I never knew that I’d hear couples so fiercely discuss the topic of mashed potatoes! On the podcast I have a gem for you! This candid, funny, and authentic couple shares the ups and downs of recovering after concussion. Drew and Terry Neimann are the co-hosts of the battle within podcast. They shared insights on communication and individual stories of their own struggles. Towards the end, we had some fun discussing holiday foods and a long standing argument about the best things to eat around the holidays!
Meet Meet Drew and Terry
Terry and Drew Niemann are podcast hosts who tell stories of healing from Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS). The podcast focuses on the journeys of concussion survivors and their families. All of this is done in an effort to help others experiencing PCS. A Battle Within is a very intentional name. For those who do not know, people who experience a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) often have a war waging internally to find themselves again- all while trying to recover.
Things we discussed:
- One thing that people don’t understand about brain injury is the misconception about how to identify a brain injury. You usually don’t know there is an injury.
- Drew adds that people don’t really understand the impact on the partner’s lives.
- We discuss their story about starting the podcast. This was largely Drew’s drive to find out answers for Terry’s injury and how she could heal.
- Terry shared how she did not want to do the podcast initially. Drew made a deal with Terry that if it helped NO ONE, they would hang it up….158 episodes later, they are still here!
- Terry came to the realization during her recovery that she could not be a teacher anymore.
- Six months into the journey someone told them that they changed their lives.
- Drew kept Terry motivated and took the brunt of the work of the podcast.
- Terry talks about a live podcast episode where she got to experience an audience and notice that everyone learned something differently.
- Drew talks about the burden of the caregiver after a brain injury.
- He also talks about how they were caregivers to someone who was diasabled from a brain injury.
- To manage his frustrations, he took up jujitsu. He said that he got through it because of Terry. They communicated “like hell” to get through it as a couple.
- Terry says that she has less of a filter after her injury, but she is careful to be kind and work on their relationship.
- Drew said that they learned a lot from their podcast guests. And they would talk often after about podcast episodes.
- Their rituals of connection have been the podcast conversations, date nights (not early on), and being together in general.
- There were some things that they had to give up such as the grocery store, concerts, etc.
- Holiday foods!! Terry is team mashed potatoes. Drew loves chocolate bourbon pecan pie.
- It is slow and you will go through different seasons of recovery, you’ll get to the other side—Terry
- Neuroplasticity is real! Don’t be afraid to try anything to get better-Drew
Communication! Drew and Terry both state that it was essential to communicate “like hell”. They both talk about continuing to show up for each other and find out what each of them needed.
Be open to possibility. You have to get used to it until it becomes routine. There are seasons, it doesn’t have to be terrible forever. You have to work at the relationship in recovery. Things will be different. Many good things can come on the other side of the difficult days.
There’s not just you going through this…Your family members are also going through this process. Let them in and let them understand. Show some grace, and don’t belittle other people’s pain. “It’s not a competition” Allow your partner to take space for themselves to recover. “You have to love enough to let go and at the same time be there (for your partner)”–Terry
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