Just let that sink in.
20 years since my life has changed so drastically.
20 years, but does it even feel like 20 years ago?
It does feel different. Different from what; it seems like this is just something that happened to me. Something that happened long ago. Like I grew into it. or grew from it, since I technically am older now than I was when I first got into that car accident.
It feels different, but I am still me. The car accident that left me with a TBI is just something that happened to me. Move on, right?
Struggling through high school…hey I made it though, right? only 1 year late
Going to LONGWOOD college, only 3 years post accident, 3 hours away from everyone I knew- my support system- living on my OWN (which was a big deal for me, concentrating so hard on rehabilitation)
I graduated! With a degree in Therapeutic Recreation, my hospital stay and rehab turned out to be a good thing, in the sense that it gave me a purpose
Working at Fairfax Nursing Center for 9 years 2005-14
meeting a great man, Matt Karst 12/06, and married 09/20/08
Buying a townhouse in Burke Center in 2012
writing since 2014
Involved at Messiah United Methodist Church; organizing the Prayer Shawl Ministry, various Bible studies, Vacation Bible school, helping with a weeekly middle school/high school Girls’ group, co-leading a Sunday school class
Longwood Alumni blogger
babysitter & caregiver
Fairfax Inova Trauma Support Network volunteer
Creating traumatic brain injury awareness
I am here for a purpose. A purpose to bring awareness to the silent epidemic of a hidden illness. Hidden to the unknowing eye, but we still feel the effects. Everyday, we know that there is something different than before, or something that people without a brain injury don’t experience the symptoms. The symptoms do not always need to be a physical injury or something that you can see, but the symptoms are still lasting. My physical disabilities have gotten much better, though my balance is not perfect, nor is my voice, fine motor control, anxiety and levels of exhaustion.
Remember how far you have come
“Brain injury is unpredictable in its consequences. Brain injury affects who we are, the way we think, act, and feel. It can change everything about us in a matter of seconds. The most important things to remember:
• A person with a brain injury is a person first
• No two brain injuries are exactly the same
• The effects of a brain injury are complex and vary greatly from person to person
• The effects of a brain injury depend on such factors as cause, location, and severity”
The Brain Injury Association of America website