All posts tagged ABI

Why I Blog

Published January 26, 2018 by helentastic67

Why I Blog 1

Why I Blog?

If you have been wondering with a weird array of randomness, what Hellonwheels is all about? Wait no longer, this is why, here is the answer.

Logo Hell on wheels

Since my diagnosis in 2007? (I don’t know! It’s been a blur) I’ve met many people with ABI/TBI/general fuckwit-ism and it has led me to query, what means what?

Brain injury


When I first started going to ABI groups socially, because society loves to put you in contact with people with the “same” issues you have. (Please note eye-roll!) I walked in and young men and old flocked towards me, I felt like a Spice Girl in the mid-90’s. One guy, let’s call him ‘Fred’ (because it’s been a while) made it clear to take me under his wing. We got chatting, as you do and as you do you talk about your life before the ABI.

Spice girls

I mentioned my Club years and that’s always a big topic. But, push came to shove and after a little young woman joined us and I was introduced. Lovely younger lady, also with an ABI. Make mental note; got to be careful or might end up ‘paired-up’ with another numpty like me before long if I’m not careful. I didn’t say this reason/story would be simple so stay with me.


Totally worth it, Promise.

Over time, I participated in activities at this group and I supported people and they supported me, so all is well. Became friends with Fred and others outside this group. (it’s inevitable: stuff sticks sometimes) Fred had gotten his TBI from pure fuckwitedness (as I like to consider it) his girlfriend was lucky to be alive having been hit by a car crossing the street. But, unlike her boyfriend, she had not had a typical young adult life, like he had, had before his TBI, because she had, had hers at 17 years-old.


He also liked to bond with me because I had been ‘there’ (Clubs/parties) and I remember it. I wasn’t drunk and off my face like nearly everyone else.

Overtime, I became a bit more of a mentor to Fred. I was friendly to his girlfriend, also she was none the wiser. He was also finding excuses to visit socially. FYI: I don’t socialize at 11pm at night, that’s my time.


He even had a gay friend drop him over for a coffee one afternoon on a weekend and I was told to ‘look’ after him.

I hope you are getting that he seemed to have told people, I might have been a potential ‘whatever/girlfriend’ when in reality it was always a HELL NO.

Hell No

I decided to discuss this situation with a friend who worked in the industry who was familiar with all of us and our past history etc, her advice to me was.

‘Oh, you should go out with him, because before his ABI, he had four or five girlfriends at a time. Now he’s only got one or two.’


Um, I hope you realise, I would not have dated more than one guy at a time before my diagnosis, let alone date a guy who thought he could date more than one woman at a time, I certainly wouldn’t now.

I am also aware I am no longer some Jennifer Hawkins type, now or before my disability, however I’m still not prepared to lower my standards and just accept some broken bit of road kill.


Make mental note: Explain Helen’s definition of Road Kill later.

Road kill

So, back to my point. Yes, apparently it is said, people retain their personality after their ABI/TBI what did I call it? That they had before their (as above).


Now, this is why I blog.

If I’ve always had my ABI (AVM), have I developed this personality, because of my AVM or despite my AVM?

BAM! There I’ve done it.

Communication – Part 1

Published August 11, 2017 by helentastic67


Communications – Part 1

I’ve been told/accused really of being terrible at communicating. I think verbally and written I communicate my thoughts rather succinctly.

Some years ago, I was expressing this issue with a friend (let’s call him Fred). Now Fred to be clear has several TBI’s (Traumatic Brain Injury) from a car accident, but let’s not hold that against him.


He suggested I do a course he did in communications. Fred told me he had thought he was really good at communicating, but having participated in the course, he realised even he could improve.

I told him, I had no time to do a course, no cash and no ability to get to a College or University. He told me not to worry about it. It was FREE and she would come to me! What? Sounds too good to be true. Fred gave me her number and I rang her and it wasn’t an actual “Course” but I think it was more of a study. I had to explain, who I was how I had “gotten” my ABI (Acquired Brain Injury). Keeping in mind I was born with my AVM (Arterial Venus Malformation).

Listening skills

I thought I was having a decent conversation who actually seemed excited to be working with me. That sounded weird, but seriously.

Then she asked me when I’d had my CAR ACCIDENT?

Car accident


I was not eligible for this communication course.

What’s worse than that is, this list of things.

