Monday, January 17, 2011

Personal Note

In case you've been wondering where I've been, we've had some family problems recently. My husband had an accident that totaled our truck and left him with some head injuries.  Fortunately, he's recovering well enough.  The very same day, my husband's dog jumped the backyard fence and got out to a busy road where she was struck by a car and killed.  Losing her was a big loss for our family and we are still reeling from it all.  Now that we are past the worst of it, I am turning my attention back to all of you.  We have so much to learn in the next year!

1 mad comments:

Ellen L said...

In reading about your husband's accident on your blog, I feel a particular kinship to you on that front too. My eldest daughter is a traumatic brain injury survivor as was my late husband, Bill.

Linda fell off the monkey bars when she was six years old. When she was 34, she ended up having brain surgery to remove a venous cluster from her brain that was oozing and causing her a lot of problems. We're still not sure whether she was born with it or whether it formed after her hairline skull fracture suffered when she fell off those monkey bars.

Bill fell from a ladder at our Lions Club when replacing a bulb in the Christmas Lights strung around the eves of the building. Unfortunately, he was over the concrete when he fell, resulting in a subdural hematoma. I spent nearly two months helping him cope with the results until he was almost all the way back (only some mild aphasia was left which we were working on in rehab) when he suffered a debilitating clot in his left carotid artery resulting in a stroke.

Through those times and in the five years that followed, I learned a whole lot about right and left brain as well as how to make life meaningful for someone who could neither talk nor walk. They were, believe it or not, some of the best, most loving years of our marriage. A lot of people think I'm nuts for saying that. They have no idea of how much fun, very basic simple fun, a patient and care giver who are very much in love can have together. I think that is because they have no inkling of the most important thing one can do for any person with a brain injury: that is to stimulate them and never, ever feel sorry for them. PMA is what got us through and I've been told by several rehab therapists is the one thing that defines whether or not a brain injured person comes back as far as they can come.

Enough of the soap box for now. Just know that I care and I know how hard it is to watch someone you love struggle to come back as well as to let them do it. So many times others wanted me to just do something for Bill instead of waiting for him to struggle with it, and I would not until HE asked me to do it (and sometimes not even then unless I was sure he had reached the end of his tolerance for frustration) for him or to him. The sense of accomplishment and pride for him was worth the extra time it took. After all, there are few things in life more valuable than allowing a loved one to succeed! Peace ----Ellen

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