[WEB PAGE] Stay Mobile with the New myRehabMedical App

Posted by Debbie Overman | Jul 2, 2020     Rehab Medical, Indianapolis, launches myRehabMedical. Available on both Android and Apple devices, the app provides customers with instant access to order updates, service requests, contact information, live chats, and product tutorials. “Rehab Medical has a mission to improve lives, and one way we intend to accomplish this is through […]

[WEB PAGE] Stay Mobile with the New myRehabMedical App

I previously wrote about the ABIWise app available from Melbourne based organisation ‘Brain Injury Matters’.

Here are words about US based organisations…

My illness meets coronavirus

I lay here on my bed down the road from La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain.

It’s the 13 April 2020 and I’m in lockdown due to the Coronavirus. I hadn’t planned this somewhat end to 6 years of recovery in Spain after falling 15 metres off a building in Sydney, though I tried with force, but who can ever plan such a thing.

Life happens.

After the accident I yelled in hospital, ‘I want to do a master degree and I’m going to Brazil to complete it.’ A sudden plan materialised.

In the process over the years I maintained a long distance relationship where we saw each other at least once a year. We’d met 6 months after my accident.

Then I was fired continuously due to tiny issues with minimal government support to find an employer with understanding. I travelled overseas with every dollar I had and to this day I wear mostly the same clothes I had before the accident. It seemed paying for fashion was on the bottom of my priority list. Travel sat at the top.

I was attempting over years to gain and retain work for us to be together eventually with the masters to be completed once in Brazil, which happened to also be where he was from…A FAIRYTALE.

I went to Brazil finally in 2018 after years of employment struggle, attempting to save my relationship and maintain my dreams of completing my master degree study there after enrolling online through an Australian University. I had enrolled in 2015 into an online master degree in urban planning at a university to keep those dreams alive.

After three months on my initial visit to Brazil with a quickly obtained tourist visa I returned to Australia, finally gaining longer-term employment as a Telemarketer while saving, writing and studying. I did all my master degree course work and then studied a part time graduate certificate in business upon my return to Australia, where I stayed with my Mum before the planned study in Brazil 6-9 months later.

Then the relationship ended, not abruptly as a trip to Greece we took after I left Brazil indicated to me this may happen. I filled my thoughts with wine about the imminent end, you see it coming in relationships at a time dependent on if it’s a keeper or a drifter. Time tested us as all relationships experience 😉

So I frantically cancelled purchased flights to Brazil, travel insurance and altered my master degree study dreams. I changed my investigation location to Barcelona and to afford it I stayed at the Telemarketing job for another 6 months. By far the longest I’d stayed employed anywhere since the accident.

But here I lay. In an empty room in one of the worst hit countries from the Coronavirus pandemic gripping the world.

What I had planned never came to be, but I got here! All the hard work eventually paid off and I’m about to complete my SECOND postgraduate degree (I took the graduate certificate also because affording my foreign plans and relationship reunion were taking unexpected time). My recovery wasn’t a failure. I pushed on to see the ups and downs of life. I’d dream those same dreams I yelled in hospital differently than planned, although I wish I had understood Brain Injury more intricately from the start.

That’s my one regret, not being given or seeking support with more knowledge, an automatic need I believe should be thought of by the Government. I sought it but rarely pushed hard for it as support seemed to create more hurdles to be considered disabled once trying for a long time without support. I was never given a specific or managed plan for recovery, just a good luck farewell at hospital, recommendations existed but were few. That’s where the system needs to improve for survivors from accidents such as my own.

My excellent recovery could only be reached if goals to change the supporting systems are improved. I’m a rare and lucky case. I guess that’s my new goal to raise awareness and hopefully support others. My first goal didn’t go to plan, but it was reached all the same 🙂

Onward!

Barcelona, SCPAATIANLUNYA (Spain and Catalunya) – 20 May 2020

Here I sit, docile, calm, tranquilo.

I’m in Parc de Cervantes after a morning run/walk to an interesting housing estate built in 1987 (only one year after my birth!) with an architectural style coming from the utopian ideals of science fiction writers.

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It’s nice to sit in a good park, Barcelona has few larger ones. It’s by a highway, but we’ll forget that point.

With Coronavirus taking over our lives during recent months, it’s nice to be free and explore this city.

The Congresso de Catalunya (i found out later being a large event space) is across the road and I ate breakfast with Mexican hot sauce.

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Our world has become such a muddle of cultures, races, customs.

I was talking to my older neighbour the other day about how our world has changed dramatically to become more international during his lifetime.

I can tell you that quality defines mine.

