Out on a Limb

September 23, 2018 — By Health Ambassador Noelle McNeil

“Why not go out on a limb? That is where the fruit is. In life go out on a limb.”
– Mark Twain


It seems for right now, fall has come! The kids are back at school and the weather has changed from the hot and hazy days of summer to rather chilly and rainy very quickly. My allergies are not loving the quick temperature change that is for sure! I implemented a new theme last year of trying to stay active even as the weather begins to get chilly. I will continue to “go out on a limb” as Mark Twain says and continue to do new things. It is important to remember that great things happen when we take calculated risk. Obviously we can never put ourselves in danger, but within reason we have to be willing to take risks. For myself I realize that getting back behind the wheel of a car after my injury was something that I so desired to do. I know that for many after an injury this is not possible and it took me over a year of practicing with a driving instructor before I was cleared for the road.

My next limb that I will attempt to go out on is the limb of living on my own. I am scared but I know that this is the next branch that I must crawl out on to be independent. I am so happy that I have all of you to share my insecurities and worries with. We all have them. Please never feel alone whenever you feel overwhelmed by life’s challenges. In the wake of a brain injury there will be many experiences that seem “new” to us if we have never done them before. I have never lived fully on my own. I always had roommates. At this point in my life I need to put on my “independent pants” and prepare for this new venture. I know that I am not alone. I will have various supports in place and aids to come and help me with some of the food preparation as well as the laundry if I need assistance. Sometimes after a brain injury we need to know that we are not alone. My family is incredible but they have their own lives. Each one of us is living our own story. Each one of us will have to decide how far we are willing to go out on a limb. In the game of our lives we are the main character and we have to keep moving forward day by day. We look to gain support from others. I had to surrender my dog back to where I got her because my living situation changed. In the future I think that another dog will be instrumental in my future. I recently met a patient through work, who shared with me the incredible companionship that his service dog provides him with. I thank you all very much for reading and I welcome any responses that you may have.

~ Noelle