Bruce Alterman Memorial Webinar Series

New Webinar series at BIAA by people with brain injury for their peers

One of the many highlights of this week, was getting to listen to Maria Romanas, MD PhD talk during a Butch Alterman Webinar through the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA).

The webinars are FREE.   You must register for them.    You can download handouts even if you did not watch or register to watch.

I will provide the links at the end of this post so that you can learn about future webinars, and download handouts from past ones.

Before I write down what I learned from the webinar last week, I want to step back and explain about this new webinar Series through BIAA.

The Butch Alterman Webinar Series:

The Butch Alterman Webinar series is a relatively new series.   It was started in 2014 and there have already been 4 webinars (including Maria Romanas’s)

It is a webinar series for people with brain injury by people who have gotten better after brain injury and who have been selected to share their understanding, strategies or knowledge from their journey and from their hard-fought experience and learning about what helped them.

The series was created by Mo Alterman, in memory of her husband, Butch who had had a brain injury.   Butch Alterman was a teacher by profession.

After he died, the series was created by his wife to honor her husband’s belief in the importance of teaching.

I am fortunate that I got to meet Mo Alterman years ago.   Mo was the President of the Board at BIAA in the early 2000’s.   I started volunteering at BIAA in about 2003, after  we returned to Washington DC.   At the time, I could not get help matching the skills I had post-injury with a job opportunity.   After I met Robert Demichalis, a volunteer at BIAA, he invited me to share his office and use a second desk in his office.   I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn what job skills I actually had and learn about the Brain Injury Association of America.

Back to Mo.   I was impressed by her because she was tough and outspoken and a tireless advocate for people with brain injury.  She believed in the importance of improving the lives of people with brain injury.   Of course, she was not alone in that belief at BIAA, it was just that she was passionate and I “got her” immediately.   My experience working with the staff and people who volunteer their time and energy to BIAA is that they all want to improve the lives of people with brain injury.   I have over 10 years of experience volunteering at BIAA and I have both received tremendous support in my journey to recovery and I have learned an incredible amount of helpful information from them.   I have also contributed from my perspective as a person with brain injury  in many ways.   (My volunteer work is another blog post which still needs to be written!)

One last thing about Mo.   I felt very drawn to Mo as a leader, just like many others did.   Her dedication and passion were inspiring.   And her knowledge about brain injury and her own personal journey to help her husband get the resources he needed were obvious in her command of  the issues.

Here are the links to get information and register for the Butch Alterman Webinars:

Some tips about the links and technology:

With my cognitive and visual issues from my brain injury, I often have a difficult time finding information on many websites.   To summarize, I often cannot even find where on the website the information I need lives, trying to find it may increase my frustration to intolerable levels, and I leave the website empty handed, frustrated, and angry.   Worse, being on a really busy website may set off headaches or other symptoms and depending on the stage of recovery I am in, and thus I may have to get emergency cognitive rest, or change my day in order to get over the damage that the busy website has done to my wellness.

On any given day, I can have problems with the Brain Injury Association of America’s website because it is very busy.

So I want to help others who may have some of the same issues with finding and using what they need on websites the information that may help them.

Having been empowered by my accessible technology team at Cognizant and my advisor, Joseph Karr O’Connor, I want to pass on what I have learned so that you may be able to take advantage of this excellent Webinar series at BIAA and the resources that it makes available to you.

Before you click on any of the links below, please read through to the bottom so you will know what to expect.

Writing down the steps before you press a link may be helpful.

Writing things the steps for yourself on a blank piece of paper will help imprint the steps in your brain.

You may want to rearrange the steps once you have written them down,  depending on what makes sense for your deficits and the way your brain works.

And remember, in trying to sign up for a webinar, you are both doing something new and trying to follow many steps.

Give yourself plenty of time and space to do this, and recognize that you may not get it right the first time, and that is okay.

As Dr Maria Romanas will tell you in her talk, doing anything that is new, is harder.

As Dr Maria Romanas recommends for starting any new task,  take two deep breaths before you try to execute these steps.

