After digging out from the snow on Tuesday, we’re back and ready to finish out the week strong.
Today’s blog addition will focus on introducing you to another one of our great associates.
I am from Finneytown, Ohio. At home I enjoy playing on the computer, watching TV, and taking naps. I like going on trips with my family. The last trip that we went on was to the Alamo and we stayed in a hotel that was 100 years old. We saw ten ducks when we went on a river walk and had lunch. One night my family and I had dinner on a river cruise. I also enjoy going to family reunions. At the reunions, I told my family about InRETURN, and showed them a book that talks about InRETURN. Some of the family members are interested in buying it. I enjoy telling other people besides my family about my working experience. I am always passing out flyers and business cards. I also go to the traumatic brain injury meetings at Drake Hospital.
When I was a child in 1977, I received a traumatic brain injury while playing soccer. While practicing, I tripped on a piece of dirt and hit my right temple on a dirt clod sticking up from the ground. I got right back up and started playing again even though I had this strange feeling like blood was running down my head. Later on that night, my mom heard me fall out of bed and found me having a seizure. I went to Children’s Hospital and started seeing a neurologist. When I was going to high school at Roger Bacon in 1982, I had my first brain surgery on my right side where the doctors removed part of my skull. When I went home I had puffy cheeks and my brother said that I looked like a chipmunk. This is how I got the nickname Chip. High school was challenging because of the seizures caused by my traumatic brain injury. I had to drop out of Drivers’ Education because of my seizures and the students made fun of me. In fact I lost one of my good friends by getting in a fight because my friend was teasing me. Usually when I was teased, I would just put up with it or go and talk to the principal or nurse about the situations. I failed my senior year and went to Purcell Marian for one year. After that year I was told that I could switch my credits over to Roger Bacon and graduate with the Roger Bacon class since my first four years of high school were there.
After graduation, I attended University of Cincinnati for two quarters with financial assistance from BVR. However, I did not go to my classes because I did not enjoy them. I lost my funding and went to Wright State University for about a year. During my free time, I would enjoy riding my bike to the WWII museum. My father had been a former fighter pilot in WWII. When I was about 30 years old, my father taught me how to fly an airplane. We would rent a plane for an hour, and when we were in the air my father would hand me the controls. This was a lot of fun. In 1989 I received my last head surgery. I later became sick and had spinal meningitis.
Before working at InRETURN I worked on filing for other businesses such as Cincinnati Zoo, Mail Sort, Proctor and Gamble, Goodwill, Arby’s, Ponderosa, and the IRS. I was let go because of my seizures. I started to work with my brother who did roofing, but I would do the work that was required on the ground. Since my seizures had increased I went to Mayo clinic to be observed. In 2002 I was implanted with a vagus nerve stimulator which was replaced in 2010. The stimulator stops the seizures right away. I was also given a diary to record each seizure after the stimulator was implanted. Now I only have about one seizure a month.
In 2005 the manager of InRETURN came to Drake Hospital to talk about InRETURN at the TBI support group meeting. I was almost out of work, so I applied and started working in 2006. I said that many things have changed since the start of InRETURN. What I like most is that it keeps me busy and it keeps me going. This has caused my mood to change for the better. I am a hard worker at bailing, and cutting and sealing 10X10 socks. Working at InRETURN has been my longest employment experience because I have been employed for five years. I am proud that I found this job and I like working at InRETURN.