Stories

A Year After the Fall

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An update on living with TBI

November 16th is the anniversary of my accident. According to every doctor I’ve spoken to, the recovery from my brain injury will likely be as complete as it is going to be on that date. So, here I am. I stare at a blinking cursor trying to think about what insights I can share and how I can summarize the experience. The blinking cursor taunts me.

It turns out I cannot tell you how this story ends, but I can say it is better than I imagined possible only a few months ago. I wish I could summarize what I learned from it or why I think it happened, or how the Universe hoped I would benefit from it, but I can't, at least not yet. When I agreed to start this conversation, I assumed after one year, I would be able to close the book on this period of my life with some message gleaned and ready to share, but it seems I need more time. To force it now, would be inauthentic and it would be a disservice to all those who are in various phases of living with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and also to those who love them. So, the ending to this story remains unwritten, but I'm happy to say I am increasingly enjoying where the plot is leading me.

In the spirit of my blog written 6 months ago, I can tell you what I know now:

I am okay. Totally.

I am well enough.

I am new, not replaced.

I am pain free most days.

I am interested, again.

I am curious, again.

I am here and I want to be, fully.

Even if my recovery period is technically over, I am making choices that will continue to improve my life, and I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to do so.

I am happy now and moving closer to Joy daily.

I celebrated a birthday nine months after my accident. I shared an update on my social media channels and I think it still sums up the entire experience best, so I share it here too.

For those who knew I celebrated a birthday yesterday and extended wishes to me this week, I thank you very much. I’m not one who’s big on celebrating my birthday but I recently started to care a lot about this one.

It’s not my 40th, or my 50th. I’m celebrating that I made it to 47 in spite of the hit my brain took since my last birthday.

I’m celebrating finally seeing more lightness than darkness again and my increasing desire to expect it.

I’m celebrating the growing space and energy within me that seems to directly correlate to my diminishing pain and the fears that seem to go with it.

I’m in awe of the friends, family, and co-workers who stayed with me through my most fearful and confusing times, even when my deep anger for it all was misplaced on them.

I am grateful for recognizing now, the tremendous support I was receiving from “friends” I never met in person, willing to share their personal stories and resources with me simply to help me through my injury. You did help. Thank you.

In April I shared a video of me dancing to get past my fear of what would happen if I got hurt again. For my birthday, I bought myself a new red dress, played the same song (a bit of an anthem to myself) and danced this time purely for the joy of it. I am full of joy and gratitude this birthday. Thank you for celebrating with me.

#gratitude #lifeafterconcussion #tbi #foreverinmylife #prince #movementislife #justdance #justsayin

—Kristi Cooper

About the Author

Kristi Cooper

Kristi Cooper is a Co-founder of Pilates Anytime and a seasoned Pilates professional. Her approach to Pilates maintains that the exercises practiced in the Pilates method are the vehicle which drive us towards increased awareness, balance, and vitality.


Comments

2 people like this.
Kristi, thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. You are a true inspiration to me and I know to many others. I've been through a similar experience and it certainly takes time. There are still days that can be difficult (whether it's not feeling like myself or from pain) but I honestly believe that somehow I'm a better instructor and person.
I wish you the very best in all areas of your life!
2 people like this.
Kristi, I am grateful for your continuing return to health and just for you in general. I am sorry that you had to go through any of this. Wishing you the best always.
Z A
1 person likes this.
Kristi it is so relieving to hear that you are feeling better and better everyday. These experiences are life changing. Nothing will be the same in a good way. after such traumas we celebrate each and everyday and that in itself is very powerful. Lots of love to you.acroos the ocean.
1 person likes this.
Kristi
Love it, you are so good!! Love your dance and love your dress, you dance magical Its wonderful the results how caring for yourself has helped you to move the way you are. You are a true inspiration! Keep loving yourself, its the perfect way to heal .
😍
♥️♥️♥️
2 people like this.
Kristi
I love your message "I am okay, totally ect"
I experiance an iscimic stroke 4 years ago and was told I would not be able do the things I love again ! Relearning to walk and talk properly was a challenge but with determination and the belief in myself and the help of my love ones I can say I am back doing what I love and teaching pilates is one of them.I truly believe Pilates has been a big factor in my recovery"mind, body connection ". Kristi you are amazing and embrace the new you
Dear Kristy, I have no idea what you went through almost a year ago. It's so heart-felt to see you dance to Prince (#princefansince12) and move through your healing with dance and Pilates - what I have done to continue healing from breaking my neck in 1999. Pilates and dance saved my life, along with a lot of prayers and some gifts and miracles from the universe and G-d. Blessing to you for all you are, and all you are doing....!
1 person likes this.
Thank you Kristie for sharing your story. I have shared you story with another who also had a fall and suffered from a TBI. Her fall was just as odd. She was walking her dog , a big lab poodle mix , when a small dog ran in front of them. She fell over her dog and couldn’t get her hands in front of herself fast enough.
Anyway , she has been able to read your blog and has felt less alone in the process of healing. Thank you.
Continue to heal. Continue to dance. You have many many fans and followers and we love you.
Marijane
1 person likes this.
Thank you Kristi and sending love and gratitude and support.....
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