I need to clarify something I said in a previous post. When I mentioned the most of a TBI recovery takes place in the first year, this is based on what physicians have told me. That doesn’t mean he will not continue to recover after one year is up. If we are to think of recovery in terms of a baby’s life, the first year shows the most significant changes, but the child will continue to develop and learn beyond that. So when I say we have a window of the first year, I don’t mean he will suddenly stop healing. I’ve heard these things can take many years before a person begins to seem normal again. But the first year is important. The more foundations laid out in the time, the better his chances for a full recovery.
I believe the previous care home we were in was a bit of a holding tank for Vernon. He did not recover there as quickly as he might have somewhere else. It was frustrating as I felt stuck in the System. Now that we have the gift of a new care home as well as Medi-Care insurance, I want to make sure we take full advantage of this new season.
But it isn’t enough just to leave it to the carers at the hospital. Vernon receives a half hour of PT/OT in the morning and another half hour at night. The Speech therapist works with him daily. But the truth is, Vernon is now acting about the same as he did five months ago. These therapies are not going to be enough. Even the wonderful Doctor Close who recently cared for him at Hogue pulled me aside to advise I hire someone to be there with him all the time, just to move his legs and arms so he isn’t sitting in bed all day, getting worse. She told me how her family had gathered around her grandfather in Poland when he was in a nursing home, taking four-hour shifts to keep him company and massage and move him as they could, and that I should find a way to do the same for Vernon.
You’ll remember Talar, whom I’ve spoken about so much lately. The Doctor spoke to her about this as well… and where I felt overwhelmed (Another thing to DO? Another thing I can’t afford?) she took the initiative with gusto. She saw it as a fantastic opportunity to get members of the church involved…whether or not they know Vernon or myself didn’t matter. She went to the church and asked for a signup sheet, which people put their names on on Sunday and offered one or two brief training sessions where she can show people how to do light range of motion and simple massage.
I was overwhelmed to see that so many signed up and committed to times over the next 6 weeks to 3 months. Most of these people don’t know Vernon (or me) but they wanted to DO something. I do believe in healing, even Divine healing, but I also recognize that sometimes it requires our involvement. Its an opportunity for more people to be useful and for them to be touched and changed as well. The nursing home is open to Talar’s idea and I expect there will even be overflow that will bless others who live there.
So we begin the new season. It is strange to relinquish some of his care in a new way, but I know I can’t do it alone anymore. He needs fresh horses as much as I do. I’m excited to see what changes will happen…and I know they will.
“There is a light in this world. A healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometime lose sight of this force when there is suffering, and too much pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.”—Sir Richard Attenborogh