The Brain Injury Association of New Mexico Newsletter

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					      MARCH, 2010                                                                                                 VOLUME I   ISSUE 2

     The Brain Injury Association of New Mexico Newsletter

         March is                                      Brain Injury Association of New Mexico (BIANM) is a private,
       Brain Injury                                    nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization comprised of individuals with brain
                                                       injury, family members, friends, and professionals. We are a
     Awareness Month                                   chartered affiliate of the Brain Injury Association of America.
                                                      A Letter from the Executive Director:
                                                      Welcome to Our New Office at 3234 Candelaria
                                                                                     By Delfy Peña Roach

                                                      The BIANM has moved! We moved the Brain Injury Association New Mexico
1.   A Letter from the BIANM Executive                office to 3234 Candelaria NE, and we love the new digs. We hope that the new
                                                      office provides a much improved meeting space for our volunteers and a much
                                                      more welcoming environment for our visitors, and a productive working
2.   “What You Should Know: ” Current Brain
                                                      environment for staff. I want to take this opportunity to thank all the
     Injury Legislative Issues
                                                      volunteers who helped us pack, load, and unpack. I also want to take this
3.   BI Recovery Stories— Part 2 in a series                                                                                  th
                                                      opportunity to invite everyone to our Open House on Friday, March 26 , from
     focusing on how New Mexicans and their           3:00pm to 6:00pm in recognition of Brain Injury Awareness Month.
     supporters living with Brain Injuries are
     making strides towards total wellness            March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. There have been recent articles and
4.   Our Move, Open House, and Dream                  news stories about athletes and concussions; there are news stories about
     Capsule                                          youth and young adults involved in ski accidents, ATV, motorcycle, and car
5.   Comparison of Annual US Injury Incidents         accidents; and there are news stories about babies who have brain injuries as a
                                                      result of non-accidental trauma. Little, however, is said about what happens
                                                      the day after and the years after. Little is ever mentioned about those who
     With this newsletter, BIANM strives to provide
     accurate, up-to-date information and support     acquire brain injuries as a result of strokes, infection, tumors, substance abuse,
     to persons with brain injury, professionals,     encephalopathy, etc. Rarely mentioned are infants who acquire brain injuries
     and family members seeking services. We do       because of medical reasons, i.e. Metabolic disorders because that science is
     so through our Albuquerque number at 292-        new and very few pediatricians and other physicians are current with the
     7414 or our NM toll-free number at: 1-888-       research. Brain Injury Awareness cannot be limited to one month or to one
     292-7415. Call us!
                                                      type of brain injury because there is so much awareness and advocacy that
     The BIANM Newsletter is published quarterly      needs to happen. Join us in our quest to bring awareness about brain injuries,
     by Brain Injury survivors in New Mexico. The     both traumatic and acquired, to all New Mexicans; and please join us in our
     Editor is George Peknik, the Publisher is        efforts to enhance the provider network to provide quality, effective services
     Glenn Ford, and the Production Staff includes    for individuals with brain injuries; and in our efforts to partner with the State
     Mike Baxter, Cliff Culp, Ralph Frakes, Ken
                                                      agencies who are responsible for developing, implementing, and enforcing
     Shepard, and Julie Rounds. Readers may
                                                      regulations that give access to services and impact the type and quality of
     contact the editor at
                                                      services provided. Your text matters.

                                    BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATION OF NEW MEXICO
                                    3234 Candelaria NE
                                    Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107
                                    (505) 292-7414 office • (505) 271-8983fax
                                    Free line 888.292.7415 (instate only)
 The Brain Injury Association of New Mexico Newsletter
MARCH, 2010                                                                                                    PAGE 2

What You Should Know: Current Brain Injury Legislative Issues
                                      Excerpts from Jim Jackson, Disability Rights New Mexico

