Artwork by Blu PreTBI 1996:Self Portrait
"As a seafarer, who has escaped from the storm to the shore, turns with wearied breath to the turbulent waters and gazes: So I, still fleeing in my mind, turned back to look at the past which no one before me had ever left alive." Words penned by Blu 1997, before her TBI 12/4/97,Motor Vehicle Accident
Pensive Blu,Post-TBI 4yrs December 2001.
CONTRADICTION A PATH NOT ENVISIONED
A SHEER GENIUS CONCEPT
These were words penned by Blu in her Daily Art Journal she kept. Now Janice Blu, as a survivor of Traumatic Brain Injury and my self Pearl aka Dandelion, mother and caregiver 24/7 to Blu, wanted to briefly share her story and her artwork.
Below are two links for you to see some of the oil canvases Blu painted before her traumatic brain injury:
Janice's artist names are Blu and H L (Honey Luvin) Buderickx.
Though we are working on painting again, Blu now has finished a clay sculture and painted it with my help. Ironically it is the small replica of the Monolith with the 2 astronauts from the movie, 2001-A space odyssey.
In January of 2001,Janice began participating in a sculputure Art class at the Independent Living Center for TBI Survivors, Van Nuys, CA. Teacher Shahin Atigheh, a Sculptist herself whose artistic career began in Tehran, took her to London to Geneva, to CAL State Northridge to a small class for survivors of TBI.
This unique interaction of two artists connecting (Shahin and Janice,) with sculpting was instrumental in tapping into the artistic skills Blu previously had. So a new path has began towards Blu's artistic recovery, despite her increased seizure activity.
I will be updating her art link to share with you Blu's continued artworks.
She was traveling the country to come back to California and do a Mural. It was to be her most intense work as well as self expression of her travels that took place in a period of three months. Janice (Blu) was the most determined, hard working, disciplined person while she began her process of doing any of her works. She would sketch out meticulously even pondered over the words and feelings she wanted to portray in her work. We both would interact briefly to share those times that she just needed to have a sounding board. In all her oil paintings, she would come and ask me what I thought of her paintings.
I now share this in hopes to inspire and to comfort any of you that deal with "past accomplishments" and now live as adult survivors of brain injury with the "new person" and "new endless challenges".
To have to depend on others for basic daily living care as an adult, would be beyond the wildest dreams for anyone to conceive. Yet it is a reality that so many survivors face. Janice was extremely independent, bright, caring, always smiling and warm person. To finance her college she began working fulltime at State Hospital in California as a psych technician. Her patients she cared for were Brain Injured due to auto accidents and young adults that had incurred Brain Damaged due to substance abuse. She was working towards becoming an RN as she had a big heart and saw the pain the young adults she had as her patients and wanted to make a difference in their lives by making them feel loved. Her Art was her passion.
Injuries left her in a wheelchair, unable to stand on her own, cuing must be done to do basic functions of life, along with not being able to have good vision, right side impacted though barely learning to move her arm and hand. When she smiles with her warm brown eyes, one sees the sparkle of life and vibrance she so often displayed.
Janice understands everything that's going on but cannot communicate effectively needs cuing to do so, she is as some TBIERS have expressed how it is like being."trapped in her mind".
Blu had a motor vehicle accident as a back seat passenger in Kansas. Her accident was on 12/4/97 at approximately, 7:00 pm central time, on a Thursday wintery evening in a dark two lane Highway in Parsons Kansas. She was trapped by the front seat passenger so she was the last to be pulled free as jaws of life were used, yet she was the only one with severe head trauma 25 contussions to the brain, and multiple fractures both to face and leg. From Parsons, KS. ER room, she was transported by ambulance to head trauma center in Joplin, MO., critical hours passed before she received what we now know to be vital care for a head trauma.
The Los Angeles Times Newspaper did an article under Health section, Linda Marsa, writer, "Healing the Brain" dated 1/29/01. It tells about survivors and shows pictures of the 3 different families that experienced loved ones with head injuries all in southern California, Blu is one of the 3 survivors it talks about. The writer, beautiful described briefly the impact of brain injuries. We as surivors continue each day as no words can explain each day, each moment, each time we see gran mals.
LIFE AFTER A BRAIN INJURY.
CONTRADICTION-A PATH NOT ENVISIONED
A SHEER GENIUS CONCEPT
Janice BluNow a TBI survivors' perspective after penning the above words, I her mother am her voice and want to thank all of you that have impacted and crossed our path and with that path in view we share our experience and advocacy on behalf of all those that do not have a "voice" to cry out for them.
Contradiction a Path not Envisioned a Sheer Genius Concept
Janice "Blu" Post TBI 1995 Janice "Blu" aka "H.L. Buderickx" Excerpts from "Blu's" Sketchbooks and Journals and Artworks
Pearl's Story Mother and Caregiver 24/7 to "Blu"
Special thanks to the following:
Toby Edmondson, Survivor of BI, Writer, Poet and a dear Friend :
If one could capture the essence of warmth,understanding,caring and most of all the love Toby expressed towards both Blu and I, one would indeed be in possesion of a rare jem, so it is that Toby along with Jane his wife, have touched out lives since we met in tbichat back on 6/98.
Ltd.Colonel C.Johnson, US Marines:
For over 2 years he worked with Blu to teach her to write her name and to type on the computer in a live tbichat. Blu's replies, although her replies to the Ltd Col were just letters, the connectivity of seeing her sit in front of the computer, hit keys on the keyboard and follow his type as I read to her what what he was asking her, and Blu would reply vocally in simple terms y/n/hi/ok, is to know the beauty of compassion and understanding between a survivor that is severely injured, "Blu" and one that is extremely high functioning Ltd.Col.C.Johnson aka "Cheese".
William Vargas, "Bil" Survivor of Acquired Brain Injury, Writer, Photographer:
"For over 4 years Bil helped me to teach Blu to learn to connect words with meanings. It is now our 5th year since 12/4/97 Blu's tbi that one neurologist found Blu to be a TBIER with severe aphasia. It was Bil that kept encouraging me to try to reach Blu and yes, we did the index cards all over the house!
What makes this so special is that Bil a survivor of TBI himself with aphasia cared to help me help Blu. Read his story and it is to understand Blu, yet Blu was only diagnosed going on 5 years after her tbi, mva 12/4/97 that indeed she understood things but suffered from severe case of aphasia, thus it is that I as her voice will advocate for all the thousands that have been cast off as "permanent vegatative state" as Blu was 5 months post her tbi by those that never understood TBI." Pearl
Click here for William Vargas "Bil's" personal story as a survivor of brain injury (anuerysm), a writer, photographer, gourmand and hiker pre BI.