On the Road to Employment

Jeff Johnson

Let’s start from the beginning. My name is Jeffrey Johnson. On August 21st of 1994, I wrecked a 1985 Honda Goldwing. I suffered severe brain injury and was in a coma for six weeks, and in the hospital for three months. Later, I started going to head injury meetings once a month and that’s where I found out about the BRAIN BOOK® . I learned how to use it with training at Vocational Rehabilitation, and I find it to be very useful in my day-to-day procedures at Central Community College in Hastings where I am relearning parts and sales management.

A lot of people who suffer a brain injury like I have will have a difficult time with their memory. The BRAIN BOOK® is very helpful for those with this problem. It is a lot like a dayminder and it has useful things in it, such as medical information, a place for telephone numbers, a progress journal, useful writings to help you when you’re upset, and many more. For example, I write down orders that come in for auto parts, and cross them out as I order them so I know I did it. At the end of the day, I look over everything and make sure I got it done.

The main problem that I need to overcome is my control of emotions. There’s no happy medium with my emotions now. I’m either cool, calm and collected, or totally ticked off. Wayne Huntley, my instructor, understands this and is very good with his teaching skills. He can sense if I’m having trouble with something and he’ll move to something else. He also lets me work on each course section when I’m ready, so I don’t’ get as frustrated with sections I have trouble with. I’ve learned that when my mood is going to be in a bad direction, I go to my BRAIN BOOK®

. I have a cigarette, go to the UPSET section, write down what ticked me off, then let it sit and circulate in my head. After a while, I think it over again and see if it has the same affect on me as it did before. Generally, it doesn’t. The BRAIN BOOK® , Central Community College and Vocational Rehabilitation have helped lead me in the right direction toward a new job. During the year before I started using the BRAIN BOOK® , I tried to kill myself three times. Since then, I haven’t. When you’ve got a job, you’ve got a purpose, you’ve got something to do. Well, it gave me a something-to-do feeling. It will be nice to have a job again and get off social security.

Let the old saying goes, you will be happier in your day-to-day life if you enjoy your work. I, for one, want to be happier and I will give one hundred and ten percent to get back in the workfield. I will overcome the obstacles that are in front of me. The next tine you hear from me, I will have completed college, have my degree, and also have a very nice job. I won’t go without my BRAIN BOOK® , though. It’s become like a pair of pants to me. You don’t want to leave home without them or you might get in trouble.

For information about the BRAIN BOOK® Life Management System, visit their website at http://www.brainbook.com or contact Kathy Moeller at 541-779-5646 or toll free at 1-888-272-4666.

Reprinted with permission from State of Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation Division.