7
May

WEB SITE CHANGE SOON

THERE WILL BE A CHANGE OF BUSINESS AND FORMAT TO THIS SITE…. BRETTGREENLIVES.COM

 

CURRENTLY WORK IS IN PROGRESS.

 

NEW SITE WILL BE UP NOVEMBER 2015 WITH ADDED FEATURES AND SERVICES.

 

THANK YOU

1 comment

7
May

Share Happiness

 

On this wonderful past Saturday, I had random thoughts while relaxing this morning of an assortment of things related to life, work and tragedy. Despite all our challenges, there is such sorrow in the world… within my client’s….within my city…within my friends … within my children … within myself at times.

There was a recent crime a last year that is haunting that ended in the death of 3 people in the town I serve. One was a complete innocent mother who had been taken hostage and killed during a very battled and prolonged police chase. Where I live, all know death is a reality and occurs daily.

Sometimes I remember and reflect upon when I “died” in 2006 – nearly 9 years ago… part of me is still there…

I went to my computer and found a perfectly written article/blog by “Maureen Werrbach, MA, LPC” that spoke to me… in that many of my thoughts were there on my computer screen that I had just thought of in front of me to read – It was a reflection … it was fate.

Many of these thoughts – even attitudes, I have known of and tried/try to impart upon my clients within my work and own daily life.

I know being “Happy” is not a destination – its a process and a foundation to everything I believe is needed to internal success, acceptance and love within life. Love within life …

The article I read is as follows:

“Love is what connects us to others. It provides us with fond memories of those around us. The truth about love, though, is that it often links our own happiness with the happiness of others. We feel compelled to make those we love who are unhappy, happy.

It is because of our own discomfort in seeing those we love unhappy that we seek out ways to change the situation, justifying our behaviors on the idea that we are helping them. Or, we begin to see our own happiness fade in the presence of an unhappy friend or family member.

Suffering is a necessary part of life and important for growth. This concept is hard to imagine, as it goes against what we’ve learned. Our instinct is to immediately fix or run from suffering, as if it were a fire. And so it makes sense that we see the unhappiness in those we love as a sort of fire that needs to be extinguished.

But what research has found is that not only is it harmful to feel responsible for others’ emotions, but there is also a simple and profound solution. Be happy.

Brain and Behavior Research Foundation

Research consistently suggests that the key to helping those we love who are unhappy is to be happy ourselves. You may be thinking, how can I possibly strive for my own happiness when someone else is not? It seems selfish. It’s not.

We are influential beings. Just as we can be brought down by another’s negative mood, our own happiness can serve as a platform for others to take care of their own happiness.

So what can we do if someone we love is unhappy?

  • Be patient and give them space. Allow them time to process their thoughts and figure out what needs to be done. Don’t push or expect change at your pace.
  • Give yourself space. It is not selfish to need some distance when you feel the impact of their unhappiness.
  • Set boundaries. Their unhappiness is not yours to own. It is theirs. Be careful not to enmesh your own emotions with theirs. It’s a dangerous road to dependency when you link your feelings and emotions with others.
  • Be happy. Show your loved one what it looks like to be happy. It’s contagious. When we show the best version of ourselves, it inspires others to do the same.

We all face struggles. It is not when others take responsibility for our health and well-being that we thrive. Rather, we get to a better place emotionally when we take responsibility for our wellness.

I ask … share your happiness with those you love and even those you may not. You own your happiness to love your life!

1 comment

9
June

I’m Still Here

Its amazing to sit and look at ones life…reflect at and on the past, present and future.

The past is a bell that has rung. Never forgotten and reminded often – but, over!

The present is filled with your own “power and control”. What will you do with the here and now? What will you do with… you?

To answer that, I believe you must first know who you are?

The future comes much to swiftly in a path that many have mindfully created nor prepared for.

For many, the present is an obstacle that grounds the past firmly and daily in place for which blinds your own tomorrow…. your own future.

I know that to be true. Today is the day…I died. So many twists , turns, broken bones and losses in the last 8 years that my life has un-imaginably changed. It is almost impossible to capture and unbearable to write about. I remember so vividly thinking some years back at the initiation of my ordeal and height of my determination to thrust myself back to who I was … and the belief that  “I’m going to walk soon”.

After so many years now, I find to much safety within the confine of my wheel chair. What that painfully and mindful reluctance to that piece of metal has become, is an actual extension of my body – of me. I find the desire … the safety to walk has dulled after the years of falls, disappointments, stressors and regression of symptoms and trials.

However, it doesn’t mean I have disappeared, It simply means I’ve adjusted to being 4 feet 9′ instead of my usual 6 feet 1′ in height for a little longer. As I said,  the present is filled with your own “power and control”. What  you do with the here and now is up to each of us. What will I do with me? Continue to be me… to strive and get up each day and raise my last child through high school the best I can. I will be up by 6am and out of my home with full medications to reduce tremors by 8am daily to begin a 2 hour regiment of rehab which includes stretching, treadmill, weights, walking and swimming. I generally work within my field 5-10 hours each day fitting time to ensure all of my children’s needs are met.

