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

14
May

It’s Been a While ….

It has indeed “been a while”. Been a while since I took a walk and noticed what a “while” can do.

I noticed that the summer skies came and went and fall turned to winter and I asked myself was there ever a winter … was there ever any rain. What happened to the time?  The answer was it came and went. Like it has seemed for some time now…it can just come and go.

Grief to me is a verb… full of disturbing mental images, emotions, actions which is a forever process to recover!

Still finding and using myself as an experiment to what works best to overcome my hurdle after hurdle, I’m still looking for the golden key. While with practice, for lets say, the hurdler it may come easier to hurdle the next one. For the disabled or Trauma survivor, the hurdles often become bigger and the practice for the minor ones just do not prepare one for the onslaught of “big ones” that follow. The seasons may run together?

Grief is a bed of despair and hopelessness. There are so many books that to teach one “what it is” and “how one how can deal with it”, but very few tell how to experience it and actually treat ones own unique special path.

With grief and healing, I’ve learned and know there needs to be support!

Support can come in many forms, but especially the love and care of your family and loved ones is of most importance! Other supportive assistance may be involvement with, Counseling, In-Home Health Support Services, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, friends, etc… When you are able and/or feel like you can move forward, you can work with your support person/team to make a plan that includes your understanding of what you’ve learned from your “days off” (sometimes season off) or old ways and also serve a reminder of what’s available to you. If you aren’t ready and find yourself still grieving….give yourself time with your support! It’s OK! Keep reminding yourself of the positive things that may come or may have already come from making your changes thus far. This could be very simple that may have gone un-noticed such as less stiffness in your movements, easier transitions, breathing more comfortably, or you could be a little emotionally stronger on certain days such as being able to spend more time with your friends or partner each day or even being outside? You can be your own growth Judge!

I believe one can always find something as good or better today than in the previous day…. regardless how wonderful it may have been! Each day the sun rises and is a new day and the best day to begin the changes that could make a difference in how you feel! Remember, no matter how many clouds that may be above your head at times, the sun still shines…. and I know how hard it is to push away the clouds, but the sun is there!

Even every waking day is special! I don’t mean just opening your eyes or getting out of bed. I mean being mindful of having a new day. As a trauma survivor this is important in the healing process as I read somewhere that hopefulness research tells us that being mindful of this concept is the number one factor toward healing and creating a better life. Focus on what is important to you and place your attention, intention, destination, energy and hope there and healing may come. This make’s sense to me!

“The only way to make sense out of
change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance”.
–Alan Watts
I suggest changing something every week. Choose what you will do differently well beforehand. Commit to making these changes. What happens when you commit yourself and you keep to that commitment is that you learn to trust yourself! We are very good at giving our word to authority, our doctor, our family, and our friends, but what about ourselves? Do we keep promises to ourselves? Frequently, too often I do not believe we do. If we are to heal, we must focus
upon our commitment to ourselves and rid ourselves of that stinky thinking. No matter how small your commitments or goals, the faithfulness to yourself
creates a reminder and builds upon your own character, well-being and ultimate healing!

There is no question that all trauma survivors should honor their body and mind! No matter how much the struggle and resistance we place upon ourselves or is placed upon us, this is an important component of healing. A key toward healing is to be pro-active and support our mental, emotional and physical selves. I suggest begin slowly and work toward a more optimal way of living.  A few simple reminders told to me by several individuals that took a long time to
sink in were simply the importance of getting rest.  If your body continues to run on empty, you will eventually run out of gas.

Diet is essential and makes also goods sense. You are what you eat. To heal, you must eat and eat healthy. I am not a nutritionist, but I do remember to have protein shakes daily and choose wholesome foods as my meals.

If you’re able, move your body in any way that makes you happy! Whether you are in a bed or able to use a treadmill, some form of regular activity has and is a
definite boost to overall healing.

In the effort to heal, there must be time created to treat your self well. A lesson taught early in life to me was the greatest gift we can give ourselves and for
our loved ones, is a life well lived.

I also strongly recommend therapeutic counseling following a trauma event. It assists one in this process incredibly. I have found in my previous career that there are many misconceptions about counseling. I suggest some one in a state of grief or depression see a licensed specialist who specifically deals in that
area of concern. Just because someone has fancy letter by his or her name does not mean they have the experience o deal with a trauma survivor. As you inquire different places regarding a new car, I suggest calling several places and asking if they have specialists in that area and/or for a referral.

