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Category Archives: From Tragedy to Triumph following TBI

Missing in Cleveland, Ohio Part 2 of 2

Police were at the door of this home.  There was  “no answer”, but that does not mean suspicion.  It’s a right and as much as we know that the police were knocking at the door where these three young women were being held captive they were not there because they knew the women were there.

What If

There will always be those “what if” thoughts.  So, what if the police shouted out “Police” we could speculate the women may have started pounding on the walls.  On the other hand, they could also believe they were being “tested” and not respond at all.

They were at this house because of an unrelated incident that happened during the employment as a school bus driver.  Yes, it was a missed opportunity but it’s unlikely they would have detected anything unusual.  If the suspect’s own brothers did not know anything he obviously figured out how to cover every thing up, until he made this one mistake a week ago.

Teen & early adulthood vulnerable

We’ve all been through those teen years and I’m fairly certain that everyone has experienced at least one situation in their years that could have ended very differently if another took advantage of vulnerable days.

This sparked another memory with my childhood best friend.  If we were ever missing I’m sure others would have said, “They would never go anywhere with a stranger”!

I’d love for others to take a moment to think back to those vulnerable years and share one experience that could have had a very different outcome if another took advantage of the situation.  These young women need to know that they did nothing wrong.  The person that did wrong was the criminal!

An ordinary teen another example

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my example of one situation it highlights how easily anyone could fall prey to criminal behaviors because of perceived trusting relationships.  At the age of 17 and 16 respectively,  myself and my childhood best friend put ourselves in an unknowingly vulnerable situation.  Was it ignorance?  Naive? Trusting?  It likely was a combination of naïvety, trust, and ignorance.

We never even thought that anything could happen.  It simply never crossed our minds.  Now, that isn’t to say things didn’t happen years ago.  Many things did, and we both had many areas of violence in our life.  Media attention was not what it is today.

We went to see the movie “Love Story” at Parmatown mall.  We took a bus home, but it was the wrong bus line.  Instead of getting home we were lost in a dark area we did not know.  Neither one of us would have been likely to take a ride from a stranger, or from anyone we knew.  We did just what no one else would believe.

The bus driver offered to drive us to our home.  We took that ride and fortunately we arrived safely! This also points out that many people are trustworthy individuals, and simply trying to help.

Had anything gone array everyone would have said, “They’d never go anywhere voluntarily”, and you never know what you would do unless you are in that situation.  One of these teens knew the perpetrator, it was her best friend’s father.  I’m pretty certain most of us have taken rides from people related to our best friend.  That’s why we call them our “best friend”, we trust them and their relationships…until they no longer are trustworthy or we take different paths in life.

To sum up this sad situation with these lovely young women and a child.  I believe in them, and know they will become happy adults and child.  They were assessed at the hospital where my nursing career as I once knew it, ended.  It’s the best place to be with a complicated situation.  Besides, this decade of torture for these young women happened less then one mile of MetroHealth Systems.

Neighbors

The neighbors had no reason to be suspicious.  If they were, they would have reported it.  Everyone has met strange people, but strange doesn’t equal criminal!  The suspects deception was incredible.  He deceived many adults, including his own siblings so it’s no wonder he was able to deceive inexperienced teens.

Many people don’t know what is happening within their own home, their own family, so to expect neighbors to know what is happening is outrageous.  Neighbors are not to blame.   Even the most astute neighbor would not be able to detect this level of deception. The emotional trauma these neighbors are feeling must be insurmountable.  Neighbors reacted when they had the opportunity and they rescued the women when they heard the calls for help.

The slogan “If you see something, say something.” This has very literal meaning.  If you only suspect something, it’s unlikely police would investigate.  They usually never do anything unless something drastic happens.  Hence, this is a primary reason for so many deaths from domestic violence.

Police respond … a fragmented system

Police officers respond to things witnessed, but in a large city prioritizing calls may put your concern at the bottom of the list.  Even when they do respond it may be minimized. A call here and there of concern may not put the entire picture together.

