001 Seemed Like a Good Fit

Shoulda-woulda-couldas


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There’s no shortage of shoulda-woulda-couldas after something unpleasant happens to us. We generously sprinkle them with tons of what-ifs for good measure, don’t we?

  • I should have refused to take the unit as messy as it was.

  • The juveniles would have had a better morning if the officer before me would have done her job.

  • I could have radio’d for a corporal to assist in making the night shift officer do her job before her shift ended.

What if this was all intentional?

What if help was available, but the officer in the control room intentionally took her time getting the door unlocked when it was clear I needed help?

What if?

Background

When I started Palmetto Kids Cooking in 2015, I was on a mission to make the next generation strong by teaching at-risk kids how to cook real food.

Learning to cook is so important. Not only is cooking a basic life skill, but it can also spark creative expression.

Teaching one child to cook will impact that child’s whole life.

Studies show some ingredients in many processed foods can negatively impact behavior, mood, and appetite. Empowering kids to make better choices is key to turning the tide on childhood obesity and diet-related diseases.

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We partner with awesome organizations such as Wings For Kids to get kiddos engaged in healthy habits.

This photo was taken during Choice Time, the Wings For Kids after school program.


Chicora Elementary, North Charleston, SC.

This young lady is learning to use spices for flavor instead of salt.

All Roads Led Me To DJJ

My intention was not to become a Juvenile Correctional Officer, but rather to teach kids in the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) institutions how to cook healthy meals.

What better place to teach the next generation about foods that impact mood, behavior, and ability to learn?

Interview

The impromptu interview took place when I visited the local DJJ evaluation/detention center and met the facility administrator. She shared my resume with the captain and the director of the school (DJJ has their own school district). They encouraged me to apply to DJJ.

Seemed Like A Good Fit

I was informed by the facility administrator they had recently received grant monies for a culinary program, but had no one to teach cooking. All I would have to do is go through the officers’ training program first and come on board as an officer.

Once I was in her facility she added she could move me anywhere. I thought the training would be for my own protection as much as it was to protect the kids. Although training took me away from my family for five weeks, I was happy to get the training needed to better communicate with institutionalized teenagers.

I really believed I had found a perfect fit for my experience, education, and mission. I was excited!

It certainly did not turn out as planned… on so many levels.

In training I learned that complicity charges can be brought against an officer for not protecting the other juveniles if the officer chooses to not get involved to break up or prevent a fight.

Not breaking up a fight could result in losing control of the whole unit. It could mean innocent juveniles get harmed. I knew the potential dangers, but I didn’t expect to be in the units. I was supposed to be in the classroom or kitchen… that is unless the facility is shorthanded. Once an officer, always an officer first.


KATHY TRILL

MARCH 2019


Continue reading the next installment of the Thumped series by Kathy Trill:

002  The Day My Life Changed


Leave me a message and tell about an event that caused you to look at the world differently.

You can also email me at kathy@palmettokidscooking.com with any questions.

002 The Day My Life Changed

The Day My Life Changed

A feeling of apprehension sweeps over me briefly when I hear my post assignment for the next eight to ten hours.

That feeling must have found it’s way to my face because the supervising corporal assures me she and the other corporal will be right there if I need help.

Refusing an assigned post means an instant write up. I comply because I feel up for the challenge. I worked on other units alone with no trouble. In fact, I enjoyed it. How different could this unit be?

Change of shift in the morning is always chaotic; making teenagers get out of bed to start the day bright and early in an institution.

What could possibly go awry?

Typically when I arrive, the night shift officer signs out of the log book, and I sign into the legal, living document with an oath, “I, Ofc. Trill...” and I take responsibility of a clean and orderly unit.

That is if nothing was found in the contraband inspection, AND the previous officer has done all that is required of the night shift officer.


Far From Clean And Orderly

When I arrive to the post, I feel like the night shift officer is still trying to wake up. She looks like she slept in her uniform jacket. Her hair is a mess and the lights bother her eyes.

I am dismayed by the condition of the unit. There is trash everywhere, which makes the contraband search difficult.

The search reveals pencils in bedrooms; pencils are contraband because they could be used as weapons.

Bringing Order To A Less Than Desirable Situation

The toilets are not flushed. There is a turd in the toilet (not contraband- but what the heck?) Really?

