Dan Gilbert’s Stroke Hit Close To Home For Me

I recently read the story about Dan Gilbert and his stroke and it hit close to home for me on many levels. While I may not be a billionaire, I’ve been walking through the stormy weather as a brain injury survivor for 20 years. Many of the challenges Dan Gilbert now has due to his stroke, I also deal with. The post symptoms I live with every day due to my brain injury are left side paralysis, double vision, headaches and moments of dizziness. It’s been 20 years since my AVM and I still have my struggles. 

I was 14 when the brain bleed happened. It was a normal Friday until I got a headache and my left side began feeling tingly like it was falling asleep. After a trip to the local doctor, I later found myself in the back of an ambulance and vomiting with the driver turning on the sirens to get me to the hospital as quickly as possible. The ambulance driver asked my mom if that was my father following behind in the screaming ambulance?

The driver said he can’t do that and that was the last thing I remember before going unconscious for the next 6 months. I don’t remember the doctors telling my parents to call all family and religious clergy because I may not make it through the night. I don’t remember all the friends and family visiting me and supporting me. I don’t remember Steve Yzerman coming to see me and giving me the jersey he wore in the Stanley Cup.  

After surviving and going through physical, occupational and speech therapy I was finally able to return to start over my freshman year of high school. It was challenging but I made it through the school year and was feeling confident and ready to take on the sophomore year. It may not come as a surprise that when you go through something as traumatic as a brain injury you often feel like it could happen again. Especially when your left side goes tingly for a moment and you’re unsure when the numbness will go away, which it usually does, except the numbness increases and you have a headache realize you’re having a brain injury again. 

Almost 1 year after my first brain injury I had another one due to complications from the first. I remember sitting in the office at school when it began happening and thinking, are you kidding me? 

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a joke and the numbness was only getting worse along with my right eye unable to open and a bad headache. My parent’s set up a time for me to get the first MRI available which was at Henry Ford Detroit hospital. I still remember sitting in the waiting room of the hospital and saying to my mom, please don’t be sad if I die. 

Death seemed likely especially after we got the MRI results from the neurosurgeon following my scan. I still remember feeling the chill of that sterile hospital room as we waited for the doctor to deliver us the results. My parents were loving and comforting me and I can’t remember if I were hopeful or beaten down. I think it was the latter but that all changed once the doctor walked in and set the mood for us all. Looking back, even though I was a teenage boy I wish someone would have given me a teddy bear to hold before hearing the news the doctor was about to deliver. 

In walks, the neurosurgeon with the MRI results and I can’t remember all he said. The only thing I remember is him mentioning there was nothing he could do making it seem like I was hopeless and hopeless is how I felt. I was young, vulnerable and just wanted to live a normal life. No young boy ever expects to be hospital ridden and fighting for their life but here I was, unsure if I was going to live and be there with my younger brother. Unsure if I’d be able to grow up to be a man and live a long life. Unsure if I was going to live. 

After we got the unfortunate results from the neurosurgeon my parents went into superhero mode and we drove home to Clarkston to pack our bags for Akron, OH. Akron is where my original neurosurgeon relocated so we took a road trip. Akron ended up being quick because my neurosurgeon said there was nothing he could do although he referred us to a surgeon in Buffalo, NY to try an experimental laser surgery. Buffalo was an experience in its own and not the best time and place for someone who is suffering a brain injury. 

When we arrived to Buffalo after our visit to Akron, the city was a mess. It was Sunday or game-day for the Buffalo Bills and the streets, hotels, and restaurants were filled with football fans pre-game partying for the New York Giants versus the Buffalo Bills game. I just remember getting lunch with my parents in a crowded restaurant and finding the last hotel room available in the city. Eventually, we got to the hospital where they tried the laser surgery and it failed. After this, I was feeling once again hopeless and ready for death. I was ready to die and death didn’t sound all that bad considering I could barely walk, talk or eat. I needed to catch a break and luckily that break was coming. 