These suggestions have helped me and have provided tremendous value in my life toward my goal of healing and also maintaining a strong entitlement of hope. They cannot hurt and I believe they can clearly help trauma survivors. My personal hope is you will become content and eventually heal upon your own incredible journey and not miss a day of your life. Isn’t that what this is all about?

 

 

116 comments

15
March

Control your asthma or it will control YOU!

 

What and how it happened to me is still somewhat puzzling after all these years! I have had asthma my entire life and therefore, have had many asthma attacks previously. I have been hospitalized too many times to count as a child and an adult but, it has never
held me back. I have always “controlled” it, and was convinced I always could as I always had… or so I thought!

I’m sure it is hard for one to understand what it feels like to have an acute asthma attack or be in an asthmatic attack mode. There are no simulations one could do that would compare with the reality of an asthma attack where there is literally no air coming in or in my case, going out either. It is nearly impossible to explain the thoughts and feelings that litter and confuse your brain and cause one to ask questions such as “Can I have 1 more breathe” or “Am I going to die?”

But just for a second, imagine putting your head in a tub of water and having someone forcibly hold your head under water until you can no longer sustain and just before you take in water your head is pulled back out for one quick gasp of air before being shoved back into the water once again. If you repeat this process a thousand times against your will you may be able to identify somewhat with what I went through while enduring this particular asthma attack.

I remember telling my brother at the time as he called 911 to tell the operator to “send only an ambulance” and “absolutely no fire trucks or police” as I didn’t want to draw any attention from my neighbors. I was near death, but still cognizant enough to feel embarrassment over something I had no control over. It is funny to think about it now, but at the time I was very serious about this. In any case, within what seemed like an instant I heard what sounded like the sounds of the entire cities swat team, police force, fire trucks and every ambulance available, and they were all coming to my home and ultimately to my life’s
rescue. I first remember thinking, “There are too many people here in my house.” There were so many voices and feet rushing about and I couldn’t discern
what was being said about me. All I could think about through the confusion were my kids -and there they were, their young tearful eyes watching this
horrific scene as their father lay dying before them. My three girls were 14, 11 and 8 at the time.

The teams of people that were there immediately gave me high doses of oxygen, placed me on a gurney and rushed me into the ambulance. I will never forget looking into the fear within my children’s tear soaked eyes as I was whisked away amidst all the noise, fear, strangers, and chaos with sirens blasting down the street. Before being taken away, I remember being wheeled out and I fought out the words to my children that “everything was going to be okay and gave them all a traditional family “thumbs up” signal as I expected be home shortly. Unfortunately, my initial hopes did not come true. What I had initially hoped for and what came to be my reality are two different worlds. I will always wonder what really happened the evening on June 8th, 2006.

My reality now is I have Action Myoclonus, take over 25 pills per day to control my symptoms and am partially paralyzed at times as a result. I have been in a wheel chair for nearly 6 years with the luxury of being able to utilize a walker in or at certain places. Every aspect of mine and my children’s lives has changed forever.

Know that Asthma can change your life and end yours if not taken seriously (as it did mine)! Even despite having my background and sensitivity to asthma, it still flares up. I’ve been hospitalized twice since 2006 for asthma related issues and every cold or flu brings upon a wrath of asthmatic attacks where I am prone to using an anti-biotic and steroid medications to help that I always have on hand. I never go vacationing without my nebulizer or “epipin” for emergency’s and my inhaler is always in my pocket for psychological help more so than for asthma help throughout the year.

Asthma is a killer disease that affects your lungs. It is one of the most common long-term diseases of children. Asthma causes repeated episodes of wheezing,
breathlessness, chest tightness, and nighttime or early morning coughing. If you have asthma, you have it all the time, but you will have asthma attacks
only when something bothers your lungs.

In most cases, I don’t believe it is known what causes asthma nor is it known how to cure it. It is generally believed by many know that if someone in your family has asthma, you are also more likely to have it.

You can control your asthma by knowing the warning signs of an attack, staying away from things that trigger
an attack, and following the advice of your doctor or other medical professionals. When you
control your asthma:

  • you won’t have symptoms such as wheezing or coughing,
  • you’ll sleep better,
  • you won’t miss work or school,
  • you can take part in all physical activities,
  • you won’t have to go to the hospital!
  • You may not have to die!

I ask you… are you controlling your Asthma?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

171 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!

