It’s a beautiful season as we transition from winter into summer. It’s a time of growth and renewal of life, when plants and trees which have been dormant for a season regain life and begin to bud into lush, green, delightful plants. For this reason, I enjoy Springtime.
However, in 1991 Spring was a lost season to me because Mark literally slept through it in a coma after our catastrophic car accident. The pain of that experience has faded some, but it still stings, making April a hard month of the year for me.
Like birthdays, anniversaries cause me to reflect. So, April brings with it some “What if” demons as we approach another anniversary of our car accident.
What if Mark hadn’t gotten the job in Ogden? What if we had postponed our home search for a day with better weather? What if we’d stayed with the realtor or skipped lunch? What if Mark was driving instead of me? I can think of many “what ifs”, but that doesn’t change the reality of what happened.
I suppose its human nature to wonder if I’d done things differently—would life be better? Wallowing in regret only leads to discouragement and depression. My grandma used to call it “a pity party.” When I recognize my brain is taking me there, I refuse to go. If it creeps up on me before I realized it, I leave the pity party by concentrating on the positives.
I’m blessed Mark survived our near-fatal car accident 28 years ago and blessed again because he too is happy he’s alive. He appreciates the help and assistance he gets instead of resenting it. I know not all caregivers receive such gratitude from their love one which would make the situation more difficult.
Being responsible for the care and well-being of another can be overwhelming, but it’s rewarding too. Living with the effects of a severe traumatic brain injury and epilepsy helps me understand that every day is a bonus day even with the challenges.
I’m grateful for many support groups in our valley, and we benefit greatly from our association with them. We gained valuable information through collaborating with others in like situations.
If you struggle with the “what if’s” or find your mind leading you to a “pity party”, try finding friendships and assistance through organizations catered to your circumstances. The purpose of this newsletter is to share information about organizations which I know about in hopes to help you.
In case it’s impossible for you to get out, or you don’t live in this area, I’ve also included links to useful and inspiring websites.
If you have an activity, announcements or other information you’d like shared in this newsletter, please add in the comments or email Barbara@UnitingCaregivers.com.
FREE SUPPORT GROUPS
FOR STROKE AND BRAIN INJURY SURVIVORS AND CAREGIVERS
New: Utah Valley Aphasia Choir. All brain injury, stroke survivors, caregivers, family, and friends are invited to join. They meet on the 1st Thursday of the month from 6-6:45pm, prior to the support group at the BYU Speech and Language Clinic. Come and enjoy the power of music and friendship together. They have some performance opportunities, such as singing a patriotic song to kick off the Strides for Strokes race to support the Utah Valley Stroke Association on May 18, 2019. Everyone interested is welcome to join.
April 4, 2019 – Utah Valley Brain Injury Support Group 7-8:30 p.m. meets every 1st Thursday monthly at the BYU Speech and Language Clinic, Room #177. Address: 1190 North 900 East, Provo, UT 84060. For questions call Lori Johnson at (801)422-9132.
April 9, 2019 – Brain Injury Alliance Support Group for Adults, 6-8 p.m. meets every 2nd Tuesday monthly at Sanderson Community Deaf Center, 5709 South 1500 West, SLC, UT 84123. This social group is for caregivers and survivors. Come join us for dinner and games this month. Bring a side dish or dessert to share if you’d like. For more information, please call Jennifer (801)386-2195, or Beth (801)585-5511.
April 18, 2019 – Caregivers and Survivors Education and Support Groups, 7 p.m. meets every 3rd Thursday monthly at Intermountain Medical Center, 5171 S. Cottonwood St., Murray, UT 84107, building 1.
Caregivers and Survivors will meet together this month on the 9th floor, in the Neuroscience Conference Room. Chad Hymas, a nationally-acclaimed motivational speaker will talk on Leaving A Legacy. For more information, please call (801)314-2086 or email Emily Redd email@example.com
April 23, 2019 – University of Utah Brain Injury Support Group 6-8 p.m. meets every 4th Tuesday monthly, at Sugarhouse Health Center, 1138 E. Wilmington Avenue, SLC, UT 84106. Dr. Stephen Trapp, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation will be presenting this month. For more information please call Annie Wallace at (801)581-2221.
