Trusting Doctor’s Opinions in an Unknown World

The ability to trust a doctor is crucial. They are the ones we turn to when things are wrong. We need to trust that they advocate for us.

Having a doctor you trust is vital. When there is something wrong with your body, doctors are who we turn to. They are considered the experts.

I used just to accept that my doctor knew everything and would listen to my concerns. While I have always been heard, my recently received responses are disheartening.

I have gained some weight and developed a sharp pain in my stomach. I felt dismissed when I went to my first doctor to discuss my symptoms. They told me to lose weight, and everything will return to normal.

I accepted this because they were the doctor, and they knew best. I began my journey to lose weight. A few months in, something didn’t feel right. I trusted my doctor and started the program he wanted me to do.

Turning Point

When I began my first full-time job, I changed my health insurance provider, which meant switching doctors. After a year of my pain getting worse, I went to my new doctor.

At this appointment, I had probably gained more weight or didn’t lose any. The doctor listened to my story and referred me to a gastroenterologist. The suggestion was that I get an endoscopy and colonoscopy.

I felt excited that someone had listened to me and accepted that there might be more than just my weight. While these aren’t pleasant tests, they did turn up conditions. I was diagnosed with gastritis and esophagitis.

They also found a precancerous polyp in my colon. That is when it hit me; if I hadn’t changed my doctor, that polyp would have probably turned into cancer.

Finding Trust

The diagnosis also meant that I could start healing and living my life. I felt great until a month before my colonoscopy and endoscopy. Fast-forward to now, I still have my diagnosis.

The good news is that I have amazing doctors that I completely trust. I now have faith that I will be heard and worked with when I have an issue.

I have started a blog about my journey in healing gastritis. If you are curious about my journey, please check it out.

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Regrets: Life is Full of Them

Regrets are a part of decision-making. They happen. They are also a consequence of taking risks. Some risks flop, but taking risks allows forward movement.

When making decisions, regrets may happen. There are times when you make one choice and then realize it is not something you want to do.

I was recently in a situation where I regretted saying yet to something. I decided to quit my job, which I stand by. However, during my last two weeks, I was asked if I wanted to go part-time. At the time, I said yes. Days later, when I was still stressing about it, I realized that I regretted this decision.

I finished working last Friday. After a stressful afternoon, I told my boss that I decided that working part-time would not work for me. I ended up just quitting. While it is not the easiest to quit a job without a plan, sometimes you have to do it.

This job was not good for my mental health, and it was time for me to find something that I could call a career. I have excellent support around me and understanding people.

I believe that regrets are part of life. When you regret a decision, there are things you have to remember and steps you can take to correct it.

How to Handle Regrets

The first thing to remember is that most decisions are never final. If you make one choice, you can choose to change the choice or make a different decision to change what you picked.

Next is that you should feel no shame in changing your mind. It is difficult to tell someone you will do something and then backtrack on what you said. While this is difficult, you need to remember it is your life, and you have to feel good about what you do with it.

When you choose your happiness over pleasing people, life will be enjoyable. It is okay to have regrets. The key is to know how to fix it to feel good about your life.

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Giving Thanks: Making the most of life

Thanksgiving is a time to remind us that we need to take time to give thanks. It is always important to give thanks.

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States. Sometimes after an injury, it can be challenging to find what you are grateful for. There is always something to give thanks about.

I believe that life will be happier if one can find at least something good in life. I think I have said it before, and I will repeat it, you are here reading this right now. That means you are alive and breathing. That is something to be thankful for.

There are times when you feel as though there is nothing to be thankful for, but I promise there is always something. Being grateful can improve mood and outlook on life.

Life can be difficult. There are plenty of times when nothing seems to be going your way. This can be especially true after suffering a brain injury.

The importance of appreciating when you have can help you get through the day. Long, hard days are rough and finding even one thing to be thankful for can turn your outlook on the day around.

Things to give thanks for

I am thankful for my family. They never gave up on me and stuck with me when I needed them the most. They are the reason I can do everything I can today.