State Budget, Tax Package Pass in Special Session It took an extra three days, but state legislators finally
reached agreement on a state budget for the year that begins in July. The final spending and tax measures
passed Wednesday and Thursday, and the weary lawmakers left for home late Thursday afternoon. The votes
were largely along party lines.
 The final version of the budget cuts most state agency spending by 2-3%; although public education was cut
only 1.2%. Fortunately, Medicaid was protected in the budget, and the DD waiver even received a small
increase in funding to serve some of the individuals now on the waiting list. Total state spending for the coming
year will be around $5.35 billion, compared to $5.7 billion in the current year and $6.1 billion last year.
There would have been much deeper spending cuts were it not for the package of tax increases that was
approved, which will bring in an extra $240 million or so in additional state revenue. These measures include a
1/8% increase in the state gross receipts tax (a penny on each $8 purchase), re-instatement of a small portion of
the tax on food purchases (around 2%), elimination of a certain tax benefit for taxpayers who itemize
deductions, and a 75 cents per pack increase in the tax on cigarettes.
 Appropriation levels for health and human services programs were largely unchanged compared to the
amounts that had been separately approved by the House and the Senate during the regular legislative session.
However, funding for public health and other programs in the Department of Health that had been cut in the
Senate last month was restored in the final budget approved in the special session.
Waiting for action by the Governor. The governor has not yet signaled whether he will sign all of the special
session bills into law, and he has 20 days to make his decision. A veto of any of the tax legislation, though, would
unbalance the state budget bill and likely create a need for another special session later in the year. Most of
the bills that passed during the regular session, which ended two weeks ago, are also still awaiting final action by
the governor. He can sign them into law, veto them, or let them die by not signing them (the so-called “pocket”
veto). He has until March 24 to act on measures passed in the special session.

What can cause Brain Injury?: Falls, Automobile Accidents, Whiplash, Blunt Force Trauma – TBI, Shaken Baby,
Assault, Sports Injuries, Physical Abuse, Stroke, Aneurysms, Operative Procedures, Heart Attacks, Concussion
Blasts, Hypoxia/Anoxia (near drowning, lack of oxygen), Chemicals, … Most go unseen or undetected. Always
              see a Qualified Physician if you suspect that you or others sustain a Brain Injury!!

  For tax deductible cash donations, up until 2/28/10, please send checks to: Brain Injury Association of NM or BIANM, 121 Cardenas
   Survivors’ Stories—the first of a series focusing on wellness
BINE, Albuquerque, NM 87108. After 3/1/10 send checks to: Brain Injury Association of NM or BIANM. 3234 Candelaria NE,
  Albuquerque, NM 87107. Registered as a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit.
Cliff: March 23, 2001, was a beautiful spring day, and I was sitting on a motorcycle with my wife at a red light at 11:30 AM
when all of a sudden an F-450 4x4 Ford truck doing 65 MPH struck us from behind. My heart stopped. My life ended. After
receiving CPR [from whom, a passing stranger?], I asked about my wife [name]. Someone said, “She is talking to us.” My
The Brain Injury Association of New Mexico Newsletter
MARCH, 2010                                                                                                            PAGE 3

                                                                                                                       PAGE 2
Recovery Stories—Part 2: How has your brain injury affected your life?

              In addition to several serious physical injuries from the four-car accident, I found that my brain now had pretty
              bad memory problems that stalled my university education for about a year. Over that year I learned that I
              could remember some things pretty well, only parts of other things, and would have to re-learn some things I
              could not remember. Over time, I also found out that the way I thought and understood things had also
              changed, like my ability to remember new things and my ability to correlate them over time. Two things that
              came back to me more quickly though were my determined attitude and persistence about wanting to earn my
    Mike      college degree and have a very good career. That helped me move forward again. It took me longer to
              graduate and build a very challenging and rewarding career. Foremost, I began to acknowledge my new
              strengths that truly helped and served me well in my career in Information Technology, Operational Consulting
              to Fortune 500 Company’s senior management, also in state government to the Governor and state Legislature.
              It has been a lifelong recovery and still continues since memory loss is beginning to return. [To be continued]

