Posted by: aceanderic | December 11, 2008

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 11 (day 215)

It feels weird to not write this blog daily anymore, it was helpful but I honestly don’t have time. Every minute of the day is planned on my end. When Eric is resting I have a list of things to get to, and when he’s awake we’re either scheduled for therapy at the hospital, seeing doctors or are at home taking care of our daily routine. Friends ask me; “So how is Eric doing these days? He looks great!” How do I answer this question? Eric wakes up every morning hoping that everything was a nightmare, and that he’s back to normal again. One minute he’s confused and gets lost in his own house, and one minute he’s attending a business meeting almost like the old days; all in one day. He used to be extremely active outdoors, owner of a mortgage company, and he would always have something to say and he’d say it with a loud voice. Today he’s walking with a walker and uses sign language more then his broken voice. Eric would be the first among his friends with a mountain season pass for snowboarding, the bag packed and ready to hit the mountain once the first snow arrived, today I can’t even get him to go outside. Yes, it’s depressing, his current state is horrible but he’s recovering and has come a long way, and he’s going to recover for the rest of his life; so how do I answer this polite question without being rude to someone who doesn’t understand what he’s going through?

Eric’s vision got damaged at the accident; he’s having problems with left peripheral so he’s starting Visual Therapy next week as an attempt to improve his visual performance. Visual Therapy will train the brain to “communicate with the eye again”. He used to have excellent vision, now he needs glasses for distance sight. I laugh so hard in the exam room so I cried when Eric tried on these special glasses to test his vision; he looked like a dork. Eric laughed too; it was nice and we both needed this break badly.

One issue that’s not as funny is the knee pain Eric’s dealing with; it’s called heterotopic bone. Doctors are not sure what causes heterotopic bone formation; it has something to do with connective tissue cells change their characteristics into bone forming cells. It is not known why the cells change function but it is thought to be some type of inflammatory reaction associated with brain or spinal cord injury. It’s extremely painful and it’s preventing Eric from progressing in the speed he’d like. Radiation therapy is known to be a method of preventing heterotopic bone from increasing and we have an appointment next week to start this therapy since the medicine he’s on isn’t helping for the pain.

We are constantly looking for things that can bring ease to our days and help Eric’s progress. With brain injury, it becomes even more crucial then before to get proper nutrition. If it were up to Eric we would eat pizza every day so it’s stressful for me to come up with health food that he will eat. During one of my late nights in front of the computer I stumble across an article about Nutrition related to brain injury. A recovering brain needs optimal food and the article talked about antioxidant food. By increasing your intake of antioxidant foot it sparks the growth of brain cells. I’m now training myself in how to cook cheep, healthy antioxidant food, which won’t take too much time; and at the same time…taste good. My goal is to “spark the heck out his brain cells…”☺

Our friend Marty has spent some day with us, which took a lot of burden off me. He took care of the dogs, drove Eric to therapy when I had a meeting, was here when I needed to talk, and he hanged out with Eric so I could run errands. Christmas is around the corner, my favorite holiday of the year and the worst for Eric. I compromised with him by decorating the house with half of our holiday décor, and no Christmas tree…but it’s still a lot of Santa’s around the house. Our neighbor Dave helped us decorating the exterior with blue lights. I think we need some magical Christmas spirit around the house. Christmas makes me happy and you never know if your wish will come true around the holidays….

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Responses

  1. Hi. I went to school with all the Davidsons, grade school through high school, I remember each of them fondly. I don’t know if Eric will remember me or not, but tell him I said hello anyway.
    Your blog is certainly compelling, I read every entry last night. I feel for all of you. I lost my wife to colon cancer 11 years ago. Obviously your situation is different, but I feel like I can relate. Long long long stints in the hospital, learning medical information and terminology that you never would have cared about.
    I’m curious about something… you’re Swedish, my understanding is that “Swed’s” are notoriously non-religious. I myself am a proud “Atheist” or more accurately a “Humanist”. People seem to turn to religion when confronted with situations like yours or mine. I personally feel stronger after Mishele’s death that there is no god.
    Are you still considering moving to “The homeland”?
    Thank you for posting all of this information… I’m sure that it is very cathartic.

  2. Hallå eller!!!!!

    Sitter här och tittar på lucia på tv och tänker på er. Du har rätt – det är något särskilt med jul och förhoppningsvis kan lucia hjälpa till att föra med sig julstämningen för dig. Du är otroligt stark, A-C, även om det känns motigt ibland! Ska försöka hitta lite bra antioxidanter åt er. Stora kramar till er båda – C3

  3. Maybe we could all share our recipes chock full of antioxidant to help Eric’s brain. I don’t know beyond tomatoes, but I’ll go look up the article and see what I got…since I don’t spend more than 10 minutes throwing together a perfectly healthy meal I’m sure I can come up with something that’s quick, healthful and easy on the palette. :-)

  4. Nuts, fruits and grain. White tea has more antioxidants than anything else I know.
    3 times as much as green tea.
    third paragraph here:
    http://www.cookscorner.net/Tea/Antioxidants.html
    As you can see here (bottom)
    http://greentealovers.com/greenteahealthantioxidants.htm
    White Tea must be going thru the roof at about 3x green tea 360,000 units/g.
    good recipes
    http://www.crumcreek.com/library/antioxidant.html

  5. I read your blog and found it both very sad and very uplifting. I am a nurse who deals in brain injuries and we get very excited by the small steps forward our patients take, but we don’t have to compare them with ‘how they were before’ so its easier for us.

    You have lost your husband, and now find a stranger in you house, I suspect that sometimes you catch a glimmer of the old Eric or you would probably have run a mile by now.

    Christmas is a very special time and you must remember to be gentle on yourself, to give yourself a break. You too are recovering from a traumatic experience.

    So if Eric wants to eat pizza, and its easier on you to let him, then just for a few days let that happen. A happy home is just as important to a patients recovery as antioxidents.

    I wish you both a happy peaceful (and merry if you can manage that) Christmas, and next year WILL be better.

  6. Hi ACE and Eric, we are all very happy you are on your way up to spend Christmas with us. We are here to support you, give you a break and have some fun. The kids are looking forward to playing a little Wii with Uncle Eric, as am I. :> See you soon. xoxo

  7. Just wanted to stop by and say Merry Christmas to the both of you, thanks for the recent blog post! If Eric would like he can give me a call, my number has changed recently… I’ll send it to you in an email.

  8. Just wanted to wish you a happy holiday and think I represent many of the strangers that have been wishing hard for Eric to continue to progress. Thinking of you on this night. Sherry

  9. Good Day, Just wanted to wish you all the best for the upcoming New Year. I hope that you got some rest while visitng with the family over the Christmas holiday. I still check your blog daily as well as pray for you and your family. Take care and we look forward to your next update.

  10. ACE- it was great seeing you at Christmas. I would have loved to spend more time with you and Eric, but didn’t want to “hog” all the time with him as he held court in the big chair. You guys are in my thoughts all the time and I wish I could do more on a daily (or even weekly) basis for you. I was shocked to see what amazing progress Eric has made and believe that this new year will bring even more positive steps. Take care and all our love and HAPPY NEW YEAR.


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