My free days are weekends and organized. There are no spur of the moment shin digs as my life revolves around my children, medications and rehabilitation. This has incredibly impacted every aspect of “life”, yet… I’m still here.

It amazes me that there was a memorial held for me while I was in deaths arms. So many family and friends turned out for a celebration of my life that was captured on video I was later able to see all the people … the fun … the picture of my children and I being held up for all to see. An amazing amount of money  was raised for me… my children that day.

Since then, I have maintained…. or I should say, one friend has maintained contact with me. I have adapted and changed in many ways but, not “me”. I’m still here!!

Let us not forget those who have undergone injury or disability. You may think your friend is still there… how do you know? Please make a phone call or go … offer friendship, compassion and love to one who is … still there!

I write this in hopes that all who read who knows of one who may be alone, injured, disabled – I ask YOU to go or call and offer kind words of hope. It’s like that bell analogy – they are never forgotten.

Smiles and happiness always 🙂

2 comments

26
May

Life

It has been so long, so many journey’s and so many reflections since my last post …but, one thing is constant – my love for life! Within a few weeks of my “survivor” anniversary – I can’t  help but to think around this time each year ….this date –  all the what if’s, the why’s, the how’s, the bad stories and of course, how I’ve shifted my life to the present. People question my zeal of life yet no-one know how precious it is until YOU loose it or in my case, a part of it. Yet, my love of life and will to live continues with conviction and unexplainable conviction.

June 8  equated to death, paralysis, loss of voice, career, finances, home, time, “planned/expected future”, my brand of parenting, experiencing beyond social discrimination, creating self brain wars, you name it …. and all the while, living a life that somehow I had not planned but, had been planned for me! I believe I have climbed the mountain top as they say – I have also rolled head over heals back down a few times a long my ride as well. Despite what we may venture through and experience, good or bad – I really believe we can relish it as a lesson if we choose to. Given the options, I choose to….. how about you?

Life to me is like that mountain – We have a solid foundation/base to maintain ourselves – you can sit and go nowhere or move and travel upward upon that mountain of life through all challenges, bumps, rocky hills, steep terrains and at times the ease of the valleys of life and we can perch anywhere at any time and be at ease if we choose within our own lens and not by another’s; or we can continue and rise to an even bigger challenge and climb further to reach our peak with a mirror of you, the path paved, to be paved – with your life/world. One of my favorite quotes – “When you change the way you look at things – the things you look at change”. This greatly applies to life, the mountain and where you choose to perch within your life will provide different views. My experience has been when I have climbed a mountain – there will be another within your view you may choose to climb or not. I don’t think life can be defined by the mountains we climb, but by whether we choose to climb them or not. Each one has a lesson in life.

I read recently in a friends post, where one thought one should love… love – before anything/anyone else. I agree! Sounds easy…learning how is a little bit harder though I must say. As she described , it does indeed take limits off and is in essence giving in to the universe. I believe that love should start within each of us that will without question flow outward. I have so much love I want to share that I hope to offer to others in services and maybe by re-beginning this blog may help others consistently rebuild and place value upon all life!

I have a question – If you only had a few hours to live your “life” – who would you call, why that person, what would you say and who would you spend it with? I ask simply for this reason … what are you waiting for? Smile and Live!

Brett Green

1 comment

7
December

The Beauty is in the Tragedy…

As a reminder — This blog was initiated as a personal reflection of my own experiences, unique trauma and journey in an effort toward HELPING others!

I  wrote nearly every month for a year!

I briefly opened the door and wrote regarding the arena of trauma/disability – and will continue to do so!

I wrote about some of my experiences and stumbles… and growth – and will continue to do so!

I wrote about a very common, yet deadly disease called “Asthma”.

I wrote about putting the meaning of “care” back into the word care – and will continue to do so!

I wrote about healing and more – and will continue to do so!

I wrote about reflections of the past – I have much more to write regarding the future!

I wrote about my Father’s passing…. then my writing stopped! My world stopped. I found myself at the bottom of a valley with yet, another mountain to climb.

The coffin of despair I laid within for too long during my trauma was, but a distant memory to my Father’s death. I learned of a whole new different breed of grief – a completely different rocky mountain to climb with various slopes and hills, yet again, a different path of healing to travel toward and move forward to. I’ve learned quite a bit about the differences  – the labels we place upon our emotions as we endure during such difficult times such as; bereavement, mourning, sadness, grief, depression, etc.. Are they not all the same? No – these words do have different meanings from my experiences and each may tell what stage or phase a person may be in and how best to support that person or family.