SITGES, CATALUNYA 6 March 2020

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I am drinking the most delicious beer. It has a hint of lemon, it’s just before 12pm, I ran 30 minutes this morning and I deserve this alcohol 🙂

I’m content. All except my final ethics approval has come together. For this truth I’m so happy. The Uni Ethics approval is tight and I have 17 days to receive final approval from the University. So it’s the only issue in my life and it ain’t a fail! (yet)

I’m happy. I knew all my hard work in life or over recent years would pay off. Without ethics approval I’m returning to using Spanish daily and this in itself is a dream, where everyday a new word or fluency is improved! ❤

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Dreams returning after a brain injury

My brain injury was diagnosed as severe in 2014 by doctors’ when it occurred but healed well, despite the challenges that presented themselves during healing. I was especially tormented by emotional changes many saw but replied to them with anxiety and fear that made my isolation worse.

Another quality of my brain injury was a loss of dreaming when I slept. I may have dreamed, but my forgetfulness clouded me or I quite simply didn’t dream. I have no idea which is true, but I recall zero dreams for many years.

Dreams returned to me and I’m unsure of exactly when they gradually reignited in my mind. Maybe the 2 or 3 year mark after the accident. These little details anyone will forget, so I won’t blame brain injury with this one.

All this enclosure we are having in the world due to the coronavirus may be triggering my dreams, or indeed each day there’s less to remember and so I had a couple of nights where I remember dreams for certain.

Two nights ago was my biggest dream or nightmare as I woke up in the middle of it!

I was with some people and suddenly stood alone. I encountered a person that disliked me. I knew them at the time, but now I don’t have the faintest idea who it was, certainly a male when I recall it.

I actually woke up in my room with an argh! As though the person stroke fear inside me with their manner in the dream.

Could I go through years of not dreaming and then have speckles of dreams in many forgettable moments to then be awoken by a scary frightful nightmare? 🤔

The other dream was last night and I’m certain it happened but recollect nothing really, just a feeling it occurred. Ask me a question about it and I can’t answer, unlike the night before.

Could this be a product of dreams changing and becoming more memorable? Or could it just be that our daily lives enclosed in our homes allow for extra memory space to recollect the dreams.

One thing for certain is that I rarely wake from dreams. I sat there thinking I may have woken up the entire home 😁

I would love to hear other experiences with dreams, both brain injured or not, to explore this part of the human condition. It’s an interesting enclosed mental space we each have made specifically by and for us.

I’M SORRY – apologies during mental trauma

Many know that in 2014 I fell off a building, 15 metres down onto the concrete ground below.

After years of healing and hard work I am currently in Barcelona, Spain to complete a master degree in urban and regional planning.

To get here wasn’t easy. It took a lot of determination to get through the unexpected hard times due to having a Brain Injury. My impact caused a head injury that was cumbersome emotionally and practically during some moments. It was an amazing recovery, but also a challenging one with minor attention to detail issues and a bit of short term memory loss.

I could do so so so much and yet any tiny flaw was magnified by many people. I was not deemed disabled or supported in any form after 9 months. In fact I should say after 6 months when I left hospital, as all I received in following months was government sickness support pensions for the full 9 months without any special treatment or therapy.

One thing I found at the worst times was the number of friends and outsiders who would advise how I should see a situation. An example may have been someone abusing me at work or a friend yelling at me in anger. Outside anger was another emotional element that I could not handle while having a brain injury.

Many friends or outsiders were there immediately to say the situation was caused by me, because of my brain injury. I became very isolated during those times.

At the worst times it felt like I was going insane because I knew others were incorrect to treat me horrifically. Yet they were lonely feelings and people continued advising how I should act, never how others could improve their behaviour. The time was horrible.

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As I healed I noticed my own emotional limitations leaving and grew from my experiences.

While the healing progressed, one thing I noticed was my apologetic nature. It was not incorrect for me to acknowledge how I had acted during my worst brain injury periods with huge elements of internal frustration, and yet no one ever apologised to me for yelling, abusing or belittling me. It was their normal manner. That hurt before, but now I realise that a good 99.9% of people will never apologise for instances where they acted incorrectly. Apologies are often only an expectation and many people rarely self assess their emotional manner.

I was the one in the middle of a traumatic life period and yet I had to apologise without a reciprocal sentiment??????

Yes. Yes I had to accept that reality. Some people use anger as a general sentiment or in times of quick frustration and as an individual I will never change external emotions, I can only try to be a good person from within.

Some friends have done good things in place of an apology and that is often how people act. I need to accept that quality as part of my own mental healing journey. Other people just blankly looked at me or ignored me after yelling and abuse, a simple reality and it’s an acceptable time for me to acknowledge that they’ll never play a valued part in my life. Doing good things in place of an apology is great, doing nothing but staring or giving further abuse ensures an outsider will be left far away from me in future.

That’s ok, because I feel like the healing process brought me to the first time in my life where I don’t wish for everyone to like me. I remember when I was younger, always being anxious like I wasn’t good enough and in need of external self esteem boosters.