  1. I don’t have a communication problem
  2. People have a hearing/listening problem.
  3. All of these “research” trials are based on people with TBI’s because they can dip into the TAC bucket of money.
  4. No one is doing any kinds of study on the different kinds of ABI/TBi’s and how they are different.


I think my communication is different to other types of ABI, particularly TBI (no offense to people with TBI’s). So many more things wrong with this…



Rabbit Hole

Published August 2, 2017 by helentastic67

Rabbit Hole

Rabbit Hole

Follow the white rabbit! A great little reference to which 90’s cult film? Feels like I have several topics I’m waiting to cover all at once, should you be confused, understand everyone will lead me down a rabbit hole for several posts in a row, until each topic is exhausted.


While you may have imagined my blog was all going to be about ABI/Disability it’s also about me too and the reason for that is that someone recently stated this “they say you retain the personality after your ABI/TBI/whatever” that one had before their ABI etc. So, if I’ve ALWAYS HAD MY ABI, what does that say about my personality?


Have I always had these traits? Did I develop my personality despite my ABI?

The last 40+ years have taken many a twist and turn, so keep that in mind as you keep reading.

Twist and turns


But it doesn’t mean I won’t go back and forth over these topics, hang in there, it will all come together…

Hang in there

Hot off the Press – 5th June, 2017

Published June 5, 2017 by helentastic67

Hot off the press 1

Hot off the Press!

Well, another busy week under the belt. It’s a zero for comics read this week. One day last week I actually walked home down my street in the dark. It’s not advisable as seeing in the dark with half the eyesight is not great! It’s getting dark by 5.30 now it’s winter!

Walking in dark

Thursday, I had a nice country adventure with the brain injury group I’m part of. We went to Moe, a part of Victoria that seemed to get on the map (so to speak) 20 years ago for all the wrong reasons. I was pre-empting my adventure with the description of Moe as the place Bogans are from. I have a full-length post to best describe what a bogan is. You will just have to wait. It’s not great!


Often when I get together with this group of people, there are a few stand out favourites I love to spend time with and rarely get a chance to. I do love to deliver one guy my standard greeting. I did so while standing speaking to a nice mum who had bought her son along. Said son had developed his ABI from heatstroke while working in Queensland on a building site. He was wheelchair bound and it took 7 years to get Workers Compensation to cover his injury. But without batting an eye, I delivered my colleague my customary “Shut the fuck up!” And kept my conversation with the mum going. She was actually amused. Thankfully. It’s my thing, so don’t judge me. A meeting doesn’t feel complete if I don’t get to deliver these immortal words to this guy.

One of my other peeps, a woman called Anne (she won’t mind) gave her friend a smack in the moosh (mouth) during a drawing exercise and when prompted to explain her sudden outburst, she smartly retorted with “You had it coming Bitch!”

Fore-went my Saturday night single girl date night (watching a film) to do serious catch up on TV shows. I’m so far behind. Nothing super noteworthy…….. I’m currently catching up on real TV I’ve recorded in the past week. A great show from a series called “You can’t ask me that!” Where each week they cover a different topic, have people come in and answer a series of questions by anonymous people online. Unless you have a VPN you can set to Australia you won’t be able to access it. Sadly, this episode is on Centenials. Like some thought provoking shows this series will make you laugh and cry. Like the episode a few weeks back on the topic suicide.

You can't ask me that

I quit Physiotherapy last week deciding I had been crippled enough and rather didn’t appreciate being told my left thigh muscles weren’t as good as I thought! Way to make friends and influence people: Not! Nobody loves being criticised least of all me!

Quitting Physio

Brief visit Wednesday saw me visit the cat, Bella/Killer (depends who you ask) and I got another good pat. Keeping the need to visit Lost Dogs Home or pet shops at bay. No house hunting this week, it’s really slowed down with winter and having seen the other limited options.

Pet shop

Lastly, Jamima’s couch has finally gone out for hard rubbish collection. I kept it for 3(?) years taking up prime real estate in my lounge so she would not lose her favourite hiding place. Her safe place when the vacuum cleaner came out, children, fast cars down the driveway, thunder, noisy drilling or roadworks. You know the stuff. Jamima would find her way under the couch and into a whole in the lining underneath and settle in to be both cocooned and hammocked inside its protective hidey hole. Stinking hot weather or freezing cold it was her favourite for 16 years. Many an argument was being had with my mum as to when it was time to get rid of it and now it is gone.

