And… go. At my own pace and on my own terms.

Broken Brain - Brilliant Mind

human head with light switch and finger turning it on I just have to think about things correctly

So, today’s the day we start our 36 hour project. I’ve got 20 minutes to prepare, then everything kicks off.

I’ll be working for the next 8 hours, then I get a few hours off to sleep, then I work another 6 hours overnight. I get to sleep in the a.m., then I may have to work in the afternoon.

My sleeping schedule is going to be completely screwed up, and that’s a problem. I don’t know why this job involves so much sleep disruption. Either it’s cross-country travel, or it’s off-hours work. Either way, it’s not healthy, and it doesn’t let me do my best work.

I haven’t done my best work in years.

Oh, well.

I’m not sure I even care, anymore. The company gives me a paycheck, yes, but I no longer have any emotional investment in them —…

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Long weekend ahead

Broken Brain - Brilliant Mind

road leading to mountainsI’m taking the afternoon off, today. I’ve got a long weekend of work ahead of me – starting at 7:30 tomorrow morning, and going till about 7:30 Sunday evening. 36 hours of pretty intense work.

I’m staying positive about it, but there’s no doubt it’s going to be grueling.

So, I’m acting accordingly.

I’m working this morning, then taking the afternoon off. I’ve got things to do, including catching up on my sleep. I haven’t been sleeping well, lately, so hopefully I can get a little nap this afternoon.

Most of all, I need to just relax. Work has been like a sledgehammer on me for the past month… no, make that months, and I need to do myself a big favor and chill out. Read a book. Watch some Olympic curling. Go back to bed. Sleep.

I’ve got a long weekend ahead, so it’s time to go…

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Caregivers SPEAK OUT! . . . Heather Sivori Floyd . . . Caregiver for her son, TJ

Surviving Traumatic Brain Injury

Caregivers SPEAK OUT!

Heather Sivori Floyd (caregiver for her son, TJ)

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Heather Sivori Floyd – caregiver mom to her son, TJ

1. What is your name? (last name optional)

Heather Sivori Floyd

2. Where do you live? (city and/or state and/or country) Email? (optional)

Oldham County, Kentucky, USA

3. What is the brain-injury survivor’s relationship to you?

He (TJ) is my son.

How old was the survivor when he/she had the brain injury?

TJ was 7 years old.

11 TJ Floyd TJ – Brain Injury Survivor – bicycle accident

What caused your survivor’s brain injury?

TJ was riding his bicycle when he wrecked into the back of his brother. He flipped over the handle bars and hit his head on the concrete. He went to “sleep” and never woke up until days after his emergency open brain surgery.

4. On what date did you begin care for your brain-injury…

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Patricia’s Story

It’s been a difficult, yet enlightening journey recovering from a brain injury.

It began with a concussion sustained in a fall on October 10, 2016. I tripped as I walked down my attic stairs. My head hit a hardwood floor 7-feet from the bottom of the staircase. I blacked out. I must admit the fall was frightening as I was propelled into the air for a moment. I was sure my hand would break on impact as I landed on my fist. Blood was everywhere; on my shoulder, along my arm, on my hand, and on my hardwood floor. The source was a puncture wound in my left palm from screws I held. There was no fracture fortunately, only badly bruised knuckles.


I developed typical post concussion symptoms such as headaches, sensitivity to light and noise, dizziness, vertigo, vision problems, insomnia and sleep disturbances. The persistent headaches were the…

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Power Causes Brain Damage

Road Signs and Blind Spots

“Power – a sort of tumor that ends by killing the victim’s sympathies” – Henry Adams

Power is like the weather:

  • Everyone likes it when it’s comfortable, warm and makes them feel good; but
  • More often than not it’s lousy and something everyone complains about but can do little about; and
  • In small and well-controlled doses it can leverage life, progress, and added value; but
  • In heavy doses, like hurricanes and tornadoes, it causes immediate and either highly focused or widespread damage, or both.

That’s generally what happens to us when someone else has power. But what happens to them?

The Atlantic ran an article recently that confirmed what we all probably knew before hand – Power Causes Brain Damage. If you can’t read it, the following is a brief overview, followed by more thoughts.

After years of lab and field experiments on people’s behaviors, Professor Dacher…

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From head to toe – it’s all connected

Broken Brain - Brilliant Mind

It’s ALL connected

I’m figuring out this back/shoulder pain mystery.

Turns out, it’s not just my lower back that’s throwing off my upper back and shoulder. It’s my hips and legs, as well.

I stretch at night to relax, and my left leg and hip have been extremely tight. It’s been this way for a while. I usually don’t think much of it, but the other night, when I was stretching, I spent some extra time loosening up my left hip and hamstrings, and lo and behold, my upper back “let go”.

Deep Muscles of the Back This full color stock medical exhibit illustrates the deep muscles of the back and spine. The following structures are labeled: semispinalis capitis, spinalis, cervicis, spinalis thoracis, rotares, splenius capitis, longissimus cervicis, iliocostalis cervicis, iliocostalis thoracis, longissimus thoracis, iliocostalis lumborum

It actually makes sense — looking at the deep muscles of the back, you can see how they run…

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Fixing my #backpain – When slouch = ouch

Broken Brain - Brilliant Mind

wooden figure slumped over with back painI finally figured this out. My back and shoulders have been killing me for over a week, now, and I haven’t been able to get much relief. My spouse has been putting analgesic cream on it, which has helped, and I found some stretches that help. But still, not as much progress as I was needing.

Then I took a step back and thought about how my shoulders and back and legs are all connected, and it occurred to me that tightness in one area is pulling my back out of alignment. I started stretching my legs and lower back, as well as keeping my posture straight.

Lo and behold, that gave me relief. I’ve been slouching too much while working, for the past couple of weeks. And I’ve been driving a lot. So, my posture is out of whack. And that’s pulling my whole back out of alignment and…

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Happy February, everyone

Broken Brain - Brilliant Mind

Is anyone else relieved that January is over?

It seemed like a year’s worth of excitement packed into those 31 days, and while I know that dividing up time according to months and days is arbitrary, still, it feels like I’ve put that slog behind me.

I’m not sure February is going to be any less eventful, but at least I feel like I’ve “warmed up” and I’m in a better frame of mind to get into the year. Plus, it’s getting warmer. It’ll be above freezing today, which is a change. Yesterday, it was 17 degrees F, when I left the house to go to work, but today it’s getting up to 43F.

So, spring is definitely on the way.

The squirrels are all coming out in force, gathering around the base of the bird feeder where there’s lots of seed left over. The crows are showing up. Hawks…

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#2 – Five Tests to Diagnose a Brain Injury

The MD, PhD Is In

One does not need to hit one’s head to get a brain injury. It frequently occurs after a car accident, with much long-term sequelae. At least 5 million people are disabled from brain injury. Almost everyone is bound to know someone who has one, and if you are in the right place at the right time, you can help diagnose it in someone else.

A doctor does not need to order any test at all to make the diagnosis of a brain injury, however, she would be remiss not to do so. These tests show the severity, serving as a marker of where the brain is in time. Should things get better or worse, there is now a baseline.

The Patient History and Physical Exam provide most of the diagnosis. See #1 article, below,  for common signs to observe. The following tests may be ordered to confirm and assess the…

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