The last stop of our road trip was to the University of Michigan hospital in Ann Arbor where we met with Dr. Gregory Thompson who told my parents the surgery was high risk but he can do it. Dr. Thompson is the same surgeon who performed Kelly Stafford’s brain surgery. Sorry, Kelly, I had him first. 

I remember being shocked by how many people came to support me before the surgery. So much to a point, I was getting tired of having visitors. Only people who have been sick and held up in a hospital would understand that. I didn’t know some of the people who visited me even liked or cared about me that much but humans have a knack for supporting people they love. 

My younger brother gave me a teddy bear which I held during the surgery and Dr. Thompson put bandages around the teddy bear’s head just like mine after the 9-hour surgery. Luckily, I survived and haven’t had any complications, since, knock on wood. 

Although, you don’t hear about brain injuries a lot they happen more often than you think. I’ve come to discover there is an entire community of brain injury survivors going through the same things that Dan Gilbert and I go through such as paralysis, headaches, dizziness, vision and balance problems. 

Despite graduating college I’ve had trouble finding a job that is a long term fit. I’ve never considered my brain injury being a contributing factor to this but maybe it is? All of this led me to create BrainTalk. Brain Talk is a website and resource with stories that brain injury survivors can connect with.  www.braintalkmedia.com


Brain aneurysm refers to lumps which are found in blood vessels. It is also known as cerebral aneurysm or intracranial aneurysm. In some cases, brain aneurysm causes bleeding in the brain (i.e. hemorrhagic stroke). The brain aneurysm is most prevalent between age group of 35 to 60. It can be caused by the high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and heredity, abnormal blood flow. The treatment for aneurysm is based on the type of aneurysm and its size.

This market intelligence report on Brain Aneurysm Treatment market evaluates and presents a worldwide market scenario along with market estimates, insights and projections for a time frame of 2020 to 2027. This examination the market dynamics that are foreseen to influence the market growth in a coming couple of years. Also, the report clarifies the effect of the key factors like drivers and restraints for market development. Future trends and opportunities in the Global Brain Aneurysm Treatment market have also been mentioned in the study.

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The key players influencing the market are:

  • Medtronic plc.
  • Boston neurosciences
  • Raumedic AG
  • Integra life sciences
  • Sophysa ltd.
  • Microport scientific corporation
  • Orsan medical technologies
  • Spiegelberg GmbH
  • Johnson & Johnson services
  • Infrascan Inc.

This report contains:

  • Market sizing for the global Brain Aneurysm Treatment
  • Compare major Brain Aneurysm Treatment providers strategies and approaches to the challenges they face
  • Analysis of the effects deglobalisation trends may have for Brain Aneurysm Treatment providers
  • Profiles of major Brain Aneurysm Treatment providers
  • 7-year CAGR forecasts for Brain Aneurysm Treatment -intensive vertical sectors

The Global Brain Aneurysm Treatment market is segmented on the basis of service, category, end user. On the basis of service, the market is segmented into Health Risk Assessment, Fitness Services, Smoking Cessation, Health Screening, Nutrition and Weight Management, Stress Management, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, Health Education Services, Others. Based on the category the market is divided into Fitness and Nutrition Consultants, Psychological Therapists, Organizations/Employers. On the basis of end user the market is segmented into Small-scale Organizations, Medium-scale Organizations, Large-scale Organizations.

Brain Aneurysm Treatment – Global Analysis to 2027 is an expert compiled study which provides a holistic view of the market covering current trends and future scope with respect to product/service, the report also covers competitive analysis to understand the presence of key vendors in the companies by analyzing their product/services, key financial facts, details SWOT analysis and key development in last three years. Further chapter such as industry landscape and competitive landscape provides the reader with recent company level insights covering mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, collaborations, new product developments/strategies taking place across the ecosystem. The chapters also evaluate the key vendors by mapping all the relevant products and services to exhibit the ranking/ position of top 5 key vendors.