Despite our ancient and natural God given emotion to feel “sad” – I look at it as if it were on a spectrum…how far is to far to feel a particular way or behave in a particular manner under tragic circumstances? I believe we all know within ourselves at times and at times we can also get lost….very lost  However, our closest loved one’s can generally see specific changes in our thoughts, feelings and behaviors as key indicators.

I believe we all have our own inner strength that is some-times never tested until such difficult and tragic times. What to do is my question when faced in such a situation? My mantra is — To never give up hope!

I also have created another over the years that is firmly grounded from another emotion – (possibly irritation, anger, determination, and sometimes internal rage) which is…. ” This is Not it”!

I was told “This is is it Mr. Green” by more doctors and specialists that I can count – meaning how I was perceived post my Trauma with their thoughts positioned I was going to potentially remain in a dependent and  hopeless manner. There was no one like me – I was the unknown!  I had died and come back from the angles above and the prayers from below, with unforeseen consequences to the assault upon my body! Despite the prognosis – I choose life.

Despite the tragedy’s that come my way now – I choose to never give up – I choose that “this is Not it”!

Through my tragedy – I now have life! I see life and experience life differently than the 43 years I blindly lived before my trauma. I had been through alot (as we all have) prior to my “event”, but what I have come away with is a new lens… I found triumph – a beauty in my tragedy!

I now know that any life or death experience, can either make you stronger or wallow in despair. The choice each individual makes in that situation says a lot of who they are, but more importantly, who they will become.

I know I have “come back” from an ordeal…a journey that few can only imagine! I persevered when the medical field gave up on me and stated, “This was it!”– That there was little chance for further improvement….. for so long – even today!

As I have adapted over time, so have my family, friends and loved ones! I believe people no longer see what I may not be able to do – I can only hope they see what I can do and how far I’ve come! I continue to go beyond boundaries.

My innermost passion is raising my children; and also helping other survivor’s in need of court ordered or mental health services. I still maintain a social service business and license to practice therapy for those in need.

I have written a detailed book regarding Trauma and the ability to mindfully and positively over-come… no matter what the circumstances. This could never have been done without my own Trauma experience of course. I could never have served the many disabled and “survivor’s” that I have without this tragedy and offer some beauty and triumphs to their lives.

This book may offer valuable insights to others facing similar situations. I hope to use this book as a tool to reach out to more, see more and touch more people who have had there soul touched by trauma.

Please e-mail me @ BrettGreenLMFT@comcast.net if you would care to purchase a signed copy prior to my book going to publication/retail with your address.  My Current Purchase Price for the first 200 books is $12.99.

If you have read this book – please be so kind to offer a review on my blog and/or amazon to assist interest toward helping others.

Thank you!

 

 

 

2 comments

7
August

My Dad Didn’t Call Me Last Night…

My dad didn’t call me last night? … That seemed very unusual!!

Since my trauma 6 years ago – my father and I have talked to one another at least 3 times a week … religiously! In fact, we have a set routine;  every Monday, Wednesday, Friday & one weekend evening @ 8:30pm ( on the nose ) – he generally calls me or I him and we just chat. Each of us has nothing but time to talk and offer encouragement, hope and love to one another. No call is ever ended between us without an “I love you”.

I have and do refer to myself as a trauma survivor as often stated within my blog! My father, to me is a trauma “warrior”! He has battled within the world of trauma and beyond word description. There were such things as cancers & diseases, confinement, grief, hopelessness, loss, torture and so much more …while trying to “cover and roll” within a battlefield toward the survival of “life”. A life that he managed to do beyond what anyone could have or had ever expected. To me – he truly is the epitomy of a being a “survivor” of life’s major curve balls. If I could only tell you more – if you only knew…

To share some of my early memories of growing up with my  father were just incredible – they were fantasy like! I lived in a real life magic kingdom while having the “greatest dad” in the world. He was artistic, athletic, charismatic, charming, determined, great at everything, handsome, powerful, present, rich, smart, stable, strong, you name it, etc … and all my friends wanted my dad – as their dad!

We have always had a special life bond and moments together I believe he was and is my first recollection of life – as I remembered being strangely enough in a hospital room oxygen bubble due to my asthma.  I knew immediately that once he walked in, he was in fact dad my dad… I just knew at age 3! I remember that he  picked me up and right out of that tent and laid me on his chest and we sat in a rocker for what seemed like hours in a state of utter comfort that I can close my eye’s and still re-imagine all over once again.

Over those early years – I believe we magnified our bond. He never missed an event or sporting game of mine; nor do I remember him ever being too tired to play catch or play any game with me. I tried to follow his footsteps athletically, competitively, fiercely, strongly and always have attempted to make him proud of me.

However, during my very early teen years – my fantasy life and image of my all consuming “dad” came to an end … and I awakened to a new real world. A world with-out him for many years. There was no way to make my father into the “dad” I had once known after certain events and traumas had occurred.  After all had been done, said, re-done and re-said – he had made his choices (as we all do)  and these choices impacted and traumatized his life and others … over the past 30 years!

