Being a caregiver for a brain injury survivor
As you might or might not know, when I did the interview with Donna I was on a cruise to Mexico!
The cruise was given to my dad for his 70th birthday by all of his daughters as a thank you for being our dad.
After the cruise, we had a busy time in LA: visiting colleges for my sister who will be a senior in high school, two birthdays ( my two little sisters ) Lots of fun adventures, and getting a cold.
Now I’m back home, ( my baby picked me up from the airport again with roses, this time pink! Last trip red! ) and I had the time to write up a blog about my interview with Donna!
Donna O’Donnell Figurski
Donna O’Donnell Figurski
- Talk show host on the Brain Injury Radio Network.
- Blogger on brain injuries: https://survivingtraumaticbraininjury.com
- New author of the book: Prisoners without bars (November 1st, 2018) pre-order at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
Became a caregiver for a brain injury survivor in 2005
Donna and her husband David
Donna’s husband David came into their room bleeding out of the eyes and fell into a coma from a brain injury. David was reduced to an infantile state and Donna became his caregiver.
David had 2-weeks in the hospital and rehab for 3-months. A year later he was able to return to teaching at Columbia University, however, he was not fully back. David continued to have:
- No balance
- Swallow issues
- Blatter control issues
And 13 years later David still cannot go outside by himself. His caregiver, the Donna, has had an active role for 13-years!
Prisoner without bars- David
Prisoners without bars -This shows both Donna and David were prisoners
Advice for caregivers:
Me, and one of my caregivers, my sister Jeanee, less than a year after my coma
- Always keep it light. Find laughter in every situation as they develop.
- Keep yourself so busy you never have time to stop and think woe is me.
- Write. Donna started writing as a cathartic method to help her record the incidents.
- Be kind to the nurses because you want everyone on your team.
- You know the person with the brain injury better than anyone else, so let your voice be heard even if you disagree with medical professional.
My mom, my caregiver, hugging me in the hospital
You might be an active caregiver for a few months, take care of your daughter for a few years, but then she might be healed, living in her own apartment attending college. ( my story ) Or you might be a caregiver for 13-years with many more years in store. For however long you are a caregiver you are the person who is advocating how the brain injury survivor is taken care of. You are essential.
Thank you to all the caregivers from all the brain injury survivors like me. We need you
Jamie “MoCrazy” Crane-Mauzy
Talk Show Host- Life Gets MoCrazy on the Brain Injury Radio Network
Full-time student at Westminster College, SLC, Utah
Motivational Public Speaker