Brain Aneurysm Treatment Market is a combination of qualitative as well as quantitative analysis which can be broken down into 40% and 60% respectively. Market estimation and forecasts are presented in the report for the overall global market from 2018 – 2027, considering 2018 as the base year and 2018 – 2027 forecast period. Global estimation is further broken down by segments and geographies such as North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa and South America covering major 16 countries across the mentioned regions. The qualitative contents for geographical analysis will cover market trends in each region and country which includes highlights of the key players operating in the respective region/country, PEST analysis of each region which includes political, economic, social and technological factors influencing the growth of the market.

Helping A Brain Injury Survivor With Insecurities About Virginity & Life

A fellow brain injury survivor messaged me saying:

I’m having a very rough day/night.

I have a humongous crush on one of my physical therapists and an even bigger one on my personal trainer. Today, my main PT (Physical therapist) had to have yet another discussion with me on my acting “boy crazy” and how the valentines plans I thought I had with the PT I have the big crush on are inappropriate. And now all I keep thinking of is my 10 year school reunion this June and how I’ll likely be the only only virgin.

I can’t seem to catch a break.

She added, and while I’ve been talking to you, a friend posted.

I replied:

I’m sorry to hear you had a rough day. I think it’s important to ask yourself why you care so much about finding a boy and losing your virginity? 

Sometimes we build unimportant things up in our mind. The truth is there are probably better things/more important things to put your energy towards.


Plus, no one at your 10 year reunion would be able to know you’re a virgin. And I promise no one is wondering that. Only you! 

Also, i like that tweet you shared and I’ve wondered before what my life would have been like if I never had a brain injury. It’s okay to have those thoughts. You don’t know who the alternate you would’ve become. Shoot, what if non brain injury me became a crackhead? You just don’t know so don’t worry about things you have no control over. 

Hope this helps.

In Closing

I think it’s interesting how we all manifest our life at times to be this big, beautiful thing with infinite success and happiness. The truth is, that doesn’t exist and life often kicks us in the ass at times and it’s how we react to those moments of adversity that will result in how we feel about ourselves. It’s important to know that we are all in control of how we react during tough times and moments of adversity. Your perspective controls how you feel!

Are you going to overcome it?


I’M A BRAIN INJURY SURVIVOR, yes, we all know that. And as someone who lives without full feeling of his left side and double vision, I look for any and every way to help make my disability easier to live with.

There are two areas a disability affects a person in my opinion.

  1. Physically
  2. Mentally

Everything is right in my brain or at least I like to tell myself that, but when I have challenges with my physical disability it can affect my mentality and spirit. My optimism can waiver due to my physical restrictions and I guess that makes sense considering there was a day it didn’t.

Just yesterday when I was visiting my parents’ house for dinner my dad pulled out my old hockey stick. It was the last stick I used before having my brain injury which ended my ability to play a sport as physically demanding as hockey. It was an old wooden Sher – Wood stick and my dad was using the stick in the living room to play around with a golf ball. While shuffling the ball back and forth with the stick he said Trev, when you played, you had better hands then anyone!

I laughed while remembering my days as a hockey player and having excellent control of the puck and vision of the ice. My nickname was the Professor after the Detroit Red Wings’ player Igor Larionov who was notorious for having incredible hands and setting teammates up for scoring electrifying goals.

I miss those days but then again who doesn’t miss being a kid! Those nostalgic memories can really bring warmth to your heart! Since, I don’t have incredibly fine motor skills in my left hand anymore due to the brain injury, I’m always looking for ways to improve it in addition to hand exercises.

Just recently I started trying CBD oil taking a few drops everyday and here are my reactions:

  • Mentally, I feel calmer. It’s like the edge or stress that teetered in the back of my mind every day is gone or lesser. I stopped taking the CBD oil for a week to see if I could tell a difference or not and you know what?