With that said, I would never have chosen another Father than the one I have! His choices and trials have only taught me some incredible and invaluable lessons that I believe few ever learn in a life-time. He taught me so many things…it’s hard to say which is most memorable? He taught me the true meaning behind….”I’m sorry” – through his own efforts and how to climb un-reachable mountains ( which I will continue to do and try in his honor).

I know that over the past decades, we have become even closer and we have shared so many conversations, laughs, memories and yes… regrets! It is and has been I believe in his ability, capacity and strength to overcome every obstacle – seemingly forever and for that my admiration has only continued to grow.  Through his efforts – I believe I have learned what true healing and growth truly are!

He was diagnosed with cancer decades ago and has waged a visible and deteriorating war with his health and of course time. Against all the medical odds, he continued to “seize his day”. Throughout the 2000’s, he had been diagnosed with up to 3 different known cancers – he had received numerous treatments up to 2012 – and had chosen his own path toward and for recovery. Myself and those around knew his spirit within was being cut short and lost; and I could see the light within turning dim. Yet. his burning determination and own sense of positive mind-set… he chose his journey for his “own life” and always maintained a sense of control as to if or when the switch would be turned off.

Hauntingly, looking back – there have been so times we have found him near death and have attempted to access all forms of care! However, the “Cheyenne Indian” (I say that with the utmost respect)  within him decided for himself his own “care”.

When he made a decision, it wasn’t meant to be delayed in any-way! For instance, once, after having major surgery and being confined to a rehabilitation unit  he “decided” he was well enough to go home and pulled all the medical lines from himself, checked himself out from the hospital (against MD advice) and called a taxi with-out any family members or friends knowledge … all he wanted was to get home.

To say he was independent and wanted things his way would be an under-statement. Despite his often crippling disabilities at times and numerous falls – he would cognitively remain aware, active and verbally refuse all outside treat-ment/resources/support and advice.

I spoke to him a few days ago after a recent fall and a full medical exam. He was “my dad” – he spoke of healing, strength and many other positively wonderful things. He spoke of a scheduled treatment exam he had planned in a few days and as he stated, “If I felt any better….I wouldn’t be able to stand it”. Then my call Wednesday came early. He was down again! Despite being seen by medical personal on 3 occasions and being in such a perceived state of discomfort – I was quite surprised he was still at home. I spoke to him and heard a much lower and grim voice. There was no life. This was my dad – a voice who wanted things his way yet, convinced all he was well enough to care for himself. Not the case!

After this call – I believe my father spent time organizing important materials, notes, paperwork, pictures and everything he felt necessary in the event of his own perceived impending death. He had already psychologically prepared himself for years as evident during our previous and  regular conversations. They were often cut short in the last few weeks by the shortness of his voice strength, but our conversations were always extra-ordinary on every occasion! He never failed to ask about my children, my health, life and offer advice….and we always ended to see who could say “I love you” the fastest. He came full circle in my life!

It was shortly after (Friday), I received another call – unknown to me at the time … this one would be the last one I would ever receive from his home. As I got him medical attention and talked to the medical team – I asked for my father. I heard my father ask for me… in the back ground. It was surreal!

I was assured he was going to be okay and stabilized; and to contact the hospital as to where he may eventually be taken as that was an unknown in his condition.  Shortly thereafter, I called the hospital and after speaking with the doctor in charge, I was told he was in “very serious condition”, but was sitting upright and stable. I informed her I was “on my way there now” knowing he would be at that hospital and stable.

I called my family members to let them all know of the situation … and that I would be on my way to see him at the hospital.

It was then I got a very dark and devastating call from a hospital staff. A call no one should get! A call that before I answered….so many thoughts floated in my mind. I answered thinking positively and initially for a brief second that it may be him – my dad! It wasn’t. Instead, it was the doctor who stated in a very swift and mono-tone voice to me that, “Your father just passed”. I said “WHAT”?…..!!!!!!!!

Where was the… “excuse me, but” – or ..”have a seat” – or… “are you driving” – or … “I have news about your father”… instead it was careless, cold, harsh words delivered  without-out emotion. As I’ve stated in another post – “Where’s the Care in care”?

I drove in shock to the hospital not remembering much regarding my drive. Just focusing on getting there and being with him!  When I got there, I immediately smelled the odor of the hospital.

It was there I saw my father for the last time. There are many perceptions as to what one can see when looking at a loved one in a state of death. I saw the opposite of another  who was with me. I saw the image I had myself in a hospital room prior –  the picture a new gown – fresh sheets – I’ve seen all the pleasantry before. I also saw beneath that and saw my father in heart-ache and an indescribable world of pain… that was gone! I saw a man that took my mind back to the oxygen bubble in my infancy to my phone call with him just a few days ago where all he wanted was to help me! I saw my father as a man that despite his own suffering, all he wanted was to care for others more than himself.

