Jill Damman is a IMBA ICP Level 1 skills instructor and adventurer based in Midway, Utah. She found her passion for mountain biking while living in Jackson, Wyoming in 2005. Since then Jill competitively raced until 2012 and now deepening her knowledge in order to make adventures as safe, fun and authentic as they can be. She is dedicated to living her mountain bike passion and to teaching different technique, and always include variations suitable for all levels of experience.
She Blinded Me with Science: If I make 'that face,' will it get stuck like that?
As someone who is very fond of making bizarre faces as a form of expression, this question speaks to me on a profound level. My mom tells me my face will get stuck like that all the time. The answer, it turns out, is no. Your face will not get stuck in a position you voluntarily put it in, but it could if you have a condition.
Eve Gallman, an associate professor of neuroscience at the University of Georgia, said there are a few instances where a neurological disorder could cause temporary paralysis of the face or head in a certain position. Those spasms are spasmodic torticollis and blepharospasm.
Georgia Theatre (Chase Rice) Spasmodic torticollis is when the muscles in the neck contract and force the head into an awkward position. Gallman said it’s a disorder, not something that would happen to just anyone.
“[In blepharospasm] those people can end up in a situation where their eyes essentially kind of spasm shut,” she said. “It’s another uncontrolled situation. They didn’t [voluntarily] shut their eyes and then they couldn’t open them, but effectively that’s what happens.”
One solution is a popular form of minor plastic surgery. That’s right — Botox. Botox is made from botulinum toxin, one of the most poisonous substances on Earth, which causes muscles to relax. Effects last for about three months.
“The way that the brain makes muscles contract is that there are individual little nerves that send their axon out into a muscle and they release a neurochemical,” Gallman said. “It’s call acetylcholine. That is the signal that tells the muscle to contract. It’s quite an interesting and elaborate process to get that acetylcholine to come out of the nerve so it can diffuse over to the muscle. If you can go in there and muck around with that process and the nerve can’t release the acetylcholine, it can’t tell the muscle to contract.”
A stroke can also cause the muscles in your face and other parts of your body to act differently. Gallman said the difference in that instance is that it’s the brain, rather than the muscles, not working.
One more thing? Think about the future and smile. If you’re making a frowny face all the time, then you’ll get frown wrinkles when you’re older. Wouldn’t you rather have smiley crow’s feet instead?
Brain injuries just does not happen to one person ..it also happens to families.
The person living with a brain injury is a different person than previous.
The person living with a brain injury often loses their sense of identity until they have adjusted to their new “self.” The adjustment process takes time before they “start” to feel comfortable with who they now are, and often times longer to accept their new “self.”
The person with a brain injury grieve their loss of “self.” Family members and friends grieve the loss of the person they knew and loved previous to their brain injury. Each person grieves in their own way and individual time frame.
A person who is in a state of “crisis” can become self-centered and focus mainly on their personal loss and how it affects their life. Because their personal loss was so great,the person who suffered the brain injury can fail to recognize that family and friends also suffered a loss. Family members and friends might feel guilty whenever they focus on their losses, because the loss of the brain injury survivor was so much greater.
Often self-esteem and self-worth are based on our abilities and accomplishments. When we lose our ability “to do,” or when we mess up most things we try to do... we feel like failures. We begin to think that our loved ones would be better off without us, because we don’t want to be a burden or an embarrassment to them. This is our perception, not theirs. When we learn how to separate “who we are” from “what we do,” we can laugh at our shortcomings and accept our flaws, instead of making fun of ourselves with put-downs and damaging our self-esteem.
I use my dog to cover my identity of facial paralysis.
Aphasia robs one of the ability to communicate, cutting people off from their family, friends, and everyday life.
Through life skills activities, the arts, literature, technology, cooking, nature, and fitness
Connecting and obtaining a social life with others since my Traumatic Brain Injury has been one of my many great challenges. I believe in myself and connecting with others is healing. If you're inspired to connect with me, please send me an email at paddleparkcity at gmail dot com
We can be ePals, hike together, stop to smell the flowers, share adventures and jump for JOY!
Rehab for your facial nerves is complicated and after a traumatic brain injury you may experience facial paralysis. Here are items I use everyday to keep my face active. This is your face so manage it well. These tips will improve your muscle flexibility.
Start your exercises after using heat (hot cherry pillow or shower).