And remember, that people with out brain injuries, may have a difficult time following these steps as they may not have been optimized as well as possible for someone learning for the first time and finding the right buttons.   I know that my husband, someone who works in on-line technology has told me that often websites will say press here, and they have not put a button on that page to press.   Frustrating for anyone even if your brain works fine.

Below is the link that tells you about the Webinars series:

Click on it.

If you want to register for the Webinar:

Click the link below.

Once you have clicked on it, scroll down to the midway down the page until you find the upcoming Alterman Webinair.

If you want to download handouts for the a Webinar, or a past one:

Click on the link below;

Scroll down to the heading that says Recording and Handouts of Previous Alterman Webinars.

Click on first link after the webinar handouts that you want.

Lastly, I have learned the trick of using Google to search the BIAA website.   I put “Butch Alterman Webinars at Brain injury Association of America” in the search bar and that worked.

I need your feedback!

Do you have problems with searching and finding information on websites?   Please leave me a comment and describe tips that help you.

Also, I will have to think about what the best way to give these links and improve them.  Please give me feedback if you were able to use them or better ways to write them so that they are easy to go to.

Having tried to make my website more accessible, I know that sometimes finding what works best is trial and error and I would like to learn more about what works best.

Read More - New Webinar series at BIAA by people with brain injury for their peers

Joyous man with arms raised sitting in wheelchair held aloft by people in very large concert audience

Accessibility is So Empowering

Last week, I attended a Skype meeting of my team for the Knowbility competition.   I spoke with members of my team (team Axis) and my adviser Joseph O’Connor about where we were in terms of development of my website, what had been done recently and did it work for me, and questions that I needed to bring up with the judges at the Pit Rally at Knowbility the next evening.

I found the meeting very empowering and supportive.   I learned from all of the members of my team about the kinds of things they were thinking as they were developing the website.  I learned about how a screen reader (accessibility tool for a person who is blind or cannot read the screen without assistance from a machine) would read the site and what coding needed to happen for a screen reader to read my request for left sided navigation.  I learned about font size and color contrast and the concerns that needed to be addressed there.  And I learned about how they saw my site which helped me understand more about my own thinking about my site and what’s not articulated in the text or architecture.  And I learned that I needed to know a lot more about what scientists knew about neuroplasticity before I could articulate it, and that even though I know what it is through my experience of it in my getting better since my injury that I don’t yet know how to talk about it very well, even though the increases in my neural pathways must underlie the increased functioning that allows me to be talking through skype with my team and addressing my teams questions and following my team and adviser to the extent that I am following them.   (And following them as much as I did made me appreciate how much I wasn’t understanding what they were talking about nearly as well in the last two calls!)

All kinds of information came together for me and I understood so much more about the concerns that they were already addressing to make my website more accessible.  I also had new learning about the state of the research (or lack of research) on design elements to address cognitive accessibility issues on websites.   And I began to understand just how much thought and effort my team and adviser had been doing already and were continuing to do to make my website as accessible as possible to people with cognitive disabilities.  I felt so supported and I felt so blown away by the work that had been done and I learned from everyone.  I felt like my head was about to explode (in a good way) with new ideas and connections.   I literally felt that I could feel my neural pathways strengthening and branching out and connecting and growing.   I do not know how correlated my experience of what my head felt like with what was actually happening to my neural pathways.  Hopefully someone more knowledgeable than I can tell me about that correlation that happens between brain change and learning and whether some aware people can indeed feel it or not.

Maybe I am just willing my brain to grow and the visualization that I am doing by willing and imagining it, promotes the growth.

Or perhaps since I know that my neural pathways have grown and developed in the past, I know to believe in brain growth.  Perhaps it will happen because it has happened before.  Perhaps, there is not a correlation to what I am feeling in my brain and my pathways growing.   This would be an interesting question to know the answer to!

I would like to say more about all the concrete reasons that I felt empowered, during that call.

But that will have to wait today because I need to limit my time on the computer and I have other things that have to get done today.

I do remember having an experience before my brain injury where I thought I could literally feel the pathways of my brain growing after new learning, when they finally started to develop (which seemed to take longer than I expected they should take).

So I will share my memory of that experience with you to see if you can recall a similar time when you knew you were learning something new in a way you hadn’t know it before.

