It was Saturday, and the Clubhouse member wanted to take a chance at bowling. We all got together and talked about how we would proceed. We picked which balls we would use and put into the ball returns. We did not pick teams because there were so few players. We then went and got the ball ramp and took a few practice throws. You have to make sure the ramp does not move when you take your turn. It was obvious the ramp had not been looked after. The same duct tape was on the ramp as last year and we had no idea how this would affect the final score. Only time will tell.
We then entered our names on the scorer and went back to the bench. I was using the ramp and watched as my ball rolled down the ramp. As it reached the bottom of the ramp, the ball made a slight jump and went off down the lane. That was not supposed to happen, but to my surprise, all the pins fell and I got a strike. I did not like that my ball jumped, but if it happened to every body’s we would have all have to make the best of it.
As the afternoon went on, it was obvious that we all were having a good time and able to converse with each other. It was nice to see all the members interacting with each other and cheering as the pins fell. It was a good chance for the members to be out in public and interact with other people who are not TBI survivors. No one had what you would call a great score, but the laughter and frivolity that was permeating through the alley was contagious. The time just flew by then the pizza arrived and we all dug in for a much needed meal.
It was nice to have this outing take place. The members and families were at ease, out in public and were able to function in the everyday world. An outing like this is perfect for survivors because it shows that they can be out in the world and not be judged or ridiculed by others. Life is a wonderful thing and we all can enjoy it to its fullest.
Synapse House Member, Tom W.
My name is Chris. I was an equity partner in a large Chicago law firm when I collapsed at the desk two years ago of a brain anyerism, a rupture of a blood vessel in the brain. It was life-threatening. Fortunately, my secretary, Diane, who is competent and caring, called 911 and (again, fortunately) I was taken to Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, which performed brain surgery on me and saved my life.
My task, here, is to write 1-2 paragraphs about the HELP music video we (apparently) watched yesterday. But, I have no recollection of this. And, 1-2 paragraphs is simply too short for my tastes. Thus, rather than make something up, I will confess my disability and end the diatribe now. But, Joanne, who runs the Clubhouse, insists that I write more. So, I am left with no choice but to concoct a story. Here goes. Enjoy!
The HELP music video was lively and perky. It was masterful, indeed beautifully done. It was undoubtedly prepared by artists and musicians. The video explored how people, like me, with intellectual disabilities can improve and enjoy life.
Joanne and others are talking about their NCAA brackets. They are laughing and ribbing one another. They need to get to work. But, their sidebars are typical and reflect their good nature and relaxed attitude. I enjoy listening. And, they demonstrate to members friendship, caring-spirit and resourcefulness.
Have a grand day! And, please, remember to show love toward your family and friends. But most importantly, enjoy life everyday. You can do this by calling friends on the phone and going out to dinner with family and friends.
By Chris Z., a Synapse House member
There you are at the hospital, quietly waiting for the patient to come out of the anesthesia and join you at the bedside. Slowly, the patient’s eyes open and there is a great feeling joy that makes itself known on the faces of everyone in the room, Everyone shows their excitement as they realize that you are back to being with them. The joy that is exhibited by them is heartwarming. But they realize real work is just now getting started. All the family members present have no idea, how much work has to done by them and the patient in order for the patient’s life to go on.
First, let’s talk about the patient. Everything is new for them and they have to think about all the actions they take, like, breathing. This may be easy for them, but to begin with they have to think about it until it becomes natural and no thought is needed to perform that simple task, once that is done the real work starts. A concise effort is put into play, as anything is to be performed requires a personal commitment to accomplish the individual task. This may seem like an easy job, but you must put all your thinking power to bare and try to accomplish the needed task, it may be a simple thing, but it can also be impossible. Only trying and failing will allow the individual to attain the desired effect and complete the job, this may seem too easy to accomplish, but after a brain injury it can be a difficult if not impossible to perform. It is at this time that alternate options are to be taken. You have to be open to suggestions which will allow you be successful when performing tasks that you are assigned to perform.
Second, the family of a TBI survivor has to relook at their priorities, when dealing with a TBI survivor. They must not think of what has happened to the individual, it is over and done with, the damage has been done, Now, what can be done to make living with survivor active and rewarding as they continue their life.. The first thing they must do is make their home safe for the individual, this means removing any fall hazards and tripping items that would cause a fall. The restroom must be made safe and accessible for easy entry with room to move around in. The kitchen needs to be uncluttered with easy access to the stove, refrigerator and sink. Thus, making it safe for any emergencies that might crop up. The telephone should be set to handle any 911 calls that might arise. With those few options in place, you will feel safer when you make your way around the house.
