Palmer Turned TBI Into Asset
Mark Palmer of Sacramento, California, read my column a couple weeks ago concerning a man who experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Palmer emailed to tell his own TBI story.
In a telephone interview, he said, "About 50 years ago, when 15, I was riding in a car with a friend who ran a stop sign and a Detroit city bus hit us in the side. I remember very little about the accident and only remember a couple incidents during my three week coma. The most significant thing I remember (in the coma) was, around the clock, nurses reading the get well cards from my paper route customers. If you think people in a coma never hear anything, that's a myth."
He said he was discharged after learning to walk and feed himself. There wasn't any rehabilitation program for people like him in 1964. He and his parents thought the "whole ordeal was over," he said, the minute they left the hospital.
His high school teachers continued giving him the grades he received before his traumatic brain injury, which was a disservice to him, he said. In his high school English classes, no matter how hard he tried, he would always end up failing his weekly spelling tests. So he gave up trying. He later flunked out of the University of Michigan.
His story could have ended there, but Palmer didn't. He began fighting through and slowly overcoming or adapting to his limitations, including left-side paralysis. He took an IBM clerical job.
He said, "I wasn't smart enough to know how restricted I should be. I just kept plowing through and kept pressing on for more functionality. The injury has been a gift to me."
He called his injury a "gift" because his path to become functional would become an ingrained character trait-and, in time, lead to his vocation.
Palmer became a noted technology industry "turnaround executive" who did for businesses what he was doing with himself. Now retired at age 65, he manages the Realistichope.com website for people with TBIs. In part, on this website, he allows affected people to share their personal stories in order to encourage others and build hope. Rather than treat brain injuries, he helps people realistically live with them in community with others.
He said, "Fifty years later, (the TBI) is still a big part of my life, but not as a negative."
Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.
Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.
Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com
Placer County News HeadlinesRoseville Flash Crime Report Update (9.29.16)Roseville, CA- Police activity log from Roseville Police for the period covering September 17-27, 2016.
Lexus NX 200t Review: Aggressive and EdgyRoseville, CA - The NX 200t has some aggressive design angles and the standard Lexus front end features thin lights and a nose that one car reviewer says resembles a rat's angry expression.
Mini Maker Faire and Sierra Celebration October 1Rocklin, CA - On Saturday, October 1st, from 10am-5pm, the City of Rocklin and Sierra College will host the Rocklin Mini Maker Faire & Sierra Celebration
Public Invited to Sierra College Patrons Meeting in RocklinRocklin, CA - The Sierra College Patrons, a support group of the Sierra College Foundation, invites the public and those interested in becoming members of the
Local Grant to Help Fund Senior Nutrition Programs(AUBURN, CA) - Seniors First has been awarded a $10,000 grant through the James and Virginia Benson Memorial Fund, managed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation
JB Brown Fund Awards 44 ScholarshipsROSEVILLE - Helping residents achieve their dreams and build a better future for themselves and their families are the foundation of the JB Brown Fund
Rocklin Flash Crime Report (9.28.16)Rocklin, CA- The latest police activity report from Rocklin Police covering the period of September 12- 18, 2016.
Rocklin Venues to Host Cyclocross RacesRocklin, CA - On October 8 and 9 Sacramento Cyclocross will kick-off their cyclocross race season with exhilarating events in two Rocklin locations
$3 Million Plan to Remove Damaged Trees Approved by SupervisorsCounty staff has identified approximately 1,800 trees in need of immediate removal. With an estimate of $1,700 per tree, the total cost of the project is expected to be about $3.1 million
Draft Vision for Sunset Area and Placer Ranch in South PlacerRoseville, CA - Placer County planners today unveiled the first draft land use vision for Placer Ranch and the Sunset Area in south Placer
Grant to Support Seniors First Meal Delivery ProgramSeniors First Executive Director Jamee Horning is honored to announce the receipt of $15,000 from Sierra Health Foundation, a private philanthropy committed to improving health
Steven Pedretti: New Community Development Resource Agency directorGuiding future development in Placer County is now in the hands of Steven Pedretti, Placer's new Community Development Resource Agency director.