I took calculus (or was it linear algebra?) in the summer time at the University of Texas to prepare for graduate school in economics.

Since it was summertime, the course moved quickly and we had three tests in a short period of time, maybe six weeks, maybe eight.

I found nothing intuitive about the math I was trying to learn.   In addition, the graduate student leading my section was very bright but his explanations of the work were not helpful to my own learning.  So I had to study really long hours and really intensively.

I remember feeling after the taking the second exam, that I finally was understanding the concepts that I had been tested on in the first exam.

And I felt that I could feel the pathways grow from the new learning (although I would have said it was just my brain growing at that time).   I could look back at the first test and understand all these problems that I had answered more by rote than anything else.   And now I could connect them and understand them!  Suddenly, I knew the material and could begin to apply it!

That is a description of what the experience felt like before my brain injury, and its how I felt after my meeting last week with my team and adviser.  Except last week the experience was even bigger.   During our call, I began to understand what my team was thinking about it a much more expanded way and how supportive it was of my own mission with my website.

How did I feel after our team meeting?

Here’s the visual that I want to leave you with.

When I watched the live streaming of the annual Accessibility, this Fall, I was impressed by a picture that one of the presenters showed about what accessibility is.

It was a picture of a woman in a chair (wheelchair) being held up off high off the ground and supported by a group of people (who did not need to use a chair to help them stand).   It was a very empowering photo of possibility when everyone works together to support someone who is differently abled.  (Please see bottom note now that picture has been added to this post.)

I looked at that picture and thought, I want to feel that kind of support around the computer and my cognitive deficits that limit my abilities.

After working with my team last Wednesday, I felt (and feel) what I imagine the woman in the chair felt.

During our team call, I felt lifted up.

During our team call, I felt supported (even more than I had already felt).

And honestly, I felt that together, the sky is the limit!

Accessibility is so, so, empowering.


Bottom Note:

I came across my notes from the Accessibility Conference and found that Elle Waters had shown this picture and that it came from the Huffington Post originally.   Elle Waters sent it to me so that I could use it on my blog.

Two things I want to share that I realized when I re-read my notes and saw the picture.   I had remembered the person being lifted up as a woman, like me.   Looking at the picture, I believe he is a male.  I liked that in my memory, the person could be anyone or any gender.

And, I wrote down in my notes something important that Elle Waters had said when she showed the picture and is worth repeating.   I will paraphrase her from my notes here.   She said that true accessibility is about the crowd experience of lifting someone else up.   Its not about the isolation and frustration that the person without accessibility experiences–frustration or difficulty with new learning, or lack of access.   Its about everyone feeling lifted up by the access.

And that is what I feel and I believe that the rest of my team has felt as we have improved my website and learned and made the site more accessible.  We have all felt lifted up.

And we have all lifted each other up.

Read More - Accessibility is So Empowering

The Value of Revealing My Deficits

I attended the Knowbility Contest “Pit Rally” last Thursday to ask questions about the contest to the judges.

(If you haven’t seen my previous posts about the Knowbility Contest to improve website accessbility for non-profit organizations that I have entered my website in, please look at them. (I haven’t yet figured out a better way to reference them, but its on my list for things to cognitive challenges to learn about how to address!))

Several others from the accessibility technology community were there.

I got into a conversation with a woman named Glenda Sims who currently works for a company called Deque Systems.

Read More - The Value of Revealing My Deficits

New Learning and Website Design

I have written about the contest (the Open Air Rally) that I am participating in through Knowbility to make my website accessible.

We are in the final two weeks of the competition.  Its very exciting.

I had a great meeting with my talented and knowledgeable development team Team AxIS from Cognitive Interactive with my team leader Antonia and the lead developer Krishna and with my esteemed team adviser Joseph O’Connor on Wednesday night last week.

Read More - New Learning and Website Design

New and Better Website Coming!

Friday I got signed up for the Open Air Rally at Knowbility an organization here in Austin that promotes accessible design.

