I am reading a book called Rights Come to Mind by Joseph J. Fins which interviews forty families with loved ones with Anoxic Brain injuries similar to Nick's. One thing that I have learned is Traumatic Brain injuries (car accidents, bike accidents, ski accidents) are different than Anoxic Brain injuries (hanging, drowning, and cardiac arrest) in different ways, but one of the most significant is in how the brain heals. For every one mountain a person with a traumatic brain injury has to climb to find his or her way back to the living an Anoxic brain injured person has to climb five.
The picture above is of me celebrating Nicks first mountain (well not actually me, but you get my point :-). It has been a few months since I wrote that year anniversary post. I am still processing this past year. We are learning what we need to navigate this next year. It has come to my attention that physical therapies aren't' offered past 2 years from the date of the injury. This will put Nick at a large disadvantage since we now know that brains that were damaged due to a lack of oxygen heal themselves at a glacier rate. I am in for the long haul, but doctors and insurance companies are not, so I am scrambling to figure out how best to serve Nick before this 8 month looming deadline comes to pass.
This is a large reason why people with Nick's injuries are warehoused in nursing homes and group homes where they don't receive any type of therapies and are basically just getting their basic needs met. Of course yes, there are times where individuals have to be placed in a facility because a family can't take care of their loved for a myriad of reasons, but more times than not according to the neurologist's in the book and what I have seen first hand it is more about this being a long ass journey and it is assumed that families can't cut it. How does one know this fact until one does it? It is a question I ask myself and before you answer that you know you couldn't because you "really know yourself" I would say bullshit. I think we are way stronger than we allow ourselves to be and we become masters of negative self talk so we create a list of how we can't do things instead of finding ways we can. This is a theme in many areas of peoples lives not just ones who have been thrust into caregiving.
How many times have you thought small about your own life journey. You won't take a risk because it may hurt or feel uncomfortable or it will push your own boundaries? I used to hear when I built Inspiration Cafe (www.inspirationcorp.org) "I could never do what you do Lisa." Really? You couldn't read a book about how to start your own non profit and then follow the instructions? Because that is what I did. Plain and simple. I know people were trying to give me a compliment and it was nice and all, but it also was just perpetuating limitations on solving the problems individuals who were homeless have to face everyday.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE , you just have to choose that you will.
Stop limiting your thinking and start finding ways that you can create change in your own life and the life of the ones you love.
Be of Service. Stretch Yourself. Bump up against the status quo. Believe you can and when you can't know that you at least tried. TRY. FALL. FAIL. LEARN and then
GROW. BLOOM. THRIVE. DISCOVER.
Make 2017 the year you skin your knees a lot from trying and falling because when you do I promise you will find out that you are stronger than you ever knew and your inner warrior will be magnificent to witness.