              My brain injury turned me into a completely different person. The one word that best describes my world now is
              “overwhelming.”On the negative side, my memory weakened, as did my ability to efficiently process inform-
              ation, and I am plagued with “neural-fatigue” daily, which causes me to sleep about 12 hours a day and to feel
              tired a lot. But on the positive side, which I feel very fortunate to experience, I have reconnected to my spiritual
              identity, fully understand what is truly important in life (not money or things), and to have a greater need to be a
George        more loving person. I have promised myself to be a better husband, father, friend, neighbor, and citizen than I
:             ever was. That came about not only because of the rewiring of my neurons in my “think tank,” but because of
              the wonderful support I received from those groups of people... But the negatives weigh heavily on me. That is
              why I joined the BIANM, and I am happier and less overwhelmed now because I did. [To be continued]

              Recently, with help, I have discovered that I am who I once was, but at the same time, I’m uncertain as to who
              this person I see in the mirror is. Parts of my brain, my life, are simply gone. The opportunity to tell my story is
              helping me find the person in the mirror. After a stay in the hospital and rehab, my wife Gabriela’s parents
              dropped her off with a wheelchair and a bag. I recall hearing, “Good luck, Cliff” and a door closing. I looked at
              my wife lying broken on the couch, unable to feed herself or do anything for herself. And I myself could hardly
              move at all either. I also had pneumonia, many broken bones, and confused beyond belief. I sat there for what
    Cliff     seemed forever believing that someone, anyone, was going to walk in the door and “save the day.” No one ever
              did. Gabriela asked me for some water with lemon in it, which I got for her, and then spoon-fed her something,
              as she was unable to feed herself. Not wanting her to see the weakness and panic within me, I went into
              another room, sat down feeling lost, and quietly cried. You want to know how my brain injury affected my life,
              so I offer this memory as a capsule answer to your question. [To be continued]

              While caring for my daughter, she had an episode and seriously beat me. This resulted in brain
              trauma, which occurred while I was employed at UNM. Because my memory was affected so much,
              which I now know is called dissociative amnesia, my manager told HR that I was lying, that I had told
              her two different stories and that she didn't know where I was when I was on leave. The true facts are
              that she was lying to HR. She knew of my daughter's mental condition and the challenges I was facing
    Julie     as her caregiver. She knew I had been beaten on the head and why I took time off to heal and go to
              doctors. Even though she told me to "take as much time as I needed", when I returned to work, she
              didn't tell me that she had put in the paperwork for a termination. UNM fired me as a result of a
              traumatic brain injury. This is just one way that brain injury has affected my life....loss of employment.
              To try to cover their actions, UNM decided to challenge my Unemployment benefits with Dept of
              Labor, more mistreatment. After the hearing, the Judge wrote a report on the conclusions of the
              hearing, stating their distaste for UNM's actions and the behavior of the parties from UNM that
              participated in the hearing. They also concluded there would be no interruption to my unemployment
              benefits....this was a wrongful termination, not to mention a violation of ADA law [Americans
              Disability Act]. There are plenty more stories of wrongdoing's toward me all due to brain trauma.
              [To be continued]

    *Editor’s note: Let’s all keep in mind that not all people living with brain injuries are men. Half are female, many
    are of color, many are children, and many are veterans. Brain Injury knows no socio-economic distinction]
 The Brain Injury Association of New Mexico Newsletter
MARCH, 2010                                                                                       PAGE 4

        BIA New Mexico: New Digs, New Energy, Same Trustworthy Support
                                                                                         By Ralph Frakes

               On March 1, BIANM got a new address: 3234 Candelaria NE, Albuquerque 87107.
 The new location brings much-needed additional space. There are four individual offices, and we tripled the
size of our conference room. The large entry way includes a library/resource center.
 Of course, change comes with challenges. We have materials that must get the “new-address” stickers
attached. We have a bus stop at the corner of Richmond and Candelaria. Change also requires adjustments.
We will have to get used to going to and using our new space, but its advantages will become obvious quickly.
 To celebrate our new office and Brain Injury Awareness Month, we will be hosting an Open House on Friday,
March 26, 2010 from 3:00pm to 6:00pm. We will provide beverages and treats. Please drop by: meet the
Staff, Members of the Board of Dirctors, Learn about Brain Injury and Celebrate with us!