In the next couple of months, I will work with a group of experts on accessibility issues including web designers, programmers and marketers to improve my website.   I will be matched with a team of experts who will volunteer their time to help me develop my message and improve the accessibility of my website so that people with all kinds of disabilities as well as people with out disabilities can read it better.

At the end of the process, there will be a competition to see who’s website is the best with respect to a set list of accessibility criteria.

I am really excited for 3 reasons:

1) I know that I wouldn’t have been able to read my current website until years after my injury.  I have visual and cognitive and processing deficits.   I want others with my issues, and with other issues, to be able to read my website, if they want to.

2) One of the people who founded the Open Air Rally with Sharron Rush at Knowbility was Dr John Slatin.  Dr Slatin led what was then-called The Office of Technology and Learning at the University of Texas.   Dr Slatin found a place in his office for me after I finished speech and language therapy rehabilitation at St David’s Hospital.   He was a tremendous mentor of mine.  He provided the vision and direction for my post-injury speaking engagements.  He helped me understand the need for more and better information on cognitive deficits from his point of view as someone interested in accessibility, learning and technology.

My first post-injury speech was to John’s undergraduate class on improving the accessibility of the web.    I spoke about my cognitive deficits at that time, and the difficulties I had with using the computer and what had helped.  That speech was the first of many on what my cognitive issues were, how they were changing and how the computer could help me.   After the speech, John told me that he could see my economics training in my descriptions of my brain.   It made me so happy to know that my economics was still in my brain somewhere and that I could continue to develop that skill now that I knew it was there!  I wanted so desperately to be reconnected with my training in economics which I loved.

When I knew John, he had had to learn to compensate for adult-onset blindness and he worked hard to increase accessibility for UT students.   Sadly John passed away from Leukemia after we left Austin for Washington, DC.

For me, connecting with Knowbility and entering the Open Air Rally are steps in honoring how important John’s mentoring has been in my life.   I know it would mean alot to John, if he were still alive and could see how things he began years ago are helping me now, and how the work will help others with cognitive and visual disabilities.

3) The mission for my blog has evolved and changed since I started writing it over a year ago.    My original idea was to develop a community, but its primary focus has evolved to be mostly the blog.   Because the mission has changed, the current website is not the best for my mission.  In technical terms, the User Experience (UX) design is bad for everyone. Bad UX design is frustrating and bad for people without disabilities, and can be exponentially more frustrating for people with disabilities.   I am glad we can finally take steps to ameliorate the frustration that my current website currently creates.   We had to start somewhere, and I am ready to take the next step, with such dedicated help.

And lastly, I am hoping I will learn a lot compensatory strategies for my computer use in the process of working on improving my website with people who are knowledgeable about accessibility issues.

Here’s the link about the Open Air Competition through Knowbility:



Read More - New and Better Website Coming!

Making the most of technology while my brain changes

This has been a crazy good and crazy bad week for me.

I both want to write about it, but haven’t processed it because the wide swings that I have expereinced this week are just hard for me to integrate.  I am very aware of how slowed my processing is this week.  Even slower than its been with this setback.

And as I reflected about my experiences this week in order to write my blog post, I realized that part of what’s going on is that visually I am trying to learn how to organize increased “space”.

I have talked about the reorganization and neuroplasticity that I am having right now in my last posts.

It feels like my brain can now support taking in more space in my peripheral vision.


So it is taking in more space visually.

But my brain has to learn how to integrate that space.

And so the wide swings that I have experienced this week and that I cannot integrate well yet, are consistent with what’s going on in my brain, also.

I am taking in more, yet my brain has difficulty prioritizing.   And so my brain is trying to take in more which means to me that it is trying to prioritize more information when it cannot prioritize information well.

Prioritizing what to take in and what not to take in is part of executive functioning skills and its something my brain does quite poorly post-injury as compared to pre-injury when I wasn’t even aware that prioritizing information to take in and what to ignore was part of what my brain did!

Since I am having a harder time dealing with the big screen of my computer this week, I am going to stop writing and post-this and then come back to it later.

I am limiting my computer use in general to get cognitive rest.   When I need to use the computer, I am using my iphone which is some easier than the big screen right now.

