Family Stories

01
Sep

Falls

Q1: Has your life been touched by a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Yes

Q2: How have you been touched by a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Survivor

Other (please specify) Mom died from fall-caused TBI, caregiver of TBI survivor Dad, friends with

Q3: Summary – the cause – the injury – today’s quality of life?

I had 6+ concussions, 3 as a child, 3 as an adult. The 6th(fall on ice) was 20 years after the 5th(car-bicycle collision) but the last 2 each left residual cognitive challenges, worse after the 6th. I have impaired visual and auditory processing, short term memory deficits, attention, word-finding and vision issues. My career as a family doctor and medical clinic administrator ended, and I gave up flying my plane due to vision, spatial orientation and attention challenges. I miss the challenges and satisfaction I got from practicing medicine, but have replaced it with volunteer work educating the public and professionals about brain injury as well as being a full time caregiver for my TBI survivor dad. As I wrote in a piece for the Chicken Soup for the Soul, Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injury book, I believe that I’m right where I’m supposed to be.

Q4: Please share your experience at the time you became aware of the injury?

I was wearing skis but actually standing still looking at the beauty around me when somehow I slipped and fell backward, hitting my helmeted head on the icy ground. I hit hard, and had an instant significant headache. I wasn’t sure if I’d been knocked out, but some things were happening around me that made me suspect I’d been out or confused a bit. I was skiing alone, so had no one to check in with. I tried another run, but was beginning to feel nauseated so figured I’d been concussed. I drove 90 miles home and over the next week became increasingly more confused, developed double vision and eventually had severe PCS. After 2 months of being lost, scared and confused I was “found” by a case manager in my non-profit HMO and hooked up with outpatient rehabilitation. From there my journey to a new me began and continues.

Q5: Tell about the experience immediately after the injury. Surgery? Coma?

I used to tell folks that after hitting my head I had an alphabet soup of problems; CRS (can’t remember shi-), AD (Alzheimer’s Dementia), ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), GAD (General Anxiety Disorder) and RLS (Restless Leg Syndroms). My journey did not involve any hospitalizations. I had an urgent care visit with a normal CT scan, and ER visit with another normal CT after worsening symptoms, followed by a normal MRI and a neurologist telling me I had PCS (post concussion syndrome) and that I’d know when I was better and when I was to return to my work as a family doctor. She gave me 2 weeks off of work and scheduled no follow up. I thought I was going crazy because I wasn’t getting better and didn’t know why. I’d just “rang my bell,” and expected full recovery quickly. Not!!!

Q6: Tell us about the hospital stay after the survivor was no longer in a coma

none

Q7: Tell us about the time in rehabilitation?

I attended outpatient rehab at Mapleton Rehabilitation Hospital in Boulder, CO for about 6 months under the care of a PM&R specialist. There I saw a cognitive therapist and social worker, as well as participating in weekly hikes with a group of survivors and 2 therapy staff. I also was under the care of a neuropsychologist at Craig Hospital in Denver who evaluated efficacy of different medication trials. On my own I saw a optometrist I’d seen present at a state BI conference who did vision therapy with good help in reading deficits.

Q8: Tell us about coming home! never left that goodness

Q9: “Please type some single words that describe how TBI has touched your life. For example: Frightened, confused, sad, etc. Enter as many or as few words as you like. Separate each word with a comma”

scared, overwhelmed, TIRED, frustrated,”stupid”,then adapt, adjust, accept and move on

 Q10: What year did the injury happen? 2002

Q11: Tell us about life today?

Today I am “retired” on private disability and a full time caregiver for my 83 year old TBI survivor dad. I volunteer as a presenter on topics related to TBI/BI and serve on the BIAA Advisory Committee. I am passionate about spreading awareness about TBI, as well as helping others do that. I’m leading a project of the Advisory Committee of BIAA to develop a National Directory of Speakers, “People with Brain Injury, Presenting Brain Injury” I also authored a book, “Brain Injury Survival Kit, 365 Tips, Tools and Tricks to Deal with Cognitive Function Loss.”

 

Q12: What do you want to tell others going through the same process? Treatments, understandings and actions that made a difference?

One of the hardest things to come to peace that you will not be who you were before, but you can be a great person going forward, sometimes even better than who you were. Find strategies and tools to assist you in the challenges you have from your brain injury, just as someone would do after losing a limb, their vision or their hearing. Take care of yourself, you are more than just a brain injury, you have all the potential health problems of anyone else. Good health helps you and your brain function best. Find support through others who are on the same journey, with local support groups or online support. It helps to interact with others who “get it.”

PAGE 8: About You
Q13: Please your name and email address

Name: Cheryle Sullivan
Email Address: cherylesullivan@nullyahoo.com

Q14: This information will be used to provide hope for others touched by TBI. Please indicate your permission to post your story on our blog and web site? Your name or email address will not be used with the posting.

Yes, you have permission to post my input

 

 

01
Sep

Dirt Bike

Q1: Has your life been touched by a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Yes

Q2: How have you been touched by a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Family of a Survivor

Q3: Summary – the cause – the injury – today’s quality of life?

On August 8, 2013 my son was on his way home on his dirt bike. It was late. A charles county police office sighted him and started to chase him. He was only 16 years old and was just trying to get home. He helmet flew off and the chase was reportedly called off. The police officer continued to chase him at 78 mph.

He can’t walk or talk today. I was told today that the rehab let him go because of the MRI results.

My son missed his turn. He ended up in the back yard of a person home. His arm hit the tree. It was severly fractured. He was thrown from his bike. He sustained a severe brain injury (DAI). He was dead on the scene. He was revived and flown out. He was only 16 years old. It has been 9 months he is considered in a minimal conscious stage.