It’s the turd that sets me off.

I begin to counsel (mom voice) the group of thirteen males (approx. 10-17 years old) about personal hygiene and having self respect by keeping their area tidy.

I tell them no TV until their unit is in order. They are to be seated in the common area when they are finished with their responsibility. With much complaining they all start cleaning. I turn to look for the night shift officer.

She is gone.

I haven’t even relieved her of her post. I have not logged in or taken responsibility for the unit.

She split.

Nice.

Thanks for your help. I’ll take it from here.


KATHY TRILL

MARCH 2019


Continue reading the next installment of the Thumped series by Kathy Trill:

003  The Fight


Have you ever felt like you were left in the dark to clean up a mess you didn’t make? Tell me about it below.

You can also email me at kathy@palmettokidscooking.com with any questions.

003 The Fight

Colors on the Unit

The juveniles have to wear jumpers. The color of the jumper signifies what level of offense and where they are in the legal process. For instance, blue jumpers could mean the juvenile is in the evaluation/detention center for skipping school or another misdemeanor.

The green jumper... hmmm, think armed robbery, assault with intent, kidnapping, drug charges, or worse.

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Green Jumpers

Two of the thirteen juveniles wear green jumpers. One is unsettled and mouthy. He wants to argue about everything. The other juvenile aggravates every person he comes in contact with unless he sees a way to manipulate them.

I can read him like a book.

I tell him he still has trash on the floor in his room, and I ask him to clean it up. He reluctantly goes to his room.

The rest of the juveniles are seated in the common area, and all I need is for Juvenile A to pick up his room so I can turn on the TV for everyone.

I look toward his room and I see him sitting on his bed fiddling with the shoes on his feet. The room is still trashy.

If he can’t manipulate he will aggravate.

I am aggravated and thinking I like him better when he is trying to manipulate me.

Juvenile B, the other green-jumper-wearing juvenile, is seated in the common area like he is supposed to be, but he is heckling Juvenile A.


The Fight

Evidently, A and B have been at each other for a while. I don’t remember what it was that set him off, but

Juvenile A storms out of his room ten feet tall as if he is raging with testosterone.

Inside my head I have an oh sh*t moment, but pull it together quickly.

I am focused on getting him back into his room.

I calmly walk over to him and place my right hand on his chest. In an even tone I tell him to ignore Juvenile B, just do what I asked and go finish picking up the trash in his room.

He starts bouncing around and agitating the situation.

In my head I am saying Pleeease Go Back In Your Room.

He bounces to my left. I think about my radio in the side pocket of my BDU trousers, and I glance at the door.

Assistance is on the way because I can see the male corporal on the other side of the locked glass door.

We make eye contact. I see worry and fear. He anxiously looks over his shoulder at the control room, then back at me. He sees the situation escalating and can do nothing to help me.

It looks like he is yelling, “Come on!” to the officer in the control room. The officer has to press a button on a screen to unlock the door. That’s it, that’s all she has to do.

Is she distracted? Why isn’t she unlocking the door?


Juvenile A is bristled and bouncing from one foot to the other. For a moment I consider stepping away and letting the two of them mop the floor with each other, but I remember the warning about complicity and decide I don’t want to go to jail because I didn’t try to stop what was happening anyway.

I press into Juvenile A quite a bit firmer and try to calmly tell him again to go back to his room. He yells,


“Officer Trill, get out of the way!”

I am trying to buy time so the corporal can come in and take Juvenile A off my unit.

Juvenile B sees an opportunity and approaches from behind me. Maybe he feels a false sense of security because I am between him and Juvenile A, or maybe he’s just opportunistic and sees a clear shot at Juvenile A.

It doesn’t matter.

Juvenile A bounces to my right; I am still telling him no as he reaches over my right shoulder to punch Juvenile B who is directly behind me now.

Juvenile A’s elbow strikes my forehead above my right eyebrow as he extends his arm, and the impact jars my senses.

I think Dammmmit... that’s gonna leave a mark.

Simultaneously relieved that he didn’t hit my nose.

I hear from Juvenile A,

“Oh! Sorry Officer Trill. I told you to get out of the way.”


Now I’m pissed.

