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Brain injury effects people like no other condition, as those who have sustained a brain injury can readily attest to.

But it doesn't end there.

Ask family members, friends and coworkers of someone who sustained a brain injury about life in the post-injury world, and you'll hear tales of loss and heartbreak.

Today is the day for the cover art revealed of our upcoming August issue of HOPE Magazine. But I'm going to reveal a bit more than just our cover art.

In this upcoming issue, we have perhaps some of the most raw and real stories submitted by our contributing writers. I was humbled by the courage these souls showed by putting their stories out there to help others.

There are not always happy endings. But endings can come in ways unexpected and serve a greater good.

The common thread with all the survivors we are featuring in our August issue is this: They survived and are moving forward living lives of purpose as best they can.

The deeper the abyss, the greater the glory in climbing out of it.

Watch for our August issue coming soon.

~David


# # #

About HOPE Magazine

HOPE Magazine is a monthly publication that features timely articles offering insight and perspectives from brain injury survivors, caregivers and family members as well as members of the professional and support community.

Our publication has two primary goals: brain injury advocacy and education.

The digital version of HOPE Magazine is available free to subscribers.

The print version of HOPE Magazine is available on Amazon.

For more information or to get your free digital subscription, please visit https://www.tbihopeandinspiration.com


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One of the most stabilizing compensatory strategies that I’ve come to rely on in my post-TBI life is that of routine.

I roll out of bed most every morning at 6:45 AM. Coffee is already waiting for me thanks to our programmable coffee maker – providing I remember to turn it on the night before.

No coffee awaited me this morning, my first indication that my A Game was not to be found.

Though I despise the news these days, I watch the fifteen minutes or so of the national news.
After my fifteen minutes of national news, it’s a trip ‘round the yard to attend to our koi ponds. I can’t say for certain what our fish do after dark, but it certainly leaves them very hungry every morning.

<</ Insert random fish fact here:
Did you know that koi can remember the pace and weight of the footsteps of the person who regularly feeds them? While they are clearly excited to see me every morning, someone with a differing gait would not receive the same warm welcome.
/ end of random fish fact />>

By 7:40 AM every morning, I’m here at my desk, read for another day of rock and roll.
The pace of the last couple of weeks has been grueling, even by our standards. Last week was spend cleaning out Sarah’s mom’s home, a home she resided in for over forty years. Death is never pretty - or easy.

My routine has been off, way, way off.

Life called, and we answered the call. Sarah and I continue to suit up, to show up – and do what needs to be done.

No. Matter. What.

By now, you already know what I’ve done this morning. At 7:45 AM, I sat down to work and immediately realized that I had to readjust my plans for the day.

Seems that my fingers can’t find keys on my keyboard. My processing speed is akin using a floppy drive in a thumb drive world. Word finding transcends conversations, as I struggle to slowly pick out words one at a time.

There are inherent challenges that come with living life as a brain injury survivor. With a common cold, you pretty much know that you’ll be over it within a few days. However, there is no “over it,” with a brain injury.

I could be back on my mental feet by tomorrow. But then again, it could be a couple of weeks. Brain injury does have a way of making advance planning tough.

As I said to Sarah just a few minutes ago, I need to keep moving forward. Today my pace will be slower. I’ll avoid high-intellect tasks, and move forward as best I can. I’ve already gotten a jump-start on the August issue of HOPE Magazine. Shortly, I’ll develop the cover art for our upcoming issue.

Like Dori said, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."

In an effort to get back into the ‘writers groove,” today I’m going to write a piece that I’ll be submitting to USA Today. I’ve submitted a couple of pieces to them over the years.

Though they’ve not yet published any of my work, it won’t stop me for submitting again. Persistence may pay off.

It took over 400,000 people to put two men on the moon. My dad was one of those 400,000 people. It’s part of our family history. Today I’ll write about it.

Then I’ll do the USA Today Three Step...

1: Write a solid piece.
2. Submit to USA Today.
3. Cross my fingers.

So there you have it, my life in a nutshell. I’m just a middle-aged brain-damaged guy doing the best I can.
 ~David
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We are in need of a few  stories to round out our upcoming August issue of HOPE Magazine.

Do you have a story that you'd like to share with the world? If so, we'd love to hear from you! HOPE Magazine is always looking for stories to publish in our monthly magazine. You do not need to be a professional writer – in fact, we prefer that you are not.

It doesn't matter whether you are a survivor, caregiver, family member or part of the professional or support community. We ALL have something to offer!

You can learn more about becoming part of the HOPE Magazine family of writers at: http://tbihopeandinspiration.com/tbi_hope_magazine_writing_and_submission_guidelines.htm

Your story has value and can help others. It’s time to tell it!

