Hi Everyone,

I’m not sure when I was taught or became aware of how important it is to connect with others but it was instilled in me that personal/professional growth is the result of learning from others. In business it’s called networking. The more people you meet, the greater the opportunity to learn about them which will directly affect your creativity in growing your business. Our new business is Traumatic Brain Injury.

The conference was invaluable for us. We met board members, resource companies, professionals and families that are living and working with TBI patients everyday. The family stories are varied but the emotions and challenges are the same. It’s comforting to be in a room with people that speak the same clinical language.

When ever I would attend a conference or enroll in a class in my professional career my objective was to learn one new piece of information that I could utilize in my job. I’m happy to say that we gained knowledge to implement multiple strategies, tools, tips and tricks from the sessions, the people that shared our table at lunch and the people we met sitting in the lobby between courses. (We’re not very shy).

Caitlin and I once again split up to cover the most ground, attending separate sessions and sharing notes. We gave Corey the choice to join either of us based on what she might have an interest in attending. She sat in the sessions, which were an hour and 15 minutes each, listening intently. Sometimes she would hear a sentence and comment on how it related to her or she would pose a question.

As an example; Today’s keynote speaker at lunch was the famous Jazz Guitarist, Pat Martino. Pat Martino had a near fatal brain aneurysm. When he woke from his surgery, 60% of his left frontal lobe was removed. He forgot everything that made him the person he was including his ability to play the guitar.

Corey was eating her lunch as Pat shared his story of recovery. It didn’t appear as if she was listening until the Q&A’s began. One audience member asked Pat, “What was the hardest part of your recovery”. Corey looked at me and said, “Waiting to be all better”. I asked her if that was the hardest part for her, she said “Yes”. She took my pen and wrote, “When was he hurt”. I told her over 32 years ago, he was 36 at the time. Corey whispered “how do I ask him a question”. I told her to raise her hand…she did. When the microphone came to her she asked Pat, “How do you keep your strength”?

Pat didn’t have a definitive answer. He guessed that most of it came from God, but he also believed that it came from his self respect.

He told her every day presented opportunities to improve him self, aneurysm or no aneurysm. If he didn’t take advantage or appreciate them then he was injuring his self esteem; therefore, he wouldn’t respect himself. He encouraged her to work each day to the best of her ability and never allow her self esteem to be injured. She looked at me and smiled.

Corey I am fascinated by your networking. I’m proud of you for reaching out to another survivor to get insight on how to handle the long road you’ve been on and will continue to travel. You once again are taking control of your own recovery. There are days it’s difficult to keep pushing and working but what a wonderful perspective to share with you. Pat’s message relates to everyone, injury or no injury. Thank you for speaking up. What a valuable lesson for all of us, xoxo