Veteran’s Day Deals & Discounts

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In honor of our Veterans, the Outreach & Advocacy Unit at BIND compiled a list of our area’s best deals and discounts.  Enjoy!

Nov. 7th- 11th Texas de Brazil 50% off of Dinner + 1, rest of Table receives 20% off.
Nov. 7th- 11th IKEA Free Entrée’
Nov. 9th-11th Red Hot & Blue Free Entrée with the purchase of a second entrée
Nov. 10th-11th Bed, Bath, & Beyond 25% off entrée purchase
Nov. 10th-11th World Market 25% off entire purchase in stores
Nov. 10th-11th BJ’s Resturant & Brewhouse Complimentary entrée up to $12.95
Nov. 10th-11th Red Lobster Free Appetizer or Dessert from a limited menu
Nov. 11th Carmike Cinemas Free small Popcorn w/ ticket purchase
Nov. 11th Main Event Bowl for Free from open to 3pm.
Nov. 11th Great Clips Free Haircut or Haircut Card good until Dec. 31st.
Nov. 11th Sport Clips Free Haircut
Nov. 11th Dollar General 11% discount on Qualified purchases
Nov. 11th Meineke Free Oil Change
Nov. 11th Tractor Supply 15% discount on in store purchases
Nov. 11th Applebee’s Free Meal from a limited menu
Nov. 11th CiCi’s Pizza Free Pizza Buffet
Nov. 11th Cotton Patch Café Free Chicken Fried Steak or Chicken Fried Chicken
Nov. 11th Boston Market Free Brownie or Cookie
Nov. 11th Buffalo Wild Wings One small order of wings and side of fries
Nov. 11th California Pizza Kitchen Complimentary entrée from special menu
Nov. 11th Cantina Laredo Complimentary meal up to $15
Nov. 11th On the Border Free combo meal
Nov. 11th Texas Roadhouse Free Lunch from 11-2
Nov.11th Cattlemen’s Complimentary 8oz. Sirlon Steak Dinner
Nov. 11th Chili’s Free Meal from a limited menu
Nov. 11th Chipotle BOGO deal from 3-Close
Nov. 11th Chuck E. Cheese Free Individual 1 topping pizza
Nov. 11th Cracker Barrel Complimentary Slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca Cola Cake
Nov. 11th Denny’s Free Build Your Own Grand Slam from 5-12
Nov. 11th Dickey’s BBQ Free Meal and a Big Yellow Cup
Nov. 11th El Fenix Free Meal from a select menu
Nov. 11th Furr’s Buffet Free Buffet and drink
Nov. 11th Hooter’s Free Meal from Select menu
Nov. 11th IHOP Free Red, White, & Blue pancakes from 7-7
Nov. 11th Johnny Carino’s Free Meal
Nov. 11th Krispy Kreme Free Doughnut and Small coffee
Nov. 11th Little Caesars Pizza Free $5 Lunch combo from 11-2
Nov. 11th Olive Garden Free Entrée from Special Menu
Nov. 11th Quaker Steak & Lube Complimentary or discounted Meal of their choice
Nov. 11th Red Robin Free Red’s Tavern Double Burger w/ Bottomless Steak Fries
Nov. 11th Rock & Brews Complimentary Pulled Pork Sandwich
Nov. 11th Ruby Tuesday Free Appetizer
Nov. 11th Snuffer’s Resturant & Bar Free Burger
Nov. 11th Starbucks Vets and Spouces get a Free Tall Coffee
Nov. 11th TGI Friday Free Lunch from 11-2
Nov. 11th Twin Peaks Free Menu item from their Annual Veteran’s Day Apprecication Menu
Nov. 11th World of Beer Free Select Draught Beer
Nov. 11th Outback Steakhouse Free Bloomin Onion and Beverage
Nov. 11th-13th Spaghetti Warehouse Buy One Entrée and Get the Second Entrée Free
Nov. 11th-13th Firestone Complete Auto Care Additional 10% off the Lowest Ad Price
Nov. 12th- Dec. 31 Outback Steakhouse 15% off their Meals
Nov. 13th Golden Coral Free Dinner from 5-9


Coping With Aphasia: A Survivor’s Perspective

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The word “Aphasia” was introduced in my vocabulary as a Physical Therapy student at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1992. During my clinical experience taking care of and treating a vast number of patients with neurological conditions (cerebrovascular accidents commonly named “strokes”, brain tumors, traumatic brain injury), I found more insight 3 years ago transitioning from clinician to patient. On May 13, 2014, I had an ischemic stroke with right sided hemi paresis, motor apraxia and aphasia.