Q4: Please share your experience at the time you became aware of the injury?

It has been extremely hard. The nursing agency that we have is not really that good.

Q5: Tell about the experience immediately after the injury. Surgery? Coma?

He was in a coma. He was on a ventilator. The doctors wanted us to write him off. We refused. He was off the ventilator after 7 days. A trach was place in his neck.

Q6: Tell us about the hospital stay after the survivor was no longer in a coma

He was in the University of Maryland Shock Trauma hospital. He was in I.C.U.. Once released he was sent to the

Kennedy Krieger Instutite in Baltimore Md.

Q7: Tell us about the time in rehabilitation?

He was at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore from August 28, 2013 to December 31, 2013. He was out of the coma Sept. 11, 2013. He was doing well. He started kicking his left leg. He started keeping his head up in the wheel chair. They felt he wasn’t doing much so they kicked him out.

Q8: Tell us about coming home!

It was a very scary time for us when he came home. We learned to take care of him. He father to this day has to pick him up in put him in the chair. The hoyer life keeps turning over with him in it.

Q9: “Please type some single words that describe how TBI has touched your life. For example: Frightened, confused, sad, etc. Enter as many or as few words as you like. Separate each word with a comma”

frightened, sad, crying, hurt, scared, terrified

Q10: What year did the injury happen?

 2013

Q11: Tell us about life today?

My son is still not verbal and not mobile. It so hard to keep up with doctor appointments, keep up supplies, monitor his medicine and keep up his cares.

Q12: What do you want to tell others going through the same process? Treatments, understandings and actions that made a difference?

Don’t always listen to the doctors. Don’t give up on your love one. Work hard to make sure they are getting all the help they can get.

Q14: This information will be used to provide hope for others touched by TBI. Please indicate your permission to post your story on our blog and web site? Your name or email address will not be used with the posting.

Yes, you have permission to post my input

 

 

 

21
Aug
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The Never Say Never Kid

Q1: Has your life been touched by a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Yes

Q2: How have you been touched by a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Family of a Survivor

Q3: Summary – the cause – the injury – today’s quality of life?

I am a single mother of three children. On September 9, 2013 at 10:22 PM, my life forever changed. My two daughters were involved in a serious accident. (more…)

21
Aug
stock-footage-hospital-doctors-consulting-over-patient-x-ray-film-with-radiologist

Never Give Up

Summary – the cause – the injury – today’s quality of life

My son ,Wally was in a motorcycle wreck in 2009.he was wearing a helmet and it s the only reason he survived .he was resucitated at scene and life flighted to university of louisville trauma hospital(one of the best)had multiple traumas,broken pelvis in many places(and bleed in pelvis),all ribs broken,broken clavicle,compound fracture to left arm,basal skull fracture,and temporal fracture and 2 other skull fractures(but not a mark on face-WOW) had a collapsed lung. had to have a trach(2 months) to breathe,an ivd port to relieve fluid off brain(7 days),and a peg tube for nourishment(10 months). (more…)

21
Aug
Mediumxray

Keep the faith

Q1: Has your life been touched by a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Yes

Q2: How have you been touched by a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Family of a Survivor

Q3: Summary – the cause – the injury – today’s quality of life?

My husband was hit from behind while sitting at a stop light. He sustained a moderate to severe head injury. We are now 12 years out and it has been EXTREMELY difficult. His quality of life today is dependent on the day and the mood he is in that day.

(more…)

21
Aug
Hospital

I am there for him

Q1: Has your life been touched by a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Yes

Q2: How have you been touched by a Traumatic Brain Injury? Family of a Survivor

Family

Q3: Summary – the cause – the injury – today’s quality of life?

My husband was hit by a bicycle while crossing the street near his office about two years ago (June 2011). (more…)

21
Aug
Intravenous DripIntravenous DripIntravenous drip

Don’t try to be a caregiver on your own

Q1: Has your life been touched by a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Yes

Q2: How have you been touched by a Traumatic Brain Injury? Family of a Survivor

Caregiver and mother of survivor

(more…)

14
Apr
iStock_000014923239XSmall

“You must have hope and work at being better each day”

Summary – the cause – the injury – today’s quality of
life?

Car accident. TBI needing surgery and
metal plate. Good, still dealing with pain 48 yrs. later.

 

Please share your
experience at the time you became aware of the injury?

We met 4 yrs. after
accident. There was no obvious after effects to me.

(more…)

24
Mar
Brain Image Top

“Be patient, humble, do your duty honestly”

Summary – the cause – the injury – today’s quality of
life?

My spouse met with the car accident when crossing the road. Now she is
diagnosed as DIFFUSE AXONAL INURY since 6 months back. She is in coma since
then.

 

Please share your experience at the time you became aware of the
injury?

We all together going to visit the temple on dt.23 July 2012, on morning at
5.20 am when we crossing the road by walk 1 car came with very high speed and
hits my wife and she went to coma immediately.

(more…)

02
Mar
istock_000003541361xsmall

“Ryan is about 85% back to normal”

Summary – the cause – the injury – today’s quality of life?

My adult son, Ryan, was being treated for severe ulcerative colitis. After several medications, his doctor said they would try chemotherapy, something that seemed drastic to me. Ryan had a severe reaction to this medication, which was taken daily and broke down the immune system. His doctor insisted that he continue, even though he was vomiting, had diarrhea and was only able to lay in front of the toilet and sleep so that he could be there if needed.

(more…)

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