I hear the very distinctive sound of a fist hitting bony flesh.

I can only guess that the opportunistic Juvenile B punched Juvenile A in the face when A’s attention turned to me for a moment to apologize for clipping my forehead with his elbow.

Now it’s game on and both juveniles will kill each other if there is no intervention.

I look toward the door again to see two corporals running toward us.

It’s too late.

When Juvenile A drew his arm back to punch Juvenile B a second time, my head receives a forceful blow from Juvenile A’s elbow. This time the impact is behind my right ear.

If you have made it this far in this blog post, God bless you! Leave me a message.

KATHY TRILL

MARCH 2019


Continue reading the next installment of the Thumped series by Kathy Trill:

004  The Bell Has Rung


Leave me a message and tell about an event that caused you to look at the world differently.

You can also email me at kathy@palmettokidscooking.com with any questions.

004 The Bell Has Rung

The Bell Has Rung

I hear a very loud click. A sickening sound because it came from inside of my head.

I think it was gray matter meeting the inside of my skull…can that make a sound?

Maybe it was axons shearing beyond their tinsel strength. In any event it was inside my skull, it was audible, and it marks the moment my life changed.

The corporals arrive.

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I think an alarm has gone off in the unit. I cover my ears because the alarm is so loud.

Oh God! Oh God, it’s inside my head. This blaring is inside my head.

I hear nothing but that, it is so incredibly loud.

I try to gain some distance from the fight that is now four strong behind me.

I am staggering, but manage to get behind a steel pole under the stairs.

The fight is a brawl, I am aware of that, but I don’t even look in their direction.

At the moment, I am absolutely useless as I try to assess what was happening inside me.

Do I go down?

No, stand up.

Don’t drop. You’ve got this.

It’s going to be okay. Walk it off.

Keep walking.

Are the other kids okay?

The Aftermath

Two corporals take two bloodied and battered juveniles away. It breaks my heart to see what they have done to each other.

Their first stop is the nurses’ station. The second stop is lock up.

I look around at the remaining boys.


Some faces are indifferent, some are worried, but

there is one whose eyes are fixed on me.

At first, I think he is trying to determine if I would cry. That wasn’t it; his body was tense.

Sadly, I think I know why this young man knew how bad it was before I did.

I whisper, “I’m ok” and try to smile at him.

He’s not convinced.

Although he relaxes a little, he does not take his eyes off me.

Prepared For A Day Such As This

I sit down to write the report. A juvenile sitting at the table asks me if I grew up with brothers.

I smile and answer, “Yes. Does it show?” His question certainly lightened my mood and amused me. I grew up with five brothers and no sisters.

Who knew that would prepare me for a day such as this, I thought as I begin my report of the incident.

Beginning my Report

I can’t hold my pen. I can’t remember how to start the report (I, Ofc Trill... then what?) I look up at the group of eleven boys, and I’m relieved to see all blue.

Little man’s eyes are still on me.

I say screw the report. I can do this later.

I need to change the energy in this unit and be present with these boys who just witnessed a full blown brawl up close and personal.

I stand up and realize I’m still dizzy and I feel like my head is in a fish bowl.

My head hurts.

I keep turning my face to the floor for some reason. (I will later find out my eyes are no longer working together, and my injured brain cannot handle the wonky input).

To Switch Gears

A good healthy planking challenge would be fun.

My head is pounding, so I don’t participate, but I can time the challengers with the second hand on my watch.

Two boys get on the floor and assume the plank position.

I look at my watch. I can’t see the face of the watch let alone the second hand. I play it off and start counting out loud.

My counting fades out because I can’t remember what number comes next. I’m relieved the other kids continue to count.

Just then the supervising corporal comes in to get my report. I tell her that I started it, but can’t write it.

She must assume that it’s too loud in the unit for me to concentrate, and she makes me trade places with the control room officer so I can write in peace.

It’s quiet and dark in the control room.

By the light of the computer monitor, I hand write my report and turn it in to the supervising corporal.

She transfers me to the girls unit where it is calm and quiet.

My head hurts.

KATHY TRILL

MARCH 2019


Continue reading the next installment of the Thumped series by Kathy Trill:

005  In the Girl's Unit


Love to hear what you’re thinking at this point. Leave a comment below.

