In this episode we’re joined by Paige Speers, a brain injury survivor who’s on a mission to help people with similar injuries align for balanced living. At 32, Paige suffered a pulmonary embolism and anoxic brain injury. She channeled her innate resilience into her recovery and found her passion to help others do the same.
Paige shares details of the day of her pulmonary embolism and the factors that contributed to the event. This circumstance led Paige to dig deeper into the many ways she needed to care for herself better physically, energetically, and emotionally. She’s now made it her mission to take all she’s learned and use it to help others who are struggling with a similar experience.
On this episode of the Live. Love. Engage. podcast:
- The medications that had a detrimental effect in Paige’s health.
- The factors that contributed to Paige’s blood clots.
- Details of the day of Paige’s medical event.
- The dependency issues Paige dealt with afterwards.
- What happened with her that her care team had never seen before.
- What sparked her interest in improving her overall health.
- Where Paige spent time to recover.
- The difference between functional and conventional neurology.
- How therapeutic horseback riding helped in her recovery.
- All of the professionals collaborating in her care.
- How she plans on using what she’s learned to help others.
- How her reading skills have progressed over the years.
- What neuroplasticity means.
- The three key areas of alignment.
- Why it’s important to focus on the whole person when addressing their health.
- How Paige found entrepreneurship.
Connect with Paige
Email: paigespeersspeaking (at) gmail.com
- Join the Live. Love. Engage. Community
- Intuitive Business Coaching
- The Live. Love. Engage. Book
- Support the Podcast with BuyMeACoffee.com
Enjoying what you’re hearing on Live. Love. Engage.? Subscribe on Goodpods or your favorite podcast platform, and leave us a review on Podchaser or Apple. You can also watch the conversation on YouTube.
You are listening to the Live Love Engage podcast on today’s show, we’re talking with a brain injury survivor about her mission to help those with similar injuries align for balanced living. Stay tuned.
I am Gloria Grace Rand, founder of the Love Method and author of the number one Amazon Best Seller, Live Love Engage How to Stop Doubting Yourself and start being yourself. In this podcast, we share practical advice from a spiritual perspective on how to live fully. Love deeply and engage authentically so you can create a life and business with more impact, influence and income. Welcome to live love. Engage
Namaste and welcome to another edition of Live Love Engage. I am, of course, your host Gloria Grace Rand, and I am delighted to welcome a friend of mine whom we’ve known each other for a little while and we’re actually in a program together. But if we have time, we may talk about that later. But for now, I want to just welcome First Paige Speers to live love engage.
Thank you, Gloria. It’s great to be here.
Well, I’m delighted to have you. And because I know that you are an inspiration to people and you’ve also got a passion for helping helping people thanks to what you have been through. So let me explain to you, those of you listening and those of you watching on YouTube why I’ve got pitch on the show today. So after surviving a pulmonary embolism and anoxic brain injury at the age of thirty two, Paige found her innate resilience into recovery, finding whole person therapy centered around bringing all systems into balance in a way that would fill in the pieces and complement allopathic medicine. And this brought in her entrepreneurial vision of connecting other under supported brain injury survivors with integrative, holistic, functional and bio regulatory resources and practitioners, in addition to speaking and writing about her recovery path. And I know we were just talking before we get started here, but I wanted to ask you about what people need to know about brain injuries. But I’m thinking, actually, if you wouldn’t mind, can you share maybe a little bit about your story and how how you came to, you know, suffer, you know, the brain injury and and what you’re even your recovery process has been like?
Yeah, I realized now looking back on the 12 years prior to it, that was when my anxiety started. And so for 12 years, I was on medications for that. In addition to having taken aerobatics for four years or so before that, it was a low dose motorcycling for acne. And like that, and also in 2005, I had my wisdom teeth taken out and antibiotics for that, too. And that would have had a detrimental effect on my microbiome, of course, and the gut flora and everything being important for neurotransmitter production. So the balance was off there and from my nutrition in general and that they wasn’t good. So, yeah, I was just off even maybe, maybe 60 percent optimal, but there were pieces missing dietary and nutritionally and so. Yeah, that caused the anxiety and then the medications for that really didn’t do much good and in fact likely contributed. That and yes, for my period being off and that particular hormonal disruption was also likely involved with less natural nutrition. So that and all those medications combined probably had an effect in that hand in causing the blood clots in both lungs, although I didn’t have much in the way of symptoms of it right until the injury. And that was when I also found employment misalignment, and that’s where the energetic, an emotional component comes into it also. And I just didn’t have a job that really fit me, and I was spent all the years even after college, just looking and not finding anything and like, what’s going on here? So I figured I would just go into office work, and at least then I would have regular hours and evenings and weekends off. And so I did miscellaneous retail things, and that’s where I got the idea that I didn’t want to work evenings and weekends.
