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!


CONTROL- is a weird thing, especially how it relates to our lives. It’s like trying to catch a fly with our bare hands. You just can’t seem to get a hold of it. I haven’t had complete control of my life for what seems like forever and life has been a continual circle of unfortunate events. Some good, some bad and some terrible like my life was dangling on a string as if I’m a tight rope walker. I’m okay with walking the tight rope, I think it’s kind of healthy at times, but I’ve never been sure how to react during unfortunate incidents until most recently. During this recent unfortunate life occurrence something interesting happened.

I laughed. I laughed my ass off. I thought of all the disappointment and failure I’ve had, smiled and laughed, and you know what?

It was great! I wish I could cry because a good cry would probably be healing too but I’ve never been much of a crier. I’m a man, LOL.

I think I’m figuring life out even though it’s impossible to fully understand. Life is really a mystery. We are all consumed in our own heads and think everyone else is examining our life as much as we do ourselves. But the truth is, everyone is in their own head concerned with their own problems. So why should we care about what others think when everyone is concerned with themselves?

Am I right? Would you agree?

Yes, I am a brain injury survivor and I like helping other brain injury survivors because I’m lucky to be in the position I am but am I doing it for the right reasons?

Could I take this to the level I hope and dream of or am I going to cower to what I think others expect?

I guess we’ll have to wait and see….

Will I take control? Will you take control?

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!

Overcoming Obstacles!

Stay on your timeline-

I wish my goals and dreams were accomplished faster. Whether it’s my career, relationships or improving my disability.

Following my original brain injury the journey to becoming independent was long and hard but I eventually got there. And while I know every brain injury survivor doesn’t have the luxury of pure independence everyone has attainable goals they want to achieve.

I’m not sure if I’m the only person that feels this way but it seems like I’ve often gone 1 step forward and 2 steps back many times. Now, while this isn’t always the case, it’s put me in a position to always be looking forward and not dwell on the past. It’s easy to sulk, whether you’re down about the brain injury that happened to you and how it flipped your life upside down but you have to remind yourself you still have a choice.

You have a choice on how you react to the things that happen to you in life. It’s your opportunity to climb the hill and overcome an obstacle or to do nothing and stay where you are. What gives me motivation is knowing I have control how I react to these challenges and if I can overcome the majority of them it’ll make life more fulfilling!

It’s all about perspective. How will you react to your next obstacle?

Become the Mr. Miyagi of your anxiety

Wake up with your intentions-

 Stress fills our bodies not only during moments of adversity but also during moments of thought. Sometimes stress and worry is the first thing we allow ourselves to think the moment we wake up out of bed.

It’s sad it goes this way, but we often allow stress and anxiety to take control making us feel as if there’s no escape asking ourselves when is it going to end? I was feeling like this a few days ago and I don’t know where it came from or why I was feeling different?All signs were pointing to it’s a great day. I mean it was sunny, beautiful and warm outside but for some reason in my mind it was cloudy, concerned and tired.

Furthermore, for any brain injury survivor who has a disability due to their injury you’ll likely agree that your disability increases during moments of stress making it more difficult to function.

For myself, it made the day more challenging and I wasn’t happy these feelings of worry were hanging over me like a dark cloud. However, I was determined to make sure each day following for the rest of my life will be different.

How do I accomplish something so grandiose? Continue reading…….

When I woke up the following day, I felt completely different. Why did I feel different and free of stress?

I woke up with the intention of feeling great!

Rather than giving stress or worry control, I replaced it with positive thoughts and how I wanted to feel or what I wanted to accomplish for the day. It sounds so simple but when you intentionally channel your thoughts for how you want to feel it’ll make a positive change to your attitude and life.

For my fellow brain injury survivors out there, and this also includes people who deal with concussions, migraines, anxiety and other mental health disorders, replace your negative thoughts with positivity. Tell yourself no longer will I allow negative thoughts consume me. Vision how you want to feel, what you want to happen and pursue your goals to succeed. When you have a positive goal in front of you it gives you something to shoot for and helps you forget the negativity!

I wish you all heath and happiness!