I am grateful that I was able to finish school. It took a lot of work and persistence, but I never gave up and worked as hard as possible to be successful.

I am thrilled that I have gained my independence to do things I want to do. There was a question when I was born as to what I would be able to do.

As crazy as it sounds, I am thankful for my brain injury. It is the reason I am who I am and work as hard as I do to succeed in what I want.

This week, I challenge you to keep track of things you are thankful for. You don’t even have to celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday to participate in this challenge. Let me know what you come up with.

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Helmets: They save lives

Helmets are an important piece of equipment. Just like knee pads, they can help protect a vital organ that allows you to function.

Thankfully, my dad wears helmets. A little over a month ago, there was a severe accident in my family. My dad was on his usual bike ride when he had his accident. There was no foul play involved. We have minimal information as to what happened.

He was unable to remember anything for more than five seconds. After scans and tests, his doctors concluded that he was suffering from a slight brain bleed. After 24 hours in the hospital, he improved enough to come home.

A brain bleed is just what it sounds, but for my dad, the bleed wasn’t entirely in the brain; it was in the layers between the skull and the brain. It was a minimal bleed.

Once he was home, he slept a lot and had to take things slow. Now, he is almost entirely back to normal. That is a result of a concussion. It is a slow process, but every day he continues to improve.

Normal means that he is able to work all day without the need for a nap. His recovery is impressive. There were some estimates that the healing process would take more than three months.

He has not fully healed, but he is now expected to make a full recovery. This prognosis is thanks to the fact that he was wearing his helmet.

Helmets provide protection

A helmet will not stop every injury, but it can save your life. Some people choose not to wear helmets because the helmets are not fashionable.

Our culture needs to normalize wearing a helmet. The helmet needs to be worn for safety and protection.

I tell you this story to ask you to wear a helmet when you participate in sports requiring one.

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Anniversary: Your Second Chance

The anniversary of your injury is a time to celebrate your second chance at life. How do you acknowledge your injury anniversary?

The anniversary of when a brain injury is a day your life changed forever. A few days ago marked 26 years since my brain injury. It is not much of a big deal other than the fact it is my birthday.

The sole reason I don’t view it as a huge deal because I didn’t have a life before. While it is not a big deal for me, others view this day differently.

As I said earlier, this day is the day one’s life changed forever. It is the day where your old life ended, and your new life begins.

The way you handle the anniversary is vital to your happiness in life. I understand it is tough to see your life change. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.

While you may not understand why your brain became injured, but it did. Now there is a new purpose in your life. It is time to get excited about what the future can hold.

It is okay to mourn the life you used to know; however, you need to be able to pick yourself up after some time. After you are done recovering, find things you enjoy doing.

Celebrate your Anniversary

If you can find something you can do and enjoy it, begin to do it. While creating your new life may take some time, you can create something you look forward to.

When the anniversary of your new life beginning arrives, you can take time to remember the life you used to live. I would encourage you to make a list of suitable items you accomplished throughout the year.

Your anniversary can be a rebirth. You can celebrate it like a second birthday. Celebrate with friends and family or do something special for just yourself.

I would suggest not allowing the day to just being another day in your life. At least acknowledge what the day is and its importance.

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Negativity: It can hold us back

After a brain injury, negative emotions consume your every thought. It is important to battle the negativity and change to positive thoughts.

We live in a world where negativity is all around us. Since it is all around us, we need to be extra careful to find the positive in life. This is easier said than done.

It is also something that requires practice. To be able to find the positive in life, you need to start off by carving out time to look for the positive.

I understand, when you get in a negative state, it is difficult to get out of it. This can be especially tough when you are dealing with a brain injury.

I have found that when I started, I needed to find something small and simple. Start with the fact that you are alive, or you can read.

These two examples are things you are actively doing right now. It doesn’t have to be significant. Some days I can be thankful that I got out of bed.

Negativity will not allow for progress. It is crucial not to dwell on the past. You need to work on focusing on what you can do.

After a brain injury, your life has changed. That is okay. Focus on what you can do and what you have accomplished since your injury.

