TBI

All posts tagged TBI

Question Time

Published January 4, 2019 by helentastic67

question time

Question Time

If you are not at all familiar with ABI/TBI or even disability, let me give you a very simple piece of advice. Never, ever, ever bombard someone with questions without time to answer. Actually, that’s relevant to decent human behaviour, however it’s even more important to people with an ABI or simply a disability.

one question at a time

Now, I’m very lucky I think and process quickly, however it’s not normal for anybody with a brain injury.

My mum has been known to ask a question when helping me move house and by the second question, I answer with a further “Yes, No, No, Yes, No” and she will ask “what are they for?” to which I inform her “Your next three questions. We laugh and all is well.

answer mums question

However, it’s common someone else I’m related to who doesn’t spend much time with me will throw a question at me. (Note; How I’ve kept writing this topic? Because what the hell, my family don’t read my blog anyway.) I suspect that’s common for a lot of bloggers.

stupid question

Moving into an apartment has meant over the winter I will need to rely on a clothes dryer to get things dry and I don’t have one.  I’ve already upgraded my washing machine to a brand-new front loader, so I use less water and it spins better. I now need a dryer which will sit directly on top.

washer dryer

‘Someone’ stated to me. “You probably don’t need one.” Then proceeded to attempt to convince me I could visit a laundromat and rather than wait for me to explain how that just couldn’t work, I am assaulted with reasoning and assaulted with reason’s why going to the laundromat with a pile of clothes, towels, sheets, heavy blankets (they wouldn’t go in the dryer).

laurndromat

Eventually, when this person paused to take a breath, I pointed out I would injure my back carrying a plastic tub of heavy damp items. In reality, I would have trouble getting it out of my apartment as the door is heavy and awkward.

apartment door 1

I would need to put it down to dig out my swipe card to use in the lift. Again, putting down my laundry basket (these days a square plastic cube) and picking it up again. Once on the ground floor, I have to press a button to close the entrance door, then get the door open, pick up the cube and get outside.

laundry basket

Did I mention, I use a walking stick when out? Do I need to finish describing the ludicrous mess (is that a word) of that suggestion?

walking stick 1

Sometimes, family will do their very best to convince you of another way so you don’t need to spend that money. They don’t need to help you do ‘that’ thing and then they don’t feel inadequate or pressed to fit you in their lives.

family assistance

It’s great to be loved.

to be loved

Work for the Dole – Part 2

Published July 20, 2018 by helentastic67

Work for the Dole Part 2

Work for the Dole – Part 2

When I worked in Work for the Dole, also nicknamed by many as Work for the Coffee Scroll (amongst others) and when I would deal with clients, I often had to talk fast to deliver information, ask questions, head off their “Oh poor me” “reactionary responses.”

Oh Poor Me

The method to which I would do HR (Human Resources) for example went like this;

“What kind of work have you done previously? Study, training?”

“What kind of work do you want to do in the future?”

Now, I hit them quickly with these questions because in my area, the north of Melbourne at the time (2003-2005) many of my clients were lucky to have finished Year 12, which is the end of High School.

Finish school

I don’t know about everywhere else in the world or the history in the world but completing Year 12 alone doesn’t set anybody up for much in life.

The answers I would often be given was that they had experience as a gardener (lawn mowing, etc) but they didn’t want to do anymore gardening as they complained of a bad back and they had no preference what kind of work they wanted to do.

Gardening

Now, I was good at my job (yes, I’m bragging) but I couldn’t pluck a job or career out of nothing. They needed to give me something and I can guarantee “those clients” were still doing gardening and getting paid cash. Which they were not paying tax or declaring to Centrelink, which would have in time meant they wouldn’t be required to do Woke for the Dole.

Working for cash

So, on this particular day, this client was very slow in answering and no matter the questions I asked, he couldn’t seem to get his head around what I want of him. I worked it out that he needed me to speak slower and ask one question at a time. It was a very slow and painful process, probably more for him than me, as it turns out. He spoke very slowly and haltering.

Speak slower

I later debriefed Frank that the client might have had a car accident or fried his brain on drugs. I knew neither at the time nor did I know much of anything to do with ABI/TBI/etc.

ABI TBI

What I was able to work out from his answers, was he had experience in gardening, but wanted to be a mechanic. He lived miles from anywhere but would ride his bike to any work I found for him. (He also didn’t want to do gardening) but I had to be creative as there were little if any Not for Profit’s in the area so much was his isolation to anything really. Any wonder he couldn’t find work.

Mechanic

So, I got on the phone and asked questions of people, made some new friends and found my young client a placement. Winning! Again, keep in mind, limited options.

I found him a little placement doing some gardening around a monument on the edge of the road. An older gentleman was to keep an eye on him. He wasn’t to baby sit him but monitor him several times over the two days (15 hours) per week and make sure he knocked off each day at an appropriate time.

Gardening Monument

It was probably an easy task for him and rather quiet and lonely, but I also think it was what he needed at the time, knowing what I know now.

Frank told me later, not having done the interview with the client but being told by the person who did that, he had huge scars on his skull and I imagine he probably shouldn’t have been required to do anymore than take time out and “recover”. But anyway, that did not happen.

Recovery time

One day, some time later, I was in the outer office with the two other ladies that worked there, this particular day, Frank was working from his office. He called out

“Hey Helen?”

“Yes Frank?”

“I love you”

I love you

Thinking What? “Sexual harassment in the work place? What is this?”

Now, to say all those things, would be an injustice. Frank is a nice, married man, Italian Catholic man with two young children (at the time) and I knew he wasn’t creepy. So, I call back,

“I love you too Frank”

I looked around at the two other women and they gave nothing away and I got up and stuck my head around the door into his office. It would seem that client I had worked really hard to get him a placement, they had helped the guy out and helped him get an apprenticeship as a mechanic.

Apprentice mechanic

Now, clients would come and go.

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

Example;

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.

Numty

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.

Fuckwitedness

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.

Mentor

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.’

WTF!

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.

Body

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).

Personality

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

Communication

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.

TBI

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

What?

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…

failure_to_communicate_meme

 

Where Was I?

Published February 24, 2017 by helentastic67

where-was-i

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!

education

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!

myth-6

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…

readathon

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!

butterfly-ribbon

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.

prove-them-wrong

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.

puzzle

 

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