Finally catching a small break without several days of therapy; finished Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) almost two weeks ago and it has been a pleasure enjoying some days off. It’s so nice not to have things scheduled and to do things on spur of the moment. We have been enjoying visiting family and friends, shopping (Mike’s favorite), catching some rays (Mike has become a sun-god), going to the zoo (a new lesson on the difficulties for people with disabilities) and just hanging in pj’s till the afternoon. WOW…a moment to remember what things used to be like.
The next few weeks will start another whirlwind of events with another evaluation to get Mike back in PT at Marian Joy; followed by an appointment with another urologist to figure out why Mike continues to have blood in his urine. They have ruled out infections and kidney stones. The next step is to do a scope which won’t be pleasant for Mike, but from our experience you have to do what have to do. Then Mike will be receiving Botox injections for his hands. Hopefully it will help open them up. We will then be searching for a hand therapist who can utilize the effects of the Botox to his hands. Looking into horse therapy (for balance) then finally a question of getting into pool therapy. Whew! I’m exhausted just writing all of this! Can’t wait to start doing it all!
This blog may be long but I wanted to address another aspect of a person who survives a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). In the past I have always posted about Mike’s great accomplishments or future therapies for the PHYSICAL aspects of his journey. Now I want to talk about the mental and emotional effects that are as critical.
I have to say that Mike has been a little depressed as well as myself these past few weeks. You see, Mike should have graduated from college this year. Mike, seeing all of the preparations, congratulations, photos, and parties of his friends graduating put him in a stupor. Facebook can be good, but it can also be bad! For me, all the dreams you have as a parent have been crushed for the moment.
Though Mike’s attitude through this journey has been fantastic, there have been times were it was hard to keep him positive and upbeat. Mike was always a social person and to stay at home (especially on the weekends) could get a little depressing for anyone. Thank goodness that our son, Nick, and his friends have been a part of his social life while Mike’s friends were finishing school and looking forward to their careers.
Mike totally understands that he needs to have a good attitude in order to succeed in ALL of his challenges. Most important was his acceptance of the accident and how it has changed him to a better person; something that most of us will never experience. I would like everyone to understand how important it is for recovery to continue to socialize and communicate with someone who has suffered a TBI. As frightening as it is for some people to understand, accept, or just see the difference. They are still the same person. You may have to look past the physical look and go deeper. As usual, another lesson to be taught regarding the value of life and how REAL people and feelings really are.
Thank you to those who sent prayers to my great nephew, Jack. He is recovering quite well and is anxious to be a young active boy again. Also, thank you to my niece, Stephanie, who organized the Saturday June 9th fundraiser on the Street’s of Addison. The support of family and friends has kept our strength.