You can also email me at kathy@palmettokidscooking.com with any questions.

005 In the Girl's Unit

In the Girls Unit

A generally chatty unit is quiet today and I am thankful for that.

Some of the girls are watching a movie. The others are not well and lying in beds.

I notice I am so sleepy. I also notice I have missed a couple of entries in the unit log book.

There is to be an entry in the log book every fifteen minutes to document what is happening in the unit. It’s like I forgot to make an entry or lost track of time. That’s never happened before.

I am still having trouble holding my pen.

I walk around the unit and check on the sleeping juveniles.

My head is throbbing so I go to the tool box where they keep first aid supplies. I make a mental note to stop by the nurses’ station after my shift to have the nurse replenish the pain reliever.

I take the last pack and think how serious this thump is if I have to take a pain reliever. I don’t take medication unless I absolutely have to.

Signing the Official Report

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The corporal arrives in my unit with the typed official report. She hands me a pen to sign it.

I try to read it, but I can’t.

She volunteers the fact that she took out the part about the loud click and ringing noise.

I am puzzled, yet I cannot ask for the reason she changed my report.

I literally cannot ask. My words seem to not be available for use right now.

I know I should ask something, but my thoughts are not in order.

With difficulty holding the pen I sign the paper.

End Of Shift

The end of my eight hour shift comes. I wait for the night shift officer to complete her contraband search.

She takes responsibility of a calm, clean and tidy unit.

I go to the nurse and tell her about taking the last pain reliever pack. She asks me about my head. She is the first person to actually ask me about my head. I tell her it still hurts and I feel ‘off’, like my head is in a fishbowl.

I have to concentrate on forming each word and I feel like I am not making sense.

The nurse insists I tell the lieutenant about the incident. I’m glad she insisted.

Lieutenant

The lieutenant knows nothing about the altercation or the juveniles in lock up. It is the beginning of her shift.

The supervising corporal is present, so I let her do the talking. Workman’s comp paperwork is filled out, and I am free to drive myself to urgent care center. (No, I am not kidding).

In hindsight that was not the best plan. I am eternally grateful I did not kill anyone on that drive.

KATHY TRILL

MARCH 2019


Continue reading the next installment of the Thumped series by Kathy Trill:

006  Getting to the Hospital


Did you know you don’t have to lose consciousness to have a concussion? Do you know someone who got thumped on the head and doesn’t seem quite like his or her usual self? Comment below.

You can also email me at kathy@palmettokidscooking.com with any questions.

006 Getting to the Hospital

Getting To The Hospital

The urgent care center that handles the Workers Compensation claims is not equipped for head injuries and must send me to the emergency room.

Surely I am not the first head injury. Why was I sent here?

The nurse case manager is contacted again and approves the decision to send me to the emergency room.

Evidently today NO ONE IS USING THEIR HEAD.

I am free to drive myself to the hospital.

Here’s a tip to the general public:

If your employee, loved one, or ANYONE says the any of the following after even a simple bump on the head DON’T LET THEM DRIVE!

“I’m having trouble finding my words,”

“I feel off,”

“My head hurts,”

“I feel like I’m in a fishbowl,”

“I’m Okay,” or

“I’m not Okay.”


Wait at least 48 hours before you let that person drive because symptoms can get worse, then improve, then get worse again. It’s important to use your head when they can’t.

You can’t see a brain injury.

As I walk to my car in the parking lot at the urgent care facility I hear someone laying on their horn. The sound is excruciating. I turn to see who the jerk is laying on his horn as I open my car door. Whoops! It’s my husband trying to get my attention.

I told him before I left the facility about getting hit in the head at the beginning of my shift.

I walk to his truck and stand at the driver’s door window. The window is down and I hear his side of his phone conversation with the person he’s supposed to be picking up. He has to tell this person to find another ride to Columbia where they were supposed to be carpooling to training for the week.

I know he feels like he’s let them down, and I feel guilty because it’s my fault his plans are changing.

Maybe that is why I didn’t leave my vehicle at urgent care. I thought I was okay to drive… I had made it to urgent care by myself.

We drive separately toward the hospital, except I don’t remember how to get to the hospital.

Lost

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I have lived in Summerville for almost three decades and I have absolutely no idea how to get to the hospital.

