An Online Brain Health Summit for Those Affected by Brain Injury

An invitation to attend a FREE online event with over 20 renowned specialists in the brain injury community.

Dr. Jeremy Schmoe from Minnesota Functional Neurology and I saw a growing need in the brain injury community for more awareness and education about alternative healthcare methods and modalities for those who are still suffering from the lingering effect of brain injury.

During the month of March, in conjunction with Brain Injury Awareness Month, the summit will provide brain injury survivors with more than 20 of the most renowned specialists in the brain injury community, including doctors, caregivers, survivors, and other clinicians who are experienced in successfully treating brain injury.

The lineup includes: Dr. Jeremy Schmoe, Dr. Ryan Cedermark, Dr. Dan Engle, Dr. Michael Lewis, Mark Parrish, Sue Wilson, April Christopherson, Dr. David Traster, Drs. Erin & Elizabeth Anderson, Dr. Alina Fong, Dr. Deborah Zelinsky, Bridgett Wallace, Dr. Mario Dulay, Meg & Conner, Dr. Anne Kelly, and Dr. Ron Tarrel.

Topics include: – The Brain-Gut Axis – Rehabilitation – Patient Advocacy – Pro Athlete Advocacy – The Eye-Brain Connection – Vestibular Rehabilitation – Understanding Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD -Chiropractic Functional Neurology – Neuro Perception – CBD Oil for Recovery – Cognitive Rehabilitation – A Mother’s Perspective Of Her Elite Snowboarder Son’s Accident and Recovery – Cervical Spine and Headache Pain – Living Chronic Pain – A mother-son Journey – Apathy After Injury – Stress and Neuroplasticity – and much more

The 2018 Brain Health Online Summit is ideal for: Brain Injury Survivors, Caregivers, Loved Ones, Co-Workers, Healthcare Providers, Clinicians, and anyone interested in their overall Brain Health Function.

And best of all — it is completely FREE!

If you’re not able to attend all of the dates, no worries! Recordings will be available for purchase with a portion of all proceeds benefiting the Brain Injury Association of America.

For further information and to register: TheBrainHealthOnlineSummit.com

WCCO Radio Interview | Dr. Uzma Samadani | Super Bowl 2018 | Minneapolis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This weekend I had the pleasure of being a guest on Roshini Rajkumar’s “News and Views” on WCCO radio, along with Neurosurgeon and brain injury researcher, Dr. Uzma Samadani.

We talked about Super Bowl 2018 here in Minneapolis, MN, CTE, football, my recovery, Samadani’s work, and so much more!

Check out my HuffPost article highlighting all of the events and innovators in the Twin Cities that will be featured this week in preparation for the big game! http://bit.ly/2qUrbTO

Listen below and leave us some comment love!

My Newest Book is on Kickstarter

I am thrilled to announce that my newest book is almost ready for birth!

It is currently on Kickstarter to crowdsource the funding for production costs. It will be released in March … and I am planning a Washington DC book launch party — so stay tuned!

In the meantime, I would greatly appreciate your support: please consider backing the project by pre-ordering your copy NOW! If you don’t have my first book, you can grab the “book bundle” and get both books!!

“Embracing the Journey” is a sequel to my original book “Life With a Traumatic Brain Injury” and I couldn’t be more proud of the advocacy work I am doing to raise awareness and help educate those who don’t understand this invisible injury that affects over 2.8 million Americans each year!!

Kickstarter link: http://kck.st/2m8lWuU

Amy’s Custom Blends | Body Mist & Roll-On

The power of essential oils combined with the energy of crystals!! These little beauties are MAGICAL!

——-> SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM FOR THE COMPLETE COLLECTION!!! <——-

All purchases not only help YOU they also help ME continue with my advocacy work — and I thank you <3

Available as a body mist or roll-on … these little beauties will help give you added support for daily or supplemental use!!.

How do I use them??
Body Mist: squeeze a couple sprays onto your body and lightly rub in.
Roll-On: Roll onto your pulse points, temples, or bottoms of your feet and rub in.
Both ways offer you aromatic benefits as well as topical!

What do they cost?
2oz Body Mist $15
10ml Roll-On $12
plus shipping/handling of $2.50 each item
(sorry, only available for US shipping)

(the roll-on is made with sweet almond oil as the carrier, so please advise if you have a nut allergy and I will substitute with grapeseed oil)

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BRAIN SUPPORT BLEND!!

Amy’s Brain Blend is a combination of Frankincense, Cedarwood, Lavender, and Northern Lights Black Spruce essential oils, along with a bead of Crystal Quartz to amplify the energy!


choose your option



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SLEEP SUPPORT BLEND!!