I could tell a big difference! I felt more on edge, more stressed and even more angry while not taking the CBD oil.  

  • Sleep, I’ve noticed while taking CBD oil I’ve been sleeping better. It makes sense, if you’re less stressed and feeling calmer, you’ll likely sleep better. And we all know how important sleep is. I mean, if I don’t get a restful sleep my left side may operate differently and drag from time to time when I walk. My left side can also fall asleep easier. It’s difficult to move from one place to the other when your foot or leg has fallen asleep.

There have been moments from my past where I was with a group of people and after the group decided to get up and move to the other room I’ve had to say, give me a minute, my foot fell asleep.  

  • Less soreness – While taking CBD oil I’ve had less body soreness whether it’s from working out or stress and tone from my paralysis. While on the CBD it’s like my muscles have less pain as if they were properly stretched or something. Don’t get me wrong, stretching is still very important and CBD can’t replace it, but it helps. It’s another tool for your toolbox. Plus my left had has less tone.

I’ve also noticed having less headaches which is amazing considering I have two shunts in my head.

In closing, I’ve found many benefits to using CBD oil. If you decide to try it, please check with your doctor first and do research. I did this to make sure it was a good fit for me!  

Letting Your Brain Injury Go

I KNOW it’s not just me but something as simple as buttering toast or smearing cream cheese onto a bagel can be extremely frustrating, and I’m guessing other brain injury survivors experience the same frustration.  

Doing something which should be simple like tying my shoes can turn an okay day into anger and frustration. There have been times I can tie my shoes easily and other moments I can’t seem to do it right. I know this is something other brain injury survivors experience due to paralysis and I’ve seen them doing the same frustrating exercises during my days in physical rehabilitation but dang, give a dog a bone!

For me personally, when I’ve experienced frustration from struggling to butter a piece of bread or tie my own shoes, it’s sent me down a tunnel of irritation asking myself, why?

Why did this happen to me?

What did I do to deserve this?

After having thoughts like these I started to wonder why I was angry at my brain injury and the effects that came from it?

From that point, I asked myself if I ever fully forgave my brain injury for happening and if I truly let go of the anger and feelings that come with experiencing something so debilitating and life altering?

I still don’t think I’ve fully let go of feeling like a victim and I believe many other brain injury survivors feel the same way. To be honest, I wouldn’t be comfortable with completely letting go of feeling victimized or angry at my brain injury. That anger has given me an incredible drive and an attitude I wear like a cape because nothing can knock me down.

Nowadays when unfortunate things happen to me, I react with the mindset of, I can overcome this, I survived worse.

If a brain aneurysm can’t take me out the game, I’m not sure what can. But then again, I’m trying to do things for a living and for fun which bring me happiness and joy. Life is too precious!

You, Anger & the Hulk

ANGER – is something that at times, seems uncontrollable. It’s like walking down the street with the sun shining at your back and an ice cream cone in hand when all of a sudden, you trip on a crack, twist your ankle in half and spill the mint chocolate chip all over your new white shirt only to unleash your inner Hulk that’s been bubbling under the surface waiting for a moment to hate everything. From there you spiral into a tirade complaining about the city and their lack of civil obedience for having cracks in the sidewalks. You shout at the ice cream store because the ice cream wasn’t cold enough or didn’t meet your level of expectations, when in reality it was perfectly fine. You get angry at the sun because on any day to get ice cream all over your new shirt it happens to be sunny. Now you’re hobbling like a zombie from the Walking Dead because you twisted the crap out of your ankle and you’re mad because of the beautiful weather.   

THEN- you start hating on yourself for tripping and spilling the ice cream. You start thinking backwards about every moment you screwed up in life and how stupid you are. You keep doing this until you run out of hatred for yourself and you’re too tired to walk to the bathroom. Damn.


I did a quick google search and the first thing that popped up said “A strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.”

