Seeing Possibilities 

A blog for our visitors, friends, partners, and community members to share thoughts and experiences about living with a brain injury, co-creating community services, and other interesting things that come up!


Chronic Pain?: Research Student Needs Your Help! 

Daniel Gingras is a graduate student working with Dr. Paul Wong who is doing a follow-up study to his thesis on meaning and quality of life for living with chronic pain.

This project is focusing on how the findings of Positive Psychology research apply to pain management.

They would appreciate it very very much if anyone out there who has experienced chronic pain could complete his survey. Then, if you know anyone else living with chronoc pain (or used to!) they would appreciate it if you could share the link with that person as well.

 I answered their survey -- it was quick and interesting! -- and I'm not in pain these days, but I just answered the survey questions by telling them I don't currently have pain but then answering the questions based on how I felt when I did.

If you can help or know someone who can -- please click on the link and take a few minutes to answer some thought-provoking (but quick to answer) questions.

To find out more about Dr. Paul Wong's research and writings, you may also enjoy touring his website:


Posted on Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 14:34 by Registered CommenterDr Karen in , | Comments2 Comments

How to be Happy: What Makes the Difference?

This is an article in the on-line magazine The Huffington Post by Dr. Todd Kashdan, a researcher in the field of positive psychology. Dr. Todd Kashdan is a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at George Mason University.

For the full article and more links, pop on over to the link. I've added some formatting to the bitsI want to jump out at you ;-)

I think, given our mission to create caring, supportive Communities, you'll see why I think this is such an important piece of research!

How to Be Happy -- Emotional Pain and the Politics of Rejection

Todd Kashdan,PhD in Huffington Post

Did you know there is only one single characteristic that separates extremely happy people from "merely" happy people? They aren't more grateful, kind, or compassionate. They aren't more energized when they wake up in the morning (drinking the same amount of coffee as the rest of us). Rather, they possess...

Click to read more ...

Posted on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 16:53 by Registered CommenterDr Karen in | Comments2 Comments

Nana korobi ya oki (Fall Down 7 times, Get Up 8)

Another post from Carole -- this one she originally wrote in response to a New Year's reflection question about:

"What were you doing 10 years ago?"

Ten years ago on this date, I was homeless and  celebrated New Years Eve  at the YWCA Womens Shelter. 
A few months before, on my way to a nice new job at a fancy ladies wear store, I suffered a brain attack that changed my life in a few seconds.  I would become "disabled".

The first thing the doctor did was take away my drivers licence.  I would never drive again.   Through a series of unfortunate events, I was not diagnosed properly, and was not believed by relatives about my horrible condition.  With no money, no job, and and a brain that no longer worked right, I ended up at the womens shelter.

My mind would remain totally muddled for several years while I struggled to put my life back together - barely able to walk, suffering from short term memory loss, and unable to make sense of world moving too fast. I felt like I was trapped in the amusement park Fun House - but it was no fun, everything was distorted and mind boggling.

Today, 10 years later, I appear fairly "normal", except for a gimpy leg, loss of balance helped by a cane and walker, moments of extreme confusion when overstimulated by sights and sounds.
I am grateful to be  enjoying  my life with my disability and that I exceeded my wish to live till at least 2000.   Here it is 2010! and I am loving every single moment of my life and all my daily blessings.
(Love and peace to all)

How about you? Where were you and what were you doing 10 years ago? What have you learned in those 10 years?

Posted on Saturday, March 20, 2010 at 12:00 by Registered CommenterDr Karen in | Comments2 Comments

More on Brain Fog from Emily Dickinson

Carole shared this great poem with me that seems to perfectly capture the experience of brain fog...

I felt a clearing in my mind
  As if my brain had split;
I tried to match it, seam by seam,
  But could not make them fit.
The thought behind I strove to join
  Unto the thought before,
But sequence ravelled out of reach
  Like balls upon a floor.
   ~Emily Dickinson
I have to say, although I can't claim to know what it's like to have a serious brain injury (as I am still someone "not-yet-diagnosed with a brain injury"), this description of brain fog resonated for me.
Using my continuum hypothesis, these experiences should be ones we can all relate to if we're honest.
I can feel brain fog most when I'm hurting from my arthritis, but I can even tell a difference when I can do math problems in the morning with no problem that seemed impossible the night before. Sleep is amazing.
How about you readers? When does brain fog creep up on you??
Posted on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 15:43 by Registered CommenterDr Karen in , | Comments1 Comment

Brain Fog (seen from the inside out)

This is a post from a friend of mine. We met in an on-line group called Gaia and then in person at a brain injury conference. Carole is fabulous and eager to have others learn from her experiences, so I invited her to share what she's experienced and learned.

Carole will tell her own story in the post that follows, so I won't do it here. But I did want to share that what makes Carole special is that she is a "fighter" in the best, most productive, sense of that word. She worked hard to regain as much as she could, she worked hard to change her attitudes toward what she couldn't do the same way anymore, she worked hard to feel productive and happy.

I can't begin to tell you how much I respect her and how delighted I am that she has agreed to be a regular poster on our blog here.

Enough from me! I'll let her speak's a little long this time, but I think you'll see why and how it all fits together. Don't stop before you get to her journal entry!

And do share what you learned from her -- questions you may have for her -- thoughts you want to share around her story.


Click to read more ...

Posted on Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 18:07 by Registered CommenterDr Karen in , | Comments2 Comments