Posted by: aceanderic | November 27, 2008

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 27 (Thanksgiving)

Seriously? Over 100,000 hits since I started this blog! As mention earlier, I thought this blog would live for only a few days and my expectations was to only tell near friends and family members about Eric’s status. In my mind, Eric would be fine in a few weeks and back to work in no time. I was in Denial then, the first stage of the Five Stages Of Grief. I’ve gone through Denial, Anger, Bargaining, and finding myself currently in Depression. This stage is the hardest one so far. You’d think the beginning was hardest, after all Eric almost died, but since I was in Denial, it made the situation easier to handle and I actually felt strong. The adrenaline I had from the chock helped me multi-task in a way, which is out of this world.

I’m cooping with a stress these days that’s unbelievable. As someone said, “If a brain injury won’t teach you how to be patience, then I don’t know what will”. Seeing Eric so confused and fatigue is hard, he could sleep all day if I let him. But I won’t, and I can’t let him sleep all day. Therapy is extremely important the first year of recovery so I’m trying to get as much therapy in with him in a day. Everything I say to him has a meaning behind it to get him to think or to start an activity. I don’t talk to him as husband and wife anymore; I’ve transformed into Eric’s caregiver, which is depressing for both of us. What’s hard about being a caregiver to your husband is not only seeing him disable but also the loneliness that comes with it. Eric’s brain injury is preventing him from realizing the needs of others and it’s not even considerate. The content of his speech and performance is self-centered and immediate. I could win a million dollars and his respond would be thumbs up and a smile. Eric’s inappropriate behavior, which also is caused by the injury, is not only affecting people around him but also our dogs. Eric has mistreated them so it’s to the point where the dogs are afraid of him. They both have been overly active lately and are jumping up on me; according to the little I’ve read, this is a sign of stress or lack of socializing. Trying to take care of the needs of my three boys prevents me from taking care of myself; I need to make some dramatic changes to keep my family and myself alive.

I’m sure the first night in jail was scary. That very same night Eric wanted to call his dad. You can imagine the chocking pain Eric felt when we had to tell him that Michael had passed away ten years ago. He didn’t remember that his dad was in piece along with several other closed family members. Eric had to relive the grief of loosing all; all in one moment. It was heartbreaking. On the positive side, our days are not only depressing and stressful; we do have good times too. What puts a smile on my face are the moments when I see progress, or when Eric is “there” and gives me a hug for no reason, we joke around, or he tells me how grateful he is for having me there with him.

Some of the negative readers on this blog have told me how wrong it is of me to tell our story and that I should keep this to myself. I know my story isn’t unique; 5.3 million Americans have a similar story about their disability resulting from brain injury. Another word for brain injury is the “silent epidemic”. It’s a silent epidemic because you can’t look at someone and tell that this person has sustained a brain injury, which makes it difficult for the average person to understand the complications that comes with the injury. I’m hoping we can turn this around and make it more public knowledge about the extremely difficulties a TBI survivor and families are challenged with; it’s been silent about this injury too long, so I won’t shut up.

Today is Thanksgiving. His carsickness, and sensitiveness to too much activity prevented us from celebrating with his family in Seattle so it’s the two of us at home this year. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for supporting and caring for us in various ways. You know who you are; which is more then I can say since some of you are anonymous supporters. Your generosity and kindness is graciously accepted, and you’ve helped us in many ways. Thank you!!

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Responses

  1. I wish you both a peaceful holiday.

    Keep fighting for your family, you’ll be glad you did. We are all with you…even if we’ve never met.

  2. Hang in there. Holidays can be hard I can imagine. Maybe put on some football if you have not? Do you get to go to meetings with other spouses that are caregivers, or visit others with similar situations? I don’t understand those people that said don’t talk about it? WTF?

  3. ACE,

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING and keep up the fight I know it isn’t easy but Eric will be back I know he is a fighter look at where he was in May and where he is now…so much to be thankful today you are always in my prayers I love eric like a brother.

    KB

  4. Anna-Carin,
    I can’t really imagine the stress of caring for Eric at this point but can only guess it is tremendous. I also cannot imagine people telling you not to talk about your situation. To me that is foolhardy advice. To keep your strength and your sanity you MUST talk and keep talking. My little Swedish grandmother would NEVER let anyone tell her what to do! Just keep doing and saying what you know is right for you and for Eric. Happy Thanksgiving! You continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

  5. I am truly sorry for you and your family i cant imagine the pain that you are experiencing. My prayers are with you through these hard times. God bless you and your family.

    Sincerely the Chester family

  6. I recenlty met an individual at a bar in the pearl. This complete stranger told my wife a me a story about his Brain Injury. He was in a motorcycle accident. He was wearing a helmet which reducted the damage but he was still in a coma for 10 days. He told us how he had to relearn almost everything. Today he still has problems with memory, but he lives a relatively normal life. We recommended that he contact the Oregon Brain Injury assocation so he can talk and work with others with his same situation.

