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November 2018

Once a Member, Always a Member, Part 3

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Monday begins another school year.  The teachers are making their final lesson plans, straightening up their classrooms, printing out their first assignments, etc.…  The excitement and stress are in the air. The hustle and bustle are seen everywhere you go.   This is my life now. This was my life before my surgery.  Life keeps moving forward, but there have been a few changes.

I had a cavernous hemangioma which led to brain surgery in 2014.

What is an ABI- acquired brain injury?

Acquired brain injury is what they call my brain injury.  When exactly things started, I don’t know, but I can tell you at least 2 defining moments to that brain injury.  The first was the worst headache of my life. Needless to say, there was an overnight stay in the hospital in 2008, and many tests, which only left me with more questions than answers.  Then, toward the end of 2013, while at dismissal with my students, I started seeing halos which led to more doctor appointments, more MRIs, and ultimately to brain surgery.

Before surgery, both sides of my body worked in unison; however, surgery left me with aphasia, hemiparesis, and hemisensory loss.  It has been 4 years, 2 months, and 2 days since surgery and I still notice the effects of surgery. But I can say that time, in this case, has been my friend.

After surgery, I went to rehab for the summer.  It was a struggle and pulled on all my heartstrings – emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual.  In my mind, it was happening to me, and me ALONE. How could my family understand? And that is where I was for a long time.  I was wrong. It wasn’t happening to just me, it was happening to the whole family.

Recovery takes time, patience, and understanding.

It reminds me of the song, “Put One Foot in Front of the Other”.

Put one foot in front of the other

And soon you’ll be walking ‘cross the floor

Put one foot in front of the other

And soon you’ll be walking out the door

If you want to change your direction

If your time of life is at hand

Well don’t be the rule, be the exception

A good way to start is to stand

For those of you going through a brain injury, remember, it isn’t happening to just you.  Let your family in. Work together and use a lot of patience and understanding with each other.

~Stacy B. (submitted August 2018)

Once a Member, Always a Member: Part 2

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I suffered a traumatic brain injury on November 22, 2014. I was home alone and fell down the stairs. At the time, I was living with my roommate (Jeff). He was going to stay at his girlfriend’s house but, they came home and found me in my bed pretty much bleeding to death. Now, that’s a God moment. He saved my life.

I spent two weeks in ICU at Medical Center of Plano. While there, I had trouble speaking. My brain is swelling more & more so, I have 2 burr-holes in my head which my daughter (Shayli) calls them “my dents”. I have Aphasia and always will.

After 2 weeks in ICU, I was transferred to Baylor Frisco for a week, then Pate Anna, Tx from December 2014 through September 2015 then back to Baylor Frisco where I met Valerie Gotcher.

I couldn’t thank my speech therapists enough. I loved talking with Valerie. At times, I was doing 1st grade work and now, times are still tough especially with numbers or trying to spell the word correctly. I still have trouble talking clearly.

I was released from speech therapy in February 2016. I got laid off from my job in April 2016 but, now I am working at Honda Cars of McKinney in the accounting department and I LOVE my job!

I tip my hat to all my speech therapists especially Valerie. I am honored to be a Member at BIND. I sure wish I could interact more with BIND but, with my job it’s hard to fit it in.

On a last note: you must have the determination; the attitude and the “I want to” vs. “I can’t.”

~DeeDee