The Birth of a Cloud
By: Tom W.
The day started as perfectly normal day with no hint of what was about to take was about to take place. As the sun rose above the horizon the temperature, the temperature began to make a steady rise. As it did this, the air began to get heavy and thick, evaporating the water in the nearby lake. This moist air began to rise. As this moisture laden air began to rise it made its way up the heavens. There it began to cool, and this cooling made something wonderful. The molecules of the water began to stick together and form specific. This specific thing is most commonly called a cloud. This cloud is something unique,this is because there are no two clouds that are alike. They may come in various sizes and density and they will be unlike anyone formed before. When you think if all the countless trillions of clouds that have formed over millions of years there has never been another cloud like the one making its presents before you now, it is a wonderful sight. To all the world, it may just be a dumb old cloud, but when you really think about it, that cloud is something that to look at closely and enjoy it.
The Queen Is Crowned
Sue and I were at our summer cottage earlier this summer. While we were there we went fishing off our new pontoon boat and were having a good time trying to catch a keeper bass. That is a bass that is fifteen inches long, which is not that easy to do. We were at one of the underwater fish cribs that we knew about and our luck was far from perfect. That is not to say that fishing was bad, but we caught no keepers. I seemed to be having all the luck. I managed to hook several bass, but they were all undersize and had to returned back into the lake. I managed to catch several bass that long enough to be considered keepers. They were just barely keepers, but they were fun to catch. All during this time I was catching fish Sue kept casting, but was no luck. She was busy trying to keep our boat in the right spot so that I was having no trouble avoiding the fish house.
All this time, she was casting her lure with no luck and she was feeling a little down because of her lack of action. When suddenly the water exploded with a huge splash. There was a huge bass jumping out of the water. Our excitement peaked when as we realized what we were seeing. Sue’s rod bent almost double as he dove for the bottom. Her reel screamed as that fish had no idea of giving up. Sue was acting like a real professional. She remained calm and really enjoyed the fight that fish was giving her. Finally the fish tired and was close the boat. Sue reached for the landing, and guided the fish in the net. It was then we had a chance to really see her trophy. It had not been hooked too bad and would survive being released. We carefully handled him and took some pictures and weighed him. It was twenty three inches long and weighed four and half pounds. After all of this was accomplished we lowered him back in the lake and set him free. That way he would get a chance to get even bigger and give some future angler the benefit of having the time of his life on a truly exciting fish.
Story by Tom W., Member
I enjoy coming to Synapse House several days a week because it puts me in contact with people that have experienced similar medical traumas. And, the staff offers creative ways to spend the day. It is fun, and the camaraderie is uplifting. - Chris Z., Member
By Christopher Z.
Being brain-injured is a lonely existence, and it’s scary because your cognitive abilities are greatly diminished from what they were pre-injury. In my case, I have short-term memory encumbrances. For instance, I won’t remember writing this article immediately after writing it. I also have vision encumbrances having lost sight in my right eye as a result of a brain-bleed and the collection of blood in my right eye socket. My vision has been restored but I suffer from double vision and vision encumbrances.
Before my injury, I was a partner in a large Chicago law firm. I had colleagues, friends and clients. I enjoyed my job, my colleagues and clients. I felt fulfilled, challenged and successful. But now, I’m not the man I was. I’m disabled, and I don’t feel successful. It’s a very challenging existence.
But, I have loving wife and four beautiful children. They take good care of me. We also have close friends who arrange social engagements (like dinner and a movie) that lift my spirits.
While I am disabled, I am also fortunate. My loving family and the medical team at Rush Hospital gave me hope and a second chance.
Working with Marty from Destination Fitness...
Once a month, Marty comes to the Clubhouse for exercise. When he gets here, we all get in a chair, with enough room
to extend our arms and legs. Marty gets out his equipment and greets the class. He then goes to each member and helps the individual do the exercises, each to their own abilities. This entails stretching to get everybody looser and more flexible. Once that is accomplished, he goes to each member and helps them, one on one do the various
exercises that lets them achieve a personal level of fitness. We do step ups,lunges, arm raises and swings. He also has each one of us, do as much as we can to get ourselves a shape that we can all attain. That will go a long way in helping the individual member take pride in the accomplishment.
While he is here, he converses with each member constantly, letting that member know that they are important. His joy that he shows while being here gives all of us a positive outlook on the proceedings. We are truly lucky to have this individual take such an active part in seeing that the Clubhouse remains an active place where TBI survivors can go
and be safe in the everyday world.
