• Survivor or Caregiver

TBI One Love Survivor Shauna Farmer

Hello, TBI Gladiators!!! My name is Shauna.

I am from Portland, Oregon. One week after I had been promoted to store manager of a Goodwill on the Oregon coast, I took a week's vacation to spend my birthday with my family in Wyoming. I drove solo from Tillamook, Oregon to Wyoming. I spent a few days with the family, then on August 8, 2015 my world went overboard while in the mountains camping. I flipped a 4-wheeler, mangled some trees and myself in the process. I broke a dozen bones (collarbone, ribs, compressed fracture in my back) and sustained a DAI-Diffuse Axonal Injury (Shaken Baby Syndrome). I was just 37 years old. While being transported my lung also collapsed. I had to be life-lighted to a larger hospital where I spent 5 weeks all together. On my birthday, instead of a big party and family, I was in surgery, having a tube put in to drain the fluid on my lungs. No cake for me. The ICU brought me flowers and ate cupcakes in my honor.

While in the hospital, I was in seduced coma for 3 weeks; for the remainder, I was awake and in therapy. Occupational, speech, and physical. I recall being so tired all the time. I lost 40 pounds in the hospital. I can walk without assistance but am still leery of stairs. I also have BBPV (vertigo) which makes inclines a little scary.

I don't recall being in ICU, but I do remember being in rehab. I had speech, physical, and occupational therapy. I recall being so tired even after a 45-minute session. I slept for two hours then I'd wake back up for dinner, or another therapy round. After 5 weeks I was released into the care of my sister as my insurance wouldn't pay to continue to keep me there. I've been staying with my family in Wyoming since. She took me to her house where we continued physical therapies with our own abilities. I just joined a gym and am working on improving my strength and stamina.   

Two days and one year later on August 10, 2016, I took and passed my driving evaluation. After my brain injury I had been suspended from driving until released by a doctor. I do have temporary suspension for 30 days with some minor restrictions. However, I am beyond happy to be ONE step closer to obtaining full independence back. I am with family, but have lost my job, house, and all the friends I had. Having a TBI has been so far my biggest challenge in life. I honestly don't really feel any different, nor do I look different. I don't want people to treat me like an invalid. Because simply, I'm not. I was in an accident that SHOULD have killed me, IT DIDN'T.

That in and of itself is worth fighting for. I'm still here. I have learned, you have to be strong as it may be your ONLY option. Keep on keeping' on. No 2 TBIs are alike, however, YOU are not alone in yours. Stay positive and when you can't, that’s ok too. You CAN DO THIS!!

I have found a few Facebook support groups that have really been of great benefit to my mental welfare such as TBI One Love!!!

Keep fighting Gladiators, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!

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