130 comments

17
December

Moving Forward …

I recently decided to take a well deserved vacation. Lake Tahoe is one of my favorite places in the world and a destination I’ve been to many, many times. Over the past 10 years or so, I’ve come to this exact resort for nothing less than for the “luxury of life”. However, on this occasion, I went alone for the very first time. A scary thought for this traumatic brain injury survivor. It is a scary thought for any disabled person. So many thoughts that randomly race through your mind that wouldn’t normally to the “average person”.

Well beforehand, I had organized my time for the week I was to be there. I was first and foremost going for the needed tranquility and senery of the majestic mountains; secondly, to work on some personal projects on my computer and lastly; to thoughtfully craft out a well designed road map of future goals for myself beginning 2012!

I had also heard it may snow during the time I was to be there which was both exciting and threw huge red flags up for me as well. Snow… I was planing on shorts, tennis shoe’s and a walker for the better part of my trip. I felt very vulnerable and had images of sliding down some of the pathways or small hills that I knew of while using my wheel chair or walker. I wondered if I was going to end up being stuck in my room, using room services for all needs and only having a cabin to stay inside and look out from?

Although I was afraid that utilizing my wheel chair or walker may be difficult, I also knew I could do it. I took some minor proactive measures and purchased some sturdy non slip boots to walk in for “traction” and new tire chains for the snow. I had no idea how I would have put them on if needed in my condition, but I had them and would do it if needed. I even brought a bag of food just in case room service was to become repeatitive. After looking at all my suitcases and bags on my bed, it looked as though I was going on vacation for a month.

Upon arriving, it did gently began to snow. Although a little concerned, it was just beautiful as I sat in front of the entrance. I thought positively and dreamed of what the next few days had in store for me. After checking in, I drove down to my “time-share” unit. Of course, all the handicap parking spots were filled as they seem to be everywhere that I go in life. However, I found a spot after driving around that would allow me wheel chair access to both sides of my car. I decided I would use my wheel chair so that I could easily load up bags and items and just wheel them in on me. I could have got help at some point and there were actually some people who took notice of me going from my car to the condo and back and even asked if they could help. However, I was there forming a “new direction”. Please don’t misunderstand, receiving or having one offer help is great and may bring out the best in all of us. However, I was there on my own….no partner…no kids…no family… no friends….just myself and I loved it and got all my belongings to my condo…. myself!

However, I must say, after initially arriving and stepping out from the car to stretch my arms and legs, I immediately slipped on some ice and fell. At first I was more concerned if I had put a dent in my car with my head as I’ve done so in the past, rather than if I was ok. I looked around and I soon got up. I  balanced myself upon the snowy ice and began that process of moving in!

Despite the snow, the pathways were heated from underground to rid ice from the trail and along with the crew, they stayed clear nearly the entire trip.

As I initially gazed out my window, I wanted to walk down and swim in the heated pool that had a constant inviting stream of steam rising from the surface the entire stay. As I begin to walk with my modified weighted walker, I realized that maybe my wheelchair would be the best avenue for this first trial run. I retrieved my wheelchair and went down the windy pathway to the pool. I was in awe as it was such an amazing and serene location amongst the pines. Although it was a bone chilling 38 degrees outside, I swam and walked around within the 85 degree heated pool comfortably and rotated to and from the blazing hot tub. I realized how truly blessed I was in the midst of it all and that how improbable this would have been for me only a few years prior to accomplish.

Over the course of my stay there, despite a few more bumps and bruises, I enjoyed myself and participated in many activities of interest. I wasn’t in a shell hiding away. I was able to accomplish my goals. More importantly, I was able to heal within my soul a little more from my traumatic event years prior.

I feel I did this by visiting some very personal and identifiable locations. At this very same time of year in previous visits prior to my traumatic brain injury, I would have engaged in certain activities. Activities  that I could no longer do, yet saw myself doing! Although there are some I can do and there are some I can no longer due to my trauma, I look at many from my car with a greater and deeper appreciation now. I believe without experiencing and feeling all my emotions associated to my trauma, I don’t think I would have the capacity to “feel” things as deeply as I do today.

Despite my progress that I and others in my situation may make, it is difficult to come to the realization that many places you have mental and emotional memories to, you may never be physically visiting “ever” again! I believe it is so important for traumatic survivors to never give up, and to find what one can do in his or her aftermath. Finding a new person and identity from within is possible let me assure you! It occurs through one’s mindful efforts and of course time.