I see the hospital in my mind, but nothing is coming up when I scan my brain for the answer of which way to turn.

I find myself sitting at a traffic light. I feel like I should turn right. Not sure.

Then a horrific noise.

It’s inside my head again.

No, it’s inside the car! I almost open the door of the car to escape the noise. It stops.

Then it starts again.

I see my husband’s name on the dashboard. I am so damn confused.

I look down at the thing on my passenger seat. The words ‘slide to answer’ appears on this apparatus. I slide the bar at the bottom to see what would happen.

I hear my husband’s voice.


Back To The Future

Evidently, I was thumped back to 1980 because I had no idea what my phone was.

I did not know that I could push the button on my steering wheel to answer the incoming call.

The horrific noise was entering my damaged head through my car speakers. I hear my husband’s very calm and patient voice and I am relieved.

I realize I am in trouble.

I am almost in tears when I tell him I need help to get to the hospital.


He is in his vehicle, which is literally right behind mine at the light, but I could not see him.

I hear his voice tell me that I have to turn right.

So I do.

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He gets in front of me once we are on the road.

I follow his bumper to the hospital with him on the phone in my car.

I remember his bumper, and that is all I remember about that trip.

I hear him tell me to park next to the green truck.

I’m at the hospital.


The Emergency Room

I still feel panicky. It is flu season and there are some really sick people here. I don’t need to be here.

My daughter shows up, and my husband leaves for the week of training, a work trip.

I’m given a CAT scan and receive two shots to help relieve inflammation I am told.

The nurse touches my forehead with her fingertips. One side feels like the gloved hand. The other side feels like she is wearing a mitten even though she has the same gloves on each hand. Diagnosis: Concussion.

Home At Last

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My daughter drives me home, and fills my prescription.

It’s been a long day straight out of the Twilight Zone.

It’s late, but I call the institution to tell the lieutenant I won’t be at work in the morning because of a concussion.

I fall asleep alone in my bed and medicated.

KATHY TRILL

MARCH 2019


Continue reading the next installment of the Thumped series by Kathy Trill:

007  The Day After


I’m so thankful for my support system. Tell me all your the wonderful people in your life and how they’ve supported you or you’ve supported them?

You can also email me at kathy@palmettokidscooking.com with any questions.

007 The Day After

The Day After

First call of the day comes in. It’s the captain. He wants to know what the doctor said and when I will be back at work.

He does not ask me how I am doing. He does not tell me to get better soon.


Alrighty then. I take a muscle relaxer and get back in the bed.

I shiver uncontrollably under the covers, but I’m not cold. I’m not sure what I am feeling or what thoughts to have.

Stumped By Numbers

After a long slumber, I go to the kitchen to heat up water for tea.

I put the cup filled with water in the microwave and shut the door.

I don’t know what comes next.

The numbers on the keypad mean nothing to me.

I just want to add thirty seconds, that seems right. The microwave starts and stops, starts and stops.

I open the door to the microwave and slam it shut in frustration.

Photo credit: Unsplash @sloppyperfectionist

Photo credit: Unsplash @sloppyperfectionist

Missing Pieces of a Jigsaw Puzzle

What else is missing from my head?

I know who I am, my birthday, age, my husband, and where I work.

I know I run Palmetto Kids Cooking from my home office, but I am bewildered as I begin to quiz myself.

I feel like that is all I know…. and yet I know there is more.

I start with my children, their full names, and birth dates.

The information doesn’t show up quickly.

I have to put some thought into retrieving basic information, at least it is there.


Who Are These Little Strangers

It’s a different story when I get to my grandchildren. Their full names and birth dates stump me.

I have absolutely no idea what my grandson’s last name is.

For the record, he has the same last name as both his parents and his sister – I just couldn’t remember that connecting detail.

Forced Meditation

The Worker’s Compensation nurse case manager calls to check on me.

I tell her about the microwave.

She makes an appointment for me to see the neurologist and sends a car to pick me up for the appointment.

The neurologist agrees with the diagnosis of concussion and orders total brain rest.

How do I do that?

She tells me to be vigilant because the first two weeks are crucial to recovery.

She insists on zero screen time, which means no phone, no TV, no computer, and no tablets.