I don’t know how to post my blog on my iphone yet, and I know that trying to learn new things right now is ill-advised for me when my brain is undertaking so much change.  It takes too much concentration and too much energy.  I need to use the energy to help my brain change right now.

I have so much to say but the computer technology is an even larger limitation for me in saying it right now!

Read More - Making the most of technology while my brain changes

The Road Ahead for the Blog–Part 1

I wanted to take a moment to look forward about where I would like to go with my Blog.

This assessment includes looking backward about how far I have come with my Blog.

Self-assessment is one of the gifts from my rehab.   After my accident and before I got to rehab, I had an immense difficulty learning from my mistakes.  When you cannot learn from your mistakes, you make the same ones over and over.   Making the same mistakes over and over again is very frustrating, to say the least.

I am grateful to rehab for giving me back the tool of self-assessment and new learning.  Having lost these abilities and having re-gained them, I am very aware of their value in my day-to-day life.

When I started my blog, my goal was to write a blog post once a week.   I have accomplished that.


Since September, I have written a post each week.   So that is roughly 8 months of practice doing a post once a week.

I must admit that doing that writing hasn’t been easy to add to my schedule.  But it has gotten easier with time, overall. On the rough weeks, I get my a post out by Sunday. On good weeks, I get it done earlier in the week.  But whether my blog post gets published on Tuesday or Sunday, I have been successful in getting one out every week.

Working something new in my schedule is always tough for me.  Its a piece of executive functioning that my brain is still working on.   And I have other things in my schedule that I need to stay on top of, like moving forward my son and family’s life and a lot of doctors appointments.  (I am still working on re-establishing my team of doctors here in Austin).   So managing all that takes a lot of work and compensatory strategies.  So that has been a tremendous challenge.   But I am managing it and it has gotten easier.

My process is usually to write a draft early in the week, give it a day or two, and then go back and edit it and finalize it.   That has been really helpful to let it percolate and go back to it.

Sometimes I realize that the topic I first wrote about isn’t what is compelling to me to write that week, so I start anew.

I had tried to post a picture on my blog.   I seemed to have dropped the picture around the holidays.   It was fun to do them and to think of the theme visually.   However, I haven’t learned how to post a picture, so I was dependent on someone else doing that piece for me.   Since it was hard enough coordinating my own schedule, I found needing to wait for someone else to help me with that piece was something I did not want to work on just yet.  It added to my frustration too much and I find I do better when I don’t do things that add to my frustration level.   I have enough frustration to manage with out adding more.

One thing that I have noticed is that I am not good at writing headlines.   I chuckled with I realized this.   I chuckled because as I reflected on whether this was a brain injury thing or not, I realized it may not have been a strength before my injury.   I recall my dissertation adviser, Kip Viscusi, telling me that I needed to learn how to write snappy headings for my dissertation.   While I remember when he said that to me, I don’t recall if I learned to write better headings after he made that suggestion.

And, one of the reasons I have difficulty with the title is that I typically sit to write one thought, and as I write I realize that that one thought is usually five thoughts.  Or that articulating the thought is much more complicated than I realized before I started writing.    So as I try to articulate the thought in a simple way, I sometimes forget to look as to whether the title syncs up with the body of the text.

Another thing that I am cognizant of, but haven’t yet figured out how to do, is make my blog more accessible.    I couldn’t use the computer for three years after my injury and still have to use compensatory strategies to use the computer.    So I am very aware that I want to make my website and blog as accessible as I can so that someone who has visual issues like the ones I have recovered a lot from, but still have, would be able to read at least some of my blog and website.

I reconnected with the accessibility community at SXSW.   I hope to get more help on improving my computer skills and knowledge to make using the computer easier and more efficient for me.   And to improve the accessibility of my website and blog.


Read More - The Road Ahead for the Blog–Part 1

Noticing the energy and hope from my new monitor — and thankful for how far I have come

My new monitor is so amazing!   Using it releases energy for me.   I can actually “feel” that my brain is more organized when using it.    And it feels like it takes less cognitive energy for me when I use it.

