So for 3 years now, ever since I moved to Florida I have been getting extremely bad headaches/ migraines.

Everyday I would get these massive migraines and it would change my attitude, I would be in pain and miserable all day long!

I could not figure out the cause of them. I thought:
1. Dehydration
2. Because I had a brain injury
3. Stress
4. Lack or too much caffeine
5. Allergies

Never in a million years would I have guessed what actually led to my head aches.

Two weeks ago I noticed that my migraine would often be behind my eye. Of course, it was the one I had eye surgery on.

I thought maybe I need to wear Sun glasses. I work outside all day and I’m in Florida ( I never used to wear Sun glasses up north).

That helped immediately detenseify my migraine.

I went home and thought to my self “maybe I need to be careful on what my eyes are always doing.” I then changed the way I watched tv at night.

Haven’t got a migraine since I have made the change. If you find yourself with discomfort, don’t be afraid to make changes!

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,100 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 35 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Food for Thought

I thought on this post I would do something a little different. I have a couple of points I want to make that I have notice help me or is something I have been thinking a lot about but don’t necessarily have enough to make it its own post. I will number them in this post. Hope you find them helpful!

1.) I OFTEN WORRY THAT MY BRAIN WILL STOP WORKING IF I STOP USING IT: Not a day goes by that I don’t worry that my condition will worsen. I pray this day does not come but I have notice if I haven’t exercised my brain in a couple weeks that I have a hard time with memory. My recall is not as good as it is on days after I have read, practiced Spanish, write some paragraphs in my book or even worked out at the gym. I worry that I may lose everything that I have gained if I don’t keep on my neurological activities.

2.) NAM NAPS- I work a very physical job, constantly moving. I walk up around 15 mi a day. For a brain injury survivor, THAT IS A LOT! So it is no wonder why I have learned to take Nam Naps. on days I am really tired I find somewhere to sit, close my eyes, and mentally go somewhere else. This place is usually quiet, no where in particular. I honestly might be starring at the darkness of my eyelids or I could be imagining my self on the baseball diamond. Where ever brings me peace. I got the name Nam Naps because one of my Co-workers saw me doing this and I told him what I was doing and he told me that’s how soldiers got sleep during the Vietnam war. I thought what a perfect name.

3.) ONE LINERS- Does any one here feel awkward in social situations? If you do try one liner jokes. Instead of trying to keep up with the conversation, then process what is said, thinking of what to say, then say it. Just sit back comprehend what the topic of conversation is and throw in a one liner every now and then. Instead of being completely lost in the conversation, now you are an active participant, and your the funny guy on top of that!

4.) HARD TO CONTROL EMOTIONS-Does any one else find it hard to control their emotions?  I know I do! For an example: When me and my wife go to church and they start to play music. I want to cry. Why? I am not sure. Everything in my life is great, I just have a lot going on and I want to be the best I can be at it. I guess me crying is me asking God for help, asking God not to let me fail. Well that’s what I think any way. The only way I can stop it is if I take a step back and try to clear my head. Maybe this will work for you.

Strengthen your calfs and ankles

You are probably wondering why I would ever suggest strengthening a part of your body that most people overlook. But I’m hear to tell you that it is vital in helping mobility, balance, and stability.

Like many of us in this group I had to learn how to walk all over again. I was always taught to land on my heel when I walked.

I was never taught, that side to side or “lateral” movements are best completed using the balls of your feet or “staying on your toes.” It helps you keep spring in your leg as you move.

I kind of figured it out several years ago but was unable to carry out the movement due to the lack of strength I had in my left leg.

I walk 15-20 miles a day at the job I have now. I have really messed up feet and they always hurt. On some days they hurt so bad that I can’t put any weight on my arch. I started walking on the balls of my foot, favoring whatever for hurt more.

As I did this I noticed my lateral mobility got better. When I stepped to the side or shuffled my feet, I would land on the balls of my feet instead of my heels.

I can move faster and with more grace laterally than I Ever have since obtaining my injury.

At first it is hard to keep landing on your toes, but just like anything repetition is key, you keep doing it and your muscles not just get stronger but they begin to know how to do it and you can concentrate less.

I have never been able to run on my toes barefoot since having my injury. But guess who was running barefoot at the beach…. “This guy!”

My calfs feel so good and feel so springy. And my ankles feel unbelievable. Everyone I would try to run my ankles felt so weak, they hurt and felt like they were going too give out at any moment. But know I enjoy running (when ever i get the chance) it’s hard concentrating on the movement and the landing but with repetition it becomes easy. You just have to give it time.

I do walk a lot more than an average person. But I suggest this why not go for a nice walk everyday and concentrate on each step you take. Concentrate on one foot at a time. Don’t try to walk on both your toes because you may not have good enough coordination and/or your ankles could be too weak.

Difficulty Finding a Career? Try A Trade

I am a college graduate, I am a published author, I am a certified personal trainer but in today’s economy none of these things mean any thing.

I realize that having a brain injury makes doing some things difficult for me. For example figure things out takes me a little longer than the average person but I will figure it out or when some one wants me to recall something I must pause briefly to remember but I will remember.

People/ managers just don’t want to wait for your answer or so you can figure it out. It’s really frustrating. They write you off as stupid or ignorant and won’t give you the time of day.

I think this is one of the hardest parts of finding a career with a brain injury. People expect one thing and that is to be like everyone else. They don’t get it from you because nobody has any patience.

So I began to think…. How can I make a good living with knowledge I posses? I know! I could learn a trade!

Think about it… You are taught how to fix something, your managers tell you to go fix something and you do it.

As simple as that!

As a brain injury victim trying to find a career to support my family, I have learned that the best way we can succeed is keeping it simple. Don’t complicate things.

