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Hope for Healing through new treatment!!!!

$1,510 of $2,000 goal

Raised by 13 people in 1 month
MY BRAIN INJURY

I was assaulted by a client at work who first took a book bag full of books which had a long handle and ran swinging it and hit me in the back of the head on the right at the base of the skull. The client who was wearing army boots then followed up with a kick to my left ear. My brain which had been going forward and backward was now going all over the place inside my skull. It left me with a brain injury which included chronic fatigue, stimuli overload, true vestibular issues (I had to use a walking stick for 5 years as I would constantly fall), at least 7 visual processing issues, audio processing, memory issues, word find, vertigo, nausea, then due to vegus nerve damage (Vegus nerve is rarely damaged as it is deep) I developed Gastroparesis (paralyzed stomach), RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy which is the most painful disease known in the world).


The assault was over 15 years ago. I had to go back through crawling, walking, talking. It has been a long journey to get to where I have gotten. Most days now I could run in heels however some days I wake up and end up on the ground crawling or falling into the walls trying to walk down the hall. I have learned the most consistent thing about brain injury is the inconsistency of it.


The 3 most debilitating are:


1. RSD - I have it full body with my right leg the worse. Most of my body feels as if someone poured gasoline on me and lit a match. My right leg feels as if all of the skin has been burned off and I am left with raw unprotected nerves. My clothes have to be picked by materials I can handle. I can never wear long pants, shoes or socks. Yep I am in flip flops and capri pants even in the snow. I am forever asked "aren't you cold". Yep I am freezing. However it is the lesser of two evils. I can't use sheets. Instead I use a particular type of blanket I can handle as a bottom sheet and then either a cage over me to hold the covers off of me yet hold in the heat or a space heater in the room turned up so I can be uncovered. There are also other complications I have from the RSD I lose use of arms and legs. Left arm goes first, then right, then legs.It is a fine line between needing to use my limbs so they don't atrophy and not overusing them so they hang there useless. I forget (I have a brain injury what do you expect? lol) what it is in my throat which relaxes too much causing me to choke on medications and when I am trying to sleep. Every night when I try to fall asleep I go through the choking. Some nights I dream I am drowning and can't get my breath then wake up choking. I now have scar tissue in my throat.


2. Gastroparesis - It was obvious right away something was wrong as I gagged just from the smell of most foods. My poor husband had to cook outside for around 3 or 4 years as I couldn't handle the smell. It took 2 years for them to diagnosis. In the meantime I had dropped down to 106 lbs and was putting in 6,000 calories a day to maintain. I know some of you might be thinking it is a nice problem to have being able to eat so much and weigh so little. Unfortunately my body wasn't taking in the nutrition and hardly any of the calories and I was told I was white as a ghost a lot and I was blacking out.  Plus unbeknownst to us I was doing damage to organs since I was eating things I shouldn't have been. I tried to eat healthy items which didn't make me sick. It took 3 years for them to get me gaining weight by releasing enough pressure off the vegus nerve through cranial sacral therapy. I haven't even been able to drink tap water since. I can't eat fruits, vegetables, meats or most foods. Pretty much just plain white carbs and a little cheese.


3. Chronic Fatigue - At first I slept 20 hours straight every day and was drowsily awake for 4. We were later told I was in a waking coma. I then dropped to 18 hrs, 16, 14, 12 where I stayed for a lot of years and finally down to about 10 for a few more. Then all of a sudden about 9 years post I switched to insomnia where about every 2 months I would have a week were I would sleep less than 8 hrs for the whole week and didn't sleep much in between. After sleep study and working with them I sleep better though still wake up a lot due to RSD pain. Throughout it all no matter how much I have slept I always wake up feeling like I have been run over by a Semi truck. Everything I do exhausts me. I usually have a hard time staying awake to eat.


NEW TREATMENT OPPORTUNITY!!!! FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OVER 15 YEARS I HAVE HOPE FOR THE 3 MOST DEBILITATING TO BE RESOLVED!!!!!


Dr. Rachel Frontain of http://northwestfunctionalneurology.com/ has offered to treat me Pro Bono. They have a completely different approach, work with tools not many others have and work on the issues I have. There are only about 300 Doctors in the US who do what they do. 4 of them are at the same clinic. People come from all over the world to see them. They do a week intensive where I will be at their clinic from 8:30 am to 5 pm daily. I met Rachel and Dr. Z up at the Oregon Brain injury conference this month. They think they can help me. Now we need to get me up there as I live about 5 hrs away and get me a place to stay. I have a place for the first 2 nights. I still need a place for the last 4. I am unsure at this point how many though I believe they also require 3 to 4 follow ups which I think are just a day. I will find out more when I go there. They move fast and I am to start on April 1st with the week intensive.


