Archive for the ‘head injury’ category

Okay, You’re Alive! Now What?

February 20, 2011

Okay, You’re Alive! Now What?. Please click the image above to read  this insightful post about life after sustaining a brain injury.

Does It Hurt Bad Enough?

April 16, 2009

hound-dogWith the economy as bad-off as it currently is, how can we keep doing the same things and expect a different outcome? Didn’t some philosopher (or the uber-friendly neighbor, Wilson from the TV show Home Improvement) say that a wise man learns from his mistakes and makes changes? It is a fool who does the same actions but expects different results.

But I’m not throwing stones here; I’m as bad as anyone a when it comes to resisting change. But what causes us to fear changing our status quo?

When I was a child, my family went to the home of two elderly people who were like family to my mom when she was growing up. I don’t believe there was a blood connection, but they were as good as grandparents could be.

When we arrived, after going through the obigatory hugs, kisses and check-pinches, my sisters and I went outside to see what we could get into. Stepping onto the front porch, we noticed the hound dog which had been lying there had not moved, but was softly whining.

We walked around, visited with the chickens the couple raised, and explored the farming equipment, the likes of which we had never seen. But being a boy, I realized that the lemonade I was given upon arrival had gone straight through me, and I needed to pee. So I headed back inside to use the facilities, and the dog was still lying in the same spot, apparently unmoved, still softly whining.

After going to the bathroom, I came back out, and there was the dog, same spot and still whining.

Later that afternoon, the old man came out with my dad to check on us kids, and my curiosity got the best of me. “Why’s that dog whimpering?”

“Well, thar’s a nail stickin’ up outta da porch tha’ he’s laying on.”

Why doesn’t he move? I asked, not expecting to get a valuable life-lesson as an answer.

“Donno. I reckon it don’ hurt bad enough.”

I said I O.K. and ran off to find my sisters, not really understanding how I could be affected by that simple statement from an old man who had never attended school past the third grade.

Is that what we are? Do we whine and complain about our circumstances ad nauseam, but never create change? Do we wish for better jobs, more money, a bigger house, but are reluctant to do anything differently?

That’s where I am, and that’s why I plan to chronicle the changes I need to see in my life. Since I don’t pretend to have all the answers, and since we are trying to be interactive (Web 2.0)I welcome your feedback about what I can do differently, better, and more effectively.

How ’bout it?

Is Twitter Subjugating Social Networking

March 13, 2009

twitter_logoFor quite some time, people have been all a-twitter about twitter. I think  I read that somewhere but don’t remember where. At a men’s retreat with my church, someone named Bob asked me what Twitter was all about. As I searched my mind for a clearly-defined advantaage provided by Twitter and NOT by other social networks, it kind of got me thinking Bob’s question.

What is it REALLY?

Bob said that he heard Twitter is “sort of the younger generation’s Facebook.” Well, in a sense, it is true that fewer retirement-age people are on Twitter. However, as Paull Young said in his Fox Business interview at Happy Hour, the social networks transcend all generational barriers. What is really key to the social networks is what it is that compels people to be there in the first place.

On Facebook, there are groups for members to join and causes which can be championed. And the common thread between all the social networks is the common interest held by the members. For instance, MySpace is typically thought to be used by not only the younger crowd, but by people who have an interest in music. MySpace is supposed to have a better interface with which musicians can showcase their work. I’m not a musician, and I have not experience with placing my songs (or anyone else’s) on a social network.

Based on that school of thought, one can assume that the common interest among members of MySpace is music. For the members of Facebook, interests are range widely. From countries, to cities, to places of work, the list of common interests continues to grow as people find their own areas of expertise. Why is this such a big deal? Because it is the common interests of members from all over the world.

Does Twitter Really Compete?

With the “micro-blogs” of 140 characters on Twitter, can we really get to know one another well enough to develop a relationship? Or even to begin to build a reputation or earn trust? Twitter allows the posting of “Tinyurls” which provide links to posts, sites or articles of interest to us. By clicking the tinyurl, we can go immediately to the page which may or may not be written by the person whom we “follow.”

Ben Yoskovitz, of Instigator Blog, breaks down the pluses and minuses of Twitter, but he comes back to the importance of having a blog in which one can showcase his/her expertise and develop more thought than he can in Twitter.

So what are your thoughts about the importance of Blogging as opposed to Tweeting? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

How ’bout it?

Shout It From the Rooftops: I QUIT SMOKING!!!

August 14, 2008

Yep, that’s right. After just over 18 years of smoking off and on — mostly on — I finally have made the decision to quit smoking. I just couldn’t keep justifying the money I spent on cigarettes. So I made an appointment to go see my doctor. I had her write me a prescription for Chantix.

