Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Down and Out

Down and Out
Well you are down and out. You lost your job because of your condition. Now you have no money or insurance. You can't pay rent, but you have friends or family to stay with, or maybe you have a car to live in.
"Just 'til I get back on my feet," you say. Before that happens, and before it gets worse:

1. You'll need a permanent mailing address. A family member who has a house is best. You'll always be related and owning a house means it's long-term. You'll need the address to receive monthly assistance.

2 Go to your local welfare office and apply for homeless aid.

3. While there apply for Medicaid http://braininjuryknow.blogspot.com/2010/11/medicaid-govt-program.html They have a disability program, tell the worker to apply for this at the same time. If you have children there is a second automatic one, but it's only good if  the kid is with you and under 18.

4. I'm not sure what all your county will give for homeless, but it usually includes foodstamps. Those who receive these have learned alternative ways to use them.

5. Once you take care of immediate needs you need to get on SSI or SSDI. This will be a different office, most likely a different building.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Read To Me

When that person you love is in the hospital, maybe unconscious, and definitely not able to talk to you, what do you do for them?

Read to me.
Get a book. Humor or Inspirational are good.
 Maybe a joke book.

The local paper always works.

Some like their horoscope.

You'll always have something new with a newspaper.

 UPDATED:  2/27/2018

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fuel To The Fire

 I always say "Keep doing the exercises after rehab." Here's why. This is my before picture:

Now, after one week of exercise. I did 2, 3, and 4 from http://braininjuryknow.blogspot.com/2010/11/oral-motor-exercises.html.

You can see more muscle definition on my face.  Specifically, on the left side of the picture, there's now a line running from my nose to my mouth.

So, it's definitely important to keep doing the exercise after rehab. I'm adding this one back to the others I do.


It's been 3 weeks, not even a month, and I can
I haven't been able to lift one side of my top lip in 9 years.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

One Hand to Type

Hit the shift key 5 times. Select YES at the prompt to turn on Sticky Keys. You can then SHIFT to capitalize a letter. You can also use keys like CTRL. Just hit it prior to the key you want shifted. It will make a sound.
If you need other things, you can go to the EASE OFACCESS. It can be in different places on different computers, Go to START and do a search. I used to have mine make a sound when I hit a key and some other things.

 Updated 3-18-2014

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Wonders of Silly Putty

Remember this stuff? It was moldable like clay, yet it had wondrous properties. You could press it on a comic and it would copy the image. Of course we'd then stretch it, distorting the image. The following is from sillyputty.com (yes this stuff has its own site):

Silly Putty is a pretty unique substance. It stretches without breaking, yet it can be "snapped off" cleanly. It bounces higher than a rubber ball. It floats if you shape it in a certain way, yet sinks in others. It can pick up pencil marks from pages and comics from some newspapers. If you slam it with a hammer, it keeps it shape, yet if you push with light, even pressure, it will flatten with ease. Gravity has a slow, yet devastating effect on Silly Putty creations.
With all of these unique properties, it's no wonder people are puzzled (yet love to play with) Silly Putty.

Your brain is like this- moldable like clay, but with wondrous properties. The brain adapts to its situations and surroundings. Much like Silly Putty can be shaped. Remember taking Silly Putty to a comic or newsprint to make a copy? Your brain does the same (imprints information). Bouncing...have you (or your mind) ever bounced off the walls? Your imagination can probably do all of Silly Putty's wondrous properties.

So that leads me to the question of brain injury-will it ever be like it used to be? To answer that, just look at the Silly Putty. Can it be taken out of the package, played with, and some gone, and still be sold as new? I don't think so. But it can still be molded, shaped, played with, and retain most, maybe all, of its properties.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Large Muscles

These are just some ideas for your large muscles.  It is NOT a replacement for PT.  This stuff would help walking and sitting in a chair.

1.  leg lifts-bent knee.  If standing, this looks like marching (15-20x)
.  kicking-more leg stuff, but this is for your calf I believe.  If seated, kick your bent leg all the way out (15-20x)  If standing, kick your foot up behind you, bending your knee.  

3.  arms-punching up (over your head) and forward (like Tae Bo)

4.  get more of a workout by adding wrist and ankle weights.  The wrap-around, velcro is good.  Slip-ons are okay for small hands, but are still tight getting on.  Start with just 1 or 2 pounds and you can slowly increase.