I was describing to a friend today how exciting using this new monitor makes me feel.   She told me that she notices something similar when she uses her ipad (a bigger screen) rather than her iphone (a smaller screen).  She says she is able to “think” better with her ipad.   I thought that was interesting feedback from someone who is not even trying to compensate around cognitive deficits from a brain injury.    Even she can notice a difference in the size of a screen.

Upgrading computer equipment that makes my day easier or does not take as much energy out of me allows me to do more with my day.

And the feeling that I have when I use the new computer monitor is that it is opening up new horizons for me because I can think better and it takes less energy for me to use.

To me, new horizons mean new possibilities for my functioning and these new possibilities both inspires me and gives me hope for improving the quality of life in the future.

Feeling this new energy also makes me reflect about how far I have come in my recovery about earning how to manage a burst of new energy.

Early on in my recovery, I might stumble upon strategies and activities that would increase my energy and I would think that that energy meant I was “well”.   Yahoo!  Yahoo!   I wanted to be well so badly.

But I wasn’t well, I just had a little more energy.

But erroneously thinking I was “well”,  I would unintentionally overdo it because of the short-term energy and hope I felt.   Sadly, I would exhaust myself without intending to or even knowing that I was.  Often I would become “too tired to sleep” so I wouldn’t be able to sleep.   And when I did get some sleep, I would often be fatigued for days.  Or worse, fall into a downward spiral that I would not know how to get out of.  Difficulty sleeping would lead to poorer cognition and then more difficulty sleeping and ultimately my mood would sink.

I had not learned important skills like acceptance about my injury and I had not learned awareness about my injury.    These are critical skills for recovery.   When I finally was referred to speech and language therapy, roughly 3 years after my accident,  I learned acceptance and more awareness.  And I learned about how to manage my injury better so that I could be more functional.  I learned to pay attention to my long term recovery.

As I write this, I realize I have come along way!

After years of increased acceptance and awareness and practice, I have learned to notice the increased energy and let it inspire me.   I have learned to work with the energy to help me improve slowly and easily over a longer period.

And, I have also learned not to get fooled by it.

Read More - Noticing the energy and hope from my new monitor — and thankful for how far I have come

Optimizing my brain functioning — my new monitor!

Because of my training and work as a PhD economist prior to my injury, I think about things like how to optimize my brain as best I can.    Prior to my injury, I worked on issues that are now called “sustainability”  or “sustainable development”.  I did research on U.S. development and made suggestions for improvements for other countries hoping to leap frog past the mistakes made in the U.S.

After my injury, I have learned abit about how to harness this prior training and research to help me get better (in other words, develop and improve) after my injury .

When I can, I try to think (and I seek help to think about) better ways to optimize my brain functioning.

And, I also think (and seek help to think about) next steps to re-optimize my brain functioning each time my slow but steady improvements in my abilities take me to a higher level.

My new, bigger, monitor that we bought this week has helped me tremendously.   I cannot believe what a difference it is making!  It is opening up space for me to think better.

And in being able to think better, it is opening up new horizons for my recovery.

Let me take a step back.   When my head swung from side to side and front to back during my accident, connections in my brain were either stretched or broken.   It’s like the telephone wires could no longer pass signals across them.  I never knew how many telephone lines there were connecting parts of my brain, until they no longer were passing signals to keep parts of my brain connected!

I did not have damage to my eyes.  My eyes are fine.   However, connections between my eyes and brain were disrupted.   And I have learned first-hand that those disruptions affect my vision.

To improve my vision and thinking,   I have worked with optometrists who understand how to help me recover these connections (often called development optometrists or visual therapy doctors).  The hard work I have done has helped me tremendously.   I believe this work has been instrumental to fostering neuroplasticity and I believe its why I do not experience the type of lengthy plateaus that many people talk about with persistent symptoms.   More on that later.

Dr Franke, OD in Washington DC (now retired), Dr Judy Hughes OD in Austin, Dr Denise Paquin OD in Northern Virginia, and Dr Denise Smith OD in Austin have helped me alot with exercises, daily living suggestions and recommendations about optimizing my functioning on the computer (versus my increased cognitive fatigue from working on the computer) that have helped me tremendously with my recovery.  I have made alot of progress.

