A Fun Surprise

I had to share with you all the neatest thing that came from the UPS man today via my friend Kim….

Okay, let me backtrack here a bit. I am required to swallow several supplements daily to keep me going and help heal my central nervous system. Unfortunately, my swallow muscles aren’t quite right and so I have to crush up everything I take and stir into applesauce just to get it down. Otherwise, I just can’t do it.

So, for years I’ve taken a heavy ice cream scooper and an old rag, beaten the pills into a fine dust before stirring into my applesauce. I know I look as stupid as it sounds…😂

Well, not anymore folks! Kim lovingly sent to me an Ezy Crush Pill Crusher from Amazon. I’m literally so excited right now because taking my supplements will be so much easier and I won’t conveniently forget anymore due to the hassle.

Whoo Hooooo!! Looky here folks, I’m moving up in the world. No more waking the hubby and neighbors because I have to beat up pills!! I’m so thrilled and excited to get this and humbled too. She also generously sent a yummy flavored pre-biotic powder to help aid in digestion. I’m overwhelmed by such love!😍

God knows how bummed I’ve been lately but He continues to send loving kisses from friends like Kim because He knows, cares, and uses people to lift us up and urge us forward. We’re not ever alone in any of our troubles. In response to others who haven’t been nice, I find myself wanting to pop my turtle’s head back into my shell for protection but that’s not what God wants! He knows we need each other, community, and fellowship, and that’s why we are to reach out, to share, to pray and to never ever give up hope!

Much love,

Viv

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Good Vibes

Due to my brain injury noise has become a huge problem for me. This isn’t easy being in a small house with lots of sounds coming from kids and pets but the worst part of my auditory struggles has been my husband’s new beloved hobby: opera. I feel crazy whenever he plays those screaming meemies and seriously want to break something. Like in the children’s book Harry and the Lady Next Door, in which Harry wants to bite and be bad due to the lady’s cringy decibles. He bites the leg of the piano instead of her but I can commiserate 100% with that poor little black and white pooch.

Here is my life saving remedy: VIBES!!!

Vibes has been a game changer for me! Going to church or public places that were noisy used to be excruciating for my ear sensitivity, resulting in over stimulation and nervous system overload. A few months ago my dear friend Michelle from jumbledbrain sent these ear plugs to me and wow, have they changed my life! My old ear plugs were just cheap yellow things that stuck out of my head like a squash and never fit well or really helped. However, Vibes come in three different sizes and are completely clear, making them barely detectable! I can wear them for hours without even realizing anything is stuck in my ears! Vibes filter out unwanted sounds and work with your brain to help you hear noises you want to hear! It’s awesome how they are designed to make auditory issues so much better. I love them. Now that I’ve tried them out, I will never go back!

As a result of having a TBI, the muscles in my head get very tense if I am around loud noises. These tense muscles result in pain, dizziness, and nervous system overload. Now having the vibes I can listen to music at levels both my husband and I agree on (although I stilI hate opera), occasionally attend church, be in crowds, and the pain doesn’t come! My kids can turn up the volume of their favorite song and I can enjoy listening instead of running away to hide. The Vibes come in a small pouch I can fit in my purse or pocket and I will not leave home without them.

Here’s the link: http://www.discovervibes.com/

Please enter the voucher code jumbledbrain at checkout to receive a discount. Michelle at jumbled brain is an affiliate and today we want to offer this bonus to my readers!

I would not give such a strong recommendation if I didn’t deeply believe these could help you. No one is paying me to write this, I just so much want to help if you have the same issues with noise I’ve suffered from. For months my ear nerves were so shattered my poor kids had to remain as quiet as church mice. It was a frightening experience if I was faced with a sudden boom or holler. The pain was so intense that I actually have a touch of hearing loss in my left ear. Maybe if I had Vibes a couple years ago life would have been easier, but I’ve got them now, and I’m so thankful I do.

Much love,

Viv 💚

We need an advocate

One of the things I’ve had to learn and help my family learn is to be a voice for me.

July 2017, when my journey was fresh and healing was raw and rocky, we lost my father-in-law suddenly from multiple heart attacks. He was only 64.

The news hit the family hard and it’s been a long painful road of emotional healing.

I was in no condition to receive such news in the way that it came.

Because of the shock, my nervous system went completely berzerk, causing my heart to beat irregularly since my body went into parasympathetic mode.

I was thrown in the world of normal people dealing with crazy, traumatic death but brain injury kept me from coping “normally.”

Suffering TBI has damaged some cranial nerves including my vagus nerve 10 and nerve 7 and others. The nerve 7 starts at the pons part of the brainstem and controls your facial muscles. The vagus nerve 10 isn’t just a sensory nerve, it’s motor. It’s also a parasympathetic nerve and is one of the longest nerves in the body (over two feet long) which is why it takes longer to heal. It starts at the brain stem and ends in the gut. Because of brain injury my autonomic nervous system has become impaired; therefore the two main branches from that, the sympathetic and parasympathetic, are struggling to keep up and heal.

Because the vagus nerve controls signals to important bodily functions including the heart, lungs and organs, the shock of my father-in-law’s sudden death was almost impossible to handle…..

If I sat or stood up too quickly, my heart would sputter, palpitate, and beat extremely hard and slowly.

Tests showed my heart to be perfectly fine and the paramedics were amazing but it wasn’t until much later that I began to understand the importance of guarding myself from shock.

Now, my husband better understands my frailty and has become quite a terrific advocate. Love him!

My youngest daughter captured this photo of one of my Echinacea flowers.

He’s learned like me, that my body can’t be thrown into highly stressful situations……it’s his job to be a voice for me and he’s stepped up perfectly! If a friend wants to visit we have to be honest and tell them I can only handle short visits, or if stressful issues arise at work or with our finances, he knows how to shield me by dealing with it himself. He knows I can’t handle noisy places, loud settings, social gatherings, and knows how to kindly turn down invitations. He knows to be my advocate because he’s seen the recovery in aftermath of highly stressful situations and what that does to halt my TBI healing and my nervous system’s scary response.

I’ve also learned how to be my own advocate as well. It hasn’t been the easiest thing to say “no” but I’m learning that it’s okay to say no and to not feel badly about it either.

Some will understand while others won’t but it’s okay.

Jesus is my advocate too. He fights for me, strengthens me, encourages me, loves me, protects me, comforts me, counsels me, supports me, shields me, defends me, and guides me every day.

Who is your advocate? That person who’s got your back. We all need one whether broken or not. We all need an advocate passing through this life because it’s tough.

God bless you and thank you for reading this blog article. It means so much to me!

Much love,

Viv

Lovely diagram of the 12 cranial nerves. Haha!