Saturday, January 9, 2010

Our Journey with Brain Injury

Our journey with brain injury started on a crisp October morning in 1997. My husband and I had just completed our morning walk and I was getting ready for work when I heard a horrible crashing sound coming from our kitchen. I ran to the kitchen and found my husband on the floor gasping for breath. He was in the midst of a cardio-pulmonary arrest. In my panic I could only think of pumping on his chest until the paramedics arrived. They were able to resuscitate him and restart his heart. Unfortunately, he had suffered a lack of oxygen to his brain, resulting in damage to his left temporal and both frontal lobes.

Through the ensuing days, there were many setbacks that could have ended his life, but through them all, he came back. After three months in the hospital, two of those months in a rehabilitation facility, he came home with me. I searched high and low for medical procedures that could help him, including hyperbaric oxygen treatments and biofeedback. I was encouraged in reading about brain injury that the brain can be retrained by repetition.

Through the last 12 years of caring for him, we have had our good days and our bad days. I choose to remember the good days, since everyone has bad days. We live each day to the fullest and believe that tomorrow will be better. We have been blessed with four great grandchildren since his illness started. They are wonderful children and as they watch me caring for "grandpa", they have learned (without knowing it) great compassion toward grandpa, and others with disabilities. I am a caregiver to my husband, and at times, caregiver to my great grand kids.

Words are difficult for my husband, and lately he has started calling me "baloney".

1 comment:

Healing Morning said...

Judy, I am going through your archives in order to learn more about you and your journey with your dear husband. You are walking a beautiful path, my friend, albeit probably the most challenging one any of us could imagine. I can't claim to understand your daily existence and where you find the strength to continue, but I know much of it comes from love and from looking into your husband's eyes each day. I'm happy to know you.

~ Dawn