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When Are You Going to Get Better & Other Burning Questions About #BrainInjury

13 Oct

For the past two months I have been on this crazy Virtual Book Tour to promote my new book Being Brain Healthy: What my recovery from brain injury taught me and how it can change your life.

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So, several times a week I hop on SKYPE with a podcast or talk show host and we talk and talk and talk. Each one is a bit different and all have distinct flavors and colors. In truth, I am having a blast.

Consistently though, each host wants to know one pretty specific thing – how long did it take to recover? Each time I laugh – not because the process of healing is a funny topic (although it has its moments) but because I am not sure that day, the one where I wake up and say “I’m better now”, will ever come.

Recovery does not have a finish line – few people wake up one day exactly as they were before the assault on their brain. The key to living successfully on the other side of a brain injury is finding, adjusting to, and living your new normal.

That is tougher than it sounds and not just for the one who had the injury but for everyone around them and everyone who interacts with them.

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I have been told that it is difficult to look into the eyes of someone you know so well, recognize them on the outside, and watch behavior changes – good, bad, or indifferent. We are not talking about horrific changes, just changes – ones that result in words and behaviors that don’t belong to the pre-injury person. These are things that make you not recognize this as the same person because their actions and reactions don’t match what you expect.

It really is all about finding that new normal and that hinges on perspective, attitude, patience, support, and time.

As my husband said to me recently, this journey does not have a recommended speed limit. He is right. There is no hurry.

I do know there is no tape to break at the finish line nor a ticker tape parade marking the end of beautifully fought battle. I just know that I am different and that my new normal is great place to live. That, for today, is quite enough.

Perspective.

Attitude

Patience

Support

Time

I would love to hear your stories about your new normal or the new normal you see in someone in your life! Please share in the comments or write me an email: ruth@craniumcrunches.com

 

Remembering What it Feels Like to Be Safe and Back Home

7 Sep

Sometimes “home” just hits you.

As part of a recent trip to Colorado I got to spend the whole day with my oh-so-treasured friend Lisa who delights, entertains, and informs just about every day at GrandmasBriefs.com. We planned a day filled with experiences – blog fodder, yes, but also, it was our intent to set out to make some memories and maybe sprinkle in some mischief.

It just so happens that Subaru asked Lisa to review the new Legacy. (See her amazing review here.) How fun! I drove Subarus for years and loved each and every one of them – all for different reasons.

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As I sat down in the passenger seat, fastened my seat belt, and closed the door, this feeling of overwhelming calm, safety, and peace rushed through me. I was home. This was home. And yes, this and every Subaru has a story for me.

Remember the commercials “My Subaru saved my life”? (See the video below.) They make me cry not just because they tell really wonderful, human stories about real survivors but because my Subaru, my midlife crisis car, my Subaru WRX with the big engine (0 to 80 in faster than you can imagine with power to spare) and all the bells and whistles, honestly, saved my life.

The day my life took the Y that lead me where I am today, a minivan from one side and a truck from the other, turned my WRX into an hourglass – one that I got out of and walked away.

As in the commercial below, I have been told that it was almost as if the driver’s seat was protected – encased in an impenetrable box of solid steel that kept me safe.  All my injuries were a result of the force and from getting thrown back and forth. Not one from any invulnerability in design or structure of the car.

As Lisa and I sat in those seats and played with all the knobs and buttons (hey we had to try everything out) and hooked up every device we could, I realized that I never really thought about just how grateful I am that I was driving a Subaru, that Subaru, my WRX. And I never seriously acknowledged how things could have turned out so differently.

That feeling of home, that feeling of safety, that feeling of everything is just going to be OK stayed with me as we set out and made some amazing memories.

More to come on the power of walking the labyrinth, the beauty of a little known Colorado natural treasure (the Painted Mines), and how laughter can help you overcome later but for now help me send a long overdue thank you to Subaru for allowing me to walk away on that day.

Before you watch this video, please know that no one in my house can make it to the end without gratitude overflowing so much that it just has to leak out our eyes and stream down our cheeks!!!!

Hey Subaru, you know what would be really sweet?  A plug-in, hybrid WRX!

I rode along in a car that was loaned to my friend for an honest review! She did an amazing review of the car and its features. My opinions and experiences with Subaru are all my own. Thanks to Subaru and my friend Lisa at www.grandmasbriefs.com for a great day. As always all my opinions, impressions, and assessments are my own. 

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