Heat I use a therapy pillow made by Hot Cherry Pillows.
Self Massager you can find different facial massagers options online to take care of your surface massages.
Everyday for 5-10minutes exercise your face with smiles, giggles and hold each for 10 seconds. Keep repeating and keep the cheek soft. Do this in the mirror, so you can see the symmetry of your face.
Exercise the mouth by sealing and puffing the cheeks. The lip press, keeping it centered for 10 seconds. Relax the mouth then blow up your cheeks. Feel the SMILE!
Questions or comments please post
Hot Cherry therapeutic pillow
Eleven days of beauty. The Sierra Mountains via John Muir Trail.
Everything is big here in the Sierra's and the pinecones are as big as my head.
(Jeffrey Pine: these cones are large and the prickles turn inward, making it feel more a "gently Jeffrey")
Stay tuned for more about this beautiful backpacking trip. The beauty, my food, gear and the adventure of backpacking with TBI and vision/hearing loss.
Day 1- Kearsarge Pass 11,845, Glen Pass 11,980 and Sixty Lakes Basin Trail
Day 2- Rae Lakes, Pinchot Pass 12,100 and Lake Majorie
Day 3- Bench Lake Trail, Mather Pass 12,080 and Palisade Creek
Day 4- Bishop Pass Trail, Helen Lake, Muir Pass 11,955 and Evolution Lake
Day 5- McClure Meadow, Evolution Meadow and Food Cache Muir Trail Ranch
Day 6- Sallie Keys Lake, Heart Lake, Seldon Pass 10,870 and Bear Creek
Day 7- Silver Pass 10,900 and Warrior Lake
Day 8- Goodale Pass Trail, Purple Lake, Duck Creek, Reds Meadow and Shuttle bus to Mammoth
Day 9- Stellar Brew (espresso in Mammoth), Shuttle bus back to Reds Meadow, Devils Postpile and Shadow Lake
Day 10- Garnet Lake, Thousand Island Lake, Island Pass 10,200 and Donahue Pass 11,050
Day 11- Lyell Fork Bridge, Volgelsang Bridge, Rafferty Creek Trail and Tuolumne Meadows Trail
On this day 3 years ago I was having the spring break of my life. Mountain biking with my husband, camping and hiking with my dog, and chopping off 10 inches of my hair. I was so happy and healthy. My smile and my eyes say so much in these photos of joy!
Now today same intentions but different approach to spring break. My hair is now shorter then my husbands, we have a lot more fun mountain biking together, we own a scamp camper, yoga everyday and hiking with Cora our 10 year old chocolate lab. My smile, my vision and hearing are very different after a traumatic brain injury however my LOVE and JOY for my life is brighter today then it was 3 years ago.
March is brain injury awareness month I invited via Facebook friends do you have a story you want to share? I'm looking for stories about TBI (traumatic brain injury) to post on my blog. I love to bring awareness and create a community movement!
My friend and local Midway resident Rachel offered her story to share. Thank you for sharing your TBI experience.
Guest post by Rachel Blackham-
May 2, 1992. The day my life changed forever.
Click on Button Text to listen to the webinar. Details on the differences of facial paralysis and treatment options.
This is a webinar about patients who deal with Facial Paralysis. Listening to this webinar will give you and your caregiver an understanding. I am working with doctors who specialize with the function of the face. Understanding the symmetry of my face, vision loss, hearing loss, drooling, eye blinking, tears, eyebrow, forehead, temporal muscle in my nose and mouth, and smile. All caused by temporal fractures.
My head trauma happened July 28, 2012. All aside all the emotions of my outcome, hoping for complete recovery.
Facial Physical Therapy
Gold plate in eyelid for eye closure
Embarrassing photos of me. The different expressions in our faces that we take for granted. Smile!
Chairlift ride up Ruby Express at Deer Valley Resort. One of the days where we had a snow day.
What a great experience skiing with Kristen Ulmer at Ski to Live camp - a mindset-only camp at Alta, UT.
I made great friends... isn't that what camps are all about?
Also, for me getting my focus/balance of skiing with vision and hearing loss was my priority. Practice. Practice. Practice.
Here I am. On top of Glory above the layer and into the sun rays. I had great help from friend Kathleen to assist me down the variable conditions that 2nd turn offered. The amount of understanding and compassion is an understatement when friends are here for me.