Lavender is a powerful oil for calm and sleep. Use as a pillow mist before bed, or roll onto your wrists and bottoms of your feet. Includes a piece of Amethyst for enhanced support — which is full of energy for sleep!!


choose your option



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ENERGIZING BLEND!!

Peppermint is great for added energy throughout the day, as well as for minor aches and tension. Rub into your temples (careful of the eyes) or directly where you feel tension. Mist makes a great on-the-go boost; and also works as a coolant if you overheat easily!  Includes a piece of Crystal Quartz to help amplify your energy!


choose your option



_________
MOOD SUPPORT BLEND!!

This blend includes lemon and orange to help with mood. Orange is shown to help take us back to fond memories, while lemon is a natural energy and mood booster. Includes a piece of Rose Quartz to help increase happiness!


choose your option



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IMMUNE SUPPORT BLEND!!

This blend of oregano, cinnamon, and lemon is a powerful, natural blend to help fight off germs and keep you healthy year-round. Spray on your body and rub in throughout the day, or roll onto your chest or bottoms of your feet!! Includes a piece of Amethyst for additional immune support!J


choose your option


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The Complete Collection!!!

Can’t decide which blend you want?? Get the complete collection, you won’t regret it 🙂
1 spray — Sleep Support
1 roll-on — Brain Blend
1 roll-on — Immune Support
1 roll-on — Mood Support
1 roll-on — Energizing Blend
PLUS receive a Crystal Quartz point — carry it in your pocket, sleep with it under your pillow, or use in any way that you need extra energy or amplified support!
$60 plus $5 shipping/handling




TBI Author Talk

With the holiday season upon us, I thought it would be a great time to highlight some of my fellow TBI authors!

Each week I will host a Facebook Live video chat with an author. We will discuss their book, their journey, and what they’re up to next!

All you need to do is “like” my Facebook page so that the videos will pop up in your newsfeed!! All videos will be recorded and available on my page afterwards as well, however, if you can make the LIVE video you will have the opportunity to ask Q’s of the author and myself! www.facebook.com/facesoftbi 

All times are CST (+ 1 hour for EST and  -2 hours for PST)
Click on book titles to see more about the book.

Mon. Nov. 20th 10:30am 
Cavin Balaster — “How To Feed A Brain”

Tues. Nov. 21 6:30pm 
Cyndy Feasel — “After the Cheering Stops” 

 

 

Mon. Nov. 27th 10:30am
Carole Starr — “To Root and to Rise”

 

Mon. Dec. 4th 10:30am
Dr. Michael Lewis — “When Brains Collide”  

 

 

 

 

Tues. Dec. 12th 10:00am
Amanda Smart — “Grit”

 Mon. Dec. 18th TBD
Nick Dennen — “23: Time to Choose”

Radio Interview on 107.7 WTPL The Pulse | National Concussion Awareness Day | Half Hour to Health

Concussion Awareness Day proclamation from Governor, Mark Dayton in Minnesota

Friday, September 15th was National Concussion Awareness Day  and I am proud to say that I received a proclamation from Minnesota Governor, Mark Dayton declaring it so!

I had so many great festivities going on for NCAD, and I left for my trip to Baltimore the day afterwards so I am just now getting around to sharing them with you!

First of all, I had Dr. Stephanie Mills and her daughter, Brooke Mills on my podcast series. Brooke is an 18 year old in NH who struggled through high school with a concussion. Last year she had the 3rdFriday of September declared National Concussion Awareness Day!!

You can listen to the episode: National Concussion Awareness Day Sept. 15th with Dr. Stephanie & Brooke Mills

Amy and Jeremy with the guys from Clear Edge

Additionally, Dr. Jeremy Schmoe and I held an Open House at his clinic: Minnesota Functional Neurology DC. He has helped me so much in my recovery over this past year, my hope is that everyone can find a doctor like him to snuff out their lingering TBI/concussion symptoms.

The amazing guys from Clear Edge were in town from Syracuse, NY and helped Jeremy and his staff do baseline testing in conjunction with NCAD as well! I wish I had had a baseline when I had my accident and I am passionate about this company and what they stand for in the world of concussion. More on that coming soon in a Huff Post article 🙂

Last but certainly not least, I was interviewed by Dr. Stephanie on her radio show “Half Hour to Health” on 107.7 WTPL The Pulse. She had me on to talk about my concussion journey as she extended NCAD through the weekend in NH! You can listen to the full episode below!

