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Showing posts from August, 2010

TBI in Perspective

Sometimes when I reflect in the past I can see a different picture of what it is our life today. Our life was one full of responsibilities and personal challenges. My husband a proud US Army Soldier always in military training and in missions and I was a full time clinical researcher trying to advance science through new discoveries. Today I am still who I was but with a new purpose, new journey and new mission. I am going to school full time to complete a doctoral program, I am still working full time, I am now 100% conscious of what it is my husband doing and I am (next to my husband) supporting the efforts to redefine what Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is for the military. When I reflect on the past I see a normal couple just enjoying life with goals and dreams, today I still see that happy couple with a set of goals and dreams that require so much commitment and drive. We are driven by the suffering of so many and because we have experimented what it is to see TBI knock on the door…

Future postings

Is surviving an explosion in Iraq or Afghanistan a symbol of success? Is coming home as a soldier that was wounded a reflection of care or responsibility? Is loving your wounded soldier an act or courage or commitment? How to reflect in the past without emotionally hurting? These are some of the questions that comes to my mind very often and I will address them in my future postings.

Traumatic Brain Injury in the Military, Not Everything is Lost...

Hi friends I hope you had a great week. I am again on my way home from business travel. It was a very productive week and I shared with a wonderful team of colleagues.
How many times we have heard the news and politicians talk about traumatic brain injury (TBI), the signature injury of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? How many times have we heard TBI referred as a psychological wound? How much Soldiers and Family Members know about this signature injury?

We have heard TBI in many forums and many times being referred as an invisible wound. Invisible? I constantly ask myself. Yes, maybe because it is a close head injury most of the time or because there are no scars to reflect the injury. TBI may not be seen, but like the air cannot be seen but creates the wind, that same way a close head TBI cannot be seen but can be felt in so many ways. As a wife of a TBI Soldier I can assure you that this invisible wound has been felt in so many ways in our life. Many times I have expressed how dif…

Military Life!

“Somewhere in Time”, I watch this movie for the first time when I was 5 years old, my sister and I watched it approximately 25 times. I do not know what it was but I always found the end so romantic.

When I married my husband I promised to loved him and care for him in health and sickness, no matter if we were poor or wealthy. Hmmmm! Those vows are serious and people are not paying too much attention to what they are commiting. I guess in today’s society divorce is an easy option if the marriage does not work according to plans. Everyday we are moving to the comfort zone of “If I do not have it perfect I just quit”. Please do not take this introduction in a wrong way, as much as I do not like divorces I am not against it. I do not believe in suffering a relationship that does not work or abuses, etc. Those who know me know that I am feminist, mostly described by the equality of genders beleiving that women should get as far as she wants without subjecting herself or family to unhappin…

Making sense of this situation...

Sometimes it is difficult to envision the possibilities and be confident of what it is ahead. I can tell you that even though this past year has been the most challenging year of my life I am confident that it will serve for a purpose. “What a year”, that is a phrase I could say all the time and instead I always say “What a journey”. Why do I call it a journey? Think about it, when you travel most of the time you will go to places you have never been, you sleep, eat and visit new places, Right? So, when an injury happens to a loved one you will travel to a new dimension and you are enriched with new experiences. You may say, “But when I travel I plan and enjoy” and Yes that is also a good point but in life I think it is all what you make out of it. I know there are particular situations that joy may not be even part of your experiential dictionary but what you make out of it is what will make you unique and one of a kind.

Who doesn’t know about Christopher Reeve and his wife Dana (RIP…

Military Research and Doing what is Right....

It is 5:30 am and I am on my way back from another business trip. This time I was in Phoenix, AZ attending the 13th Annual Force Health Protection Conference. What an amazing conference. Is in this forum that all research that has been conducted in military settings and/or conducted with military population is exposed to the scientific community. One thing is certain and it is that if it is not because of men and women in uniform and their willingness to contribute with the research community, this conference would not even exist. So to those who not only sacrifice for their country and our FREEDOM but that also run the extra mile and let us get into their lives and study all type of different issues, we Salute you and we are deeply grateful for your collaboration.

During this conference I had the opportunity to meet so many different people, some were directors of programs, others were providers and in general a healthcare community gather to discuss the health of our Warriors. I feel…

Relationships and TBI, it is all about good memories...

Today I am on my way back home form a business trip. During my flight I am thinking “I am so happy that everything went well”. I felt this business trip was a productive one, professionally speaking and in a personal way too. I had the opportunity to see people that live their lives meaningfully and in a productive way. I had the opportunity to shared with my colleagues and everyday I reminnd myself how blessed I am to have amazing people in my life. It is a delight to see how engaged they are and how they approach everything with the highest professionalism and excellence in all they do. Their satisfaction is to accomplish so much for those who needs it the most. I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to share with my colleagues and friends. We all work hard with one mission in mind, “improve the healthcare”. One sad part of the story is that my friend Alex is leaving to India for 2 years and I know I am going to miss her but I’m also happy because I know it will be one of t…

The Stages of Healing

Today was a beautiful sunny day in El Paso, TX. Hope your day (wherever you are) was beautiful and that you are enjoying the start of the new season. I was thinking today about the Seasons and how each one is characterized by different events in nature and weather. The same way the journey of healing is characterized by different phases that we as caregivers need to be aware. These are the stages of healing.

STAGE I - DENIAL
STAGE II - BLAME / HELPLESSNESS
STAGE III - WAITING
STAGE IV - WORKING on my problem
Stage IVa - Making a New Choice
Stage IVb - Evaluating the New Choice
Stage V - RESOLVING ISSUES

As caregivers we should be knowleageable about these stages to be ahead of the game and know what to do when your loved one experience any of them. I truly believe that knowledge is power and may sound like a cliché but the reality is that the more knowledge we have, the better prepared we will be to overcome obstacles. It sounds easy but it may not be as easy as it sounds. Most of the ti…

Celebrating life...

Today is my husband's 35th birthday and he is here with me HURRAY!!!! Last year a day like today he was being mobilized to get a CT scan to assess his condition. He spent his birthday alone and my care package never arrived to him because he was in a deifferent location in Iraq and then he was transported to the hospital in Germany. Yes, it was difficult for me to think about it but being a military wife you adapt to many situations, those who are military wives understand what I am talking about :)

Today we are celebrating life, one more opportunity to reconsider the important things in life. Those who are in my Facebook and my friends know that I am all about "MEMORIES AND EXPERIENCES". The experiences we can only obtain by living them and then those moments are transformed in memories. Money and position cannot buy these two, so that is why for me is so important to live every minute like it is the last one and make the most out of it. I enjoy my friends and I tryly be…