fact that my newly cleared sinus didn't know what to do with the dirty air. But now I'm better. Completely. No sniffles. No Hives. No sore throat.
Which is why I titled this post "My life is pretty sweet." Sometimes it's not until you hit rock bottom that you realize how good things are. I'm healthy. Strong. Happy. And fresh air is only a 20 minute drive up the canyon from me.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
My thoughts and prayers are with Olympic hopeful and top-ranked snowboarding pro Kevin Pearce who sustained a severe Traumatic Brain Injury while completing a twisting back flip. He landed on his head. Ouch. Well, he probably didn't feel it anyway. He is still in critical yet stable condition. The whole twisting back flip thing on a board baffles me (as I refuse to even try snowboarding because just landing on my bum can trigger brain injury flashback, but then landing on your head?) Oh Lord. This man has a long road of recovery ahead of him. I feel his pain for the next decade. Oh Kevin.
I'd never even heard the term "Traumatic Brain Injury" before I got one myself. Now, it seems every place I turn, someone is affected by TBI.