Dr. Garn Presenting Back Safety
Dr. Garn came to the Clubhouse and talk to us the proper way to move when we are performing our daily activities. He gave a personal demonstration on the correct way to handle the lifting of an object so as not to injure ourselves. He used a chair to show us the proper way to stand and bend which was perfect on being a perfect visual aid on showing us the correct way to accomplish a task.
He had a woman with him to help hand out a paper that covered all the information that he covered.That paper was a questionnaire that we each filled out on our own personal data. That data was used to let him know how each one of us was feeling at this time. He spoke in a calm voice and was easy for each to feel that he was talking to each one of us personally. He was well informed on the topic that he presented, and left us all better informed on the subject that he covered.
Chris’ Summer Vacation in Ogunquit, Maine
My family -- which includes my wife and our four children - and I went on our annual summer vacation to Ogunquit, Maine, which on the Atlantic seaboard. We stay, every summer, at The Dunes (on the Waterfront), which is located on the Atlantic Ocean. Other family members join us, so it is a wonderful chance to reconnect and enjoy each others company. Also, there is a quaint wine bar in the downtown that we frequent, which is simply delightful. We have been going to this same resort with the same routine for many years. It’s a family tradition.
Our kids swim in the resort’s outdoor pool and in the Atlantic Ocean, The adults read newspapers, drink coffee, go sightseeing and enjoy the local wine bar. It’s delightful and a relaxing time. It refreshes us too.
August 2, 2016
Today at the Synapse House, the crew enjoyed a fresh meal prepared by the cooperative. We prepared a tangy veggie wrap that despite some grumbling by the participants, proved to be well received if the empty plates around the table give any indication of its acceptance.
Fresh vegetables wrapped in sun-dried tomato tortillas may not seem to be the obvious choice to feed this group but it proved to be well received.
Being paired with an assortment of fresh fruit, it was a good and healthy complete meal.
By Matt and Mike, Clubhouse Members
First Day of Culinary!
Hello, my name is Brian. I am a survivor of TBI. I am a member of Synapse house. I would like to say that on the day july 7th 2016 the culinary equipment was opened up for use. (but it is still being worked on). The food that I have eaten here up to now has been good. We have been tried to be brought together when we eat, so far it seems to be working good. I would like to say that our first meal was chicken salad with watermelon prepared by Tom and Donna and lemonade that I made. It was good.
What is your favorite thing about Clubhouse? By Stephany
One of my favorite things about the Clubhouse is getting to meet new people, so I meet others out of work and find out what they are doing to get out of those situations. I can try out their solutions for myself and see how it goes. Also, I get to use the computer and address problems like I could have done at work. We are all here for brain injuries. But, I have to work on my memory so I can remember them as time goes on. Coming to the Clubhouse prepares me for going back to work, because of the practice I get in talking to others in similar situations like mine. When I first came to the Clubhouse I did not know what to do with all my time spent at home doing nothing, but now I am more confident on how to address this issue after talking and listening to the others that come here. Also, I like playing the brain games they have here because they are very good for me. Now, I have also got to meet new friends outside people I work with which has been a good thing for me because I can learn from their mistakes and know not to try that out myself. Joanne does a good job of getting us all engaged in the work we are doing and I get to have some practice on working on my skills for work.
First Thoughts on Clubhouse by Andy
As I first jointed to be volunteer member of this clubhouse I thought it was a great benefit to my healing of brain injury recovery by the properly trained and guided line of this clubhouse program of Synapse House. I thought this volunteer job would allow my choices of interest and let me practice and perform variety of tasks or activities that based on my own capacity through this guided program I hope that I would be able to fully recover my health and return to my normal functional capacity of an human being like before of my accident of brain injury. Also I would hope someday I can be back to my community as well.
Best Things About the Clubhouse
Facebook posts from our members...
We at the Clubhouse wish to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous new year. May all your hopes and dreams come true in this joyous time of the year.
“My New Year’s resolution is to try and talk more, especially when there is more than one other person present. That will allow me to be more present and part of any ongoing conversations that are taking place.” - Tom W., Clubhouse Member
“My goal for 2016 is to get back to work.”- Joel F., Clubhouse Member
“I like attending the Clubhouse for many reasons. When I am there I get a chance to communicate with all the present members and staff. They do not judge me, because of the way I talk. I sometimes slur my words which them unintelligible. When that happens, they do not make fun of me, they make a concerted effort to correct me without being obtrusive. In that way, I will have a better chance of not repeating the mistake.” - Tom W., Clubhouse Member
People should attend the Clubhouse because it allows the members to make the most of their talents and at the same time interact with other people in everyday situations. - Clubhouse Member
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