Buying a bigger monitor is following through on a recommendation made years ago by Dr Franke.   At the time, I wasn’t in a position to make the change, but I kept it on my list of things to do in future.

With our move to Austin, I have been using my laptop monitor on my computer.   (So, I have used a smaller screen than my previous home computer).   I have had lots of improvements with my eye-brain connection in past two years through my vision therapy exercises, my physical exercise and some chiropractic therapy.    With the new purchase,  I have gone to a monitor that is 24 inches wide by 15 inches — so a big change compared to the laptop.

What I am still surprised to experience each time I use my computer is how much clearer I can think with the big screen!

My non-technical explanation of my experience is that my brain can better organize what I am taking in visually.   And once I have written that description, I realize that that is a good description of what my visual therapy exercises do for my brain, in general.   It seems like the monitor is enhancing my brain’s organization abilities when I use the computer, rather than un-enhancing or not enhancing them at all.  This means that I am giving my brain practice at better organization when I use the monitor or at least not making my brains organization worse each time.

Amazing!  Just thinking about the improvements from the new monitor gives me new energy and hopes for more continued improvement for my brain.

Is it possible that the monitor will help me improve brain-functioning at a faster rate?




Read More - Optimizing my brain functioning — my new monitor!

my blog is a work in progress

I view this blog as a work in progress.   I wanted to let you know that.   I am practicing being patient with it.

I find practicing being patient to be one of the hardest skills.   I want to race ahead and to do so much more with the website and with the blog.   I have alot to say about what I have learned about the brain from developing my awareness about my own brain, from listening to media, from attending conferences, from my advocacy and from talking to professionals, survivors and their families.  And I want to talk about what I have learned here!

I have a lot of limitations to work around in writing the blog, however.   I have learned that my day goes best when I respect my limitations.    When I don’t respect my limitations, my life literally falls apart.  I have unintentionally tried that many times.   It doesn’t work.

What are some of my limitations?    Like anyone else, putting up a website and writing a blog would be a new project and there is alot of new learning that goes on with trying to master something new.

What’s different for me is that my new learning happens at a slowed rate — much slower than I was used to it happening.  I have learned alot of awareness and acceptance of my learning curve.   So when I take on things knowing that it will take   “awhile” to get the hang of it, it goes much better.

Since I remember that I used to learn things much more quickly, I have to work hard not to get frustrated in doing something new.   Whatever it would have taken before, it takes alot longer now.   I have to set my expectations realistically and allow myself more time.  I have to let my new slower learning curve be okay.  It is what it is.

And for me, the computer is no longer my friend.    Working on the computer and focusing my cognition while typing takes a great deal more energy for me than you would ever think.   So I have to limit the amount of time I can spend working on the computer.   And if I don’t, I won’t have sufficient energy for all the other tasks I need to do in the day to care for my son and contribute to keeping my family’ s life together.  I rely heavily on the support systems that my husband and I have built to help us but I also need to contribute what I can.

And, I only write content for the blog.    Its my dear husband, Michael, who understands how to add the picture to the blog and who understands how the blog does or doesn’t work.   He’s got alot on his plate with work and helping me out with household and day-to-day stuff.   He pitches in with the blog when he can.   He tells me that there are technical things that he still needs to fix about the blog.   Since I cannot do them myself, I need to find patience to be happy with them as they are until he can find time to get to them.


These are only some of the limitations I face in working on the blog.     But I wanted to put them out there.  I have found letting people know my limitations is useful for helping others learn and develop awareness and understanding about what my abilities actually are right now.   I am hoping to find more support around developing my blog as I go along.

So, my blog is a work in progress.

I hope you will be patient with it too!

An end note:  After I wrote my draft blog for this week a couple of days ago, I had difficulty getting to sleep.   Not being able to get to sleep is usually the sign that I have spent too much intense-cognitive time on the computer.    So today I am going to try to stay off the computer other than to proofread and post.    Yesterday I got my sleep patterns back to normal.   That’s crucial for me–I have to nip increased sleep issues in the bud.   Today, I want to keep them back  at the place that’s normal for me and enjoy my more restful sleep tonight.


Read More - my blog is a work in progress