For example I am looking into the HVAC trade. One of the copper pipes for the ac unit has a leak in it. The pressure is off for the unit, you know you must braise the pipe to seal the leak and get the unit’s pressures to where they should be.

I have an interview next Thursday, with a company that provides on job training. Wish me luck!

Social Situation difficulty?

Do any other brain injury victims out there find social situations difficult?

Trying to listen to what is said during a conversation, process it, figure out what was said actually means, think of something relevant to say back, and then say it is extremely taxing on me. I get tired just thinking about it!

But it’s not how much it tires me out that I find the most difficult. No, it’s the finding something relevant to say.

Often times I understand what was said incorrectly then I say something completely irrelevant to the conversation.

People usually just ignore my outburst any move on with the conversation. But it leaves me standing there wondering, “why did I just say that.”

I have learned to sit back and listen to the conversation, make sure I fully understand what the subject of the conversation is, think about something to say, repeat it in my head to myself, then contribute to the conversation by exclaiming my answer.

This has seemed to work well for me and I suggest it  to any one whom struggles  with the same problem as I. Continue reading

Worse than it Appears

One of the most difficult things for me being a brain injury survivor is how everyone considers you a “normal person.” People don’t understand that just because you look and usually act like a normal person, you are not! We have been through something that has altered our lives immensely.

Where I struggle with this the most is at my job, in social situations, even at home with my future wife. I struggle with it because they expect actions or answers right away. They get annoyed or frustrated when they do not see a result right away.

See the difference is that we have no visible injuries. For an example:

Lets say someone was born with out an arm or they are a veteran who lost their arm in a war. If you ask them to carry something I.E. a box of something, would you lose patience with them because they are taking to long? The answer is no. That one arm man can deliver the box it is just going to take time because he can do it but he has a certain way he must do it.

Same thing should happen to people with brain injuries but doesn’t because we have no visible injuries. So when I get asked to do something at work or get asked a question they need to let me pause, let me say ummmm, let me figure out the best way for me to do it or best way to answer the question. I can do whatever you ask me to but I got to do it my way. I have a certain way I must do things and believe it or not where I went to in-patient rehab taught me how to do this. They taught me this is how you succeed in the real world after you leave that safe sanctuary they call a hospital.

People need to slow down and think about who they are talking to, they may be worse than they appear…

Studying to be a teacher n work full time

I wake up at 5:30 am go to work and I am not home until 5 or later. 5 days a week. After I want to work out or watch a baseball game. So when am I supposed to study for the Florida Teacher Certification Exam?

See what I really want to do is teach history and coach baseball. But I need to work to support my family.

I struggle due to my injury in math, and of course even though I want too teach history, I must pass the math section of the general knowledge test before I can even think about taking the social science subject matter test.

So when will I have free time where I can achieve my goals. The answer is never! I will never have a set time where I can study. Now this doesn’t mean I can’t achieve my goals. But by this I simply mean that I will never have time, where my life slows down enough and I can focus on what I want….

You will always be busy!!!!

It is up to you to set up yourself and allow your self to succeed!

After figuring this out I began to bring my school stuff to study on my lunch break. I went to the local dollar tree, bought some things that I know I would need a notebook, note cards, calculator, etc.

Now everyday I walk next door get a breakfast sandwich to eat, sit down in the break room and study.

I am constantly making note cards, doing math problems and reading my FTCE book.

I’ve been studying so hard its starting to pay off and I am finally starting to understand how to solve problem that contain fractions in them and the other day I retook the English language arts part of it and 28 right, 29 is passing.

If you want something, you gotta go get it. No excuses, ya we have a brain injury but is that going to get us what we want?

No one is going to say “oh, they have brain injury, well let them slide on this one”….. No, they are going to hold you to the same standards as everyone else.

You can’t let having a brain injury hold you back from accomplishing your dreams.

People think you are stupid

People think you are stupid because you can’t think fast enough to defend yourself.
This happens to me at work all day everyday. People I work with yell at me and tell me that I have no idea what I am doing when there’s a perfectly good explanation for my action.

A perfect example of this was the other day at work, I am a service Porter and one of my jobs is to park customer’s cars in the back where the mechanics c can find the cars to work on them,I saw a spot open and was about to pull in when an employee took the spot. I waited till he got out and told him he couldn’t park there; that he should park in the back with the rest of the employees.

He got out and proceeded to tell me that didn’t know what I was talking about and to park in the space a couple spaces away from him.

So instead of parking in that space next to him (that would have been easier to pull in to) I chose a different one that made me do a 3 point turn to fit.

I did this to save the easier spot for a bigger car ex: truck. Big SUV.

I thought this was a smart move but when I got out of the car all I hear is “you don’t know what your doing” ” you can’t drive’

And when this happens and someone is being confrontational with me, it’s almost like my Brain shuts down n I have no idea what to say or why I did what I did, like I forget. Even though I know it was the correct thing to do.

Nobody looks at the bigger picture and think to themselves ” hmmm… Maybe there is a reason why he did it this way .”

No one has time for people with a Brain injury so that rather make you think that you have something wrong with you than trying to understand the logic behind the action.


U no something? I’m really proud of myself on how I did in my companies 5K today. I got 4th in my age group, years after :

A) doctors said I would never walk again

B) after learning how to walk

Even though my foot is going to be killing me for a week now (cuz doctors had to shave down the bones in my foot after they took out the bone chips and I work standing and walking on pavement all day) it was well worth it.

You can not let a minor speed bump in life like a hurt foot, laziness, or a horrific accident that almost claims ur life get in the way of accomplishing wut u want to out of life.

If you want it u can get it, just be prepared to sacrifice