Aphasia is an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write. Aphasia is always due to a brain injury from a stroke, head trauma, brain tumors or infections. It’s more common in older adults, particularly those who have had a stroke.

Aphasia can be mild or severe dependent on the severity of the damage to language areas of the brain. People who have aphasia may affect the ability to retrieve names of objects, putting words together into sentences, reading, understanding words, finding the “right” words to complete their thoughts. They may also have problems with auditory comprehension (conversation, words or numbers), understanding written words or numbers and writing. More commonly, however, individuals with aphasia can have multiple aspects communication impairments. Unfortunately, I had all aforementioned speech deficits initially after my stroke and still have aphasia problems especially when I’m tired or emotional.

I had inpatient therapy at Baylor Rehabilitation of Dallas for one week and outpatient at Pate Rehab in Anna, TX. I participated in speech therapy 6 hours per day and 5 times per week for 8 months. My speech therapist, Anne, administered several assessments to determine the type of aphasia that affected me.

There are various types of aphasia and I have two of them: Expressive Aphasia & Anomic Aphasia

Other common types of aphasia are:

  1. Broca’s (Expressive) aphasia (non-fluent) – the person knows what he or she wants to say but has difficulty communicating it to others.
  2. Anomic aphasia – the person has word finding difficulties or struggles to find the right words to speak and write.
  3. Wernicke’s (Receptive) aphasia (fluent) – the person can hear others or read words, but may not understand the meaning of the message.
  4. Global aphasia– the person has difficulty speaking and understanding the meaning of the words. The person is unable to read or write. This is the most severe type of aphasia.
  5. Primary progressive aphasia – this type is rare where people slowly lose the ability to talk, read, write and comprehend what they hear in conversations over a period of time.

Coping with aphasia can be difficult and frustrating for many, but you must have strength to overcome. Having aphasia is a loss and grieving is key to heal mentally and spiritually during your recovery. It’s a battle to accept your impairments, to accept others & especially family to deal with your “new normal” and move forward in your life despite aphasia. Feelings of frustration, guilt and embarrassment at the inability to communicate can lead to anger, depression and avoidance of others. I stopped meeting girlfriends for lunch or other social events initially because I was embarrassed and felt I would not be involved in the conversation because my speech was not fluent. Hence, the barrier was me, not my friends.

People with aphasia may tire easily and show extreme emotional fluctuations particularly early in the recovery process. In fact, sometimes it overwhelms me to where I’m still mentally and physically exhausted. It is a lot of energy to find, write or correct words from sounds or sentences, read and speak your own name and phone number. Like writing this blog!

Family members may also feel strong emotions including anxiety, anger, confusion, depression and despair. A good support system of family and friends are important. As a person with aphasia, I understand family members may feel a sense of loss too, but practice patience. It is normal to go through a grieving process when the one you love develops aphasia. Support groups are valuable to help through this recovery and afterwards too!

If you have a loved one with aphasia, embrace them every day, allow them to keep their personality, laugh, cry and pray for them! Believe! Faith! Love!

~Celeste Larkins


Stroke: The More You Know

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Stroke Awareness Facts 

(From The National Stroke Association)

May is National Stroke Awareness Month when the National Stroke Association is turning its attention to the alarming number of strokes in young Americans. Over the last decade, there has been a spike of 44% in the number of young Americans (under 45 years) hospitalized due to stroke. This animated video, “Young Stroke: An Unexpected Reality,” focuses on the unique challenges faced by young stroke survivors and offers a wide range of resources to support stroke survivors in their recovery journeys.