WHAT I DO NOW

besides the 5-6 Dr. appointments I have a week I:

1. Have ran the local brain injury support group for about 12 years now.

2. I put on a 3 day camping, rafting, hiking trip for people with brain injuries and their families. I only charge $25 each to attend and get donations to cover the rest of the $200 each needed. Since 08. If you would like more information on the camp pm me or go to the “Oregon brain injury camping, rafting, hiking trip” facebook page.

3. I teach DNA genealogy at the local genealogy library. I facilitate an advanced group and teach a beginners class. Over 3 years now.

4. I assisted in an elementary school when I was physically able for 2 years.


None of the above are paid however they are something I can do as they are each a little bit here and a little there. They are a way I can give back. Even when I worked 60 or more hours I did volunteer work.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and your consideration in donating. Every bit helps.

In the meantime I am dreaming of salads, raspberries, sheets, long pants, shoes and socks. 

Lorita Willard-Cushman
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Hi everyone,

Thank you for the generous donations. We need more help. I leave in about 30 minutes for another full week at Northwest Functional Neurology. When I was up there for two weeks the hotel cost $1,224.98 as I was only able to stay with friends for two nights. The money is only being used for hotels and gas. I currently have $109 left (GoFundMe takes a fee) which will pay for some of the gas this trip. It looks like Dr. Rachel will be having me come up for one week every 4-6 weeks for a while. Hopefully I will be able to stay with friends every time in the future.

She works with me Monday-Friday from 9 am until 4:30-5:30 everyday. It is intense. I was sent home with individual exercises. The instructions say to do them 3-5 times a day. Dr. Rachel told me as I was heading back to my real life I only need to do them 3 times a day. She said knowing me I would kill myself to get in the 5 times everyday and she did not want me doing that. Each set takes me between 45-55 mins with a 45 minute rest period after each set. 4 1/2 to 5 hours a day to do 3 sets. I was diligent. One day I only got in two sets asI was falling asleep eating dinner and could not wake up enough to do my last set. All of the other days I got in at least 3 sets even if it meant starting the last set around midnight. A number of days I got in 4 sets and once I got even in 5 sets. Not easy to do when I had 4-5 Dr. appointments (4 of which are out of town) a week, a grandson playing soccer 45 mins away not to mention the groups I facilitate and class I teach. Getting well is important to me.

We have seen improvements. Each of the 4 times after the initial testing the testing showed improvements and Dr. Rachel changed some of the protocols. She thinks outside the box and does things no one has ever mentioned. My next update I will talk about some of the exercises. The vertigo I had had for over 2 months when I went up there they got rid of. Besides improvements Dr. Rachel has see, we have seen improvements at home also. I can do things now I couldn't do when I first went there and even things I couldn't do when I left there.

Sorry it took so long to update. I had a video of Dr Rachel shocking my face 6 times, both ankles, my knees each in two places, my left thumb and even my tongue in 3 places .The video would not post and would not let me erase to be able to post anything else. Today I got it to go away finally and am not even sure how.

This time I am staying at long time friends Larry and Loni's the first 3 nights and the last 3 nights Lani whom I met in March graciously opened her doors to me.

I am dreaming of eating fruits, vegetables, meats and more, using sheets, wearing shoes, socks, long pants, energy, going back to work and so much more.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please donate if you can and pass on if you can't.

Lorita
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They are keeping me through next Thursday. Which means another 6 nights up here. I raised the goal in order to cove the extra costs. Unfortunately with my special needs have to stay someplace which can accommodate me. If you can please donate. Otherwise please share. Thank you to everyone who has donated. We have already seen improvement and it could be life changing for me.
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Hi everyone,

Sorry it has taken so long to post. Dr. Rachel banned me from my computer, books, newspapers, TV, radio, doing things on my phone including playing games. The only thing I have been allowed to do besides resting my eyes has been to crochet since I can crochet with my eyes closed. The ban is off for the weekend only.

There was a mix up and they ended up not being able to get me in on Monday.

Tuesday I went through a lot of testing. The testing including a lot of visual stuff. Sometimes I had to follow lines or dots with my eyes, sometimes I was in complete darkness while they spun me. They also jerked my head while I tried to stay focused on a dot. I had goggles on with cameras in them. Afterwards Dr. Rachel went over the results with me. Boy did my eyes look weird. The left one turns in because it can't figure out what to do. They both jerked a lot when they aren't supposed to.

It left me so exhausted and with such a headache as soon as I got to my room I took my med to be able to eat in 30 mins then went to sleep, woke up just to eat then back to sleep until Mick called me at 8:30 to take medication. It took me an hour just to take medication and brush teeth. Then back to bed for the night.

I will post more later.
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Raised by 13 people in 1 month
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