Mike’s life continues to be on a road that has many curves. ( I can’t wait for it to be straight ). We received the results from the saliva test. They found that his DHEA is elevated, Insulin depressed, and Gliadin positive. OK now what? Well, Mike has to start eating gluten-free foods, at least for 3 months. No wheat, barley, oats, or rye. “Come on” as Mike said. “I’m Italian and I love pasta and bread”. I found out they do have gluten-free pasta and breads, but experimenting with different brands has become a challenge and also a shock to the wallet. ( They all taste like a corn tortilla with gravy on it ). Mike loves his desserts after dinner and I think that has been the most challenging to me. Grrrr, EVERYTHING has wheat in it!!! We don’t complain. This might be the key to open the door for Mike.
Over a year ago, I was given an article about a doctor in California ( Dr. Mark Gordon at http://www.tbimedlegal.com/ ) who has been researching and using hormone replacement therapy to heal TBI’S. ( Traumatic Brain Injuries ). He had stated, ” One of our biggest populations in need of urgent care are the soldiers returning from battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan “. He has dedicated himself to these soldiers returning with TBI’S. The results have been overwhelming with hormone replacement therapy. At the time when I received the article we were not able financially to visit Dr. Gordon in California to have a consultation. Then Dr. Turner came into our lives. He had the test done for Mike’s adrenal gland. The beginning of the hormone deficits. We start with going gluten-free and supplements. Time will tell, but the positive stories of Dr. Gordon’s patients has lead us to a different avenue.
Our new avenue has been a little different approach. Besides changing diet and new supplements we have begun a new journey with Dr. Yurasek. He is a doctor out of National University of Health and Science in Lombard. Dr. Yurasek is a guru on acupuncture and acupressure and had studied in China for many years. After our first consultation, neurological testing, and therapy. I had tears welling in my eyes to see Mike’s fingers start to open. I do not want to sound that “traditional” therapy doesn’t work, but in Mike’s case we felt he reached somewhat of a plateau at this time. As I stated before, there is no one pill fix for people who suffer TBI’s. I just want to encourage and educate families not to give up. Find the right avenue for your loved one. There is always hope and something out there.
Mike sometimes feels discouraged that he is working so hard in his everyday therapies, and “why isn’t it clicking?” A statement that “traditional” therapist instill: Repetition, Repetition, Repetition. Well, where do you look when you have repeatedly done the same thing over and over again, and you still can’t do it. Try to find a blockage, pathway, or different avenue. Our avenue is still a mystery, but a hope. Oxygen therapy has brought Mike so far. We stopped for awhile because we felt at this time it had only helped so much this last session. I’m sure he will receive it again in the future. Just like a car needs a “tune-up”, wheels rotated. and oil changed. Mike will need those “tune-ups” in the future.
We have put our “traditional” therapy on hold. He will continue at Next Steps because he still needs to keep his strength. They continue to work on balance, walking, and endurance. He struggles every time he is there; sore,sweating, and exhausted. A good work out for sure! Nobody can cross the finish line unless they work for it. Mike is a true fighter while he endures pain, gags on the supplements he chews, or sacrifices the foods he so loved to eat.
GUILT FREE THOUGHT:
As well as we are changing Mike’s avenues. I also felt it was time for my family and I to take a different avenue for awhile. For over 3 years we have struggled to adjust to the life we were forced into. Learning how to be doctors, nurses, therapists, caretakers, ect… Yet putting our “NORMAL” family life on hold. I woke up feeling ENOUGH! We have sacraficed everything that most people may never experience or understand. MY life has been living on a thin thread waiting to break. I am not, nor will I ever give up on Mike, but I felt it was time to get MY FAMILY BACK. Of course this was a debate with Pete, but after explaining where I was coming from he understood. It’s time we need to take control. For years we have lived with fear, anger, adjustments, and many emotions. We have had everything scheduled. Doctors, therapies, treatments, surgeries, medications, showers, bowel movements, feedings, and getting dressed. ENOUGH!!! As much as we felt Mike reached a “plateau”, I felt we reached our “plateau”. Time for a break and breath. Enjoy our family, get our house back in order, and do what WE want to do. How long will this break be? I feel I will know personally when I get energized, rethink, relax and build myself back up to continue with this journey. As well as us, Mike is looking forward to kick back and to relax a little. A well deserved break for someone who has never complained, pushed himself to the limits, and did what was asked of him. We are into a couple weeks of less stress and our family is beginning to feel somewhat “normal”. “NORMAL”, being a word that I have learned to hate. What is really “Normal”? Right now to me it isn’t rushing here and there. Things are being done on MY schedule. Loving to go grocery shopping and not rushing, not doing the bills late in the evening, and most important, feeling the tension leaving from all of us. A big lesson that I have learned is “life is suppose to be enjoyed and take the time to enjoy it”. Forget about next week, next month, or even next year. ENJOY TODAY!!!
Mike wanting to contribute more to the foundation, will be writing once a month, in the near future his own personal thoughts, experiences, or ideas. He may not talk “normal” yet, but his writing can be beautiful and inspiring. The mission continues…