How did YOU celebrate National Concussion Awareness Day?!?

A Recap of My Trip to Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland

With Andy Wayne, Director of Marketing at Communications at MWPH

This past week I was on the road to Baltimore, MD where I had the pleasure of meeting with the amazing folks at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital (MWPH). 

They brought me out so that I could write a feature story on their amazing “Adventures Abilities” program, which allows some of their youth brain injury patients to attend a 10 day camp in Park City, UT.

I had the pleasure of interviewing six of their staff members:
– Dr. Richard M Katz, Chief Medical Officer
– Christy Sands, Senior Physical Therapist
– Dr. Joseph E Cleary, Pediatric Neuropsychologist
– Susan K Dubroff, Director for Rehabilitation Services
– Lindie A McDonough, Abilities Adventures

Interviewing Lindie McDonough, Director of Abilities Adventures and School Liason

And learning more about the hospital and their different programs:

Christy showing me their NeuroCom balance testing machine they use on all concussion/brain injury patients

I was beyond impressed with this hospital, which is a step-down hospital (meaning they have already been hospitalized and are now coming there to prepare for going back home). The entire staff is so incredibly kind and caring, and they have an amazingly high retention rate. They truly care about their patients and want to see them succeed in life. Once a child leaves the hospital, they continue to keep in touch with them!

The Abilities Adventures program is currently open to individuals who have been part of their brain injury rehabilitation program. All of the  staff I spoke with have had interaction with these kids at one point or another during the course of their stay, and as I mentioned before, they truly care about them.

Everyone was incredibly knowledgeable about concussions and brain injury, and I wouldn’t hesitate to send someone I know to this hospital.  If you’re familiar with my story and the amount of doctors I encountered who did nothing to help me, I am quite the critic when it comes to hospitals and clinics — and I give these guys an A+!

With Alicia Cignatta, Outreach Director for the BIA MD

Before I headed back home, I had a quick opportunity to meet the staff at the Maryland Brain Injury Association! Thanks to Alicia Cignatta, Outreach Coordinator, for reaching out to me on Twitter to connect!

I also had the pleasure of meeting Caitlin Exline Starr, Manager of Support Services, and Bryan Thomas Pugh, Executive Director.  They all took time out of their morning to come in early to meet with me as it fit into my busy schedule! I had a wonderful time chatting with them, and hearing about what they’re doing in MD!

WCCO Radio Interview | Minnesota State Fair | Concussions & CTE | Amy Zellmer & Dr. Jeremy Schmoe

Yesterday I had the pleasure of sharing my concussion/TBI journey on WCCO Radio on “News and Views with Roshini Rajkumar” … and to make this episode even more special … we filmed live at the Minnesota State Fair WCCO News Radio booth!!

I have known Roshini for several years since photographing her for her Savvy MN Magazine cover shoot and she has been a great friend and resource to me since — she also introduced me to my amazing women’s writing group!

Roshini asked Dr. Jeremy and I to come on her show this week to talk about National Concussion Awareness Day coming up on September 15th, as well as the latest report on NFL players and CTE. We also talked a lot about our fantastic feature story in this month’s Experience Life magazine which is focused on concussion awareness. You can read the full feature story here: http://bit.ly/2itUHeF

We talked for over 20 minutes on our segment and covered a lot of great info. Roshini commented on how she has watched my recovery progress and can tell how much I am improving every time she sees me on her show … she even got a little emotional which got ME emotional LOL! I owe a huge part of my recovery to Dr. Jeremy Schmoe at Minnesota Functional Neurology … he was the first doctor to truly believe me about my symptoms and totally validated my eye tracking issues and how much it was affecting my dizzy/balance.

In conjunction with National Concussion Awareness Day, Dr. Schmoe and his staff will be offering complimentary baseline brain health assessments at his clinic in Minnetonka on Sept. 16th.

You can listen to the show below, please leave us some comment love or ask any questions you may have about my recovery!

 

Experience Life Magazine | Concussion Feature Story | Amy Zellmer & Dr Jeremy Schmoe

Experience Life magazine ran a full-length feature on concussions in the Sept/Oct issue which is on news stands now! This magazine is produced by Lifetime Fitness and reaches 750,000 paid subscribers plus 2.3 membership subscriptions delivered to their mailboxes every other month!

Read the PDF online HERE. 

I was asked back in January if I would be willing to share my story with their circulation of almost 3 million print readers, and I was thrilled at the opportunity to help create more awareness around the topic that is near and dear to my heart (and head)!