I got home the following day and immediately put on his watch. The next day I waited all evening for the phone to ring at 8:30pm – it didn’t! My father didn’t call last night – and never will over the phone again. However, I did speak with him last night and will every day and offer “faith and hope” in spirit!

What-ever your faith – I believe he is at some form in some sense of peace. What is referred to as the “spirit”…. I feel my own father’s presence…and I will feel him every day until I no longer can – or can call my own children!  I say call your’s…

I ask you this…. If you only had an hour to live…Who would you call and what would you say? – Think about that for a moment and then think…. What are you waiting for? …. You may not ever get that call again!!

 

 

 

10 comments

12
July

Freedom means Caring

Each year brings trials….triumphs and memories to last forever. Mine are unique but, so are yours!

I challenge myself every day to free myself from the “rear view” mirror of the past as I once stated – and strive to always focus on what I am free to do now!

I have to say I am so very fortunate to have loved ones and family ones who have helped me… and support and “gather” together with me quite often. This year, as we have done many times in the past, we celebrated the 4th of July at my home with a bang!

It was a very special day with all the fixings one could imagine and with such a holiday smell on such a festive occasion. It was one done each year while remembering my own childhood and seeing the “new” little children light the fire-works and run around giggling at the end …. was just icing on the evening!

However, the 4th of July has many different meanings to many different people. For many, I found it has no significance.

For me… and many of my families discussions over the last few years – it rings for the foundation of “Freedom”.  I myself have gone from from being told – “This is it Mr. Green” as if my life was to be to a strapped whell-chair bound forever to walking on my own … against all rear-view mirrors I’ve looked through or how many specialists have led me toward that path called  “hopelessness and helplessness”. I know I am “free”!

There is no history lesson here but, merely acknowledgement that there is indeed many things we are blessed with….we ALL are indeed “free”…..our body, mind, feelings, actions and soul that I view as though many may take for granted…. no matter what the circumstance!

However,  this position of “freedom” for trauma survivors, disabled and the like are quite different I believe!! There is not much freedom in such a state of mental,  physical and social confinement! I found and find it very hard to view this term in full meaning from my lens at times in all honesty. In reality, there is no freedom going from being 6 feet 1′ to now just under 4 feet in a wheel chair where accessibility to “life – freedom” (friendships, mobility, jobs, security, sociability, intimate relationships, etc…) is though having to live on a different planet at times!

As I think more of this concept more and the rights of those who lived historically before me and the rights I had and have now…. I reflect how abusive and misinformed we are to people who are different! History has proven this repeatedly and the world is currently and constantly in a racial, radical, real, ridiculous, religious, righteous, etc…. battle across the globe – at all times! Even within my own city, I have to fight particular battles and wars daily…. as do all who have gone through some form of a trauma; and additionally interact with the “carelessness” process of the misinformed and society regarding the disabled.

I wonder what ever happened to that word care? When did we stop teaching our children about the true meaning of the word? When did “WE” stop caring about our own? I must have missed it?

From my experience, even from the beginning of my trauma and from the medical team treating me, I wondered where was the care? There can be no freedom without “care” – Especially within your own community!

As I sit here 6 years later with current images and so many experiences over the past, I still wonder the same. There is no true “freedom” in being disabled! Despite the challenges – I know that I am not a prisoner either!

The point is, many of the liberties and luxuries that are made to be enjoyed are just not made available to too many survivors. I know this to be true and can be proven to easily!

I ask you that despite the condition of your loved one – give “hope”. Hope breeds a sense of inner “freedom” that I believe breeds growth. We all need that!

If your loved one is in the hospital or a board and care facility – please know it’s a war zone there when alone! In my experience, I found one generally has to battle for his or her life in the very place where one is there for quality care, help, and sanctuary. Based upon my experience, we need dramatic change into the health “care” system of those in charge of people we think care about us.

I can never forget the look in the eyes of the doctor’s, neurologists or the assortment of  whom I  refer to as terrorist nurses (who intimidate, promote fear, physically abuse and drug patients)  that I would say scared my soul forever and others I saw and would suggest as well. There are too many stories that come to mind to tell within this blog.

However, I must state that there are the nurses that possibly win the love of your family over as well  – and when your family is gone … so are they! There were too many nurses who actually physically or psychologically harmed me where I was drugged, physically abused and tortured. I was provided indelible looks of “I don’t care” and the absolute lack of true care from who I thought, hoped and prayed to be highly trained professionals who I put trust and my life in; and from many I encountered a lack of competent and socially acceptable communicative skills.

My message and  highlight to the reader is to BE THERE for your loved one!!

Let them have some “freedom” toward hope! For me….among other things – Freedom means Caring!

Freedom is truly being free….isn’t it? Despite, one’s limitations – It is a choice you have to make for yourself!

Freedom is liberation … For the disabled – adapting, growing, exploring, possibly/hopefully finding you!