If different officers respond, it’s less likely anyone will put the pieces of the puzzle together.  (Similar to a fragmented health care system issues when one has a complex case and specialists are involved or one seeks another opinion) This is another fragmented system where no one links the problems together until disaster, terrorism, violence becomes insurmountable.

Healing

It is time for this entire community to begin healing.  Their healing will help these young women, child, families and friends to recover. Pray for the three young women and child found alive in Cleveland, Ohio.  May all their emotional needs be supported.

What type of situation have you been in that no one else would suspect?

If anyone is interested in donations to these young women there is only one legal fund at this time.  Cleveland Courage Fund has been set up to help. Click on the link below:  

http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/local_news/oh_cuyahoga/cleveland-courage-fund-donations-accepted-for-michelle-knight-amanda-berry-gina-dejesus

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**********All material presented on Brain Injury Self Rehabilitation (BISR) is copyright and cannot be, copied, reproduced, or distributed in any way without the express, written consent of Edith E. Flickinger, BSN RN. 

 

 

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Treatment that changed TBI symptoms: Neuroendocrine complications in TBI Part 4

Neuroendocrine complications after TBI are identified in these posts as severe injuries to the brain.  Degrees of brain injury may remain unknown since many traumatic brain injuries are commonly Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Slightly dysfunctional circumstances surrounding TBI

How dysfunctional is one’s family?  Dysfunctional is a common term in healthcare and the general population.  There is NO perfect family. Every family is dysfunctional.  It’s just the degree of dysfunction that occurs.  Slightly dysfunctional, or slightly in denial? Read the rest of this entry »

 

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You are not alone Part 4 of 4

I have been listening to my readers and know ABUSE is rampant among people with brain injuries, chronic illnesses and the aging population.  It begins with a form of manipulation on these easily targeted vulnerable Read the rest of this entry »

 

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You are not alone Part 2 of 4

If you go into work and do your best, there is NO room to worry about mistakes. Humans are not flawless, but there are boundaries that need to be set.  Revealing mistakes is human and can Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Parents with a special needs child

As I walked behind a young mother with the most adorable little girl it brought back memories.  These memories are heartbreaking and satisfying at the same time.  Read the rest of this entry »

 

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New cell phone changes…a week in TBI survivor’s life (Part 2 of 2)

This is a continuation of another frustrating week in a TBI survivor’s life after two decades.  The struggle is ongoing.  By reading this I hope you will reach out and help someone you know instead of passing judgment.  This is an attempt to help educate others as to what happens behind closed doors with an invisible injury Read the rest of this entry »

 

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New cell phone changes…a week in TBI survivor’s life (Part 1 of 2)

People wonder what it is like inside the life of someone with traumatic brain injury.  Since this injury is invisible, I want to offer you a clear picture of how difficult every week  is.  Each week is a different problem, but because Read the rest of this entry »

 

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A near drowning episode

When the weather gets hot outside everyone tries to enjoy outdoor activities. It was a camping adventure with my husband, sister, niece and nephew.  It was a beautiful summer weekend, August 17, 2002 at Clays Park in Canal Fulton, Ohio.    I have never been a person to say: “I can’t” until I try it.  I wish I said: “No” or “I can’t” when it came to that water slide. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Overwhelmed? Not perfection but looking at the simple things in life that matter

It’s been a rough and overwhelming few weeks and I haven’t been able to post in advance or even keep up with the postings and I apologize for that.  Anyone who deals with these issues on a regular basis certainly understands that even with the best made plans…it’s still very unpredictable.  Things can simply appear wonderful, but in reality it’s an entirely different story. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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What’s the monetary value of this injury?

Nearly everyone believes that if they are injured at work their employer will help them.  Most people believe this because they are excellent employees and should be backed by their employers.  I just had a hearing to process my recent claims of significant physical injuries for the medical findings. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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What is causing an increase in dizziness over the past year…a new revelation!

dizziness

dizziness (Photo credit: iamnelaas)

I’m still figuring out symptoms and trying to problem solve nearly 21 years later.  So what is the cause of dizziness anyway? I’m sharing this level of frustration so others can see how difficult it is with any individual dealing with traumatic brain injury. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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A young man who has touched my life in countless ways

Graduation and party time of year can be a stressful time for many.  This year is a significant milestone in the life for a young man who entered into this world after my injury.  He does not have any idea of what I was like before he was born.  He loves me for who I am and not who I was.  He knows nothing different.  He gave me hope.  Hope for a better tomorrow.

