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 

November 2018 ABI Conference


It was both exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. To be able to share the impact of my brain injury on my journey towards recovery with medical and legal professionals, clinicians, survivors and caregivers was like opening the floodgates about my ongoing attempts in “Tempering Fatigue”.

Preparing for this speech took me over a year from the suggestion by my SLP to consider submitting an abstract, to processing the idea of speaking about “That Omnipotent Beast… FATIGUE”, putting it down on paper, then powerpoint, and finally practicing it with anyone who would listen. But the bigger story is that because of my occupation during my pre ABI life I spoke to small and large groups of people over a course of 30+ years. ABI impaired that ability for a long time. The difference now, as I find my way back to speaking to people, is that this is my story, and a story that many other survivors are able to relate to also. It was a team affair and I would like to thank everyone who had a role in helping me along the way, but finally to those who attended my talk thank you for allowing me to validate my trials and tribulations along this new pathway.

I have also come to learn that had I not continued the journey towards becoming Mindful and being able to Meditate, in order to quiet my brain chatter, then speaking to groups of people, no matter how small, would not have happened. It didn’t happen all at once but over a period of time so that now I have the ability to be able to ground myself and become more present in the moment.

Posted 279 weeks ago

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