It was not always like this...

March 11, 2015

The sounds of annoyance escape her breath as she plunges into the couch...

Bitterly, she abandons her attempt to put on her sock and looks around frustrated. Resentful of her abilities, or the lack of, she struggles with what was once a simple task. Tenderly I take the sock from her hand and kneel down in front of her to help. "Thank you," she quips in an exhausted tone, and again my heart breaks for her.

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It was not always like this...

Each day a new journey, with more obstacles to climb in an attempt to find our bearings, with Debbie enduring the toughest battle of us all. The life we once shared is a distant memory, gone without warning, changing us all into these new beings, a challenge we grapple with each day.

Nineteen months post surgery, the life we knew interrupted, the future uncertain. The hope we once clung to, depleted, with our expectations sinking. I search the neurologist eyes while I inquire about her recovery, he replies with a gentle tone, offering no false security to her future. The concerns of what may make a difference, even he hesitates their promise.

For a moment it is quiet as the doctor leaves the room, we are left with no definite resolution for her recovery. Debbie begins to weep, with her confusion searching for answers, believing they have given up and her life is ending. We attempt to clear her confusion, but the tears keep coming back in a continual loop of doubt.

She is in there some days, like a magic act she appears piecing together stories of her past. Bringing laughter to the moment and reminding us all of the person she was before the surgery. But soon the laughter fades, the confusion steps into its shadow and darkens another moment of the seasons we share with Debbie.

The desire to be creative, crafty and helpful still fill her mind with the same excitement that once existed, but the patience and stamina are no longer present, leaving mastery at some tasks fleeting, and too difficult for her brain to be enjoyable.  Comparable to the difficulty with socks, leaving her overwhelmed, frustrated and often abandoning the task.

The extremes of her personality and memory conflict with the abilities and traits she once mastered so well. Once armed with a to-do list that filled her calendar, she thrusted through the happenings of a day. Today she is filled with the belief of accomplishing those same tasks in her day, when it is non existent.

Our once cheerful shopping adventures have forged into a new battle, one where she is armed with novice toys and plush trinkets for the boys that are not age appropriate, something she would have never picked up in the past. Cautiously I try and defuse her purchase, usually deflating her joy back to frustration as I once again reveal how old the boys are.

A charade of mystery consumes our lives, the obstacles Debbie will face each day on this journey will lead us on a continued search for answers. The brain, such a complicated organ, conjointly leaves many doctors perplexed but will continue to motivate us towards solutions in making her life better.

 

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Traumatic Brain Injury

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