  7. Anna, keep writing. Your blog has not only been an inspiration to strangers across the country but I have to believe it provides you with some therapy as well. I always thought I was a strong person until I have read what you deal with on a day to day basis. I don’t know if I could do it. You amaze me. Stay strong but do not get down when you allow yourself to be sad and depressed. Everyone has those days and you need to cry and be angry and vent from time to time. When your done, go pour yourself your favorite glass of wine and relax. God bless you and Happy Thanksgiving to you and Eric

  8. Anna-Carin,

    I have been where you are and I want you to know that it will get better. The real key besides all the support for you is the constant stimulation and learning for your husband. You are doing the right thing. I hope to meet you soon. You will meet my daughter this week, I think, at the Brain Injury Assn of Or meeting.
    I send you so much empathy and understanding.
    Judy

  9. Ace,
    I’m shocked anybody has told you that you shouldn’t be sharing your experience. Yes, I like to hear the progress Eric is making and how you are doing, which is why you started this, but I’ve also learned so much. I would imagine this has all been good for your friends and family who know and visit with Eric to know what to expect and how they can help. I’m also guessing there are people out there who are experiencing the same thing as you, that get a lot of comfort from your honesty about the challenges of caring and advocating for your husband.
    If you are able to arrange it, we should do another nemo girls get together, get you out for some dinner and drinks with friends. It’s good to take some time out and have no obligations, if only for a couple hours.

  10. Someday when you get the chance, try to see a documentary called “When Billy Broke His Head… and Other Tales of Wonder.” The idea that you should keep any part of this experience to yourself is ridiculous. I’m sure I’m not the only stranger out here who knows, personally, some part of your story and who admires your strength and honesty. You don’t have to be strong all the time – nobody can be.

  11. ACE:

    As a survivor of a TBI, I can tell you he’s lucky to have you and your attitude on his side. You need to get some help. You need to keep Eric stimulated and most of all, you need to take care of YOU.

    Eric will suffer far more if you don’t do this. He is your husband, but you are more than his wife. And so get that in home help. Get friends/family up to speed and get them to do what they need to.

    You are in my prayers.

  12. If people dont want to hear your story, why log onto the blog, the fools!!!! Obviously lacking in something!!!
    I for one have found your blog very informative and it has saved you from explaining to a million friends the same thing.
    Sorry we missed your call last night, will try and get you later maybe.
    Hang in there.
    Love to you both

  13. Dear Anna-Carin,

    I ride my bike in Portland for pleasure and for transportation, and I have many friends here who are avid cyclists. I originally came here from the Bike Portland blog, curious about how Eric was doing after the hit-and-run accident. I’ve been reading your blog daily for several months now. I am grateful for the increased knowledge and understanding that reading your words has brought me.

    I know you don’t need a stranger to tell you to keep on fighting this fight, but if strangers feel it’s their place to tell you not to write this, then this stranger will be here every day asking you to continue.

    Sharon

  14. Anna-Carin-
    you do what you need to do to take care of yourself and your family (Eric). You know what feels right to you. You are an inspiration to so many people. Hang in there!!! Best wishes to you both. Love, Lorraine Smith

  15. Hej gumman!

    Tårarna rinner ner för mina kinder när jag läser vad du skriver! Du är så stark Anna-Carin, både för att du kämpar på och för att du inser att du är stressad och mår dåligt. Som du skriver, du MÅSTE ta hand om dig själv mer! Jag önskar sååå att vi bodde närmare varandra så jag kunde finnas där för dig:-(

    Du ska definitivt fortsätta skriva, jag kan inte förstå dem som säger motsatsen. Galet! Ut med allt du känner så blir det lite lättare inombords.

    Jag saknar er så mycket…

    Björn, Elin och Martin hälsar så mycket!

    KRAAAAAAAAAAM från Mia :-)

    PS. Kommer du ihåg när du blev så arg på mig för att jag tipsat om att ta en blöt handduk och skrubba ansiktet med. Du skrubbade lite för mycket och blev lite skinnflådd, ha ha! DS

  16. Anna-Carin,
    I have been reading your Blog since this tragic accident to Eric in May. My heart goes out to you, Eric and his family!
    I grew up with the Davidson Family and although I have moved away from the area Eric sister, Gina still has keep me in the loop of the family activities.

    Eric I am praying on your speed recovery!!! I am amazed on your progress so far and congratulations!!! Big Hugs to out to you Eric! Keep up the good work!

    Anna-Carin, I want you to know you are my inspiration!!! You have so much Love, Patients, Drive, and Strength to give! When I read your blogs and the time when it shows that you are down, out of no where you did a little deeper to pull yourself up! That takes a creditable person to do that!!! If I had to vote for the Women of the Year for 2008, it would go to you Anna-Carin Davidson!!!

    You hang in there and keep up what you are doing! You are inspiration to all of us!!!
    I wish you & Eric and your families a wonderful and safe holiday!
    Love, Debbie

  17. Anna-Carin,
    You are an inspiration to all and a godsend to Eric. Thank you for your continued generosity in sharing your experiences and educating us about TBI.


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