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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Hey, just an update if anyone is reading this . . .

I haven't written a blog post in yearrrrrssss (4.5 years to be exact)! This is partially because blogging feels more "old school" now that social media has taken over. Why blog when you can Tweet? The other reason behind my lack of blogging is that, well, I have little to blog about when it comes to TBI! Somedays my life feels very unaffected by TBI. I sleep great (90% due to my over-the-counter sleeping pill concoction of 1 mg extended release Melatonin and 1 Kirkland brand sleep-aid - buy it at Costco). I'll finish my Masters Degree in December 2020 (I'm attending Arizona State University online, studying applied behavior analysis - google it if you're unfamiliar). Work is good. I live alone in North Salt Lake, Utah. I'm happy and healthy. 

There is life after TBI (it's take 25 years for me to get to this point, however. Which is a whole lotta life lost).

But, I carry on . . .

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

10 Myths about TBI

FACT: TBI in the civilian population is eight times as frequent as breast cancer, AIDS, spinal-cord injury, and multiple sclerosis combined.

This fact surprised me. I came across the following link which has a great list of other surprising facts:

10 Myths About Traumatic Brain Injury

My favorite is number "7. Recovery from TBI is a straightforward, quick process." The last line of this myth is "For many, recovery can be an ongoing process characterized by setbacks and frustrations." I absolutely relate to this!

I have good days and bad days. It's been 20 years post-injury for me, and for the past few years I can finally say that I have many more "good days" than "bad days."


Today was a bad day . Last night I went Mountain Biking with Team Sugar in Park City (guided female-only, weekly rides) for the first time in two years, and it was fun but really difficult. I was sore and tired when we finished. Mountain biking really aggravates my brain - - it's all the multitasking, late at night when my brain is already tired (pedaling, watching for rocks, paying attention to the very narrow single track). Needless to say, when I made it home, I took some sleeping pills and tried to have a decent sleep. I was exhausted, so why wouldn't I, right?

Ugh. Scream. Cuss. Cry.
AND I did not sleep well! I slept for 6 hours (maybe 5.5) and then never really fell back into a deep sleep until my alarm went off at 7:45. I had to be at work early for a meeting (which I was late to), and then run some errands, meet my parents for lunch, and back to work for a birthday party. Anyway, sorry to say all those details, but, bottom-line is that I am soooo tired right now. I hate this feeling! This feeling of being so brain-tired that you don't have motivation to do anything. It's not because I don't want to do anything, it's because I can't! My brain just needs to rest, relaxation, and then everything will be better tomorrow!
At least I hope it will be better tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Brain Health is #1!

I'm all about Brain Health these days. . . and I recently discovered these vitamins at Dave's Health and Nutrition called "Irwin Organic Brain Support." I feel like my memory is better after taking them. I really feel like it's working!

Side note: I have to make sure my brain isn't tired for any of this brain-health stuff to take effect. In this sense, it's not a cure-all, but I really believe this alternative medicine is a great supplement to western medicine.

Ginkgo is included in the vitamin, along with ginseng, blueberry and grape seed.

What is Ginkgo?

Ginkgo Biloba has long been used in traditional medicine to support memory and concentration.* Research studies have demonstrated Ginkgo’s ability to enhance blood flow to the brain and support cognitive function.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Love Your Brain!

Kevin Pearce was at the top of his sport as a world class professional snowboarder in 2009 when he sustained a traumatic brain injury while training for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Kevin’s road to recovery has brought to light his potential to transform the experience of traumatic brain injury (TBI) into a source of inspiration, education and awareness. Using the visibility generated from his success as a professional snowboarder, the international acclaim achieved by his award winning HBO Documentary "The Crash Reel"  and his subsequent public speaking platform, Kevin's has co-founded a movement called "LoveYourBrain."

Click here for video about Kevin (have Kleenex ready)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

My Anniversary is TODAY!

In thirty minutes this day will be over (it’s way past my bedtime), but it was so wonderful (and fun) that today deserves a blog post! 

Today, August 23rd, marks the 20 year anniversary of my car accident. Honestly, I didn't even remember until my mom reminded me! It was especially meaningful because I did a charity bike ride for the National Ability Center today (It was only an 18 miler). A few of my friends did the 52 miler and a few did the 102 miler. 

The National Ability Center empowers individuals of all abilities by building self-esteem, confidence and lifetime skills through sport, recreation and educational programs. That’s their mission statement and it’s exactly true! As a TBI Survivor, I've used many of their services: rock climbing, downhill skiing,  and snowboarding. It’s been wonderful and has really given me the confidence to take advantage of all the wonderful, outdoor recreational activities in Utah.

My good friend, Suzanne Daines, did the 18 miler ride with me today, and she came up with a perfect analogy for biking. Suzanne is one of those super insightful people who has a philosophical analogy for everything! She said when she doesn't focus on where she wants to go while riding (aka gets distracted), she veers off in the wrong direction and almost tumbles over.

“It never fails.”

Here's the analogy: Sometimes in life we think we can’t do it and we get distracted. We don’t focus on where we want to go, and, inevitably, we don’t get where we want to go. But, if we stay focused, we “can” get there (PS it's late I just did my best to remember what she said).

I feel like this analogy applies perfectly to my recovery from brain injury - which makes it important that I heard it today! For the first few years after my injury, I felt like I couldn't do it (recover to the point where I felt like I felt like my old self again). I think I just sort of meandered through life, always getting distracted, never completely achieving what I wanted to achieve.

Finally, after about 17ish years, I realized that when I focus on what I could achieve, my successes, rather than my failures, I was pretty much becoming my old self again!

Okay, that last paragraph makes no sense to me, but it's so late that I am falling asleep. My eyes are heavy. I hope someone out there got the gist of what I was trying to say!