Freedom is being able to be present, bold, and open with potentially a “new you” … a new life… new fireworks… a new BANG!

Freedom is being unrestricted – No-one controls our minds!

I ask you – do you “CARE” to be free? ….. Let your loved one be!

 

 

 

136 comments

29
June

250 Thousand Reasons to Help

This was an idea to help a small community agency raise awareness and help individuals, couples, and families in crisis.To vote one must go to –

Go small business! I just helped “Brett Green & Associates’
get closer to a $250,000 Grant.
– On FB or net at www.missionsmallbusiness.com– click on and type in — BRETT GREEN & ASSOCIATES–

to vote and help allow a community agency to put the word CARE back into care!
Chase and LivingSocial are awarding $250,000 Grants to worthy small business to help the community.
FYI … READ MY INFORMATION ON APPLICATION — “Brett Green & Associates”
OR — Vote for your favorite small business at www.missionsmallbusiness.com…
NOTE*****
As of July 1, 2012 – only a few were selected to move forward – I was not.
 
THANK YOU for the support – but, all voting is closed now in my case but, look on this site and vote for who YOU think may be wothy to help “put the word “care” back in care!” We need some-one to!
Thank you!
Brett Green 🙂

195 comments

7
June

A Retrospect …. “Early Reflections”

This blog was initiated months ago due to my belief I needed to share my Journey and “Hope” – from one trauma survivor to another –  To also help capture his/her purpose and trials through that thorny road of survival, grief, healing, tribulations and ultimately to … “seize the day”!

I’ve tried to write something reflective and of purpose each month related to my experience(s) and toward advocating for others who may need support or information. I believe it is important for others to know that other’s are out here…challenged, yet “moving forward”.

Please know that after a trauma – there is a life to be fully lived and enjoyed… no matter what the circumstance!

I am coming to the anniversary date of my trauma – tomorrow! It is not a day to be celebrated, but relived….again! Every year I have dreaded internally this date and have allowed my mind to drift back over the following months and connect the memories of a time spent within a hospital fighting for my life.

Although looking from the front windshield of life is fantastic – that rear view mirror that will often show the past is a sneaky process to rid at times.

I felt a need to post this today versus tomorrow … as tomorrow my life will have a different meaning for me. I truly look forward to “what’s next?

This reflection… this poem… was written one year post my trauma in 2007 and has unimaginable blood, sweat and tears and tremendous meaning to me. However, it ultimately allowed me to mindfully and visually create a “New Story” for me to look forward to…. the “Big Picture” – My (next) Life!  I have never stopped moving forward …  up hill. Is there a choice?

What I hope one may draw from this is hope! For survivors … always remember you survived! I hope you may find some peace in that… and there will always be a new day, a new month, a new year,  new change and a new story is always possible for you … to be written by you.

I’m coming to 6 years post my recovery now.  I am nothing like described within this poem – Faith, Growth, Healing & Rehabilitation are amazing gifts!

Tomorrow – I think I will take a few extra deep breathes of air in and ponder the mountain so far climbed… as remembrance of my life. Life is so under-rated!

What will you do with your life today, tomorrow, next week? What is your Big Picture ?

Enjoy the treasure of your life as you read my reflection toward your recovery…

 

Originally Written 6/8/07 –

Were the stars aligned differently … was there a shadow cast upon the moon?

Or was it the coming of my own sense and internal impending doom?

Although my breathing had become increasingly labored, I maintained minimal fear.

For I had confidently learned to control my asthma for nearly 43 years!

However, I called upon my brother for my own family insurance; and then went to the hospital where I received immediate and critical care.

However, the longer I remained there – the more questions were posed – the more fears arose – as I became acutely aware.

At the hospital, everyone appeared hurried … they all rushed around me … seemingly distracted and non committal.

I felt that I was the only one who knew that I was indeed deathly ill!

As time elapsed and things went from bad to worse and from worse to even more worse… “As critical
as critical can get” said one doctor – My life became uncertain as to “will I live or will I die”?

For me … time had evolved into slow motion and my world became out of control as I kept asking, “Why me…why me…oh, why”?

Everything seemed to spiral downward and I distinctly remember hearing voices, fear, panic and someone saying, “This is not good … he’s not responding”!

Again, I thought to myself inside, “How could this be, I had just spent the past week golfing”!

However, for 18 days … me eyes remained closed!

I was medically sedated … my body did not twitch, move nor flex while positioned in a frightening and deathly pose.

Family, friends and loved ones all came to my bedside.

A constant and gentle aroma of love drifted in and out of my room and so many whispers, prayers, and pleas for me not to die!

Although hard to believe … somewhere … somehow … I heard them all and felt every tug, hug and kiss!

As I silently cried deeper than deep inside … and wished and wished and wished!

On June 26th, I briefly awoke … my eyes opened briefly and my nightmare turned confusingly real?

Again, I felt death … from my head to my toes … I could not move, speak or feel.