And so I landed a law firm, ironically in the medical claims department, doing data entry that was my first and only full time job with good pay and. So at the time, I was in the mailroom, and I just find it hard to breathe, and I only really only just had enough time to call Sean, who’s my anchor, my husband now. And yeah, we got married in. But in 2017 and about 14 months after the injury, so I called him at the office and then I just backed out and heard later that my coworkers had done CPR until the ambulance got there and everything was just a blank until sometime later. And I think I remember moving from the ICU to a regular room at the University Hospital and and all the scans that were going on. And so I don’t remember much of the. I heard that they couldn’t. They could only. Today means so much and couldn’t do an fMRI functional MRI because I was having medication withdraw education, so I do credit the whole thing for actually getting me detoxed off the medication since I was taking Paxil and Pam, Pam was a benzodiazepine, so I had dependency issues there. That’s a big one. Yeah. And I also had a feeling, I think in 2010. By 2015, I knew there had to be other options available. I just didn’t know what they were. And at the time, I would even have looked into nutritional psychiatry. If it had anything, then it would have been great if that had even existed in 2004. Yeah. And I also heard that I at least was off just breathing within 24 hours, and my care team had never seen that in a cardiac case.
Holy smokes. You really went through a whole huge ordeal. And it’s interesting that you talk about the fact that it’s a lot of this seems to stem from possibly at least that all these different medications you were on were not helping you. So I’m grateful to see that you’re alive and here because, you know, it sounds like it was pretty, pretty serious thing that was going on with you.
Yeah. And also the fact that that people are only really just finding out about the effect of nutrition on the mind and everything else, and that could have helped me too.
Hmm. Yeah, absolutely. What? What was the. Well, actually, let me let me ask it a different way instead, what you know, maybe let’s say, say, maybe even I don’t know if this happened as while you were still in the hospital or maybe afterwards how what led you to, you know, looking at different, you know? Or, as you say, whole person therapies that you talk about. So how how did how did you get started on trying to be able to improve your overall health as a result of all of this?
It started just after the rehab hospital. In my first few months. I’d been living in Missouri at the time, and then I moved back to Rockford, Illinois, to recover with my parents for about eight months after that. And so I started going to a brain injury support group at the outpatient rehab place there, and they had a guest presenter about, well, first there was neuro neurofeedback, and I think we just heard about that from one of the therapists. And I did that twice a week for about eight months and that that was with the electrodes on my scalp and there were specific protocols for brain stimulation in certain areas based on my symptoms. And what neurofeedback does is it actually helps a lot with emotional disruption and anxiety and things. And so I got that out of it too. And I would watch a movie and the screen would flicker depending on how my brain was responding to the protocols and stimulation. And yeah, so it took a few sessions to really get the hang of it and get a clear screen the whole time. But that was interesting.
Hmm. I can imagine. Yeah. So what? What’s been sort of the most challenging aspect of your recovery?
My reading and walking, definitely, since it started about a week after the rehab hospital and something like six months, you know, six weeks post injury when my lower left leg kind of swelled up around the ankle and then that went down, but it started to spasm and seize up really bad. And that went on for nearly 24-7 for a good six months. And yeah, so it was hard for me to walk, of course. And kind of like if your if your foot or leg is asleep, that kind of thing just really bad and cramping. And currently, my functional neurologist has had the idea that it was just misfiring going on caused by maybe a not quite optimal approach to rehab because of course, the University Hospital didn’t quite know the whole story. And that’s where functionality differs from conventional neurology. It’s looking at the even the movement, the developmental movement patterns and how those can be affected by brain injury and conditions. And that seems to have been what went haywire in my case. And for a while, my walking was it was OK at the rehab center, but it was slow and that is linked to frontal lobe dysfunction. So, yeah, I’ve been working more on that. And yeah, it took about six months to a year for my leg to really settle down, except maybe when I walk sometimes or if I’m doing something with another part of my body and the signals get kind of crossed. Yeah. And then also therapeutic horseback riding was another thing that that I came across in this part group meeting. There was a presenter from the therapeutic horseback riding stable, so I started doing that and that was individual lessons twice a week or about the same time as neurofeedback. And that that actually brings me back to the major I started with in college being equestrian, although I didn’t want to teach lessons or manage a barn and that that was getting overwhelming for me at the time, especially with some of the thoroughbreds being a kind of nervous nellies themselves.
