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Every year since my 2010 traumatic brain injury, I’ve taken the time to reflect back on changes that have come to pass during the prior year. This past year was no different, although what my reflection showed was not what some may call progress. Progress is not always measured with tangible facts.
In just a few days, the ten year anniversary of my cycling accident will be here. I have come a long way since everything changed in 2010. But just because things are okay most of the time does not mean that my brain injury disappeared.
I have been living as a brain injury survivor for almost a decade. Today I am sitting in my office, a busy day of work ahead of me. Never one to miss deadlines, I blocked off some time to let you know how I’m doing — how I am REALLY doing.
Taylor’s pickup truck represented Taylor’s work ethic, his expression of masculinity, his love for country music, and a space of fun memories and experiences. Perhaps most glaringly, it represented something Taylor feels he has lost — his freedom. The decision to sell it came after another night of seizures.
From all aspects of the pandemic, societal as well as scientific, we are still only months into learning the full scope of life after COVID-19. But I have a feeling that some people may be dealing with cognitive challenges for the rest of their lives.
COVID-19 has left many caregivers struggling with the emotional pressures of isolation. Nicole remembers a pivotal conversation about the inevitability of change and offers some advice on ways to find some comfort and calm in these difficult times.
The pandemic has changed the daily lives of everyone. How we work, how we shop, and how we interact with each other are all shifting. Comparing life as it is now with how it used to be can lead to sadness or despair and what's called "ambiguous loss."
My blog is titled Permission to Tell the Truth in an effort of honoring my feelings, not denying them. The actual act of truth telling is challenging. It hurts. Here we’ve established a relationship of trusting support. I’d like your continued permission to be open and real.
When I was struck by a teenage driver back in 2010, I sustained a traumatic brain injury. In addition to my TBI, four new letters became forever intertwined with my brain injury: PTSD. Over the years, PTSD has proven to be harder to live with than a brain injury.
My brain injury journey has come with many unexpected twists and turns, making it an experience that is truly stranger than fiction. Many of the changes that came to pass after my brain injury were incredibly painful and life-changing. But not all the changes were difficult. Some were – dare I say – simply wonderful.
While my thoughts should have been carefree during our summer vacation at our favorite North Carolina beach, each day as I took in the vastness of the ocean, I was reminded of the far reaches of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and grief.
My name is Nicole Bingaman. I am a mother to three sons, all in their twenties. Our oldest son, Taylor, suffered a catastrophic brain injury seven years ago. There are some hard truths I’ve discovered about myself over the years. Please know some of them require great courage to share with you.
A gentleman asked me, “Looking back at the beginning of your journey, what could have been done on the healthcare team's end to help you?” Taking a deep breath, I realized the question was an open door. I wasn’t sure I felt fully prepared to walk through it. I’ve pondered this question since then and want to share five qualities of healthcare providers that left an impression on me.
Something that I talk less about these days is how brain injury still affects me. And there are times, times like I am about to share, that brain injury still rears its ugly head, and leaves me completely bewildered and baffled.
For close to nine years, I’ve been working on navigating life as a brain injury survivor. Thankfully, as time passes, my life as a brain injury survivor has gotten easier. Like any human being with a heartbeat, though, I have other health issues. These are health issues that need my attention and constant care. It is at the intersection of brain injury and some of my other health concerns where things can get very dicey.
Finding acceptance after a brain injury isn't easy. "For a long while, I bucked against our reality. I found myself caught between what I had once known and an uncertain future. The in-between caused marked turmoil. As much as I didn’t want to accept Taylor’s brain injury as part of our lives, it is. As much as I wish it didn’t affect Taylor and our family … it does."
There are no guarantees, but there are smart choices and strategies that can optimize recovery after brain injury The following is a list I compiled as my answer to the many people in the beginning stages of brain injury who have asked about my success over the years. I hope it helps.