I will highlight ways children can help Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Trusting my neuropsychologist after traumatic brain injury 1992-2000

Akron, Ohio

Akron, Ohio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Patients depend on trustworthy healthcare professionals.  The majority are trustworthy and understand their limitations and boundaries and others do not.  Who else better to trust than an understanding neuropsychologist? This was someone who represented herself as a professional in Akron, OhioRead the rest of this entry »

 

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Was it the Initial Traumatic Brain Injury? Or Was it the Untreated Subarachnoid Hemorrhage After TBI that Caused 2 Decades of Problems?

Have you trusted your healthcare providers with your life? Who do you trust with your life? Maybe you did not receive the care you felt you deserve.  Or maybe you received superb care.  Did you know what to expect if things in your life took a drastic change and you relied on their help?   Read the rest of this entry »

 

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What Happened When My Life Was Turned Upside Down After a Traumatic Brain Injury?

How was I going to get through the holidays with this new worsening of symptoms from traumatic brain injury? I could not tolerate noise, lights, conversations, and just the simple things in daily life.  By the middle of December my headaches were getting worse, if that were even possible!  My vision was darkening. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Could this Nightmare with Traumatic Brain Injury be Ending?

I was sure this nightmare with head injury was nearing the end. I guess my expectations were unrealistic. Being well-educated in the field of brain injury and rehabilitation did not prepare me for all that was to come in December 1991. I thought I was better shortly after brain injury but it got worse. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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What do I need? Or where do I go? To relearn my computer or purchase a new computer after brain injury?

My computer is not working like it did before brain injury.  I need a computer to help me compensate for my memory and other things.  What should I do and where can I go? Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Leaving the Twilight Zone … So I thought! after a closed head injury

If you look okay you are expected to be working!

It was time to get back to work following a closed head injury.  I thought everything was going well and my simple concussion was resolved.  Oh, if I only knew what was yet to come.  So by Monday November 4, 1991 and 5 days later I was ready to return to work.  After all a few days have passed since I was hit in the head and certainly there should not be any reason to keep me from working. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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10 Tips in Placing Telephone Calls with Brain Injury

10 tips and highlights to handle telephone calls without distraction and keep focused for those with brain injuries, brain dysfunction, and other chronic illnesses.

So many types of telephones.

Everyone is familiar with the telephone for communication at work, at home or more commonly everywhere one goes with their cell phone. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Deeper into the Twilight Zone with Brain Injury

Feeling puzzled? common symptom after brain injury.

Frequently x-rays and other diagnostic tools are "Normal". Need healthcare professionals to monitor symptoms and clues to changing status.

I did not think I could go deeper into the twilight zone and neither did I think I had a brain injury.  After all, I had many injuries prior to this assault and recovered from every single one without residual effects.  What was I thinking as a nurse? Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Entering the Twilight Zone of Brain Injury…Nurse

pie chart of causes of traumatic brain injury

CAUSES OF TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY

Learning what brain injury is all about.  It was nothing like I experienced as a nurse treating the patients with brain injury.  Little did I know I was about to enter the twilight zone at work on October 30, 1991. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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A Journey into Darkness … From Nurse to Patient.Traumatic brain injury

English: An animated gif of MRI images of a hu...

Image via Wikipedia

Patient Safety Month
MRI of patient with brain trauma and resultant...

Image via Wikipedia

Nurses work with violent patients every day.  Their safety is compromised by combative patient’s and families.  Safety is always a priority for patients, but rarely is safety acknowledged for the nurses themselves.  Or at least it does not appear that way behind closed doors.  They are exceedingly exposed to abuse within the healthcare system, but yet expected to accept it.  This is true for all our of healthcare professionals and caregivers. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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