I have found that it is also useful to look towards what you could accomplish in the future. There is a world of possibilities for your future after your injury.

Negativity can push others away

Recovering from an injury can be difficult and requires social support. Nobody enjoys being around someone who is negative all the time.

The people around you understand it is difficult to be positive; it will go a long way if they can see that you are trying to be positive.

It will take time to be used to find the positive in life and it will get easier as time goes by. Believe in yourself.

If you are interested in learning more about me, please start here by reading my story.

Quarantine: stimulate the brain at home

In this different time of being told to stay home and quarantine, we need to find activities to do. I have activities in this post that stimulates the brain

In these times of self-isolation and quarantines, it is easy to become bored and not sure what to do. I feel as though it is essential to keep the mind stimulated. There is plenty to do that doesn’t include watching Netflix all day.

Netflix or watching tv is excellent and can be a nice break from the news. A lot is going on in the world right now.

Puzzles

One option is to do a puzzle. These puzzles can be the cardboard kind or a crossword puzzle or sudoku. According to a USA Today article, puzzles have a lot of benefits. They improve memory, visual-spatial reasoning, lower stress levels, and can improve one’s mood.

Mood improvement can be a vital benefit. Being cooped up in a house with either just yourself or your housemates can drive you crazy. We all need some mood-boosting at this time in the world.

Reading

Another thing you can do to pass the time is read. Reading can transform your world. There is potential to get into a different world and maybe forget about the crazy times we are in.

Reading can expand your vocabulary, improve memory, stimulate your brain, improve your focus and concentration, and increase your knowledge. It has also been known to reduce stress. (Lifehack.org)

Writing

I have personally found that writing is a great thing to do. I have been keeping a personal journal for quite some time now; this allows me to write my thoughts down. Once they are on paper, I can make sense of what I am feeling.

This process allows me to feel relaxed and see the issues I am facing with a clear mind. I find it like talking to someone without them talking back.

Self-care

The critical thing to remember during these times is self-care. Take care of yourself. This may mean taking a break from the news for an afternoon, getting outside, and get vitamin D. I strongly feel like making sure you keep in contact with friends. We are lucky enough to be in a time where it is easy to communicate with each other from a distance.

Just remember to listen to what your body and mind are saying you need. This is a time where we need to take care of ourselves. Good luck with your quarantine.

If you are interested in this blog, please read my story by clicking here.

Transferring schools: How to deal with change

The decision to transfer schools can be stressful and nerve wracking. There is a lot of unknown and the process of relearning can be difficult.

My decision to transfer schools after my first year of college was not one I made lightly.

When I went applied to college, I thought I had some idea of what I wanted to do. I did have an idea. I looked at schools, but I had not idea what I was really looking for.

It wasn’t until part way through my freshman year when I realized I wasn’t where I was supposed to be. With my injury, learning takes me longer to learn than others.

Luckily, when you go to college, where you go is not set in stone. There is always the option to take a year off or change schools.

With the friends I had made at school, it was quit the unpopular choice. They did not want to see me go. I was so unsure of this decision I didn’t tell my family. They only found out when the acceptance letter from the new university came.

I was extremely nervous to make the change. I really wanted to stay at the school where I was already comfortable at and with the friend, I had worked so hard to make.

Transferring: Getting used to it

Putting nerves aside, I knew this was the right choice. In the long run it was going to safe me money and I was closer to home. It felt like the right choice.

I did have one person step out of my life because of the decision. He thought I was selling myself short and wanted nothing to do with it.

I worked hard to stay in touch with the friends I had made at the first school. We talked via skype many times throughout the semester and we talked many times during the week.

 It was difficult for me to make new friends at the new school because I had missed orientation. I was lucky enough to find one friend who I loved to hang out with. From there I met people in classes and through that good first friend.

Switching schools was the best decision I made. Do not be afraid to make decisions because of nerves. I am an anxious human. But, the ability to push through the nerves and go with what you believe is right for you.

If you are interested, please click here are read about my story.