Was I alive … had I been in an accident …was I paralyzed … never to move again …never to hug my children …where was my faith?

What happened to me on June 8th?

Each night… empty and alone … I saw myself reflected from the lights and mirror’s from above as I lay strapped, connected, and harnessed between life saving tubes, fluids and machines.

All the while, with my cognitive thoughts and partial memory intact … I laid there thinking, this is not right, “I’m a Green”!

All the machines, treatment and myriad of nurses, therapists, doctors, nutritionists all striving to keep me alive!

Despite the mental, emotional, and physical consequences and questions that would arise should I survive?

Then it started … the uncontrollable body movements …earthquakes in my legs!

Indescribable, violent, uncontrollable, gut wrenching shakes, jerks, tremors and sweat that increased throughout my body each and every day.

They implied the answers to my condition lay within their medical degrees and books and then they said it may be the lasting side effects of the paralytics which seemed to create the ever so lasting and uncontrollable pain.

All I knew was that my mind, body and spirit were completely and utterly drained!

Each day I was engulfed in the clenches of a bed of despair… the grief that surrounded me … and my own internal fear.

I was beyond the point of heart ache … past my emotional and physical breaking point … even my eyes could no longer shed a tear.

My body was exhausted … I was spent and thought there was nothing left … I was ready to give in … I was ready to die … I wanted to die!

But I knew that I could not stop fighting for “life” hearing my children’s loving poems and letters read to me and then seeing their tear soaked bright and innocent eyes.

And, so I lived … I remained on life support machines and continued to receive critical care while staying cognitively in tune … and observing my families desperate looks and need for any “lively” signs from me and smiles or offers of hugs.

But, all the while my body and mind was being poisoned and overdosed with a cocktail of drugs.

I couldn’t speak … although I attempted to communicate by blinking letters, words and thoughts with my eye’s using an alphabet board.

Despite the endless efforts and kindness of my family and friends, it seemed that no one could understand me as I continued to pray to my lord!

I was helpless and hopeless … doctors asked and answered their own questions … what I wanted or whether I was in pain?

Their answers were always a contradiction to my own thoughts and feelings … I wanted to scream the opposite to them but, all in vain!

I asked at least 1000 times daily… “Why did this have to happen … what did I do to deserve this?

The answer never came as I continued to struggle and fight… second by second … minute by minute … day by day … month by month … just to exist!

For 51 days … I visited what I know is hell! There was horrendous treatment and daily nightmares that somehow became real … almost surreal.

But, through family perseverance and divine intervention, I was transferred to another hospital facility …. To hopefully get my mind, body, and spirit well.

I spent 46 long, hard days in, in-patient rehabilitation services … depressed, angry and confused not able to walk or really talk … and so desperate to see and be with my children.

But, my family, friends and the angels above were all there with me to help visualize … and see that in the end, my kid’s and I would be together again!

With nearly every goal unmet, I was discharged from rehabilitation services… which at the time I thought, “I wasn’t ready and this is unfair”!

For my coordination and balance was that of a 9 month old. I could not sit unaided, balance, walk or talk well … and was strapped to a darn wheel chair!

What happened to me on June 8th, 2006? Well, in short … I died!

But from the angels above and the prayers from below … I was brought back to life!

However, as a result I was ultimately diagnosed with Post-Anoxic Action Myoclonus … “Lance Adams Syndrome”!

I really didn’t care what they had called it before or they wanted to call it now … after all the months of medical speculation, guesses and treatment … all I  wanted was to go home!

Although my journey was far from over, I left to heal and progress upon my own familiar ground.

But what I experienced was an uninvited, tormenting and raging emotional breakdown.

From once being physically and mentally strong, athletic, confident, successful and proudly independent!

To the reality of becoming completely in every sense of the word … totally 24 /7 “dependent”!

Yet, I worked harder than hard and struggled every day for improvement while often pushing myself beyond my own limitations.

I desperately tried to regain lost weight … lost strength … to again become independent … and create new expectations!

Although I was told that I improved each and every day, I continued to experience emotional, physical and mental exhaustion as I struggled for the
need and care that I had to receive every day … in every way!

Everyday, I battled and felt alone!

Oh, the sweat … the tears … the falls … the bruises and so many broken bones.

After one year has past, my “real” in reality is that I am disabled. Maybe not forever, maybe so?

Although I still find myself looking back in life’s rear view mirror … I also know I have to let go!

No more asking … “what happened to me on June 8th”?

No more thinking was it god’s plan … my fault … a matter of circumstance or just plain fate?

As time has passed I think, “It is what it is” … and I must focus upon the “Now what”?

The answer came quickly for me and was quite simple…” To never, ever give up”!

I visualize without any doubt … that I will survive … I will move forward … I will live and talk and walk again!

Make no mistake about it … I am determined to get “my” life back in the end!!

So … after all is said and done and all the words have been spoken.