Jamimias couch

The search for a new coffee carafe proved unsuccessful. A new coffee pot is imminent. Had to resort to plunger coffee.

coffee carafe

Now, it’s after 2am Monday morning. I’m sending this now after time out. Have made some additions. And likely no time tomorrow before I head out to my first appointment.

Lastly, this is a picture for the Rumpsters fur-mum and June Buggie. Both recently departed.

RumpsterIn Memory

And now for another week!

ABI a bit OCD

Published April 13, 2017 by helentastic67


ABI a bit OCD?

I’ve probably mentioned I spend some time with groups of people with brain injuries. And you may think it’s not that challenging.

Well, I’m always trying to gather my “words” to sufficiently describe how challenging it is to achieve “things”.

Firstly, I use the term a friend has used for “other things” and say it’s like herding cats! I had to say it! Priceless!

Cat Herding 2

I’m often feeling like I need to make reference to a Tate Gallery exhibition, I was back in 1994 with my then boyfriend. He knew it was wrong but he suggested it looked like the Artist had propped the huge canvases up against walls in a room, sits on a chair with a shot gun before blowing their brains out. I realise that’s dark and that was in an era way before “DARK” was a term. Or “Wrong” or anything!

Tate Gallery art

A perfect example of how smoothly things don’t run is that one person mentions some ‘event, facts or person’ in passing. Another person will hear the end of that ‘whatever’ it was and ask for it to be repeated. It is repeated and someone else hears the end of it again and they ask what it’s about and it is repeated again.

Repeat please

So, some of us hear it three times!

It’s any wonder I go home with a migraine.

High Functioning

Published February 27, 2017 by helentastic67


High Functioning

I’m considered a high functioning ABI! (Have you ever heard of such a thing?) some guys I’ve met over the years say ‘Yeah’ I’m high functioning! Because they can build a computer…


To be clear that does not qualify you as high functioning. I cannot build a computer! But I live independently. I pay my own bills and rent. I go shopping and get groceries and the food lasts a week.


I think part of this is because I’ve not had ‘Trauma’ to my brain. No one has taken a can opener to my brain to rummage around inside there to fix things…


Where Was I?

Published February 24, 2017 by helentastic67


Where Was I?

I gather you have noticed my departure from my main message, which was to educate about ABI (Acquired Brain Injury) and disability. There has been a perfectly sound reason for that. And that is two things, if it were to be all about being popular, brain injury/disability is not popular!


Brain injury and disability and these 2 things for which I qualify will never make me a million dollars. I will try to prove that statement somewhat incorrect because as I see it, I need at least a million to afford a home in a suburb I would like to live in. I live to prove people wrong – You Know It!


And because ABI/Disability are not Sexy!

I’ve had several ‘lives’ in terms of my ‘Poor Art Student’ years, then the poor but busy and happy club years, then my “Oh My God” Real money admin years when I’d go home and be happy to not pick up a phone era. And mostly people think I’m only banging on about brain injury now because I have one!

To this I say, “FUCK YOU!” At least I have what I’m selling…


And number two! When I was about 8 or 9, I did the MS Readathon like many Aussie kids. I have never had MS, I’ve never been diagnosed with MS! MS is that “thing” I like to suggest is worse than ‘my’ ABI. Apart from all the other ABI’s that seem worse than mine. I know, don’t ask me to grade a crappier ‘ABI’ than what I have…

I would suggest having most my independence, lost my ability to manage my own money, pay my bills, speak for myself (ever) that would SUCK!


So, for a while, I’ll return to my original aim of educating people about ABI.

I’m not going to tell you an ABI can easily be avoided. Some can, come can’t.

If I told you to not drink or smoke, and you could avoid a stroke, that would be a lie.

Do I suggest never getting in a car or on a motorbike and therefore you can avoid a TBI? (Traumatic Brain Injury), apart from it’s too late, it’s very unrealistic.

You won’t get hit by a bus if your never leave the house, but you can die just as likely by not leaving the house.


You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

If you want further information about ABI/TBI, this is not the right blog for you. Luckily, there is someone who does that already, does the appropriate research and you can find his blog here www.brilliantminds.com

I, on the other hand do simple stuff about ABI for the common person.

  1. Brain Injury – bad!
  2. Not all brain injuries are avoidable.
  3. Every ABI/TBI is different. Not all ABI’s get funding.



