Finally we have the joys of summer and I have to admit that this is my favorite time of year for many reasons. Especially my quiet times at night sitting out on our patio. Enjoying peaceful, alone times. But it’s a time when I do most of my thinking and worrying. (My family has learned to let me be) As much as I try to move forward there is always something that brings me back to July 8th, 2009. ( The day of Mike’s accident) My mind races like a fast wheel…spinning and spinning. Seeing and feeling every moment from that day until now. Visualizing how things were before the accident and wondering “What would he be doing as an adult?”, What kind of job would he have?”, Would he have a girlfriend?”. The list can go on and on.
Sure, there were many emotions that we went through. Anger being at the top of the list but somehow we have managed to subside that and fill it with frustration. Frustrations, over the lack of knowledge that people have to someone who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Ourselves included in the beginning of the journey. Questioning Mike on why he can’t do something and yet could easily do something else. This is where learning, experience, and understanding comes in play. Of course he would love to walk straight, open his hands and use them, have a clear conversation when speaking, or just be able to roll over in bed and cover himself. But who’s to say that this won’t happen? NO ONE!!!!!
Many don’t understand the struggles and stages that a TBI individual go through whether they are visual or inside someone’s head. If it was simple enough to open the brain and pinpoint what needs to be fixed….we would be the first in line. Fortunately, the medical field has made great strides with recovery for people with neurological issues, but there is so much that still needs to be done. Since I am not a doctor nor anyone else in my family; the only thing that we can do to help others is to educate through our own experiences.
So many times when I speak to an old or new traumatic brain injury (TBI) family, they feel relieved that “I GET IT”. Every aspect of their life changing journey, my family can relate. It’s those outside of that circle that don’t understand because of lack of knowledge.
Story after story from families, they all seem the same. All trying so desperately to accept and understand what has happened to them and their family. Yet, being hopeful that one day they could get their lives back. And if not, having society accept them for who they are. Yes, everyone who suffered a TBI ( big or small) will NEVER be 100% of who they were. But, the same goes to anyone who may have had a health changing experience. Whether it’s cancer, heart attack, diabetes, etc.
These health issues have been brought to everyone’s attention for many years . Through more awareness, education, research, and resources. People have lived longer lives after their diagnosis because of this avenue. However, with a brain injury, people FEAR the unknown. Many times TBI individuals can’t control their action,emotions, or thoughts. They are struggling to process so many things at one time in their heads. The TBI community needs more awareness, research, and resources, so that our loved ones can have long productive lives!!!!
We were fortunate to return to the Carrick Brain Center in Georgia last month. Working with well qualified “Functional Neurologists that Dr. Ted Carrick assigned to help run his clinic. Loved the one on one quality time with each compassionate doctor. Of course everyone knew Mike’s name including the staff at the hotel we were staying at. The doctors were please with the improvements from our last visit in April. ( A big thank you goes out to Dr. George Micholoupolos here in Wood Dale for all of his help and a pat on our backs for our rigorous home therapies).
They begin with doing diagnostic testings, which the majority are done through the eyes. A protocol is set up for each individual according to the diagnostic results. Then it’s a week of intense therapies 3 times a day. I can’t tell you how exhausting it is, especially for Mike. This is not “physical therapy” it is total “brain therapy”. I just love this type of therapy.It is so logical that you need to get neurons connected in the brain in order to connect with your motor skills, emotions, thoughts, etc. and overall being of a human.
As hard as it is for us to understand this process of therapy, we trust the “Functional Neurologists” who have been working with Mike. Have we seen huge improvements?……NO, Can Mike say he feels 100% better?…..NO, But what we can say is, his balance is better, his walking is better, and his speech is better. We will take those tiny steps!!!!!! I so wish we could look inside his brain and connect the dots for him, but we have to go with the test results and the positive feedback from the doctors.
WE MOVE ONE DAY CLOSER FOR MIKE TO HAVE HIS INDEPENDENCE!!!!!!!!!
P.S. Our Golf Outing Event information is now posted on the website. It is Sunday, September 21, 2014 at Maple Meadows in Wood Dale. Reserve your spot early and come out and support our mission to help other TBI individuals!!!!!!!