Two results further down said:

“Anger is one of the basic human emotions, as elemental as happiness, sadness, anxiety, and disgust. These emotions are tied to basic survival and were honed over the long course of human history. Anger is related to the “fight, flight, or freeze” response of the sympathetic nervous system; it prepares humans to fight.”

  • Psychology Today

I feel like the second definition above makes sense, however I think it’s missing something. Anger is not always about fight, flight or freeze in my opinion. There’s more to it, and don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t consider myself an angry person but there are times it stews within making me feel evil. I almost like feeling angry at times because it gives me an edge and when I keep it internal and never unleash it on other people it’s powerful, I guess. That is until the anger starts affecting my health and stability. In those instances, I talk with a friend or family member about it to gain clarity.

I don’t think this is the case for everyone as there are people, you know who I’m talking about, who come off as angry and I think they enjoy it.

We forget that perception is reality and if we’re always coming off as angry, well people are going to assume you’re angry and unhappy. However, as we know, anger can be a good thing. It can give us the motivation to climb over the hill that is holding us back, and for that we should thank anger. Even if anger can be an unpleasant feeling, it’s okay in moderation if you have control over it.

Control is something we all seek and if you’re like me I often feel like I’m in a fight to balance control. However, if I’m able to control my emotions and how I react to situations out of my control, that gives me the power. It’s kind of liberating if think you about it. Having the feeling and confidence that no matter what happens in life you know you’ll overcome it. The inner confidence of knowing you’ll find a way over the mountain.

It’s a cliché but life is full of peaks and valleys and if you can learn to control yourself and your anger you’ll be just fine.  

CLOSING – I want you to ask yourself: Do I have control of my emotions and anger during life’s peaks and valleys?

Do I have control?

In all honesty, I hope you found motivation in this story, whether you’re a brain injury survivor or not. I hope you can find the strength to control setbacks in your life and take command of future waves of anger.

  • Trevor

Can anger be a good thing?

Last week I posted the question to Facebook, Can anger be a good thing?

I was unsure how others would react.

Would they think I was angry?

Would they think I was unhappy?

Would they be concerned about me?

I then realized I shouldn’t be concerned about what people think or how they perceive me and posted the question.

The amount of reactions and comments I got surprised me, making me think anger is something many others deal with or at least have strong thoughts towards.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

– Socrates

I’ve had moments of anger in life making me feel like I have no control or power. That’s the worst feeling, having no control. Especially when you do everything right and bad things continue to happen. Then again, what’s considered bad is subjective and to some knocking over the salt shaker can screw up their day and to others they believe everything happens for a reason – I’m starting to lean towards the latter.

GOING TO MY PAST- I remember when I had my second brain injury and the doctor told my parents and I there’s nothing he could do to save me and to basically take me home to die. Now I admit, when the second brain injury started happening the words, are you shitting me, ran through my mind several times.

It’s easy to ask why? Or Why did this happen to me?

However in all honesty when those thoughts ran through my mind I often thought, if it didn’t happen to me it might happen to someone else and I’d rather have it be me than one of my family members.

I feel like I was built to handle it, as crazy as it sounds.  

During the second brain injury I was in such a state of disbelief and pain I’m not sure I could even recognize anger because I was so vulnerable but, it was in there. I have to believe the entire situation scared the living day lights out of my parents and probably made them angry, especially when that doctor told me to my face, a 16 year old boy, I was going to die.

Later, during this journey there were moments where I was ready to die and was okay with it. I just wanted the discomfort and pain to go away.

Laying in a hospital bed with tubes running through your body is no way to live.

After the doctor said there was nothing he could do, my parents, rather than stew in anger used it to get me a second, third and fourth opinion which was a trip to Akron, Ohio, a laser surgery in Buffalo and brain surgery in Ann Arbor.

So, to answer my question, can anger be a good thing?

Yes, hell yes! If you channel it correctly and use it to accomplish a goal!