FREE WEEKLY GROUPS INTERMOUNTAIN HEALTH CARE NEURO THERAPY in Murray, UT
Aphasia Talking Practice Group – Meets every Tuesday, Noon-1 p.m. at 5770 South 250 East #G50
Meditation Group – Meets every Wednesday, 3 p.m. at 5770 South 250 East Cafeteria Conference Room
Cognitive Skills Group – Meets every Thursday Noon-1 p.m. at 5770 South 250 East #G50
Contact: Emily Redd at Emily.firstname.lastname@example.org
2019 Brain Injury Alliance of Utah
Run, Walk & Roll 5K
Saturday, May 18, 2019
Liberty Park, 648 E 1300 S, Salt Lake City
Together we share coping strategies, provide encouragement, comfort and advice from people with common experiences. For more information contact Margo at (801)455-6089 or Utah@efa.org.
April 4, 2019 – Epilepsy Support Group for All, 7 to 8 pm. Meets every 1st Thursday at the Logan Regional Hospital500 E. 1400 N., Logan, UT 84341
April 10, 2019 – Epilepsy Group for All, 7:00 to 8:15 pm. Meets every 2nd Wednesday at the Provo City Library, 555 N. University Ave., Provo, UT.
April 11, 2019 – Epilepsy Group for All, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Meets every 2nd Thursday at the Intermountain Medical Center, 5171 S. Cottonwood St., Murry, UT Bldg. 6, 1st floor – CR2 in the Doty Education Center.
April 17, 2019 – Epilepsy Group for All, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Meets every 3rd Wednesday at the SLC Main Library 200 E. 400 S., SLC, UT (3rd floor conference room).
April 18, 2019 – Epilepsy Group for Teens, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Meets every 4th Thursday at the West Jordan Library, 8030 S. 1825 W., West Jordan, UT. Come and enjoy an activity and meet other teens with epilepsy. There are two teachers overseeing this group.
1st Thursday quarterly. Epilepsy Group for Parents, 7:00 – 8:15 p.m. Next meeting will be at April 4, 2019 at the Riverton Library Auditorium, 12877 S. 1830 W. Riverton, UT.
http://www.caregiver.org (online webinars for caregivers)
http://www.tbicommunity.org (online educational programs)
http://www.braininjury.com (medical, legal, information resource)
http://www.abta.org (brain tumor education and information)
http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/tbi (brain injury facts, programs, education)
http://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/all-disorders (education for brain injury, stroke and other neurological disorders)
http://www.msktc.org/tbi (TBI Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center) national leaders in TBI research and patient care.
http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Resources-Support (resource for those with MS)
https://biau.org (resource for those with brain injury)
http://www.brainline.org (preventing, treating and living with TBI)
http://www.uilc.org (Utah Independent Living Center is a resource center which enhances independence of persons with disabilities)
ACTIVITIES TO DO WEBSITES:
https://store.usgs.gov/access-pass (free pass to National Parks & Federal Land Agency areas)
https://wildlife.utah.gov/watchable-wildlife-for-disabled.html (watchable wildlife for disabled persons)
http://slco.org/adaptive/plus-one-pass (Salt Lake County Disability Plus One Pass)
for-healing-the-brain/tbi-and-selecting-a-hobby (select a hobby – ideas especially for TBI survivors)
http://www.discovernac.org (National Ability Center)
(wheelchair accessible trails in Utah)
https://www.visitutah.com/Media/Default/One%20Sheeters/Accessible_Utah_web.pdf (list of accessible resources)
wasatchadaptivesports.org (Wasatch Adaptive Sports)
http://www.discovernac.org (National Ability Center)
https://www.meetup.com (meet up groups)
http://www.brainline.org/abbymaslin (blog about loving and learning after TBI)
http://www.facebook.com/UTteensupportgroup (social interaction and the exchange useful resources)
http://www.unitingcaregivers.wordpress.com (caregivers sharing stories, tips and thoughts)
Thank you for reading. I hope you found the information helpful and will follow this website via email to receive notifications of every new post. The “Follow” button is located at the beginning of the newsletter. However, if you want to subscribe only to a monthly newsletter, please email Barbara@UnitingCaregivers.com. I will add you to the newsletter email list and send it to you.