But why is it so Pinteresting?

I’ve finally given in to Pinterest. I realize I’m a year or two (or three or four) behind this social media craze, but I guess that’s how I like to be. I think sometimes the more popular something gets, the more I want to not be associated with it. Is that bad? I want to lie it, but I want to like it in my own way. ENFP problems.

kelseywiechert-1420910908_140It’s like with books. Don’t even get me started on books. (Another time get me started on books.)

For a long time I’ve had my own system of doing what Pinterest does – exploring and filing things you like for later use – so why go through all the trouble of changing my system, especially if everyone else is doing it?

Well, I’m caving. My sister is having a baby (YAYYY!!!), and she likes Pinterest. I’m throwing the baby shower, and I want my sister – and the baby! – to love it.

So does anyone want to tell me why Pinterest is so, well, Pinteresting? Haha why don’t I still get it?!

Oh, and this is me.^^

Friday inspiration

This sounds like a Game of Thrones quote (of which there are many fantastic examples), but I swear it’s not. It just could, or should be.

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”

Is there anything from Ernest Hemingway I don’t want to quote? I swear, I could quote him just sighing. I’m sure he did it better than most people.

Drunk or disabled?

I’m so lucky to be alive, so lucky to have 95% ability in my left side, that I sometimes forget my left-sided weakness is in fact a disability. Sometimes I don’t feel “disabled enough” to feel it warrants that distinction. Like somehow I’m making light of others’ disabilities by calling my 5% injury a disability.

But anyhow, that’s all an aside and really not my point right now. The point I’m trying to make is I do have a slight limp that becomes more apparent when I’m tired. Thing is, having a brain injury means that I’m almost always tired. Other thing is, having a limp means you get to say cool things like, “I walk with a limp like an old school pimp.” (Thanks, LMFAO.)

“How much have you had to drink tonight, miss?” This bouncer was not the friendly face I usually see at the neighborhood bar. I guess Corey wasn’t working that night.

Confused, I just smiled. “Well, nothing yet. I’m trying to grab a drink with friends here. Is Corey working?”

He looked at me suspiciously, blocking the entrance. My friendly remark had only seemed to make him more skeptical.

What was he getting at? No, I hadn’t had a drink. I was hoping to go inside the bar so that I could have a drink.

After a pause, he frowned. He asked again, “So you haven’t even had one drink?”

I live in a neighborhood where I can walk to bars and restaurants. On this night, I had walked about a mile to meet up with friends. In other words, I had been walking long enough to my body to feel tired and to limp a little bit.

The realization hit me: I must have had a lot to drink to be limping like I was.

“Ohhh…” I started, hurt and embarrassed by his discrimination.

“So you’re wondering why I walk like this? Yeah, it’s really not drinking that caused it. I have a brain injury.” I lifted my eyebrows, hoping he could feel the daggers I was shooting.

“I was paralyzed on the left side of my body,” I stressed each word, shrugged my shoulders.  “Occasionally I limp a little.”

Happy Friday! + Inspiration

“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”

boxing

Except that I don’t like pink, thanks for the inspiration today, Audrey Hepburn!

Let’s all believe in miracles and ourselves a little more this weekend.

How it all started + 4 findings

When I was 11 years old, I experienced an arteriovenus malformation (AVM) bleed. Due to the AVM‟s size and location deep in the thalamus of my brain, I was fortunate that only the left side of my body was paralyzed and the nerve controlling my vision was affected (leaving me with what I have come to call “double-vision” in my eyes). In the years following this stroke-like injury, I’ve undergone physical, occupational, cognitive, and nearly all other therapies to rehabilitate and gain strength in the left side of my body. One round of radiation eliminated much of the AVM in my brain, and one eye surgery has helped repair some of the damage to my vision.

Through the years of physical and emotional recovery, I’ve experienced countless doctor appointments, hospital visits, consultations, diagnoses, types of social support, and attempts to communicate my changed identity to loved ones, friends, and doctors.

I once counted that I had 17 doctors and medical professionals. Can anybody else out there with a medical A Team?

I’m not the only one who’s had to struggle. Hundreds of thousands of individuals experience brain injuries every year; the cycle just continues.

From struggling physically and emotionally, to years of loneliness and coping, to meeting and hearing from other brain injury survivors, this blog is a place where I’m sharing memories, experiences, stories, my own developing narrative, and even occasional advice (varying in seriousness). I’m also sharing other people’s experiences, who have kindly allowed me to use their stories to shed light on what it’s like reconstructing identity after surviving brain injury. The stories range in emotion, but the experiences are stitched together by a common thread of realness and truth.

From my thesis research, I specifically found that brain injury survivors tend to experience 4 different aspects of identity reconstruction following/during brain injury and recovery. I’m sharing these themes with you now and expanding on them in future posts:

1. “I‟m still grieving”: Communicating grief for loss of the former self

2. “That doesn‟t work for me”: Searching for social support

3. “The brain injury society”: finding social support

4. “I‟m not broken”: Resisting [reconstructing] the disability label

Book-ending these four categories are communicating a liminal identity (feeling in-between the pre-injury and post-injury self) and communicating the ongoing changes that are inherent with surviving brain injury.

Can you relate to any of this? Let me know what you want to hear more about, and I’ll start there!

Talk soon. x