~David

# # # 
 
 About HOPE Magazine

HOPE Magazine is a monthly publication that features timely articles offering insight and perspectives from brain injury survivors, caregivers and family members as well as members of the professional and support community.

Our publication has two primary goals: brain injury advocacy and education.

The digital version of HOPE Magazine is available free to subscribers.

The print version of HOPE Magazine is available on Amazon.

For more information or to get your free digital subscription, please visit www.tbihopeandinspiration.com
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Over the years, it’s been with much delight that Sarah and I have been able to bring you stories of real hope and heartfelt inspiration.

Our contributing writers have shared joys and hardships, victories and crushing defeats – but all have shown a resilience in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

In this issue, you will find a special Survivor Spotlight section. In this special section, we feature a story about a brain injury survivor who set her sights on Mount Everest. Another spotlighted survivor was able to complete schooling with a doctorate degree.

Every recovery is different. For many of us, success is defined by simply making it through the day, but you are sure to be uplifted by these stories of uncommon success after brain injury.

=============================

 The free digital version of HOPE Magazine is available here:
  https://tinyurl.com/JulyHOPE

 =============================

 The print version will be available on Amazon by day's end today.

 We hope you enjoy this month’s issue of HOPE Magazine!

    ~David & Sarah Grant

 HOPE Magazine, Web: www.BrainInjuryHope.com

 # # #

 About HOPE Magazine

HOPE Magazine is a monthly publication that features timely articles offering insight and perspectives from brain injury survivors, caregivers and family members as well as members of the professional and support community.

Our publication has two primary goals: brain injury advocacy and education.

The digital version of HOPE Magazine is available free to subscribers.

The print version of HOPE Magazine is available on Amazon.

For more information or to get your free digital subscription, please visit www.tbihopeandinspiration.com
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I had my Soul drop-kicked this morning – and I’m glad that I did.

This week is “the week before.”

The Week Before is a vague phrase that I use to describe the week before the newest issue of HOPE Magazine hits the street.

It is always a crazy-busy week.

Sarah and I make the perfect team for all this. I vet the submitted articles, and choose those to be published. Many of the articles submitted are… well, a bit rough. Sarah does a stunning job editing each piece for publication.

When the mindfully edited pieces make their way back to my desk, I go about the detailed business of laying our another issue of HOPE Magazine. It’s a one-two-step data dance that we’ve mastered over the years.

This morning I finalized our July issue. But there was a problem.

My head just wasn’t in the game today.

To say that life has been exhausting lately is an epic understatement. Our time has not been our own for a while now, as life calls us to do the things that responsible people do.

If I was a little kid at a playground, this morning I would have taken my ball and gone home.

All done. Calgon, take me away.

I had enough of tables, image editing, page layouts, font usage, graphic placements, margins & borders, lions, tigers and bears – to last a few lifetimes.

A root canal would have been something to look forward to rather than the tasks at hand.

You get it – I don’t even need to ask.

But the Universe intervened, telling me to get off my pitty-pot, that meaningful work needed to be done.

In laying out one of the stories, a single paragraph stopped me dead in my tracks. My eyes filled with tears, as I thought how selfish my thoughts had just been.

The author wrote…

“Around my second year post brain injury, I experienced a game-changer. In one of my many online searches for hope, I came across an article written by David A. Grant. I wept with relief. Here was someone who also suffered from a brain injury. As I read, I thought he could have been describing me. He also struggled to accept the change in his body and life. Suddenly, I felt less alone. I did a search and found other articles he’d written about his current state of affairs. Each article I read felt like a life-giving glass of water to a withered soul.”

I can’t explain how I missed this paragraph during my original vetting, other than to suspect that I was supposed to miss it.

It materialized at the exact moment that I needed it.

These are no words to describe the feeling that some long forgotten article I wrote many years ago helped someone, and offered meaningful and lasting hope.

And in one short paragraph, everything changed. I’ve reread her words a few times, each time my eyes tear up.

To Debra Gorman, a heartfelt thank you. Your words did to me what mine did to you. Such is the nature of the brain injury family – we carry each other.

I’m looking already to our August issue with a new spring in my step.

And with that, it’s time to get back to work…

~David








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Thank you to Brainline.org for publishing my most recent article.This was such a heartwarming piece to write. I actually laughed out loud as I typed-- and hope that you are able to see the humor in all this... 

~David
Laughing at Life After Brain InjuryMy youngest son celebrated his birthday just last month. He's a great kid with a wonderful wife and a promising career — enough to make any parent beam with pride.

"How does it feel to be twenty-two?" I asked quite innocently on his birthday. The silence that answered me was uncomfortably long.

"Dad, I just turned twenty-four," he shared.