5.  squeeze your legs together (20x)

6.  bridge or pelvic tilts (15-20)  Bridging is more of what you want for legs.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3kCp0v3Czk&feature=channel

7.  build up those abs  If in a chair, sit independently.  Sitting independent, raise both arms up, over head.  Toe touches, sit-ups, and crunches are good.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I'm Sad and Have A Broken Head

This is about brain injury and depression. I'm seeing quite a few posts on this. I'll talk about it as a psychologist who had a stroke, which is a completely different view. I'll use the word "stroke" as this is where the research is done, but this may have to do with funding. Other brain injuries have feelings, too, and are probably the same.

There are some things you can do for mild depression that don't require medication. You can get plenty of exercise. Get a good, balanced diet. (This isn't under or over-eating. The foods you eat should vary across the food groups. Get all of your nutrition/vitamins. Watch out for empty calories such as candy-which gives a sugar high-we never hear what comes after, but it's the opposite. Get plenty of sun light. (I think it is at least 15 min a day.)
Sometimes depression is more than mild. Thoughts of suicide is more. For this I recommend medication. Take that medication as prescribed and be strict about the schedule. (Same time every day.) Don't have your doctor just prescribe-usually 2 people are involved, a psychologist and your physician. You may not be seeing the psychologist, but your doctor is consulting with this person. Don't ever just stop taking these pills; usually you have to be weaned. It's okay to stop if you are switching meds and something different is taking it's place. The doctor will let you know if the one you are on requires special weaning.
Now here's the big kicker- stroke has been linked to depression. I'm thinking the area in the brain that naturally releases the necessary chemicals for anxiety and depression doesn't anymore. So, just as other things come back after stroke, this ability may come back also. In the meantime take medication. There's no telling when and if this comes all the way back. How do you feel? You will have to pay attention to this and get feedback from those around you. If "you're a bitch", you may  not be ready. Weaning is where the psych really comes in. It may be decided that you still need meds, but at a lower dose. Don't be discouraged if the weaning process is stopped. Your natural abilities didn't come all the way back. So what?! You had a brain injury and there are other ways you can now take care of this.

I'm not recommending to take or not take. You have to weigh the benefits and risks. Everyone is different. I personally was on, but now am not. It was started when I came out of a coma. I didn't stop it right away, though. I let it do its job, as I had other issues to deal with.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Get It!

I can’t tell you how to be [resourceful], but I can tell you how to get
something (it has to be a tangible object and not money). I’ll use xxx, so it can be anything. It has to be tangible so you can take a
picture. It can also be a course if there is a certificate of completion. This is how some companies do it.

First, you have to write a proposal. This sounds complicated, but it’s not. All you need to do is write one paragraph. Make sure spelling and grammar are correct. It needs to be typed. Title it "Proposal". Print it. Centered on white paper so it looks neat. Make as many copies as you need.  I just used an amount I made up, so you can change it. The amount will have to include tax and any fees. Also, if used, any repairs, new parts, etc. Usually, any left over money has to be returned. Here's why it  has to be tangible, you take a picture of what you got being used (or photocopy certificate of completion). The company will use the photo in promos and newsletters. There is a chance it will be in the local paper.


$10, 000 to purchase a wheelchair van. My son has many appointments. These are mostly medical and therapy. My husband has to take off work for all of these
because we don’t have a handicapped vehicle and my son weighs 100lbs. My husband has to carry him out to the car and lift him out to put him in the wheelchair
when we arrive. A wheelchair van would allow me to safely transport him by myself.

Now you would write a general letter:

Month 00, 2011

To Whom It May Concern;

I, (name), am looking to purchase a (xxx). Enclosed is my proposal. You can
reach me at xxx-xxxx.


(name typed-first and last)
(xxx) xxx-xxxx

Mail these to banks, auto dealers, stores, and anyone who gives away money.

I know a mom who raised money for her son’s autism treatment. So it can be
done. She was another one who made too much for programs, but not enough in a

When you get the van (or whatever) take a picture or 2 (this is why tangible) of
it being used. Some funders will ask for pictures anyway, so beat them to it.

This could be called grant writing 101. Although it’s only 1 page, it’s a
grant. You would then have grant writing experience (highly sought after in
the job market. This also would qualify you for the position of fundraiser at
most organizations.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

feeding exercise

Provide firm input to the root of the tongue- try this on yourself first- place your thumb under your chin about -1 inch behind your jaw bone- if you quickly and firmly move your thumb directly up and down you should feel your tongue moving up and down in your mouth- this increases muscle tone in the tongue and should increase voluntary control over gagging- do this for 1-2 minutes about 4-5 times daily- if you are doing it correctly you will hear your child tongue moving - if a child is vocalizing "ah" while you're doing it they will make cute gurgling sound.