Acquired Brain Injury

Published April 15, 2016 by helentastic67

Aquired brain injury 1


Okay, you have probably heard about it and even noticed I refer to having a brain injury, but have really not had me admit it or explain it. Until now…

This is it! If you don’t know for sure ABI stands for Acquired Brain Injury. There are others like TBI – Traumatic Brain Injury and I think there should be another acronym of which would be DDK – Doctors Don’t Know! More of that in just a second.

I have avoided doing the whole “Once upon a time, into my blog like most other blog’s for several reasons.

  1. My story would start at the age of 34, when I found out about something I’d had for more than 34 years.
  2. Many people get grumpy about how I now “Bang on” about Brain Injury, because I now know I have one! But they were always happy in the past when what I would “Bang on” about made them money. At least I have a Brain Injury to be Banging on” about.

But in reality I have a uniquely shitty ABI because DDK how it happens. There is no specific finding thrown at it to cure it!/Research it and the “cure” in my situation has left me looking like I’ve had a “stroke” without the funding and assistance.

But all the issues and negativity because people look at me like I did something to deserve the issue I now have.

I actually had a lifetime of some very subtle “things” that were easily dismissed until I was in a stressful work environment at 34 years of age where I was being bullied and when I was working with an older gentleman who had a son my age with MS (Multiple Sclerosis)..

He noticed I had a weakness in my left arm, I thought I was camouflaging and started to pester me to see my Doctor.

And so, I finally did go see my Doctor. The last thing on my list was that I had a slight weakness in my left arn.

His instant response was I needed a CAT Scan.

I got one and had my first experience of “Contrast” or Iodine” but again, more of that later. You will love that story!

So a few weeks later after my scan I returned to my GP’s office.

That next visit has become infamous. One of those days when you don’t remember anything else that happens except that one moment of clarity you will never forget.

My GP held my scan up to the window as though like a lightbox and pointed to one side of the scan stating “See this side?” “This is normal……” Oh how we love that term.

I could see the other side looked different, darker.

I kind of gave a “Yeah, what’s going on with…..?”

And he pointed at the area of the other side and described a cluster of arteries and called it an Arterio Venus Malformation or an AVM for short.

I confess to say, I had no idea what it meant or how it got there. But to say I’d had a pretty shitty week, having lost my job, I didn’t know what it meant or how it might affect my ability to get another job.

I also confess to say, I cried. Dr Chris made a move to comfort me (Lord love him) and I explained the shitty week I’d had.

Well this is not over, but I felt inspired and now it’s 3am so I really think it’s time for sleep.

Meanwhile, feel free to Google AVM, I always tell people it’s the medical one not the IT related one.

Hell’s Treats

Published November 27, 2015 by helentastic67

Ginger KissesHell’s Treats

So, for many years now I’ve made my ‘treats’ and given them away. I’ve done this because it motivated me and giving something yummy to people is a nice thing to do. For about 6 or 7 years I did this every month to some of the ABI groups I go to and to my neighbours where I live so I can introduce myself and they can know who I am and what I’m about.

About 2 years ago I made the decision I could no longer afford to give these treats away and that being generous was making me poor. Sorry poorer (is that even a word?) and I was told I would need to start listing my ingredients and to do a food handling certificate. The first, I said “Hell NO” and the second I said “find me some funding” and that never happened.

I assure you, I come from good CWA (Country Women’s Association) stock.

If you want to risk it, I suggest you get out an Epi pen and train a colleague and give it a try.

I really favour my favour my Ginger Kisses as even one-handed they are easy to make, even if I start the filling late on a Sunday night I can still find the energy at 1am to smash out 3 packets before going to bed.

Please help support my Independence!

Occasionally I’ll make a packet mix and when I do you will forgive me. I’ll not tell you it’s a packet mix, but when I make something from scratch I will definitely tell you.

There is a recipe I like to make that has a difficulty rating 20+.

Because it has many ingredients and they all require careful measuring. Tablespoon of vanilla essence, 1/4 teaspoon bicarb soda or baking powder.

Try doing that one handed!


And you can get back to me with your grumpy attitude about occasionally smashing out a packet mix. This particular recipe I love to offer people – guess the secret ingredient?

No! Straight out. IT IS NOT POT! MARIJUANA OR MARY JANE. Not my thing, but I imagine if I could afford it I wouldn’t be giving it away.

I’m yet to cost these so that’s going to be a while.

And when I do make a packet mix if asked I will admit, this by muttering it out the corner of my mouth so it’s mostly indistinguishable. Such is my shame.


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