      You are Invited to Attend Our March 26 Open House 3-6PM
                              until 6 PM Buy a Harley-Davidson “Dream
                                                             Capsule” at the Santa Fe Store and
                                                            support the Brain Injury Association
                                                                of New Mexico to help bring
                                                                awareness of Brain Injury!
                                                             The Santa Fe Harley-Davidson and
                                                               BIANM have joined together to
                                                             promote Brain Injury Awareness &
                                                              So go to the Santa Fe Store to buy your
                                                           dream capsule. Offer available only at Store:
                                                                      4360 West Rodeo Road
                                                                     Santa Fe, NM 87507-4888
             The Brain Injury Association of New Mexico Newsletter
MARCH, 2010                                                                                                                                                                                                  PAGE 5

                                                                                                                                                                                                   PAGE 2

                                                                                                                                                                Spinal Cord Injuries 11,000

      Comparison of Annual U.S. Injury Incidence

                                                            1,200,000                                                                                           HIV/AIDS 43,681

                                                                                                                                                                Breast Cancer 176,300

                                                               600,000                                                                                          Traumatic Brain Injury


                                                                                                                                                                Other Acquired Brain Injuries
                                                               200,000                                                                                          (Hypoxia/Anoxia, Stroke,
                                                                                                                                                                'sports concussions', war
                                                                                                                                                                related, Undiagnosed TBI, etc.)
                                                                         0                                                                                      1,100,000+

               New Mexico – Brain Injury Support Groups
                                                        New Mexico - Statewide                                            Santa Fe:
                                                   Clubhouse - Contact Alicia Cisneros                Book Club Tuesdays 10:30 - 11:30 call 505-474-6699                             Las Cruces:
                                                            505-292-7414                                                or 747-8016.
                                                                                                                                                                  Las Cruces Support Group Fridays 9A - 12N Housing
                                Albuquerque Stroke Club Support Group Garcia's                          Support Group 2nd & 4th Tuesdays Toney Anaya                Authority on San Pedro St. call 575-526-5541 to
                              Kitchen (4th & Candelaria) Every 2nd Thursday 6 PM                            Bldg call: 505- 989-7126 or 428-6572                                       confirm
                                               call: 505-268-5685

                                                                                                              Bernalillo - Rio Rancho - Abq Metro:                                  Farmington:
                                                             Grant County:                            Thursday Noon Support Group Every Week 12N - 2            Friends Helping Friends 2nd Thursday each month call
                                                                                                                        PM BIANM                                                    505-325-6545
                                TBI Support Group Tuesdays 4:30 - 5:20 Billy Casper
                                                Wellness Ctr. SC                                       ABQ Support Group for Survivors & Caregivers 3rd
                                                                                                         Wed each Month 7 -9PM HealthSouth Rehab.
                                                                                                                                                                 Peer Support Group Every Thursday 1 - 3 PM Cibola
                                 SW NM Brain Injury Support Group of Silver City                                 Hospital call: 505-898-0389
                                                                                                                                                                              Counseling Services, Inc
                                Wednesdays 5 - 6 PM Gila Regional Medical Ctr. call                                                                                             call: 505-726-2709
                                                  575-313-4795                                       ABQ Survivors Group 1st Friday each month Lovelace
                                                                                                             Rehab. Hospital call: 505-323-4214

                                                                                                       Volunteer Work Group 3rd Thursdays each month
                                                                                                            11AM - 3PM BIANM call: 505-296-0173


                                                                                         Brain Injury Support Group 2nd Friday 5 - 6 PM Cahoon Park call: 575-622-3787

Brain Injury Association of New Mexico
3234 Candelaria NE
Albuquerque, NM 87107


                                               In the U.S.:
             570 People will sustain a life altering Brain Injury
                                         in a 2 hour period
                     the time it takes to watch an average Movie.
                 the time it takes to watch a Basket Ball Game
                The ONLY Cure For Brain Injury Is Prevention!

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