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 HeadlinesBuick Cascada: Stylish and Fun-loving ConvertibleRoseville, CA- The 2016 Buick Cascada is a stylish, compact soft-top convertible that has many strong qualities.
Memorial Day: A Time to ReflectMemorial Day is time to take a moment to reflect on the purpose of this holiday-to pay tribute to those who have served us in the military-especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
South Yuba River State Park: Summer CooldownSouth Yuba River State Park provides a scenic adventure and summer escape with pricing that's hard to beat.
Estate Planning Workshop in Granite Bay June 2Roseville, CA- Come out for an informative seminar with Bill Walker to learn how about smart estate planning on Thursday, June 2, 2016.
Roseville Ride: Miner's Ravine Trail Roseville, CA- A great place to go solo or bring the family, Miner's Ravine Trail offers a great escape for those looking to get away without the hassle or cost of a more time consuming adventure.
3 Arrested in West Roseville Vehicle TheftsRoseville, CA- Kevin Patrick McFarland, Maksim Mishchenko, and Stanislav M. Taran, were arrested on suspicion of stealing from numerous vehicles in Roseville.
Annual Marysville Stampede Memorial Day WeekendMarysville, CA- An annual celebration of California Western and rodeo heritage, in the heart of California's cowboy country, the 83rd Annual Marysville Stampede
Downtown Woodland: Unexpected TreasureWoodland, CA- On a recent Sunday afternoon, I grabbed my wife and headed off on a rather short drive to Woodland to catch an afternoon show at the Blue Note Brewing Company.
Roseville Flash Crime Report (5.23.16)Roseville police crime report digest update for May 23, 2016.
Local Team Wins Spirit CUP at SMUD Solar RegattaRocklin, CA- The Sierra College Solar Energy program Team competed last Saturday May 14th in the Northern California SMUD Solar Regatta
Roseville Area Organization Helps Guardian Scholars ProgramRoseville, CA- Sierra College Guardian Scholars Program thanks the ALPHA DELTA KAPPA Organization for their generous donation to our Former Foster Youth
Placer County Water Agency Master Plan UpdateAUBURN, Calif. - At its May 19 meeting, the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors received an update on the PCWA County-wide Master Plan.