I am a very compliant patient.

I use ear plugs and a sleeping mask.

Total brain rest. You should try it sometime. It’s a trip.

KATHY TRILL

MARCH 2019


Continue reading the next installment of the Thumped series by Kathy Trill:

008  Alone In My Head


Have you even had to ‘brain rest’? What do you do when it comes to relaxing?

You can also email me at kathy@palmettokidscooking.com with any questions.

008 Alone In My Head

Alone In My Head

So here I am, nothing coming in and nothing going out.

Just existing.

It’s just me alone in my head.

There are no outside influences for days. My husband checks in with a phone call in the afternoon and he come’s home on the weekends.

This is the closest image I could find to show what it was like inside my head in those first few weeks.

This is the closest image I could find to show what it was like inside my head in those first few weeks.

Trouble Processing

I see the neurologist weekly, and each time I am taken aback when she says she wants to see me again in a week.

She writes me a note for work that says the date of return is To Be Determined.

A concussion is supposed to be gone in two weeks.

Each week I have to tell my neurologist about my week. Each week there is another story like how I started the laundry and thought I was doing well in the process. Then got lost somewhere between a load that was finished washing, and the clothes in the dryer that are not yet completely dry, so what do I do next?

Losing My Cool

My neurologist is the only person on the planet that believes me. She knows I am not quite there yet.

Just when I think I will be able to see her without an event, I do something completely out of character for me.

One day when my husband is home for the weekend, I am sitting at the kitchen table and I am hot.

Like my own tropical vacation hot.

I decide to walk to the thermostat as if numbers and I are friends again.

The thermostat has a digital display.

I know to switch the thermostat from heat to cool, but I spin that digital dial like it is a Roulette wheel.

It is my best shot at adjusting the temperature only to have my husband come into the room and tell me the temperature is way too high.


I scream, with fists balled and shaking my whole body,

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“I’m NOT Okay!”

He is stunned.

Speechless.

He slowly walks over to me and wraps his arms around me. No words needed. He knows.

KATHY TRILL

MARCH 2019


Continue reading the next installment of the Thumped series by Kathy Trill:

009 The Stranger That Never Left Me


Sometimes no words are needed… or are they? Do you favor one type of support? Share below.

You can also email me at kathy@palmettokidscooking.com with any questions.

009 The Stranger That Never Left Me

The Stranger That Never Left Me

My days are spent in bed. For weeks I am in my tomb, alone in my head except for images of one boy.

A boy I have never met.

Why Did He Reach Me?

Before the head injury I had only seen his picture on Facebook while I was away from home, training to be a Juvenile Correctional Officer.

It is ironic and disturbing to me to see these particular images of a 9-year old boy. His aunt posted the pictures. She and I are not connected in any way.

We are not Facebook ‘friends’ and we have no friends in common.

I don’t know why her post shows up in my news feed.

There is a before and after photo.

The first photo was taken a month before at a family gathering.

I notice he is a heavy-set fellow with a Gatorade sitting next to him (I notice things like that – it’s a health coaching thing and I can’t shut it off).

The next photo is of the same boy on life support and the post starts with

“It is with a heavy heart that I…”

What happened to this young man? Car accident?


No…. His heart just stopped.

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Heart Attack

Age: 9-years old

The shades were added by me to protect his privacy. There is nothing funny about this photo.

He is someone’s baby boy, and at the time of the photo I am sure they were wondering if they were going to have to say goodbye to him.

Angry

My immediate thought was I am not reaching enough people!

I closed my eyes and asked, “Why God? Why now that I am committed to DJJ do you show me this heart break?”

I tried so hard not to think about him and the thousands like him that are headed in the direction of early demise, or life long chronic disease.

This task is too big for just one person. It’s also super personal and I think that is why people shy away from addressing the issue.

There is also a lot of denial and/or defiance that people face from parents or caregivers. I hope this post reaches them. This could be their child.

This image should be unsettling for everyone who knows a kid…

My mind races with who could have gotten involved to prevent this! I couldn’t help but ask where are the teachers? Where are the parents? Where is his pediatrician?

It is not this 9-year old’s fault that he (or she) carries heart attack inducing weight.

Who is feeding him? Nobody in this boy’s life saw this coming?

