Hello people,

Finally after two long days of shlepping through New Jersey, Marie and I emerge victorious. More wise, more humble, more tired looking then ever. Yes, we set out to conquer New Jersey, and it was easier then we thought. (I mean, it IS New Jersey) Seriously though, attending the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey’s conference was an incredible experience that got us both so excited for OUR presentation in June at the BIA-PA conference.

Mom and I attended many workshops with diverse speakers, perspectives, and missions. From Medicaid to Music Therapy, the conference provided us with a broad range of topics and people allowing us to begin networking at a new level. After attending our first BIA conference it is important to take a moment and reflect on what we learned. Since my mother is currently surfing facebook, I took the liberty of summarizing our learnings into the following list.

What I learned at that conference:

– It’s socially acceptable to wear a bow tie IF you are a scientists or a doctor i.e. Bill Nye the Science Guy, Dr. Who, and The Doctor that Gave Us That Lecture about Neuropharmacology
– 1.7 Million people suffer Tramatic Brain Injuries per year
– I can’t spell tramatic
– Falls are the #1 cause of TBIs
– Guardianship is a legal process that goes through the court system.
– Plenary Guardianship = full authority.
– Tired Caitlin + Bad Coffee = Tired Angry Caitlin
– People actually wear Sketcher Shape Ups, but apparently they all live in New Jersey.
– Motor vehicle accidents are the #2 cause of TBIs
– If the conference room is UNDER 75 degrees, Marie will tell you she’s cold OVER 75 times.
– Listening to music creates a global reaction in the brain, engaging multiple areas at once making Music Therapy a uniquely productive experience.
– No matter how many pens I put in my purse, when I go to take notes they’ve all morphed into Chapsticks.
– Notes written in Chapstick make the pages in my notebook moisturized, but difficult to read.
– 85% of OPG (Office of Public Guardian) clients are Medicaid beneficiaries.
– The faster you write, the less letters you use. The less letters you use, the more you wish you remembered what that scribble meant.

Overall the BIA-NJ experience was exciting. What a feeling it is to sit in a room with 350 other people who all know what our life is like in one way or another. Back at Bryn Mawr Corey welcomed us with smiles and laughs. She has also been enjoying the past two days thanks to her friends Selina, Elaine, Danielle and Claire. Without these four ladies, Marie and I wouldn’t have been able to participate.

So to sum things up:
Caitlin + Marie + New Jersey = Knowledge.

Look out BIA-PA!

Love, Caitlin