Survivor Story: Hope, Humor, and Inspiration with Holly Kostrzewski
If you have been struggling with putting it all back together post brain injury, this is the episode to listen to! Holly Kostrzewski is a veteran brain injury survivor 21-years out. She uses her experiences to provide encouragement and advice to others experiencing the aftereffects. This episode provides heartwarming inspiration and support for anyone in the throes of recovery. It is a MUST listen!Bulleted list of topics covered:Female Brain Injuries-- all the research until recently has been done on male brains. Female hormone cycles affect how we respond to the injury and healHolly’s survivor storyMotor vehicle accidents are not accidents. They are predictable events due to a cause i.e. you run the stop sign and it causes a crash; the correct term is motor vehicle crash. Calling it an accident diminishes the event to something random. It’s important to determine the causeNeuropsych testing: everyone should have it. It gives a baseline and things to work onThe first five years are the hardestHolly uses a combination of Eastern and Western medicine: craniosacral therapy for pain, kinesiology chiropractor, anti-inflammatory diet and supplementationNutrition and brain injuries: you need to research what will work for you. No two injuries are alike. Some ideas to research for yourself:Limit caffeineClean dietRemove inflammatory foodsSome with epilepsy find keto helpfulResources: Funk’tional Nutrition podcast and Adventures in Brain injury podcast (see resources section below for links)Safety net support systemFatigue, being overwhelmed, poor instincts, mental health, and grief all affect the brain injured person’s safety. Survivors may think they are fine but they need someone watching out for themGrief and depression post injuryIt’s ok to be sad after your injury. Something terrible happened!Medications don’t address the cause of the symptomsGrief is an upward spiral and you never know when it is going to hit you. Grief therapyBereavement overloadThe first five years after injury, you are still acute and trying figure it all outBrain injury symptoms and the grief get diminished. People without brain injuries may try to commiserate with you saying that they have headaches, feel down, and are tired too not realizing how different it is for youTo overcome you need to have an abundance of gratitude and grace for yourself. Find the small victories. Celebrate you! Look at where you were at the beginning of the injury compared to now--you have done hard things and overcome!!!There is a difference between disappointing and devastating events. Brain injuries are devastating!Dealing with the struggleGive yourself graceKeep a positive attitudeMake a plan with goals that you can work on dailyGoogle the lobes of the brain to understand what each part does. It will help you understand your injury and the symptoms you experience Functional medicine or functional neurology could be helpfulRemove alcohol (it lowers your seizure threshold and all brain injury survivors are at higher risk for seizures)Try taking out gluten and sugar and see how you feelTBI: Truly Brave IndividualDevaluation of feelingsYou’ll get through the feelings; its ok to feel themMusicGet a theme song. No matter how bad it is, pull up the song and dance it outHolly’s motivational speaking and journey to her traffic safety career“Brain injury, the gift that keeps on giving” ~Cathy CrimminsBe mindful with how you sit in your injury. Your brain injury is your story but doesn’t need to become youHope, Humor, and Inspiration: Holly is available to book for speaking events; see the link to her website and social media below Links to any resources mentionedBrain Injury Medical Provider: “Women vs. Brain Injury”: https://issuu.com/braininjuryprofessional/docs/bip_september_2020/4Pink Concussions: Facebook group for females with brain injuries Funk’tional Nutrition Podcast: https://www.erinholthealth.com/funktional-nutrition-podcastAdventures in Brain Injury:Think First: https://www.thinkfirst.org/ Where is the Mango Princess? A Journey Back from Brain Injury by Cathy CrimminsHolly Kostrzewski: find her on Facebook and Instagram: @HopeHumorInspiration and https://www.hopehumorinspiration.com/ HELP US SPREAD THE WORD! If you dug this episode head on over to Apple Podcasts and kindly leave us a rating, a review and subscribe!Ways to subscribe to the Making Headway Podcast:Click here to subscribe via Apple PodcastsClick here to subscribe via SpotifyClick here to subscribe via RSSYou can also subscribe via Stitcher Visit the Making Headway Podcast website to learn more about Eryn and Mariah and our journey to podcasting.Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.As an Amazon Associate, Making Headway may earn from qualifying purchases via links provided.