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Volunteering


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I know there is a back to work thread, but I have not gone to work...nor do I plan on it. However, I did start volunteering and was wondering if others had done the same?

I started volunteering at an in-patient rehabilitation center. I have gone twice so far. My first day started bad, then great, then tiring. I find myself very inspired by those whom, I've encountered. They are at the beginning of their struggle and like I was back then, very hopeful and ready to get home. I did feel good when I saw a doctor come down the hall, stop 1/2 way and look at the wall for a moment and then say to no one in particular, 'I forgot what I was doing.' I'm glad smart people do this too. :)

~Kris

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I could never go back to my career. Instead I filled my life with voluntary work in several different fields. It is quite difficult to keep putting "different heads" on instead of concentrating on just one thing. The only time that was and still is me time when I will not volunteer is Thursday afternoons which is my water aerobic session which I enjoy.

Even though I am now past retirement age I keep on with the voluntary work. I cannot imagine life without being busy all the time although I do admit I crash from time to time after fighting the fatigue to carry on as I will not give in, foolishly at times

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Hi Kris, I think quite a few members volunteer. It was suggested to me here in BTG and by my occupational therapist as a means to return to work so I could build my stamina and exercise my brain and learn how my brain works differently now.

I'm volunteering in admin at the local Brain Injury Society. At first my brain was overwhelmed at 2 hours twice a week and learning and retaining information. I started that in December. Now I'm at 4 hours for three consecutive days and I've learned loads of new stuff.

I'm figuring out what sends my brain into a spiral and what triggers my fatigue and all the 'weirdo' neurological symptoms. For example, I learned this week that if I'm buried fully in a spreadsheet and someone pulls me away to teach me something entirely different on the computer my brain will just stop taking in information. It freezes up and I don't retain. The fatigue starts. I need to be rested and ready to learn. If I'm fully focused and concentrating on a spreadsheet or other task I need to just stay there and work on it. No multitasking.

Also learning how to use my earplugs in an office environment so that they benefit me but I'm still aware of what's happening. The best situation for me is quiet with no distractions. If its quiet I can do a longer day and feel better afterward.

This is all stuff I didn't take the time to learn when I was returning to work. I was trying to be my old self and only became frustrated when it never worked.

Someone said to me 'you had 40 something years with your brain before SAH. You've only had a couple of years with your changed brain. It will take time to understand how it works and what is different'.

Volunteering has so many benefits. It's helping me to build confidence and understand I'm still capable, it's retraining my brain, building stamina, and helping the community.

Good luck Kris, Let us know how it goes.

Sandi K.

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I've done a couple of sessions at the local hospice trading offices, co ordinating the volunteers. Nothing too taxing so far but the heat & work are just too much in one day. Sadly I can't carry on during the summer hols so won't be back until Sept.

I really hope to do a job that helps others as have always done admin in seemingly meaningless areas before. I haven't done any spreadsheet work yet but from doing a session at Headway a while back I know that will be much harder!

Will update more in September unless they need me on a Fri pm (hubby finishes at lunch time on a Fri)

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I'd like to go to where they want singers not that I can sing, but older people like their music and need happy

times to recall.

My Brother works in an old peoples home and when they get the hump he sings and they smile he said.

He came round to see me after I had shunt fitted and we sang and he put me in chair and we held

hands and spoke about our childhood days and sang the songs of our childhood.

We laughed so much, that's my brother Tel for you xx

Keep Well All

WinB143 xx xx

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Hi Kris,

I also volunteer one morning a week at a day centre for adults with disabilities. I started about 8 months ago & I love it. I used to do admin work & returned to work for two years before being medically retired. My brain does not do well with admin or any computer related things any more and my organisational skills are gone so it had to be a totally different field for me.

Apart from loving the work, I really enjoy learning new things & being out of the house actually DOING something again. My social skills also took a hit & I find making small talk with people almost impossible. At work I am dealing with people who have limited (sometimes no) communication skills. It has taken me quite a while to be able to chat to people but I think being there has improved this area for me a little bit too. There is also the unexpected advantage of seeing people far worse off than ourselves which helps put our own deficits back into perspective.

Well done for starting this & good luck!

Win, you would light up any OAP home with your humour & singing. They would love you & you'd brighten a lot of their days. You should give it a go!

Michelle xx

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I will Michelle ah poor so and so's they wont know what's hit them lol

This will be me "wheelchair dancing will start in 5 minutes"

Love

Win xx xx

Edited by Karen
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Win,

I love your singing spirit. As you know, I am a music therapist, but i haven't been able to actually practice it. I can't think on my feet like before and so I am struggling with feeling OK just to sing with someone and not try and promote therapy with music as just the tool to that end. I hope I get the nerve up to just kick back and play guitar or sing with someone at my new volunteer position. I am autonomous and can really do what I like. Fear, it's what hold me back a lot of the time.

~Kris

Edited by Karen
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Hello all,

Congrats on the volunteering Kris, hope it works out for you and all others who do this. You all know my volunteering attempt was a disaster with the Hospice group so I volunteer right now to try and take better care of myself. That darn Mary is right again.

I would PAY to see Win sing at an OAP home casue that would be fun.

Sorry to all if I havent been so supportive lately but must keep myself alive first.

Good day all,

David

Edited by Karen
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