And yeah, so that idea was as a career option, and I transferred schools and changed my major to dance. Since I’ve been doing that for even longer than horseback riding, I just took a break to focus on horses for a while. Yeah. So then well, having found the therapeutic horseback riding to the support group and neurofeedback also, then from there in back in Missouri, I found a somatic practitioner who actually I saw an event poster of hers at my Reiki practitioners office. And so I signed up for the event and found out that she facilitates the brain injury support group in Columbia, Missouri. So I’ve been going to that now. It’s been online and that’s been good. And also I work with her as a client and we do sessions every two weeks and it’s about somatic awareness and reestablishing the developmental pattern. And she also I connected her with my functional neurologist, who I found through a Midsummer’s Brain Health Summit online. And there’s also the Facebook group Amy’s TBI Tribe, and she joined with that. And so that’s what inspired me to do the research to find a functional neurologist near me. And so I was able to use my disability back page to get the three day intensive, initially in 2019. And then I’ve been in for four. Check in appointments to get updated exercises and things every few months. And more recently. And so they collaborate in my care and your case notes and things.
Well, it’s there’s a lot going on that you have to work with, isn’t it? With all these different practitioners and things and and I know that you and I connected because we’re working on creating programs for people and yours, of course, is to be able to help people with with brain injuries. We’re going to go into the specifics. I know of what what you hope to accomplish with that, especially because I know there’s some key areas of alignment. But I wonder if you know the brain has like so many different functions and it controls so many different aspects of our life. And and then when you know it gets injured, it can affect different parts of of our bodies or, you know, thinking all
Sorts of things. There’s a lot of complexity.
Yeah. So what what do you think is maybe, maybe a couple key things that people need to know about brain injuries, if especially if either they happen to suffer one or if they know someone who has had a brain injury, what what do you think is sort of some of those couple of key things people need to know.
It can vary by injury type and individual. And also there’s neuroplasticity that can be encouraged by doing all kinds of different things like we’ve heard a lot that, oh, you only get two years for the most healing, but you can continue. Add to that even and at different rates, depending on if there’s a good foundation of nutrition and mental and physical stimulation and exercise to go with it. Hmm. Yeah. Also, I’m not quite sure where my vision fits in with everything that I don’t remember which part of the brain that is exactly, but my reading is still on the slow side. I did have to relearn how to read, and I tried to read at the rehab hospital initially and I couldn’t. It was pretty scary. So yet then I saw a behavioral ophthalmologist in Illinois about six months or so at Post-injury, and I got a prescription for prisons in my classes lenses. Although initially it was too strong and it would have been better to start with a milder prescription first and then go up. But I started with, I went and went down.
Oh dear, oh well. But at least it’s it’s it is helping you now, so you’re starting to be able to get, you know, to be able to read better now.
Yeah, it took about a year for me to be able to really read small print again. And although I had been lost my taste for hard copy books and patient,
I can imagine. Yeah, it’s that is one of the benefits of like, say, a Kindle reader is that you can spread it out and make it or just change the font size and make it bigger. Yeah, our audio books. Yes, those are wonderful as well, for sure. So, yeah, and for those of you who are listening who may not know the term neuroplasticity, I know a little bit about that. I don’t know if you want to explain that a little bit more because I have I’ve got a couple of books on the brain I’ve been. I’ve always been fascinated about it. But maybe you can explain a little bit what that means to your
Brain’s capacity to rewire and create new pathways and improve old ones.
Hmm. Yeah. And that’s something that I think I think they’ve only really known. I’m not sure how long they’ve known that, but I know, I think when for the longest time people just thought, Well, these are the brain cells you’ve got, and if you harm them, that’s it. You’re going to be you’re out of luck. But but the brain can compensate. And I guess I think even for for injuries such as yourself, there’s other parts of the brain that will either compensate or, as you say, other things can. They can actually regenerate, right? Yeah. Well, so I know part of what you’re working on with your your program is helping, helping other brain injury survivors, and you mentioned that you’ve and certainly you’ve experienced this, I think in your own recovery that there’s three key areas of alignment for balanced living. So can you share with us a little bit about what what those areas are?
Sure, it’s what I outlined in my initial story, where I came to realize that nutrition is a big part of health and well-being and recovery, and especially for prevention of mental and emotional disorders itself. It can be really important. And also then physical and movement optimization for the second one, and that’s where we’re all kinds of physical rehab comes in, including, say it being under the umbrella of functional neurology and getting at the root of movement disorders and what’s going on there. And the somatic work and therapeutic horseback riding and then energetic and emotional alignment comes in where it’s good to look at the factors going on in life. Like with me, it was employment and I couldn’t connect with a job that really was a good match for me. And emotionally, things were just not in such good place. But I’ve also continued on my energy work path and doing Reiki shares, and I did a whole year of training with integrative medicine online. And that is based in Australia, and it’s getting international certifications for the programs of of energy healing, using essences emotions, self images, rays and herbs and crystals in charts and muscle testing to put together stories and use those tools for healing.
