A Guide To Understanding The Uniqueness
of Brain Injury and How Our Faith Sustains Us
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Raising David Again is a true story taken from the journal that I started the day my son suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury and is meant to be used as a guide. It chronicles the steps we took as the tragedy unfolded, later bolstered by what was told to me by eyewitnesses at the scene. That information was compiled it into a Brain Injury Tool Kit that includes tips and suggestions that I wished we had at the time of the accident.
There are many resources about Traumatic Brain Injury and brain injury in general. These resources gave me a host of tools that were used to combat a multitude of problems. We learned that each injury is unique and you will need to pick and choose what works for you and your loved ones. Since every brain injury is different, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, rather, they are a combination of things, that will change as time goes along.
The first chapter is a brief story about David as a child, his fascination with all things music, and his dream to open a recording studio. After realizing his dream and operating Scorpio Productions for almost ten years, he became disillusioned with the recording industry and decided to move his family to Florida and open a home theater business.
What happened next is every family’s nightmare and I realize now that there was nothing any of us could have done to prevent it, except David. What transpired that day was simply an accident; David stood up and fell out when the vehicle he was test driving with his cousin, suddenly jerked, and he tumbled out hitting his head on the pavement.
When the unthinkable happens, you either go into ‘emergency mode’ or run the other way. I tried to push all negativity aside and concentrate on the positive in order to be an effective caregiver. Each chapter continues a little of our journey, the intense and painful hours before surgery, and the aftermath. As family gathered near the ICU, we tried to remain optimistic and hung on to the 72-hour time-frame that the neurosurgeon said would determine whether David would live or die.
Once that deadline came and went, we went into ‘survival mode’, hoping and praying that David would wake from his induced coma – to opening his eyes and asking what happened. We made ourselves at home in a little quiet room mere feet from the ICU and struggled with many things, the least of which was the mounting stack of information that was given to us by several agencies and the hospital itself. Although I’m sure we looked through it at the time, I didn’t really comprehend what I was reading. This all went into a box and didn't know how our lives would change from that moment in time nor did we realize its significance.
We learned about important documents after the fact and we could have saved ourselves untold grief had we known some things ahead of time. Had it been laid out as a simple guide, it would have spared us untold grief. It was almost a year later when I discovered eight little pamphlets that helped me understand the significance of what David might be going through and how I, the caregiver, could deal with it. As the book continues, I add in tips and suggestions as to what types of documents might be needed, types of Guardianships available, and touch on other topics as Social Security Benefits, Medicare, and Medicaid. Then I add in the five important decisions that caregivers may need to make for their loved one should they need specialized care.
A description of how David’s accident affected us as a family and the steps we fell into after the accident are mostly typical, however, what we discovered is that each brain injury is unique. The startling part of it is, that this type of accident happens more times than anyone realizes. There are many good resources available that walk you through stories of recovery and how family, friends, and even coworkers had to either work with or walk away from the brain injured person as they were not equipped to handle the new person he/she became post-accident.
We made our plans of action and had to continuously revise and review them, adding or subtracting as we went along, because it was so difficult to pin down details. Then, there were other issues that cropped up that made us question everything. This is where you need to pay close attention or the small ‘issue’ becomes a much bigger problem down the road.
I address the upside-down life and the frustrations that may be associated with brain injury and the recovery process that comes with this. It is also unique to the individual and there may be a host of symptoms that can affect vision, hearing, memory, taste, smell, muscle contractures, and cause headaches to name just a few. I have included helpful tips and suggestions for these issues as well, because I was only aware of some of them at the beginning of our journey – it would have helped to know that these things might manifest down the road.
The journey into brain injury is a long one, punctuated by many steps forward and several steps backward until we reached the point where we decided as a family, to bring David home permanently. Because brain injury is a family affair, we share our stories in the chapter just before other amazing and inspirational stories. They will encourage and inspire you as each individual had to overcome a multitude of issues in order to ‘come back’ to former plane of existence.
What we learned during that time is what we want to share with the brain injury world as it would have been helpful had someone handed us such a guide. My perspective on what it’s like to live with someone with a brain injury and our 10 Keys to Recovery are what we use every day in our journey through life. The Brain Injury Tool Kit is located at the end of the book, complete with all lists and suggestions found within the chapters.
National AWARD WINNING BOOK!
1st Place Category Winner in Autobiography/Biography
RAISING DAVID AGAIN