This is a new day, a new month, a new year, and I found a new man named “Brett” has awoken!!!

Brett (June 8, 2007)

 

Given to me in a card by my Hero – June 8,  2007

Although it’s only been 12 months, there are times it feels like years

So many challenges, everyday a struggle and yes, so many tears.

But you did it Brett, you remained strong

And certainly you’ve proven all the doctors wrong.

The fight you’ve had to wage has been daunting; every step along the way a first

 “I want my body back”; “I want my life back” became your very thirst.

To breathe, to move, to sit, to swallow and to be able to talk

And always in the back of your mind, “will I ever be able to walk?”

A wheelchair allowed you to sit, a tracheotomy to talk, and while therapists helped you to stand.

We all knew it was your courage, your determination and of course, you were in Gods hand!

There must have been times when you doubted, when the nights were too long

But with each dawn you were able to choose a new and promising song.

You not only survived Brett, you truly thrived, and although the fight is not finished yet

I know you will walk again and you will get your life back – my life on that I would bet.

With Love,

Your Mother

131 comments

6
February

A New Year …

Well, it has been a “New Year” for over a month now. Although I believe something special is upon my path this year …. it still remains the same for this disabled survivor thus far! It is still very hard to adjust to my ever changing body.

Ya know, there is really nothing “new” about a new year, other than the turn of the clock. As for me at this moment, this is merely another year of further understanding my own disability and how little others “really” understand my world or the world of the disabled! The bias and discrimination against those who are disabled, yet try to move forward is really nothing new to those who are disable but, astonishing for some who are not.

This year brought for me an exciting trip to fly to San Diego. It was scary at first to make this travel on my own. However, I also knew I could! Aside from the complexity of finding a parking space far from the terminal, I had to carry all items myself. So, I wheeled myself and carried my luggage stacked upon my lap through the airport on my wheel chair. The airline boarded me as if I were a 12 year old and the luxury resort I was staying at booked me into a “non” ADA room. Upon my stated concern and confirmed ADA reservation, they were anxious to upgrade me to an ocean view suite with more room. However, my wheelchair would not fit into the kitchen area or bathroom. However, I was able to manage while holding onto something and walking myself in and out. While using the shower, I ultimately fell as I knew I would. The inside towel/soap holder that I hung to just wasn’t prepared for me. While lying in the tub and letting the stream of water gently hit my body, I remembered how often this had happened before. I also felt wonderful at the time for some reason despite what had occurred. I also pondered how somethings are just taken for granted….like shower’s!

When this trip was over, it was the same routine getting back through the terminal and on board the air plane to fly home. However, on this occasion I sat next to two older gentleman. When I say older, I am referring to late 60’s or early 70’s possibly. They saw me being “specially” boarded and we spoke briefly initially regarding my inability to walk. I dosed off midway during the plane ride home. I do remember hearing one of the gentleman stating that if he were paralyzed (as I), he’d “kill” himself; while the other replied “just stick me in the grave when that happens to me”. I awoke after hearing this discussion and stated to both of them that “life doesn’t end just because you have trouble walking”! One of the men began to apologize to me and turned truly empathetic. He began to inquire about me, my kids and how I managed my overall life. He seemed surprised to hear my responses. It was as if he thought I sat in a recliner all day being cared for by another or further yet, in a hospital bed.

Upon finally returning home, I had planned on interviewing for a new job. A position I had previous experience with and had expressed interest in for months. I had recently spoken with the Director of this position who informed me that I would be contacted for a interview date. An initial interview was set for me for when I was to be out of town, but a new one was to be re-set for me the following week. I never received that call. Upon my return, I called the Director and was informed that she “had to move” and had filled the position(s). Despite my 9 years experience in that very position, she had hired staff that were not trained. I wasn’t going to get the opportunity that I had long awaited and anticipated. Upon further speaking with my colleague(s), I was informed that it had been mentioned that “possibly” due to my disability, she was reluctant to hire me as she felt I could not handle the early morning schedule that “only” occurred two days per week; nor did she believe I had the mobility to get around the court house and do the job (as I use both a walker or wheel-chair to depend upon). Upon conferring with friends, I did what most disabled people do, I gave in! I let the county discriminate against me as I knew filling a complaint would never get me hired by the very same county that I wanted to work for. Creating conflict and attention would only bring more. My philosophy…. “It is what it is” certainly applies here!

As the year lightly and gently rolls onward, although nothing has changed to lessen the misguided, I will always stay positive! My goals shall remain the same! I have began my work again in my field(s) of expertise where I feel comfortable! I have structured a “No-Fall” work out regiment with lots of walking. I feel good and don’t care about the perceptions of other’s as they have no control over my today. I am going to sky dive and ski in the coming months while preparing for a summer triathlon! My long anticipated book regarding my own journey will be out soon. Although the world may continue to sit still and numb toward understanding the disabled … I’m continuing to move forward and it’s still a new year!

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