There are two main types of stroke — ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic stroke is more common and occurs when blood flow to a part or parts of the brain is stopped by a blockage in a vessel. Hemorrhagic stroke is more deadly and occurs when a weakened vessel tears or ruptures, diverting blood flow from its normal course and instead leaking or spilling it into or around the brain itself.

  • Hemorrhagic (bleed) stroke accounts for about 13 percent of stroke cases.
  • Ischemic (clot) stroke accounts for about 87 percent of all cases.Where does the data lead after someone has a stroke? 
    * 10% of stroke survivors recover almost completely
    * 25% recover with minor impairments
    * 40% experience moderate to severe impairments requiring special care
    * 10% require care within either a skilled-care or other long-term care facility
    * 15% die shortly after the stroke


Support Group Value ~ by Carrie & Karl

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By Carrie & Karl

Any type of Support group can be scary at first but they all have benefits. Let’s talk specifically about Brain Injury Support Groups, Why Go?

  • Initially these groups will put you in contact with other people experiencing the same shock and confusions as you. And will let you know that you are not alone in this struggle.
  • Sharing this experience with others “like” you helps you come to grips with what you are going through
  • They can be motivational and give you hope as you see how others are surviving
  • Get pointers on how to adapt to the “”new you” and ideas on how to accomplish different goals and to get things done in a different way
  • By just being with others that are going through this same experience, you become more involved with the outside world (i.e. society) and more comfortable with your uniqueness not disability.
  • It is a constant reminder the progress continues to happen all the time
  • Support groups don’t have to just be about complaining but sometimes you do need that avenue to vent.

Karl and I started a Support Group about 4 years ago at a local rehab hospital which speaks to those who have just acquired their brain Injury and go once a month. I always feel uplifted and positive after these meetings. These people do not even know what questions they have yet but I can tell after the meeting that we have instilled a little bit of hope and encouragement to them.

Karl also leads another support group in McKinney twice a month that he and another member stated more than 5 years ago. One of these meetings is just them getting together playing Rummikub and socializing, which sometimes is all that is needed.


Sharan L. Schwartzberg, an occupational therapist, conducted a study to discover the benefits provided by head injury support groups. Upon the completion of her research, she reported that head injury support groups provide opportunities for the fulfilment of the following needs:


  1. At times a group of allows for expressions of anger, frustration, or disappointment about experiences. Laughter may replace the frustration when other group members share similar situations & mishaps. Therefore, grieving & laughing about daily situations with others, who can relate, offers a stress relief.
  2. Each group member seems to understand the frustration and amount of energy used as one works to develop acceptance of limitations and compensatory strategies. This understanding and support can provide hope and encouragement as a survivor strives to develop satisfaction with life. The support from the group seems to promote the survival of the survivor.
  3. The reality of challenges faced by head injury survivors is often reinforced as the group members give, receive, and discuss practical solutions to problems. Frequently another member of the group who has struggled with a similar situation can offer alternate solutions. Although one member’s solution may not work for another member, it may stimulate the investigation of other methods that had not been considered.



Support Groups led by BIND members:

Plano: Meets every 1st Friday at 2:00 pm

Accel Rehabilitation Hospital

2301 Marsh Lane

Plano, TX 75093


Plano: Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month from 7:-9:PM


HealthSouth Plano Rehabilitation Hospital

2800 West 15th St.

Plano, TX 75075

Upon arrival, please check with the receptionist for the exact location within the building.

McKinney: Meets every 3rd Friday from Noon to 2 pm AND every 1st Tuesday 7 pm to 8:30 pm

Stonebridge United Methodist Church

1800 S. Stonebridge Drive

Bring your own meal


Email for a complete listing of all DFW area support groups that we are aware of.