Now I am good enough for me and anyone who dislikes me for tiny moments they hated will remain far where possible if they never try to learn more (I can think of work colleagues as one group of people we cannot just eliminate from our lives, acceptance of some peoples abusive nature is also part of the journey). Many people won’t like me and will be abusive. I need to accept that reality and an absense of apologies in their abuse. I wish people could feel what brain injury was like as my emotions have changed now, but at my worst stages I felt trapped inside people’s abuse. I describe it like my mental state was encased when people weren’t calm, abuse fueled intense struggle internally.

So I say sorry to anyone I have been frustrated with during healing or just generally.

Live with a smile and try to be good where possible. Apologies, good deeds, understanding. They are the elements of life I need after mental healing.

Let’s all find some sunshine 🙂

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Backward, here, forward – TIME

In my youth I got older to know time as a certainty. I passed time ageing year by year. I started school at the same time every day with recess and lunch defined within a moment without a thought passing to contemplate its mundane existence, before the day closed on the hour we counted down in class, staring up at the clock, waiting. 3pm was the typical moment this day, yesterday and the day after that to bring an end to schooling life.

The view of plants growing and a broader vista from my balcony in Barcelona.

At a later time in my life, determined by my age, I began work and university with nothing but time to define our moments. I juggled the adulting responsibilities through acknowledging my watch. Learning, in time. Working, in time. Enjoying, in time. Being, in time.

Actually, what time was it when I wrote this article? If it wasn’t during one time, then it was over several times. Writing, Editing, Adding, Forming. It all takes time. Time could have defined this article, but that time could be 5 minutes or 10 hours of thought and perseverance of ideas forming into words.

Would it take the same time when I was younger? Have I created speed through experience? How do we define time? Is it defined by experience? Does a 40 year old anywhere in the world have the same experience?

Yes.

Are we not different within the same time?

Is this determined by time, or experience?

Is that experience by time’s side or is that experience within time.

Why does time define me?

I walk along the streets of the city and I see the sun shining above. What time is it? It is day. How do I identify time in a moment like this? If you look at the shadows on the street then you can guess the time, a clock is not needed. The equator, not time, is needed. Time depends on the season, on the Earth’s alignment with the sun at a tilt oscillating between 22.1 and 24.5 degrees.

What if there are no shadows, will it always be midday?

Time governs my thoughts.

Time.

Experience.

Time defined.

Time is everything.

Time.

Time is constructed by frames of moments in our lives.

Time.

I don’t know who I am.

If I have an appointment tomorrow will I have to arrive at the time I was given?

Who created this time?

My watch says 12:01 but the sun tells me it’s 11:59.

Why am I disconnected from nature? Why does my watch decide my movements?

Humans have defined time and we live by time but experience is undefined by time. I can go to university at 21 or 45 or 60. Will I learn the same? Will time define my experience? Will experience define my time?

I wish time would wash away.

To stop making people feel underachieved through achievements by a certain time.

I want time to show me experience. I don’t want time to show inadequacy.

Time will tell.

Day six into the isolation of Spain

‘what are you doing’

‘just walking around the corner’

‘you can’t walk around the corner’

‘ok’

‘where is your home?’

‘through there’

‘you should go directly home’

‘ok’

Morning walks to take out money and exercise the legs in Barcelona are scrutinised by the Police. I already have fear of seeing them and here I am after a tiny walk over to the empty streets outside of La Sagrada Familia, an empty tourist site with calmness in an air of control. We all wait. Waiting for the unknown. Waiting in limbo.

I arrive back home but it is early, my day has been defined by the Police. I wait.

Waiting can be an amazing time with surprises looming over the minutes and hours, but here I just wait.

Lockdown is a world I’ve never experienced. We are all here waiting for our future. We wait.

Corona = Crown in Spanish, crown of the apolocolypses!

Tomorrow begins the full shut down with the coronavirus lockdown and this episode of my life is not how I expected it to be.

Latest case numbers I saw are 29909 cases in Spain (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/). I was, not so pleasently surprised, that cases in Australia where I’m from and I assumed would be far more impactful are at only 1709. I trust the Australian numbers more-so than other countrys’ due to our obsession with research and efficiency.

How did things in Europe get so out of control?

I have worked the last six years towards a unique project to finish my master degree through research in Spain. Here I am a little dumbfounded as to how I’ll see an end.

The big thing is the last six years taught me it’ll all be fine. My positive attitude to recovery from my accident where I fell 15 metres off a building will not be damaged by an uncontrollable virus.

First stage will come over the next week if I get final ethics approval from my university.

Once that happens I have about a month to see how things pan out to organise community and stakeholder interviews on my project. If things move in a positive light for Spain and lockdowns are lifted then I will finish my master degree here as planned. If not, well I will need to finish my research in SE Queensland where I have been living recently and I have one main back up project I may look at. It’s a big jump. Life is a series of well maneuvered jumps to success. Weeeeeee!

My heart goes out to all affected by coronavirus. Let’s do this!

The obsession people have with toilet paper, just in case you need the coronavirus medication that causes diarrhea