My Journey with ABI

My name is Judy Johnston and my ABI story begins seven years ago. When it happened I had spent most of my adult life as Judith A. Johnston, a professional, a Licensed Employee Benefits Consultant and Vice President of a Life Insurance Brokerage. It took many weeks of being in hospital before I came to understand that I had been a victim of a car crash. The injuries I sustained have left me with Acquired Brain Injury, impaired vision, recurring back and neck issues, loss of hearing, the loss of my sense of smell and balance issues. 

It has been, and continues to be, a long journey to recovery, but I now call myself a survivor of a life altering event. Inside I am still that Judith Ann Johnston I was before the accident, and I am grateful for her qualities and strengths that have come through as I slowly make my way down this road I call my “New Normal”.  

Judy's Blog 

Like many of us I welcomed the opportunity to hide away from the challenges of facing the world outside my front door. The interruption caused by the Covid pandemic, to my journey in overcoming the obstacles caused by my ABI, was initially frustrating. It cut off the in person sessions with all the professional clinicians who continue to form my rehab team. Some of those sessions moved to virtual weekly, monthly and even to not at all. Various doctor appointments were all held virtually. I found myself slipping away… relying on family members to venture out for me, with their masks, and pick up prescriptions, groceries and other sundries, while online browsing, shopping and responding to text messages made me think I was somehow still being active in the real world.

What I have come to realize is when faced with adversity it increases the impact these challenges have on every single person it touches. But it also takes such catastrophic events to push us to grow and break through the gigantic obstacles they create. The bottom line is that’s life.

After three cancelled trips over the past 18 months my husband Rick and I are back in Bermuda. It is a place I am able to breathe, to again find my sense of self and slowly break down the barriers that I allowed to stifle “ME” throughout this pandemic. In spite of my struggle in walking up and down stairs, the sight of the ocean waves crashing on the Pink Beach at The Loren made me take up their challenge without even thinking about it… much to my husband’s amusement. It was heaven. And it has made me want to begin writing once again.

I know the road to climbing out of the proverbial black hole, created by a brain injury and any obstacle, perceived or otherwise, can be just as simple as walking out our front door. When I get back home that is what I will do.

Posted 110 weeks ago

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