Yesterday at team Nick headquarters we had a rough go. Nick had physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy plus he sat in something called a cardiac chair for two hours. When someone has a traumatic brain injury there is a dance between stimulation and rest. However, if you over stimulate then it causes restlessness and sometimes people just shut down. That was Nick yesterday. Too many people had too many expectations of him.
Lately, since Nicks illness and all that has come after, I have been pondering how every living thing communicates and more importantly how much individuals and animals are misunderstood.
Why do you think this happens? Do you think we project our own vision or desire or wants on someone else. When an animal acts out of fear or anxiety will we push it away or will we take a moment to slow down and tune in?
If Nick does not follow the check list that others made for him does he not “prove” himself as worthy in order to receive the next step in his recovery?
I need to document it all of Nick’s victories. By documenting how he communicates it may be easier for others to see how he complete tasks and how he is moving forward in his recovery. I have taken short videos of things he does, but I will need to put things on paper also. Yesterday was a good example of why. Nick has an IV in his left hand that they use to give an iron supplement and is also there in case emergency meds are needed. When the nurse turned on the IV it must have burned. Nick immediately raised his hand and showed me along with raising his heart rate to 145 beats per minute from 105. I didn’t understand what he was saying to me, but when I and my sister Susie figured out it was his IV I told him I would get his nurse to turn it off. He calmed down and put his hand down. His nurse happened to be on break so another nurse came in but he gave him Motrin for pain instead and Nick wasn’t having any of it. He kept raising his hand and the alarms on his heart monitor were beeping away. I realized I just needed to stop the IV so when his nurse came by I told her to turn it off which she did and Nick calmed down right away.
Poor guy. It took me way to long to respond.
My friend Jane sent me a TEDx Talk of an amazing man who wrote a book called Ghost boy. His message is powerful and it is about communication. At age 12 he contracted an illness which attacked his brain and he became trapped in his own body. It is an intense story and it may make some of you uncomfortable, but it is really worth watching for 20 minutes because I think his message is much wider and more important than just his single experience. You can see it here:
Pay attention to ways in which you communicate or more importantly ways you don’t communicate. I don’t want to get all hippy dippy with you right now, but isn’t most of the worlds problems about not communicating or being open to the message of another? Nick right now is my teacher in compassion and service, empathy, mercy and most of all grace.
Thank you Nick Nigro. Never Give up.