As for myself, my goals became hopes and my hopes started  to become real; such as my simple hope to stand. It started with crawling, then balancing, then standing, then walking with my walker, then walking with my walker down the street, then around my block, then around my neighborhood all the way up to  1 mile a day and now…vacationing in Tahoe on my own. Most importantly to me, after all those doctors said I would never walk or talk again or be independent … Never believe, “This is it”!  YOU just “keep moving forward” …. My vacation was wonderful! When is yours?

 

75 comments

9
November

A New Day

Today, I find myself reflecting upon what happened to me in the past …the why’s … and the new man that has awoke and has continued to do so daily over the years. I am in  my prime, yet my body would resist that notion at times. Am I still stuck in the past I often ponder? No, I am not! I continue to move forward and never let the words that were too often spoken to me , “This is it” from the assortment of specialists, doctors and the like wear upon me any longer. My body has had to relearn everything   and has improved amidst my once dismal diagnosis yet, my mind has never lost control. I have come to a place of  healing and continue to do so daily and so appreciate life!

This brings me to a recent visit to  my Father. He has endured many Trauma’s (physical, emotional heart-wrenching & medical to name a few) within his life and throughout each, there has been a piece of life taken from him I feel. In each, there has been a indelible mark left upon his soul, a memory block, a loss of will, a cognitive dysfunction or the like; with no sense of willingness in attempts to grieve or heal. He has in a sense let his internal wounds become infected.

In my recent time with him,  there was no new man I found awaking. There was no new day within his eye’s! More-so, a man communicating with his children about preparing for his journey toward death. I asked of him, “How are you preparing”? His response was a rambling confused state of a man I felt that I no longer knew who had endured Trauma after Trauma. During my time with him, he did acknowledge his current state of “non-wellness”  and confirmed his acute awareness of a life fully lived, yet unfulfilled, with tears soaking within his eyes.

So, there we sat ….two Trauma survivors at different stages and ages of life. What was of importance to me was attempting to provide him the power to “heal” before his time or his life is given to God. Healing I believe is a power we all have within us should we attempt to use it despite our past, current place or circumstance.

For my father, discussing forgiveness in his situation was simply for him …  letting go of so many anchors he has had attached and that has held him drowning under-water over the years. This conversation proved fruitful. Despite initially believing my father who has diagnosed atrophy of his brain and body along with various types of cancer’s that have been eating away at him for years… his mind I found is still in control and he has indeed the power to heal left within him and willingness to do so!

The following days and months using his own natural gift of healing will only bring a comfort and greater sense of closure that no doctor can prescribe.  As we closed ,  he internally knows he has indeed had a life fulfilled and will continue to be fulfilling ! Tomorrow the sun will shine and will be a new day…

134 comments

23
October

Brett’s Journey

My unexpected Traumatic Event, like any other one who has suffered such, has changed my life forever!

I like to use the analogy of a Giant Oak Tree that has fallen unexpected and there are hundreds, if not thousands of roots attached to that one tree that are affected and may become infected. In my case, I felt as though I was that Giant Oak Tree for so many years, for so many people and there were many roots that counted upon me to firmly rise up after my Trauma. Although I could not, even though countless people worked on this “Tree” and tried to help. People forgot that there were roots to this tree that were also traumatized and that those deep roots were not initially acknowledged or addressed. Where there is one Traumatic survivor… let it never be forgotten there are multiple others as well!

The journey to the before and after my “Fall and Rise” has been a very long, arduous, painful and yet remarkable process. I say a process because it’s continuing and as such, can never be a final destination where I can pretend as though …I’m done with my journey and can sit back and relax! On the contrary, it’s a knock ya back… humbling… life learning lesson full of divine interventions and therefore; a Process from my own every day learned experiences. Even more so importantly, from those I’ve seen through my own lenses who have gone through such an array of Trauma’s that I’ve witnessed and continue to process their “event’s” as he or she may heal… or not!

The one’s who move forward are the people who can focus themselves in the drivers seat of their life with complete control and look straight ahead toward that great big front windshield called “life” in front of him or her which is directionless; and then in that process… do their best to break away from that little rear view mirror that is so addictive to look back upon and can be so reflective of the past Traumatic event that may keep one stuck in “mud” and within their own mortality and sense of hopelessness.

My hope and goal will hopefully serve Trauma Survivors and family members in some fashion, a way to capture a purpose and help find his or her own road as they travel their journey and pathway should one find them self in the very unique world of trauma, grief and ultimate goal toward healing… that I may be of great support to!!

84 comments

Back to top