You Have A Choice To Re-Create Your Story! By Adrienne Walker-Pittman
My name is Adrienne Walker-Pittman. I was the Spokeswoman for Baltimore/Washington International now Thurgood Marshall BWI Airport until January 27, 1996. On that day, my husband and I were packing to move to our dream home. After being up all night packing boxes with little to no sleep, all I remember was being exciting about the move while bending over to put the last boxes in the trunk of my car when everything went black. I was later told that a juvenile delinquent driving a stolen car hit me as he was trying to get away from the police who were chasing him. My left leg was amputated above the knee on impact and I sustained a traumatic brain injury. I was in a coma for 15 days, in two hospitals for 60 days and out of work for about a year. In an instant, my life had gone from 100 to zero. I had to start my life all over again like a baby in an adult body.
Yes, in life you have to make adjustments but who would have thought the adjustments would be life changing and life impacting for ever? Oh no, not I! I decided to set my mind to win so I could conquer this mountain! I decided that I would not let anything defeat me, not even this!! Of course there are adjustments in life because life is all about making adjustments. Positive adjustments allow you to reach your goal or provide opportunities to help you achieve your dream.
Dreams are individualized and uniquely designed specific to each individual. Some brain injured people dream to become independent while others dream to drive a car, walk across the street, get dressed or just take one step or say one word. Yes, I believe that all of your dreams are possible and that they can be achieved if you start believing in yourself and your abilities. In that way, you make room for opportunities to allow you to help yourself achieve the task you set out to complete. In my case, after learning how to walk with a prosthetic leg (which was not easy); I decided that I wanted to praise dance again. My thought process has always been to adapt to the change which is what I do. After years of trying different leg prostheses, I found the right prosthetic device and I also found a prosthetist and doctor who both shared my vision and dream.
Together, the three of us made my dream come true! I praise danced at my church as part of the Christmas Eve service and it was amazing to say the least! Don’t let your disability enable your ABILITIES!!!! I encourage you, after your injury, to become active in brain injury or other support groups that can help you adjust to your different lifestyle. Take advantage of the resources offered by these groups as they are a wealth of information and knowledge.
It feels good to be in a group of likeminded, like-experienced people! I refused to let my life changing injuries stop me! I became a member of the Brain Injury Association of Maryland, Inc., the Governor’s Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Board and other brain injury, amputee and trauma survivor support groups. When you help others, you will inadvertently help yourself. In addition, I pledged and became a lifetime member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. as I am still active in all of these great community organizations today. Challenges will come without any instructions but you must not give up or give in! As it wasn’t enough for me to lose my left leg above the knee and suffer a traumatic brain injury, in 2018, I lost my only son. Evan was my everything: My Hero, My Cheerleader and My #1 Fan. In fact, we had a mutual admiration society involving those three personality traits. In spite of my losses, I still have life and want to live despite how difficult it may seem at times. I may make it sound easy, but it’s not.
First off, you have to make up your mind and set a goal that no matter what life challenge you are faced with that YOU CAN and YOU WILL WIN!!!! Next, you need to have the right people in your corner; your support team or pit crew is key to whether or not you achieve your goal. These core people may or may not be family members and that’s okay too if their goal is your goal which is to help you get better and achieve your dream. Last but not least, you have to be positive and surround yourself with positive people. Remember to think positive thoughts and always keep in mind that the best is yet to come! As my daughter Carenda Deonne says, “Win in your mind so you can conquer your goals.” I hope my Five Thoughts Friday thoughts brighten your day and encourage you along your journey in life! Believe You Can ACHIEVE AND YOU WILL!!! ###