Hmm. Awesome. Yeah. You know that energy healing and and all of that type of work is so important and it really does have an effect on us. But I love how you really are, you know, looking at all these different modalities and incorporating it because I think it’s it’s important for people to know that it’s not just one thing that is going to help you, but if you can really focus on the whole person, I focus on the food, you know, physical activity, like you say and then emotions and your and your and your energy and your body, then that is seems to me that that is going to be the best way to really create a pathway for recovery.
Absolutely. And it’s all part of a balanced life.
Yeah. What what do you maybe wish that you had known before you started down this, this path of of trying as of helping people, you know, and coming to a, you know, becoming an entrepreneur essentially now because that’s that’s what you’re doing. You’re helping. Yeah, you’re looking at helping other other brain injury survivors.
Yeah, that entrepreneurship is where I had to go since after my injury, I knew I’d have to work online, although because I couldn’t drive anymore with my vision being off one thing and also I, I knew there were virtual assistant jobs available, that kind of thing, but I didn’t know who would actually hire me, what with my typing speed being something that I wasn’t too fond of working on and just all the things. And did I really want to do that anyway? And so I wanted to do was to actually use my experience to to be of benefit in the world and help other people out with it. And that’s why I’ve seen that other people do.
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.
Yeah. I wish I had known about the the natural anxiety and emotional solutions beforehand. Hmm. Yeah, that would have been very helpful to me.
Well, when she found out about it now, so better, better late than never, as they say. What is what is it maybe commonly held belief about brain injuries that, you know, is, like, totally wrong? Have you come across anything like that?
Well, like with concussions, I had maybe a very mild concussion, but definitely whiplash after getting rear ended to stop by in 2013. And yeah, and then it’s whole thing of visible versus invisible injuries like Amy Zellmer slogan is not invisible. Really bringing awareness to the fact that a person can have something going on, and it’s not immediately obvious.
Yeah, yeah, that’s important to know that. And I think that’s where we all need to be compassionate and to be able to talk with someone and not just assume, as my mother used to say, never assume. Yeah, because you, you just make an ass out of you and me. So what? What is what would you like to, let’s say, a year from now, what would you what would you like your life to look like,
Like an empowered entrepreneur who has a successful business and success measured in a lot of ways by the success of my client and an increase in their well-being and having a big impact in the world and speaking an even more and bigger platforms, getting the message out that there is hope and continued recovery option.
Absolutely. Well, I think you’re on the road to get there, so I will hold the intention that that’s definitely what will happen in this next year for you. Is there anything else that I should have asked you about, you know, brain injury recovery that I haven’t yet?
Hmm. That’s a good question. We did cover a lot, although what I would like to leave everyone with is that there are always ways to tune in and tap into your resilience and be curious.
Absolutely, I love that. Well, what are you curious about right now?
Well, program validation at the moment and talking with other, more established entrepreneurs with brain health concerns for themselves or someone they care for and finding out what they would like in the program?
Very good. Well, if anyone out there is has a brain injury or know someone who has, and maybe they would like to get in touch with you and talk with you about it, how can people reach you? What’s the best way?
I’m on LinkedIn as page fears and also on Instagram, I’m choose greater help. And my email address is Page Spears speaking at gmail.com. And maybe you can include those in the show notes too.
I will definitely do that. You took the words right out of my mouth. For anyone listening, if you’re you know you don’t have a pen in handy, it’s. Don’t worry if you go to live love and good podcast. That’s where all of these episodes will be. That’s where the show notes for this particular episode will be, and I’ll have all that information in there for everyone. So, yeah, thank you so much. See had to learn more about you today, which I knew I would, and I appreciate the good work you are doing in the world, you know, to be able to help people recover and to be whole individuals and whole and healthy. So continue the good work and I thank you for being live love. Engage today Paige.
Yes. Thank you, Gloria. That was a great discussion.
Well, and I appreciate all of you. Thank you and for being here and watching and listening and encourage you to continue to do so. And in fact, if you want to, if you haven’t checked out something called good pods, I encourage you to do that. It’s a cool way for you to be able to find all sorts of different podcasts, including mine, of course. But check it out. It’s a really it’s a very interesting and upcoming up and coming sort of social networking platform for podcasters. And until next time, as always, I encourage you to go out and live fully. Love deeply and engage authentically.
Did you know that a majority of entrepreneurs tend to discount the importance of their work and a good number feel their success is simply due to luck? I know from personal experience that self-doubt can keep you from having the kind of life and business you desire. That’s why I’ve created a free guide called Uniquely You How to Move From Self-doubt to Self-love in four simple steps to claim your free guide. Go to live love. Engage dot gift that’s live love. Engage dot G. I. F.T.