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!!