During our TV interview last week we were asked what the biggest challenge has been. My answer came from the heart when I said that the biggest challenge has been the unknown, and our financial struggle. I’ve asked every professional, and I’ve spent multiple nights researching the Internet for the answer to “how long”, “when will Eric be ok”; but there are no answers. Every person on this planet is unique so every brain injury is unique too; only time will tell the answer to my questions. Living the unknown daily is a challenge words cannot describe. I still haven’t accepted it. I find myself constantly bragging to medical TBI professionals about what Eric has achieved, hoping that the answer will be “Well that’s great, that means that Eric will be cured next week….” Like that ever will happen! But there is another thing I’ve kept to myself, something that is much more horrible. It wasn’t until I heard it from another woman while crying in her arms at RIO I came to say it out load. Her husband is also a TBI survivor. I don’t expect you to understand, not many do. The biggest challenge to accept is that “The man I married is dead!” How the heck do you ever accept that? The man in our house, Eric is his name, is a different man and he will never be, sound or look the same as the person he was up until that sunny spring evening on May 9th, 2008.
Writing this blog post I’m on my way to Sweden for a well-deserved break. I’m able to go home thanks to our very good friend Marty who will stay with Eric, plus thanks to my air miles. I’m an absolute mess right now, been crying for hours; how will this go? I’m wondering what the lady next to me is thinking; she hasn’t asked but I know she can see my tears. Eric has been worried about me leaving and I’m wondering if Monday’s chaos had something to do with it, or if it was something the doctor said or did? Monday meeting with the doctor ended up with Eric being helped out from the hospital with two security guards. He’d completely lost it earlier, he felt threatened, which ended up with a trashed office. The doctor is now worried about my safety and wants Eric to move to a foster home, I told him that Eric would never hurt me. And I know he won’t. He believed me in the end. It sure wasn’t easy to leave this morning to the airport. So I’m on the plain crying but I don’t know why. Is it because of Eric’s all lost dreams about a good and healthy life? Am I crying because what the doctor told me about Eric’s current state….? Is it stress? Is it the unknown around the corner? Is it happy tears for finally seeing my family again? Or am I crying because it’s dark, snowy and 25F in Sweden??
PS. 24 hours later and I’m posting this blog. I might know now why I cried earlier…my two heavy check-in bags have gone missing. Lovely!