Saturday, November 18, 2006


A baby boy in New Zealand was shaken by his father and it caused two large black holes in his brain. Little Brodie Christopher Barry Te Waaka-Price suffered a loss of 25% of his brain. Because his parent shook him, he will not have an average life. He is most likely blind. He cannot hold his head up. He had to have excess fluid drained from his brain. There is evidence of two broken ribs and at least one other incident of shaking. Dad is in jail. Mom is supporting dad but hopes that New Zealanders will become more educated to shaken baby syndrome and the traumatic brain injuries and long-term consequences that can result from it.

Read more at:,2106,3866261a11,00.html

A twenty year old father of a three month old baby in Massachusetts was arrested on October 20. The baby required evacuation of a large amount of blood from inside her head. She had other injuries...On October 13, a couple living in Rotterdam NY with their 3 children and 2 foster children brought their youngest to the emergency room. They have both been charged...On November 17, a mother was convicted of killing her baby girl. The baby had multiple skull fractures and various other injuries. Cause of death: traumatic brain injury [SBS]. Mother blamed the injuries on her three year old son. The little boy had told police that "Mommy did it."...26 year-old boyfriend in Michigan charged with shaking a baby to death...Baby boy in New York City dies...[For alternative explanations and stories of those who may have been wrongfully convicted of shaking a baby into serious traumatic brain injury or death, please goto:]

The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome at: gives us this chart on symptoms:

Common Symptoms of Shaken Baby Syndrome:

  • Lethargy / decreased muscle tone
  • Extreme irritability
  • Decreased appetite, poor feeding or vomiting for no apparent reason
  • Grab-type bruises on arms or chest are rare
  • No smiling or vocalization
  • Poor sucking or swallowing
  • Rigidity or posturing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures
  • Head or forehead appears larger than usual or soft-spot on head appears to be bulging
  • Inability to lift head
  • Inability of eyes to focus or track movement or unequal size of pupils

A parent or caregiver usually shakes a baby because they are angry over things like intense crying, feeding, and toilet-training. One incident of shaking can dictate a future for a baby that includes long-term consequences or death. The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome site has more information, testimonials, and resources.

says that: "Approximately 60% of shaken babies are male, and children of families who live at or below the poverty level are at an increased risk for SBS as well as any type of child abuse. And it's estimated that the perpetrators in 65% to 90% of cases are males - usually either the baby's father or the mother's boyfriend, often someone in his early 20s."

Other studies found on a search engine reported precipitating factors such as active addiction in a parent or caregiver [including live-in significant others], legal problems, and loss of jobs. One characterological trait that was common to the perpetrators was lack of impulse control. At-risk families included those who display rigidity in thinking, unrealistic expectations of events or behaviors that an infant or child can control, a history of a parent having been abused as a child, and depression or low self-esteem present in a parent. Babies who were born prematurely or who were identified as already having a disabling condition were also statistically at higher risk.

Shaken Baby Syndrome can be prevented and education of parents and caregivers does help. This education may take the form of educational videos, educational pamphlets, drop-in family centers in high-risk areas, home visits, and information offered by physicians. Websites dealing with Shaken Baby Syndrome drive home the message: Never shake a baby or a child. They also offer variations of the 5 S-s to deal with crying after checking the general condition of the baby:
side-to-stomach positioning

And if all else fails, get help. There are far too many of us in the tbi club already.

sapphoq healing tbi

Thursday, November 09, 2006


I went to visit an aunt today and had occasion to watch "The View" with Rosie O'Donnell and all of them. "The View" is not a show I would ordinarily watch. I did watch it though because my aunt was watching it.

Barbara Walters was on the show and she brought along her best friend Beverly Sills. For those who don't know [and I didn't either] Beverly Sills was an opera singer who quit at the height of her voice at the age of 50. She does not sing anymore-- ever.

Upon quitting, her husband gave her a ring with the words "I've done that already" engraved on it. In turn, she passed the ring on to Barbara Walters when she retired from Big News Teevee.

So now when I get impatient with my slow progress and begin to beat myself up mentally, I can say to my self, "Self, I've beaten my self up already. I don't have to do that again." Or, when I think about attempting to return to work for Running Sores Incorporated, I can say to my self, "I've done that already!" And the beauty thing is, I don't have to suffer through a position at Running Sores ever again.

"I've done that already" has become my new temporary motto which I intend to use to stave off any bad repeat decisions or whatnot. I've done that already, and I don't have to do it again!

Freedom is as much a freedom to go forward as it is not to return. If I've made that mistake before, there are plenty of new ones to choose from!!!

Negativistic thinking? I've done that already.
Procrastination? I've done that already. Now since I've already procrastinated, I can take action instead!
Laziness? Yep, I done that already too and perfected it to a science. I don't have to keep doing that anymore. Cuz, I've done that already.

If I want something different, I gotta do something different.
Anything worth having is worth working for.
Time to get off my duff and get going.

I don't have to sit on my duff any longer and whine, whine, whine. I've done that already AND I am done with that!!!

sapphoq healing tbi

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Sunday is the third anniversary of my traumatic brain injury. Three years ago this Sunday, I escaped death once again. My car was violently slammed into a house, leaving a large hole in the foundation [through which one could jump into the basement], and I lived to complain about it.

Through my husband's nieces, I have been blessed with two grandnieces and two grandnephews. Grandniece #2 through no fault of her own had the misfortune of being born on the same date as my car accident and traumatic brain injury-- she was born later that same evening. Consequently, anniversary #1 and #2 post-tbi I had remained selfish and self-obsessed enough to refuse to attend her birthday parties.

This year anniversary #3 I decided that I have to live in this world and that the people of this world don't necessarily have to live in mine-- especially little grandnieces who really have nothing to do with my own struggles and regrets. The fact that she was born on an inconvenient day for me is nothing to her and ought to remain nothing to her--and perhaps even to my husband's family. Basically, we are really alone in our own skins. Thus, part of this whole adult thing is to be able to function in spite of the personal junk zipping through my internosphere at any given moment in time and not to inflict it upon the innocent bystanders around me.

I thought a few weeks ago that this tbi anniversary thing would not "mean anything to me this year." I thought wrong. Because it does. I have my regrets and some resentments that the help I got did not include tbi rehab nor any real help to be able to get back to working. Thus it is three years later and I appear to be no closer to becoming a productive self-supporting member of society.

Well, I know I cannot fix the past. Nor can I fix the local shithead VESID agency's
inability to deal with me nor mine to deal with VESID. Sometimes there is a price
to pay for being non-pliable. That price is once again for me to really have to
knuckle down and do much of my own work without oversight or "help" from the
professional vocational rehabilitational businessites. Consequently, I am forced
to handle my own anxieties and doubts about this whole work thing instead of
having the insane luxury of thinking that some VESIDite with a sterile safe life is going to "fix this."

Finding professional cheerleaders to be highly overrated, I am thereby committed
to making my own way. That is a bit old at this point. And yet, I cannot live
any other way. That is the reality of it all. We can all walk together on parts of
our individual journeys thru this life. But no one can walk for me nor I for anyone else. Thus, I find comfort in knowing that I have some really good friends and yet as a grown-up, I still have to retain responsibility for my life decisions.

This year, I will endeavor to re-connect to my sense of self-efficacy as I continue up the road of healing tbi.

sapphoq healing tbi