I burst into a full-on belly laugh and reminded him again that dates and times may never be my strong point. As he lives over 2,000 miles away, it was a speaker call with Sarah and my daughter-in-law all on the line. In short notice, we were all laughing.

"Next you'll be telling me that I’m turning fifty eight later this year!" Why not keep the laughter going? Did I tell you that I really am turning fifty eight later this year?

But it’s not just the calendar that betrays me. Sure, there are times that I forget the date, even the month, and sometimes the year. Funny as it sounds, it doesn’t bother me one bit. In the grand scheme of life, it’s really not that important. If I really need to know where I am on the universal date and timeline, I can check my phone.

I am often betrayed as well by the brain/mouth disconnect. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. You plan on saying one thing, but in the millisecond of time it takes to speak, plans change — stuff goes down. Early on after my brain injury, it was horrifying. A new fear pervaded my life — the fear of looking like a fool. As one who talks a lot by default, this was problematic indeed.

How about another laughter moment?

Recently during a conversation with Sarah, it was my intent to use the word "plane." Living near a larger airport, we watch Southwest planes pass by with regularity and laugh about another plane packed full of lucky souls going to Florida. My brain said "plane," but my mouth … well, suffice to say what came out was not what I expected as I pointed to the "sky-train."

Where do I even begin to go with this one? A sky-train? From a purely logical standpoint, it makes perfect sense. If this were a game show hint, most people would guess that a plane was being referenced. But this was no game show. It was real life.

Early on, when word-finding challenges were more common, this type of work-around was common — even recommended by professionals. But to have it happen by accident, knowing full well that I was pointing to a plane, after all these years … how can you not laugh? Sarah spent the next few minutes weaving tales of our trips on sky-trains into the conversation as a way of poking a bit of innocent fun at me. We both laughed pretty heartily. You have to admit, in this light, there is something deliciously funny about it.

Time has a way of changing how you look at things. I view word-finding and word-changing issues differently these days. Rather than a pain point, it’s become a regular source of laughter.

When I look back in the rearview mirror just a few years, I find it hard not to be grateful that we are where we are right now. For many years, life was close to unlivable. It was certainly not sustainable. It’s a safe bet to say that if things had not improved, I might not be here. Such was the depth of my despair after my brain injury.

But over time, tough months dwindled down to tough weeks. Tough weeks became tough days, and the tough days began to happen less often. Life after brain injury is not without challenges. But it is very much worth living. Learning to laugh at challenges means that they don’t own me. It means that I am not going to let them drag me down.

Anyone with a heartbeat has challenges, brain injury or not. In my case, my challenges make me occasionally use words heretofore unknown to the rest of humanity.

If fate happens to find you on a sky-train at some point in time, and you see Sarah and me sitting in a nearby row, feel free to say hello — as long as the conductor has turned off the Fasten Seat Belts sign.

# # #

View this article on Brainline.org here: https://www.brainline.org/blog/getting-back-bike/laughing-life-after-brain-injury
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Another month, another cover art reveal!

Amazingly, this month is our fifty-second issue of HOPE Magazine. 52 consecutive issues, 52 cover art previews, and 52 volumes of stories that tell it like it is after brain injury. 

Over the years, it’s been with much delight that Sarah and I have been able to bring you stories of real hope and heartfelt inspiration.

Our contributing writers have shared joys and hardships, victories and crushing defeats – but all have shown a resilience in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

In our upcoming issue, readers will find a special Survivor Spotlight section. In this special section, we feature a story about a brain injury survivor who set her sights on Mount Everest. Another spotlighted survivor was able to complete schooling with a doctorate degree.

Every recovery is different. For many of us, success is defined by simply making it through the day, but you are sure to be uplifted by these stories of uncommon success after brain injury.

Watch for our July issue coming soon!

~David

# # #

About HOPE Magazine

HOPE Magazine is a monthly publication that features timely articles offering insight and perspectives from brain injury survivors, caregivers and family members as well as members of the professional and support community.

Our publication has two primary goals: brain injury advocacy and education.

The digital version of HOPE Magazine is available free to subscribers.

The print version of HOPE Magazine is available on Amazon.

For more information or to get your free digital subscription, please visit www.tbihopeandinspiration.com
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“It’s probably because you got some tough news about your mom yesterday,” Sarah said to me this morning.

She is the smarter of us two, always able to pick up on patterns that elude me.

Last night was an abysmally tough PTSD night. While I should be grateful that this is my second bad night in four months, gratitude is nowhere to be found.

Perhaps she is right. Speaking with my Dad late yesterday, he shared that mom is having a tough go of it. She called him from her Forever Home completely distraught, thinking that she was somehow stuck in the basement of a school. The staffer let Dad know that Saturday was a tough day as well, as mom cried most of the day. The day before she let Dad know that she rode her bike to the nursing home.