The caregiver has to look at this tragedy in two ways, the first, is to take this tragedy and make a positive and affirmative posture and go forward with this outcome. Things may have changed drastically, but the survivor is still here in the everyday world and needs the companionship of others to make them feel worthy and needed, it is wonderful how much the survivor can draw strength from the others around them.
As for the caregiver, they give their own life a chance to be useful in so many ways and at the same know that they are helping someone who really needs the personal contact with other individuals. A caregiver not only helps individuals who needs their assistance, it gives them a magical feeling when they help someone who really needs it.
When dealing with a brain injured survivor there are two things that may seem small in the theme of things, but are extremely important in seeing that your encounter with the survivor is a success. You have to have infinite patience because nothing will go smoothly and rarely the same way twice in a row. Besides patience, an important thing to have is laughter. They say that laughter will sooth the savage beast. Believe me, that laughter may seem like is is not right for many issues, but when dealing with a TBI injury, it will make the caregiver more at ease and more receptive when dealing with the present situation.
Story by Synapse House Member Tom W.
On Thursday, March 16 only, Amazon will donate 5% (10 times the usual donation rate) of the purchase price of eligible products you buy at AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com) to charity. AmazonSmile is a way to shop that offers the same shopping experience as Amazon.com, but every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com helps support Synapse House!
To take advantage of this offer—and to ensure that your shopping throughout the year benefits your favorite charitable organization—just start your shopping at smile.amazon.com.
Join us at our first Family Meet Up of 2017 at Fox Bowl in Wheaton! The cost of the event will be $15 per person with bowling
beginning at 11am. Pizza and drinks to follow. Please note membership is NOT a requirement to attend. Hope to see you there!
Please RSVP by March 18, 2017 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We at the Clubhouse had a chance to show off our culinary talents, First, we washed our hands and put on our gloves. We then looked at cookbook and made the decision to bake muffins as our first test to exercise our baking talents. We gathered a large bowl and ingredients and proceeded to read the directions from the cook book. We placed all the necessary on the counter and made ready combine them. We followed the directions and soon there was a bowl filled with a sweet smelling concoction.We then brought the pie tins to the table and made ready to fill them. We placed paper liners in each of the holes in the tin. That way they would not stick in the pan when the cooking process was completed.
We then set the temperature the correct temperature on the stove. It did not take long for oven to reach the desired temperature..While we were waiting for the oven to reach the desired heat, we stood around and conversed with other..The stove buzzed that the cooking temperature had been reached and it was time to load the pie tins in the oven.We placed the tins in the oven and set the timer. We all stood around and talked. The aroma of the muffins escaped the oven and all our mouths watered as the Clubhouse could not wait for a taste of those sweet smelling morsels.
When the muffins cooled down to where they were only warm, we decided that they were ready to be eaten.At that point the thundering herd descended on the counter and stood in line for those morsels. We each got our own muffin and had a chance to taste the product. To say they were delicious was an understatement. It was obvious that the culinary unit made a huge splash at their attempted to tickle our taste buds.We can hardly wait for next time that we can experience that wonderful feeling.
Story by Synapse House Member Tom W.
The Synapse House Culinary Unit is a big deal because it teaches brain-injured members how to cook, which is a life-skill that helps them daily and may be something they knew how to do before their injury but forgot after their medical trauma. A common attribute of brain injury is memory loss and cognitive deficits.
Cooking is a warm, rewarding activity that nourishes the body and creates a path forward for relearning basic life skills that can help a brain-injured person improve cognitively. Cooking is truly a form of therapy.
The Synapse House kitchen looks like a professional unit in a restaurant with a stove, refrigerator, storage shelves and sink. It is large and roomy. It is the center of activity on days when Synapse House leadership orchestrates a cooking event. It also produces delicious dishes that members share and enjoy.
We have cooked pasta, turkey, chicken and mixed vegetables in the unit as well as cookies and pies. Yum-yum!
By Synapse House Member Chris Z.
Check out the photo gallery of the Culinary Unit in Action!