When you find something that works… work it

Broken Brain - Brilliant Mind

railroad tracks leading into the distance with "start" painted on a tieI’ve been having a lot of trouble with my shoulder and back, over the past months. Dealing with all the snow, along with spending a lot of time being sedentary — alternating between slothfulness and frantic activity — has done a number on me.

I’ve been trying to get my shoulder to loosen up, so the pain in my arm eases up. I’ve got a lot of shooting pain, tingling, weakness, etc. in my left arm, and sometimes it also goes over to my right side.

And that’s no good.

I need to keep myself in good working order. Life goes on, and I absolutely need to be up for it all. I can’t afford to get waylaid, especially when we’re talking about just regular life. I know I’ve got some disabilities, and I know I need to make accommodations for myself, but once I do that, I need to…

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Billie’s Story


My name is Billie.
I’m 38 years old.
I have survived multiple brain injuries and surgeries.
I am tired .
My story is long and I often feel as if I’m boring others’ with my woes.
I hate that I am trapped in this body.
Trapped in a mind that seems to run on magic.
My story is as follows and is not yet over.

From a very young age I can remember headaches.
Terrible nauseating ones. The first real migraine I can remember was at the age of 4.
My parents had high school educations.
We were poor and health insurance was not really the greatest.
I was a happy kid though.
We had enough.
When I was 10 years old my siblings and I were playing in the backyard.
We were wrestling.
My sister did a perfect dive and landed on the back of my head.

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A little more coffee, then I’m on my way

Broken Brain - Brilliant Mind

coffee and notepad and pen on a tableThis is pretty much how my morning looks – me with a cup of strong, black coffee and a notepad with a pen to write down what I’m supposed to be doing, this morning.

Under normal conditions, I’m usually out and about by this time (it’s nearly noon). But today is different. I’m more tired than normal, and I have a lot of catching up with myself to do from this past week.

Reading… blogging… organizing…

Getting myself together for the rest of the day, which will be all about getting my spouse together to go to the even they’re hosting tonight. It’s a lot of work. There’s a lot to remember. I don’t feel up to it, but that doesn’t change the fact that it needs to be done.

I need some motivation. Something to perk me up.

Then again, I think just resting tonight, spending time in my…

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Friday again – and a good weekend ahead

Broken Brain - Brilliant Mind

boat on beach with cliffs in the distanceIt’s been a pretty decent week. It’s been quiet, which is always nice. And I haven’t had as packed a schedule as I did in months past. I also got a little bit of a raise, which is nice. Takes the pressure off a bit.

I’m looking forward to this weekend. Getting some things done that I haven’t been able to do in past weeks, because of weather or conflicts in my schedule. My spouse is also starting to produce more events for the springtime, so that means I get some Saturday evenings to myself. And Sundays, too, because then they rest all day Sunday to recover from the exertion.

March is halfway over, which means there’s only two weeks left for Brain Injury Awareness Month. I haven’t done as much as I’d planned. Not even close. There’s just been so much going on, with snowstorms and cleanup… and then…

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Finding a balance – body and mind

Broken Brain - Brilliant Mind

rocks piled in a balanced arrangement on a beach with the sea behind them All the pieces fit together. Steady… steady…

Work has been pretty busy, lately.

Fortunately, a lot of my coworkers are out for the week, since their kids are out of school for “spring break” right now.

And in another month, a lot of others will be out, as their kids take their spring break.

So, this is giving me a chance to catch up with myself, which is good.

It’s also giving me a chance to catch up with my exercise, which has lagged over the winter months.

I’ve been working so much, sitting stationary, that I’m really feeling it. I have a stand-up desk at work, but I haven’t been using it as much as I should. Gotta change that.

And so I shall.

Add some more exercise to my daily routine. There’s a stairwell just around the corner from where I sit. I can step away every couple…

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Hardy for the long haul

Broken Brain - Brilliant Mind

bridge leading to mountians in the distanceOne of the benefits of getting older, is that I’m finding out what assumptions I made about my life and future prospects were correct, and which ones were wrong.

One of the things I’ve realized is that it’s not solely IQ-type intelligence, it’s not raw physical strength, it’s not talent, it’s not social connections, and it’s certainly not money alone, that keep a person in the game for the long haul.

It’s a combination of all of the above, which add up to a sum total of hardiness. Just being able to stick it out, no matter what happens, and persevere. It helps to be smart, and you definitely have to learn from your lessons, as you go along.

Live and learn, or you don’t live long.

… as they say.

You need some measure of physical strength, and you need a talent for something. You also need social…

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Brain: Yeah, that’s enough. Body: Nope, we’re just getting started

Broken Brain - Brilliant Mind

human body with swirls of light It’s ALL connected

Life has thrown me a bunch of curve-balls, lately, and I’m feeling it physically. It’s been a while since I’ve been this sore — lots of lifting and carrying and pushing and pulling, over the past few days. And despite the pain, my body is actually responding well to it.

I’m sleeping better. I’ve been getting about 8 hours a night, for the past few nights, where I was stuck at 6 hours for quite some time. I need 8, or I can’t function well, and things start to fall apart.

I’m also thinking more clearly, with less static and “clutter”.

I’ve been doing more stretching, which has really helped, too.

Spending less time in front of the computer has been great. Because let’s be honest, not that much changes, from day to day, despite the steady stream of sensational headlines and “news” stories that are all…

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Well, that was interesting… good times, bad times, good lessons

Broken Brain - Brilliant Mind

winter frost tree downThis is the story of my last three days. Snowstorm. Trees down. Wires down. Not much going on, other than winter. Storms. Electricity out. No heat, no running water, no television, not much connection with the rest of the world.

Living on battery power, using the mobile phone to contact the rest of the world. Staying close to the fireplace, keeping the fire going all night long, finding different ways to get meals and keep occupied. Waiting for the power to be restored. Hearing one thing, then another, then another.

Waiting, just waiting. Watching the snow fall. Moving it off the driveway. Off the roof. Off the back deck and stairs. Lots of snow. Half a meter’s worth. 18″ worth. Heavy, thick, packed snow.

And now I feel it. In my back, my legs, my arms, my shoulders. Bruises all over my legs, where I slammed against the snowblower. Cold…

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Changing Our Minds About #BrainInjury #Recovery

Broken Brain - Brilliant Mind

change your mind about brain injury Change your mind about brain injury

No doubt about it, brain injury changes you. In some cases, a lot.

Your personality can change dramatically… like mine did after my mTBI in 2004. I went from being a positive, pro-active individual with an indomitable spirit, to an anxious and easily upset “hothouse flower” who flew into a rage over every little thing. I went from being attentive to everything others needed from me, and going out of my way to ensure they were protected and well-cared-for, to being selfish, self-centered, and oblivious to what other people wanted and needed.

Granted, there were other mitigating factors that came into play, but the difference between pre-TBI and post-TBI was remarkable.

I can say that now with some measure of calm, because after 12 years of really working on my recovery, I’ve made huge strides and am better off — all across the board…

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