Chantix works as a nicotine blocker, so it keeps the nicotine from being absorbed by the brain. That part is key. In addition to blocking the nicotine, it causes the brain to release similar levels of the natural “feel-good” drug called dopamine. That part is also key. The brain releases tiny amounts of dopamine when you smoke, but that level quickly subsides when you finish your cigarette. The Chantix keeps the levels of dopamine elevated – at a safe level – while curbing your desire to smoke. If you smoke and want to quit, I highly recommend you go to http://chantix.com for more information. They can explain it much better than I can. And since I’m not paid by their advertising department…

Anyway, through much prayer and being fidgety, it’s been almost three weeks since I quit smoking. I slipped about 10 days ago because I went out of town and left my prescription at home. But ever since I got home and resumed taking the pills, I’ve not had so much as a puff! Even when I was slipping (a.k.a. smoking) I really wasn’t getting the full “benefit” from each cigarette. Remember what I said about it being a nicotine blocker? That’s why I was able to put them down as soon as I got back to my pills.

Before when I’d try to quit, I’d make it for quite some time, and then if I’d slip and have a cigarette, I’d get a tremendous buzz from it. Enjoying that feeling, I’d be back at it again — only I’d smoke more than I had before.

I hope this post serves as an inspiration to some of you who are out there and want to quit smoking. If I can do it, you can do it. I know it’s cliché, but it’s really true. I suffered a severe head injury which caused my frontal lobes to be damaged. The frontal lobes, as it was explained to me, act kind of like the front brakes on a bicycle: sure you can stop using only the back ones, but it’s not nearly as effective as the front ones. So if I can do it, I BELIEVE you can, too!

How ’bout it?

What’s The Secret to Life?

March 24, 2008

the-secret.jpgAs we begin to establish ourselves in the world, we are faced with many choices: everything from vanilla or chocolate to what attitude we are going to project to the world. The Law of Attraction is a powerful force in the universe, and whatever we think about and thank about, we bring about.

Now, we’re trying not to get too metaphysical here, but we want to share our thoughts about the subject. The feelings we have manefest what will become of us. Happy feelings, typically, bring about the things we want. Negative or bad feelings attract things we don’t want.

When I was 16 years-old, I was in a terrible automobile accident and sustained a severe head injury. I was in a coma for about a month. I began to emerge only to find myself unable to walk, talk or even hold my head up without assistance.

For another month or so, I was aware of my surroundings, but still wasn’t able to speak. I was blessed to have a phenomenal group of surgeons and therapists in addition to a family that wouldn’t let me quit.

My parents would not allow me wallow in self-pity or ask, “God, why me?!?” At a neuro-rehab I attended years later, a vocational therapist answered the group’s question by asking, “Why the Hell not you?” Life sometimes throws you a bad pitch; deal with it.

My point is this: By not being allowed to wallow, I learned to deal the best I could with the hand I was dealt. I expected at any time that I would regain the ability to walk. It wasn’t in my mind that there was a possibility that I would never walk again, I just kept doggedly trying to get over the obstacle.

In the movie The Secret, there were about a dozen people who became extremely successful in their respective lines of work who revealed something about their past which was surprising. One man was a quadriplegic for quite some time. Less than a year later, he walked out of the hospital.

An entrepreneur who lives in a $4.5 Million home, stated that he had been homeless for some time. Wow!

Most people have had some sort of difficulty in their lives. Rather than letting their situation ruin their lives, they decided, very consciously, that they were not going to be beat by whatever happened. They focused on having a positive outlook toward life, and this was the key to their success! They didn’t allow themselves to lie around in their current situations; they just focused on their end-goals, whether the ability to walk, the cancer to be cured, or to be financially successful beyond most people’s dreams — but not their own.

How ’bout it?

Why We Do What We Do (continued…)

February 28, 2008

writer_on_beach.jpgWhen I was 16 years-old, I suffered a severe head injury resulting from an automobile accident, which left me in a coma for a month. Only after four full weeks of being unresponsive to pain stimuli did I begin the long and arduous process of the emergence from it – only to find myself unable to walk or speak. If it hadn’t been for the Grace of God, I would not be where I am today.About three to four weeks after that, I finally regained the ability to take a few cautious steps with the help of therapists and family members. I was truly blessed to have a wonderful team of doctors, surgeons and therapists and am still blessed to have a phenomenal family which encouraged and rooted for me every step of the way.After many different neuro-rehabs, I succeeded in day-to-day function that was/is almost normal. I still have a few residual problems resulting from my head injury, but for the most part, I am able to keep them under control or hidden from those I meet.Do I still lose my temper irrationally? Yes. Do I still have urges to say or do inappropriate things? Most certainly. But coming up on the 19th anniversary of the accident, I have determined in what areas I excel, and I have gone into business for myself doing what I love.If you’ve not already guessed, I love to write. Friends kid me about having OCD when it comes to grammar and punctuation, and on more than one occasion, I have been called a grammarian.Grammar is what I do. It’s what I know. It’s what I love. Some people are passionate about cars or politics, and it just so happens that I’m passionate about grammar. It’s my bread and butter.

We’ve all read sentences like, “Can you here me KNOW?” talking about the Verizon catch-phrase, or “The teacher graded the students TESTES!”These people needed editors, and I have the uncanny ability to find problem areas and the knowledge to get them fixed. Majoring in English and Journalism, I learned not only what to write and what not to write, but also how to write so that I can be understood the first time someone reads it.How ’bout it?