Understanding Post-Stroke Depression by Dr. Beck

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May seems to be a very important “awareness” month in the United States, as it is both “Mental Health Awareness Month,” and “Stroke Awareness Month.” So in thinking about how these two important issues relate, it seems appropriate for me to mention a very common condition experienced by thousands of stroke survivors each year- Post-Stroke Depression (PSD). Estimates of prevalence, or how common, PSD is among survivors vary, but is generally found to be as many as 1/3 to 2/3 stroke survivors experience PSD at some point following stroke. Causes of PSD are not completely known, though hypotheses include the possibility of neurochemical alterations/changes in the brain (e.g. changes in levels of key chemicals such as serotonin or norepinephrine) that occur after stroke, as well as more “situational” issues such as adjusting to significant physical limitations or loss of independence. In reality, PSD probably occurs as a combination of neurochemical changes in the brain as well as psychological adjustment to loss.

So why is it so important to screen for PSD, and for stroke survivors and their families to be aware of this condition? When PSD is left untreated, it not only adversely impacts the stroke survivor’s quality of life, but it can actually delay meaningful improvements in function and progress through rehabilitation efforts!

The good news is that PSD is a very treatable condition. Generally speaking, antidepressant medications are the first-line of treatment for PSD. In my own clinical experience, survivors may not need medication for an extended period of time, but it can be very helpful to “get over the hump” initially. Antidepressants help to increase and stabilize certain chemicals in the brain believed to be related to mood. Additional treatments may include individual psychotherapy/counseling, particularly if depressive symptoms appear to be more related to adjustment to disability/loss. Other effective treatments may include increasing involvement in enjoyable activities (hobbies/interests) and improving social support.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s website has a lot of great information, including many inspirational stories told by stroke survivors. Sometimes the most powerful “treatment” for PSD may actually be the instillation of hope for the future- no matter the degree of disability. And there is nothing like hearing another stroke survivor tell his or her story.

BIND also works to improve the lives of individuals living with the effects of stroke through programs such as Peer Partners, a mentoring program provided by stroke survivors/caregivers for stroke survivors/caregivers. Feel free to explore our website for more information on our programs.

And if you or your loved one is living with PSD, I encourage you to get connected- explore area stroke support groups, talk to your doctor about treatment options, get involved with the AHA/ASA, or reach out to BIND!

~Dr. Kelley D. Beck, Board President




Celeste: 2 Years, In Her Words

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On May 13, 2014, my life made a 360 degree turn! I was working in my office with a colleague at Reliant Rehabilitation of Dallas. I stood up to drink a cup of water and the cup dropped, my right side of my face drooped & my right arm was oscillating without control. My mind yelled, “ALERT! SOMETHING IS WRONG!!” but I couldn’t say a word.

I was transferred to Medical City of Dallas immediately via ambulance. I had an embolic stroke (actually 2 blood clots) in the left hemisphere of my brain. In the ER, they administered tPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator) to dissolve the clots to improve blood flow in the middle carotid artery. One of the clots was “stubborn” I guess and I had brain surgery (intracranial angioplasty and stenting).

I woke up in ICU in silence and had right sided hemiparesis (right arm was flaccid (no muscle tone) and sensation deficits. I have Apraxia (oral motor speech) and Aphasia (express & understand language). After my stroke, I couldn’t read, speak, nor form sentences. Thank GOD my spelling and memory was intact to write simple words to express my needs.

I am a Physical Therapist practicing over 20 years and my position before the stroke was Chief Therapy Officer managing staff, hospital policies and rehab patients/families. I transferred to Baylor Dallas inpatient for a week for all therapy disciplines (Physical (PT), Occupational (OT) and Speech (ST)) then Pate Rehabilitation (Anna location) outpatient for ST for 8 months. My discharge from Pate was January 28, 2015 and I was a little torn. I was sad to leave my “safe place”, happy because my speech was better and scared to jump into life again!

I gained more Faith in GOD and more fight for my life and my daughter, Tylar. A lot of crying (an emotional battle) during my storm but those tears were a symbol that I’m thankful & humbled because GOD shielded and blessed me with a strong support group…family and friends! I didn’t work for nearly a year and gradually started PT per diem then full time in June 2015. GOD IS GOOD!! I joined B.I.N.D. last year as a volunteer to connect with brain injury survivors and to increase awareness & knowledge in the community. Brain Injury Network of Dallas is a bridge to build relationships, mentorship, support for survivors and their families and a platform for patient advocacy!