It tears your fucking heart out, you know.

Back in the days before dementia was called as such, phrases like “she lost her mind,” would have been used. But in today’s ever-obsessed adherence to being politically correct, you can’t say that any longer. Mom is now in month ten as a stroke survivor, a stroke that greased the dementia slide.

Last night at 3:00 AM, I woke up screaming and thrashing. Though less frequent, the PTSD pattern is all too familiar. In last night’s ultra-surreal terrorscape, I watched a fellow member of humanity get incinerated after being struck by a fireball.  I looked at the shooter, only to see a fireball flying toward me at lightspeed.

I knew instinctively that I was about to die (again), and that I had mere seconds to live.

It was my hope that today would not be a tough PTSD after-day, but I was wrong. I’m spent, and 8:00 PM tired at 9:00 AM.

I’m angry. I have too much to do today to walk through the day with a head full of fog.

It’s going to be a baby steps kind of day. I’ve just filled our hummingbird feeders and fed the fish ponds, much to the tail-wagging delight of our fish. Today I’ll do the next thing in front of me.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

How zany-crazy silly to think that I actually beat PTSD. Last week, I called it “well managed.”

Only time will tell if last night was a one-off, or the beginnings of sliding back into the abyss.

Impending incineration ain’t no cakewalk, you know. I’ll try to fill my mind with all things good today.

And hope for a better night tonight.

~David
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I still don’t know how to categorize it, you know. Those who know me know that I am a big fan of orderliness and tidiness.

A place for everything, and everything in its place, don’t you know.

Where o’ where do I place my PTSD?

Several months of EMDR earlier this year have essentially eliminated my PTSD. Just reading these words, I shake my hear in utter and wonderfully complete disbelief. PTSD has defined so much of my life for so many, many years.

And now it’s gone.

I said to my dad just this morning that this must be how someone feels when they beat cancer. The anvil is no longer hanging over my head.

Last night I was at a meeting with sixty or so others. Being in a crowd no longer bothers me. Not even a little. Virtually no uneasiness. No looking at door every time I hear a sound. No charting my escape for daemons unnamed.

I slept through yet another night last night. In the last four months I’ve had one bad night, a night that came to pass during a period of extremely high stress. Watching Sarah’s mom’s remains being set in their final resting place did bring with it a lot of stress.

When my head hit’s the pillow, no longer to I have dread. I have meaningful sleep.

Not that I was counting, but I went for well over six years before I had a solitary night’s sleep. Prior to this spring’s therapy, I was lucky if I got a couple of solid night’s sleep a year. Just sleeping has been such a game-changer.

So what shelf to I place my PTSD on?

I am hesitant to use the word “cured,” though that’s exactly how I feel. Taking a page from my diabetes playbook, I think I’ll call it “well-managed.”

That feels a little less arrogant, and a bit closer to the mark.

Challenges still abound. A couple of weeks ago, word-finding reared its head. Strike that – it was NOT word finding. Every now and again, I add brand new words to the English language, something that Boo and I have learned to laugh at quite heartily.

It was my intent to say “tornado,” but alas, I created the word “Hoar-nado,” prompting me to look down toward my lips in utter disbelief (again).

Sarah did not expect my next comment.

“Coming soon on DVD and Blue Ray, Hoar-nado, starring Stormy Daniels.”

If you’ve find my comment offensive, I truly apologize, but Sarah and I have laughed about it for a solid couple of weeks.

Humor is vital to recovery. Like a couple of little kids, we laugh at things that the sensibly-minded my find shocking, but why not? We’ve cried rivers of tears over the years.

I’m not sure if the PTSD train will again roll into the station, but for now I am enjoying blessed relief, a relief I never expected.

~David












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Do you have a story that you'd like to share with the world? If so, we'd love to hear from you. We have a single spot open for our upcoming July issue of HOPE Magazine.

It doesn't matter whether you are a survivor, caregiver, family member or part of the professional or support community.

We ALL have something to offer!

You can read more about the article submission process at: http://www.tbihopeandinspiration.com/tbi_hope_magazine_writing_and_submission_guidelines.htm

Feel free to reach out to me personally if you have any questions.

~David

# # #

About HOPE Magazine

HOPE Magazine is a monthly publication that features timely articles offering insight and perspectives from brain injury survivors, caregivers and family members as well as members of the professional and support community.

Our publication has two primary goals: brain injury advocacy and education.

The digital version of HOPE Magazine is available free to subscribers.

The print version of HOPE Magazine is available on Amazon.

For more information or to get your free digital subscription, please visit www.tbihopeandinspiration.com

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