Ask Kelly: what can I do about TBI tremors?

Q: Your story sounds very inspiring. I am especially interested because my daughter had a TBI many years ago. One result of that injury which has evaded successful treatment is what I refer to as an intention tremor on her right side. I read that you started using your left hand because of a similar condition.

My daughter is now taking medication for the tremor and has also started botox injections in her arm, and there has been some improvement, but not enough to use her right hand for everyday tasks like eating, drinking, writing, etc.
What treatments or procedures, if any, have you tried for tremor, and how well have they worked for you?

A: Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I hope it reassured you in some way. Firstly, I am so incredibly sorry that your daughter incurred such a debilitating injury!
Secondly I, like your daughter, was also plagued with a tremor to the right side of my body. My doctors informed my parents that with occupational therapy (zeroing in on my fine motor skills), the problem would resolve itself. At the time, my shaky right hand was the least of my troubles; however, in time and with my return to school, my bilateral hand impairment became more and more of a problem.
I am right-handed, and when I attempted to use my right hand to write words with, it trembled uncontrollably.  Many “friends” laughed and made fun of me behind my back… Thus, I vowed to only use and write with my left hand. I now use my left hand when writing most things (checks, notes, etc.); however, I practice writing with my right hand (writing my name or the alphabet) whenever I have the time and think of it. 
 
I also use what I was taught in occupational therapy… I drop coins on the counter and try to turn them over with my right (shaky) hand. Beyond that, I don’t have much other advice to give you. My doctors told me that my hand would probably stabilize with time and use. My TBI was in 1992 and my hand continues to tremble, however, the shaking is less severe, barely noticeable. I find that if my wrist can be firmly planted on a table or surface, I can put pressure on it and the shaking subsides.
Mainly, DON’T STOP USING THE RIGHT HAND. The brain creates neural passages that enable the brain to obtain new skills… I hope what I’ve told you helps! Please email me if you need any more advice!!

Q&A: What was it like to write a book?

Lost in My Mind - Audiobook Edition

Carrie:  Kelly, can you walk us through the process of writing a book, because we’ve worked with and talked with a lot of people who want to write a book? Did you dedicate a certain amount of time every day to writing? What was the process like for you?

Kelly Bouldin-Darmofal: The process was very long and arduous, but basically I did not set aside certain times when I would sit down and write, mainly because of my son. Pretty much, I had to add and be on his schedule for feedings or when he would cry, I go to him and rock him. So basically, while I was at home with him, I just would write every time that I wasn’t in need from Alex. Alex is my son. Every time I was not with him or doing laundry or doing something else that housewives need to be in charge of, I would spend all of my time just writing my book and trying to go through all my mom’s notes and make sense of them, and make them into paragraphs and things like that.

And then, once I finished compiling all of her stuff together, I gave her that portion of the book, the first half, and let her read through it, because I did have to put in some additional sentences or some words to make the sentences make sense and go along with one another. So I wanted her to be able to give feedback on how everything sounded to her and what are add-in stuff, if I made something seem one way when it was actually another. And then, I started in on my portion of the book. That went a little bit quicker, since there wasn’t another person whom I had to check with.

Carrie:  Kelly, can you walk us through the process of writing a book, because we’ve worked with and talked with a lot of people who want to write a book? Did you dedicate a certain amount of time every day to writing? What was the process like for you?

Kelly Bouldin-Darmofal:  The process was very long and arduous, but basically I did not set aside certain times when I would sit down and write, mainly because of my son. Pretty much, I had to add and be on his schedule for feedings or when he would cry, I go to him and rock him. So basically, while I was at home with him, I just would write every time that I wasn’t in need from Alex. Alex is my son. Every time I was not with him or doing laundry or doing something else that housewives need to be in charge of, I would spend all of my time just writing my book and trying to go through all my mom’s notes and make sense of them, and make them into paragraphs and things like that.

And then, once I finished compiling all of her stuff together, I gave her that portion of the book, the first half, and let her read through it, because I did have to put in some additional sentences or some words to make the sentences make sense and go along with one another. So I wanted her to be able to give feedback on how everything sounded to her and what are add-in stuff, if I made something seem one way when it was actually another. And then, I started in on my portion of the book. That went a little bit quicker, since there wasn’t another person whom I had to check with.

Watch  the entire Q&A session as recorded on Zoom