Celeste Larkins
Stroke Survivor May 2014

Hello, Silvana! #NationalVolunteerWeek

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BIND Member Kevin had the chance to talk with Silvana about her volunteer experience.  Silvana is a traumatic brain injury survivor, artist, cyclist, nature enthusiast, business owner, and a great friend to BIND.  Be sure to check out her company,  Bicibits, here:

Question: What 3 things would you take to a deserted island?

Answer: A great book that I could reread often maybe use to write in and maybe burn if I needed to for rescue smoke or fire starter.  Music, and perhaps a big knife for all sorts of handy reasons.

Question: How did you become a BIND volunteer?

Answer: I got involved with BIND because Valerie G came to a TBI support group meeting I attended, and even though I don’t recall much of it she left an impression on me. Later we communicated on something and eventually I wanted to be a part of the BIND community and help in any way I could, and also belong to a group of nice folks in similar situations as me.

Question: What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?

Answer: I don’t have a clue what life will look like in 5 years for me. I hope to have a place of my own in a nice quiet place surrounded by nature and maybe a little art studio, near some friends.

Question: Why do you volunteer for BIND?

Answer: Volunteering gives me a purpose and sense of belonging, and the ability to contribute to my community that has been missing since my TBI took away my ability to teach school. (and everything that came with it).  It also teaches me new things about life, others and myself.

Thank you, Silvana and Kevin!

Alice Petranek: Why Now?

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Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 10.19.28 PMWhy now?

Have you ever heard someone say “There is a time and place for everything?” This concept of timing also applies to Rehab. Stroke and Brain injury can rob individuals of their most basic functions: rolling over in bed, sitting up, eating, dressing, bathing, walking and driving a car. It is the role of Occupational Therapy (OT) to facilitate independence with life’s most basic skills. There is no task too small or too big for OT to tackle . . . Or is there?

There is a mindset that can sometimes creep in during Rehab, which will hold some survivors back from reaching their full potential for independence. This mindset sounds something like this: “If I learn to do it with one hand, then I am giving up hope that my arm will comeback . . . So I will wait until I can do it the ’normal’ way. This mentality can find its way into more impactful life skills, such as driving or returning to work. The task of debunking this myth-this way of thinking, is one the biggest challenges for Occupational Therapy. It poses the biggest obstacle to goal achievement I have ever experienced in 20 years of practice.

The devastation of physical impairments on self-esteem is brutal. Arms and legs that no longer move at will, in effortless and seamless timing, is a reality that can be too great to accept. Rehab quickly focuses on trying to urge limbs down the recovery path. Days, weeks and months are spent trying to enable and facilitate movement. It is at this time where this mindset usually creeps in. For some, learning a one-handed technique to tie shoes, put on socks, or bathe, is simply asking them to give up hope. No amount of cajoling or encouragement could convince them that spending a few minutes of their therapy session practicing how to tie a one handed knot or learning the art of “compensation” to accomplish almost ANY two handed task in a one handed way, will work.

So we wait. Wait for acceptance that life will need to continue with or without full arm/leg recovery. How long will this take? Precious time ticks away. Experience tells us that the sooner someone becomes independent with basic life skills, the greater their chances of regaining life roles in the home and in the community are. So we wait-we wait for acceptance. Accepting that life will continue with or without your limb is a harsh reality, but once that acceptance has occurred-that is when the real healing will begin. Occupational Therapy has transformed lives of individuals who have understood that accepting this does not mean giving up hope. Success does not always mean you get 100% of your former self back; it means you succeed in spite of your obstacles and limitations.

Reach out to your occupational therapist. Let him or her know you are ready to take the world by storm-one simple task at a time! Why now? BECAUSE YOU CAN!

~Alice Petranek, OTR, CBIS