This is my story.  I turned 39 years old on August 4, 1996.  I
 also celebrated 14 years as a clean (sober) addict on August 10, 1996.
 Regarding how long I've been disabled, how I got the injury and how I'm
 doing now.  This is so overwhelming to try to "clearly" describe.  So
 afraid I will be incorrect.  This is due to the fact that I have not had
 "a single injury".  But have had a life time of many injuries & illnesses.
 All damages tripping over themselves.  Just when I get "through" one and
 rehab to another *new* life and career.  Then something else occurs.  
 The rehab circle starts all over again.  This is the first time that I am 
 being treated from a more larger standpoint of looking at ALL the after 
 effects and seeing what to do.  Rather that just one in isolation.  This 
 makes it harder for me to figure out how to simply write an introduction, 
 short & sweet! Too complicated.  So please bear with me as I try to do this 
 using pieces of other writings.
 Brief injury history:
 ))tbi/fract pelvis/femur at 18 mos old.  Thrown against wall
 ))repeated physical injuries throughout (violent) childhood.  I was "lucky"
   I lived.  2 siblings died as a result of the domestic violence before
   authorities finally got involved
 ))TBI (brainstem) & massive damage up spinal cord: from fractured coccyx to
   shattered teeth at 27 years old.  I fell down 2 flight of stars, full
   impact on the bum, complicated with: I was thrown across bus.  In a
   several hour attempt to bring emotionally disturbed student under safe
 ))coma, 30 years old.  origin mostly unknown. Complete body collapse
   (workaholism is deadly!)
 ))plus other disabilities which are complicating matters more.
 "Just a reminder, I say all this as a person who also must have a payee.
 My Independent Living Center case manager saved me from Financial
 Guardianship.  For those who don't know what an Independent Living center
 is, its basically a center that is usually run by people with disabilities
 who help people with disabilities access services to live independently.
 Basically, they who have been there, help others to do what needs to be
    Anyhow, She explained to me that the Adult Protective Services Workers
 (who had done the evaluation on me) were getting the court order to place
 me on regular & Financial Guardianship.  They had enough on me to do so.
 However, if I cooperated with the rep payee, then it could be left there.
 She explained everything to me because she was afraid I would fight it, and
 they would to the court case and I'd loose everything.  What she didn't
 know is I was painfully aware that I couldn't do it, and that I had been
 trying to hire a private accountant for the past year! (They were too
 expensive!)  They also agreed to hold off on the Regular Guardianship as
 long as the case manger could regularly show that I was making steady
 improvement in affairs in my own behalf.  This is to be re-evaluated
 I came to the attention of the "authorities" in Late October 1995. This
 sounds more ominous that it is, they actually saved my life.
 I had been living alone, without assistance, for 2 years after the
 divorce.  You see, my former spouse neglected to tell me that I had been
 under 24hour care (she was paid to do so) since I came out of the coma in
 1987.  During our relationship, she just always told me that I was crazy,
 different, etc.  Never was it told to me that something was organically
 wrong!  She explained the extra money as it was to help us because I was so
 damaged (from being crazy). Perhaps she too was fooled by my outward
 "wellness".  Perhaps for more self-serving motives. There is a lot of
 evidence of that, but that's another story! I'll never really know.  I did
 not find out this fact until October 1995, when I "came to the attention"
 of Adult Protective Services.  I also then discovered that I had brain
 damage.  That, while PTSD is one of my disabilities, I wasn't "crazy".
 That these things were happening because the brain had been damaged!
 I had been fighting all that time thinking that I was just bad, lazy,
 crazy.  I believed that I had to hide it and make myself function!  What
 an incredible waste of energy and resources, I know now!  I ended up doing
 MORE damage to myself after the malnutrition and medications damage
 (improperly taken).  I now know that the "sense" of the "impending doom" or
 "crash" was actually a warning to me that my `system' was failing!  As
 it seem to about every ten years!  They tell me that my `innate sense of
 survival' skills are so finally honed, that I appear to last much longer
 than most people (usually the collapse is much sooner).  Unfortunately it
 also means that I am not afforded the help/medical intervention either.
 I hide it too much!
 Anyhow, after the divorce in 10/93, I lived alone.  My life began to
 disintegrate.  Until someone brought my situation to the attention of
 those who could help me. "
 Hope this has helped to introduce myself.  I am sorry that I do not post
 much.  Life is pretty overwhelming right now.  Please know that I do
 eventually read all the posts!  but answering them is made extremely
 difficult by my computer's (non)capabilities and my not tracking very well.
 While I cannot seem to locate a new brain, I am getting an upgrade on the
 computer!  486 if all goes well!!!  So maybe will be better able to be an
 active part on this list!
 Thanks for letting me share and thank you all of your posts.  You've helped
 me more than you know!
 Rainbow hugs and Chocolate kisses,