Nobody? I really had a hard time letting the anger go.

Photo credit: Unsplash @richard_bagan

Photo credit: Unsplash @richard_bagan

Quiet Time

With sleep mask and ear plugs in place, I lie flat on my back in bed.

No input.

No thoughts.

My ears are ringing.

I can’t even remember how to heat water in the microwave. I am not thinking.

This must be what it’s like to be dead.

In a coffin and dead. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is no joke. It’s incredibly lonely.

My mind, the one that used to race with creativity, is in repair mode.

There is not a thought in sight. Occasionally, a thought floats by like a helium balloon that’s been released to the sky.

The thought is gone as soon as it floats through my head. There is no recall.

There is no recalling anything because there is nothing in my head except my soul and the image of this boy on life support.

He keeps me company because his image is the only thought that stays with me.

As the days tick on, I make promises to him that I will get better and do what I should have done before DJJ. I won’t run from my passion and conviction to prevent childhood diet-related diseases. I will do my part.


KATHY TRILL

MARCH 2019


Continue reading the next installment of the Thumped series by Kathy Trill:

010 Where Do We Go From Here?


Can you share a time where something so unexpected, hit you so profoundly?

You can also email me at kathy@palmettokidscooking.com with any questions.

010 Where Do We Go From Here?

I Didn’t Come This Far, To Only Come This Far

It’s been over a year since the traumatic brain injury. I’m still under the care of a neurologist, and I am so grateful to have come this far in my recovery.

I reached out to the boy’s aunt, the one who posted the before and after pictures. My young friend has brain damage because of the lack of oxygen that occurred before CPR was administered. I follow his journey on his Facebook page.

I am certain God gave this young man’s image to me to keep me in the fight.

The fight to get well, and the fight to get back up and participate in life to help others like him.

What Did We Learn From This?

When my kids were little, we would talk about what we learned from a mistake or an unfortunate event. What would we do differently in another situation in order to produce a better outcome.

It’s time to ask myself the same thing.

I learned that you don’t have to get knocked out to seriously injure the gelatinous goo inside your dome.

The first blow probably was hard enough to create a concussion, but the second blow is what caused the Post Concussion Syndrome.

I learned that tiptoeing around the subject of childhood obesity and diet-related diseases in children in order to not offend the caregiver is a stupid idea. It does nothing to fix the problem. The one who suffers in the long run is the child.

This whole experience taught me to listen to the guiding voice inside me. I have been given a passion, or mission, whatever you might call it. It has been planted so deeply inside my heart, not even a brain injury could lighten the weight of it.

How dare I take any advice that does not move the needle in creating a solution for what weighs on my heart?

A year of my life has been taken from me. I won’t get it back. I will make every minute of the rest of my life count.

I believe everything happens for a reason.

I was meant to be at DJJ. As I said before, you will never convince me that there is no connection between the chemicals and food dyes and bad behavior. The crap processed foods absolutely impact mood, behavior and appetite. The kids are fed low nutrient foods that are engineered to keep them hungry. The result? A lot of ‘hangry’ hyped up kids.

If you or your company want to do studies on how chemicals and food dyes impact behavior, spend some time in the units of a juvenile detention/evaluation center.

Go where the kids are. Investigate what they are being fed. Don’t tell me that you can’t do a study on kids by FEEDING THEM REAL FOOD.

There is more value on everything in my life because life is so precious and short.

I am grateful for these lessons.

Attracting High-minded People

Since clarity has returned, I am attracting incredible people into my life who are on the same mission to annihilate diet-related childhood diseases.

These angels are ready to lock elbows with me to finish what I started, and to compensate for abilities I lost.

One of those angels is now my business partner. Some would say it was a leap of faith, but I have never been so sure of anything before. Asking Keri to join me just makes good sense. We are both passionate about educating children about nourishing their bodies and improving food literacy. I have admired Keri’s work ethic as we worked together on several other projects over the past few years. We really do go together like peanut butter and jelly.

I am so excited for the future and how we will change lives. The foundation to make the next generation strong is solid!

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KATHY TRILL

MARCH 2019



Has there been a time in your life when you needed to fight to get well and/or fight to get back up? Share below.

You can also email me at kathy@palmettokidscooking.com with any questions.