The spread turned out absolutely amazing, and you can read the full article HERE in PDF form. They did a great job tying my experience in along with how Dr. Jeremy Schmoe from Minnesota Functional Neurology DC helped me in my recovery after 2.5 years of dealing with doctors who were dismissive and just didn’t understand concussion/TBI. We also shared the spread with the greatness of Dr. Bennet Omalu, which is a true honor! As well as a shout-out to LoveYourBrain yoga!

A huge thank you to Michael Dregni for his talented writing skills and the most enjoyable interview at a local coffee shop in Saint Paul.

I appreciate the opportunity to share my story and continue to raise awareness of this invisible injury that affects 2.8 million Americans each year, and is the leading cause of death and disability in the World. The more outlets we have to share our story, the more people we will reach. If even just 10% of the subscribers read this piece — that would truly be some serious advocacy at work!

Thank YOU for being a part of my journey!!

You can listen to my podcast here: www.blogtalkradio.com/facesoftbi
Read my Huff Post articles here: www.huffingtonpost.com/author/amy-zellmer-634
Purchase my book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2g7Zi5s

Living in a Funk | Depression & Apathy After Brain Injury |

Depression and apathy are symptoms of brain injury, and all too often overlooked and dismissed by the medical community.

Before my brain injury, I don’t recall suffering from depression or anxiety or sleeplessness. Except for the occasional butterflies in my stomach before a big presentation, or not being able to sleep the night before a big trip that I was excited about.

 

For the past two weeks I was in a deep, dark funk. I cried at the silliest things, I felt emotions swell up to the surface, and I had zero tolerance for others. I kept myself locked away in my house, not wanting to inflict my funk on anyone else. I avoided self-care and hygiene as it consumed too much energy and apathy kept me paralyzed in place with a lack of motivation to get things done.

Casual acquaintances tell me “oh that sounds like PMS” or “you must be peri-menopausal” or “it’s just the moon cycle, I get like that too”.

This drives me absolutely crazy!!!

I know ME better than anyone, and I can tell you that I have never experienced this prior to my brain injury. It’s an all-too-common side-affect from hitting my head — scrambling the motherboard so to speak.

I haven’t felt this dark since the first year after my accident. The first year was filled with more days in a funk than not, but has since leveled off. So this particular episode of funk caught me off guard. I would start feeling better after a few, and then slip back down into the hole of despair.

If you’ve never experienced it, it’s super complicated and hard to comprehend.

People assume one should be able to just “get yourself out of it” and shake it off, but it’s truly not that easy. I am a positive person and know the exact steps one ‘should’ take to bring yourself out of a funk, yet when I am in one it’s SO freaking hard to do. Apathy (a neurologic problem that causes one to lack motivation) gets the best of me in times like these.

I’m pretty sure I know what tipped it off … I had traveled to Washington DC to lobby for healthcare, followed by another trip to Columbus, OH for the Concussion Health Summit in which I spoke for 3 hours the first day, plus talked with a lot of other attendees and vendors.

I pushed myself too hard, and my body shut itself down to conserve energy.

In the early days after my injury, I wouldn’t shower for days. You have no idea how much energy taking a shower and getting dressed takes, until you have limited supplies of it. It was such a daunting task … and I would NOT say that this was depression — this was simply a lack of energy issue.

And that is exactly where I think medical professionals get it all wrong.

They write us off as depressed when in fact we are just exhausted or overstimulated. They don’t understand that apathy is vastly different from depression. They try to put us on anti-depressants which alter the chemicals in our brains — which are trying to heal at that exact moment. Now, I am not saying meds are bad as some people truly need them. But in my case I knew they weren’t what my body needed, and I knew they would hinder my recovery.

Now, I am three years out and for the most part I have more good days than bad. I am feeling pretty good, even though I still need to nap and have had to learn how to pace myself. However, when I have pushed myself, my body, and my brain too far the funk returns.

I’ll say this again because it bears repeating, the funk “depression” is a symptom of my brain injury. It doesn’t mean I have mental health problems or that i’m unstable. It doesn’t warrant medications that will make me feel worse. It requires rest, self love, compassion, and maybe a box of chocolate (or two).

When you notice a friend or loved one with a brain injury start to pull away and become disengaged, this is a sign that they’re in a funk.

DON’T tell them to “get over it” or that they’re being lazy. What they need is support and acceptance. Instead, give them a big hug and tell them how much you care about them. Ask how you can help, or better yet, jump in and help (laundry, cleaning, making meals, etc). When we are in a funk these tasks become way to much for us, and then they build up over time making it that much more daunting.

Listen to my recent podcast on apathy
Read more of my work on Huff Post