Friday, 6 December 2013

I don't wanna grow up!


Make it a Good Day!
At my Grandfathers house-
the saying goes
a Good Day.
Good days don't just happen.
It is a choice,
and an effort.
 - Watch this video - it can change your life!
A Must-Watch For Anyone Frustrated With Growing Up

Watching this video today really exploded my heart!
We are all here together,
in this life....doing all we can
"in the day to day trenches"
"Have a nice day!" 
"The most obvious and important realities
 are often the ones
 that are the hardest to see and talk about"   
and ....*choices...can have "a life or death importance". 

define *CHOOSE: to select freely and after consideration
CHOOSE to Make it "a nice day!"

Thursday, 24 May 2012

icky icky

I realize that is not really a mature way of describing a post.


Anyhow, this new medicine that G is taking to help with his, ummmmm -- brain? icky.

He doesn't feel great on it,
sleeps LONG,
and is really REALLY hard to wake up.

Sounds like a broken record, right!

But really, he is much harder to wake up than EVER before.

He also wakes up,
"hey...what happened today?"

since it is like 2 pm
and I have been
waking him since...oh...7:30 am.

He had an 8:45 am appointment with a dermatologist
[remember --- teens have SOOO much going on,
add brain injury and ya..... i m INSANE!).
I wish ACNE was the worst of our troubles.

Anyhow...lucky for us another family member could use the 8:45 appointment, when mr. B called me about rescheduling Gs appt. he said "1:45 PM (another day) okay?" Yep.

I still tried to wake G up...
something about us going to pay a parking ticket,
buy him a parking pass to avoid future tickets,
counselor appointment at 11 AM,
lunch with mOm. :)

Nope, none of it today.

What IS possible....Spend 6.5 hours of your day trying to wake up a teen with a brain injury.
(there is comfort knowing
that it may be just as hard
 to wake up a normal teen!)

Anyhow, he remembers none of it! 

"hey....what happened today?"

Icky medicine, icky day.


I suppose
 if a
resting brain
heals faster
it is
what the doctor ordered,


Thursday, 17 May 2012


I am trying....

Last week we had appointments every day but Monday.  I know that sounds like a cliche....but it is true.

Appointment #1:  with the school to talk about what we need to do to alleviate mental stress which is not allowing brain rest, school is all mental stress (for me and G).  It is stress to wake him up, deal with headaches, get him to class on time...NOT....get him to class late, deal with teachers who forget what is going on with him and expect that he should be HEALED by now (i feel their pain...i wish he was healed by now too), and then the stress of absences, and tardies, and assignments missed, half done, forgotten.  It is SO MUCH.  I have left every parent teacher conference this year feeling like the WORSE parent.  In tears, and angry because I feel like I have to explain his situation over and over....8 teachers times 4 conferences each only to be told that disability only covers so much and that they expect him to be doing the requirements for the class, or NOT be in THEIR class. 

Sure.  I will work on that. 

This year we have pulled him from AP classes and Concurrent College courses, to Honors level.  Then...we pulled him from Honors level to basic classes.  We went from a full schedule of 8 classes down to 4 sluffing school. 

Yep...sluffing.  Did I know that? Well, I suspected.  He only had two classes per day, he left the house about 10:30 - 11 am every day.  I thought we had finally gotten it right.  His courses were basic remedial classes...this should be good.  Maybe this report card would not be full of F's.  (which btw he is not suppose to get F's at all.  He is suppose to get NG or Incompletes so that he can complete the work with parent help and tutors until the end of the school year.  Another piece that teachers who were unwilling to work with his disability missed.) 


(angry tone --- implied because it is how i feel right now)

So...back to sluffing....he was gone to school but NOT in class.  (websters definition)  I find out later last week that he has been spending two to three hours a day in Seminary and has made up a great deal of his credit there!  I guess if you are going to sluff --- Seminary is not a bad place to be.  It particularly made me smile when Sister Paula told me that he was happy there :)  Good for him going somewhere he could feel happy!

Back to the sluffing....

What's the reason?  Not that I expect to fully understand it but what I get of it is that being in class is so depressing.  He is grieving the G-kid he was before the accident.  The one where school was easier and he had friends and social stature, he was the football player, a hero, a happy friendly kid...most popular....  Now he is the dumb kid...the village idiot.  He hates being in remedial classes and being teased for being stupid because the kids know that he was the SMART football player.  Now he is just ....different. 

I think that if kids could be more accepting and try to understand what happened and embrace him as a student trying to accomplish the same things they are that it would have been easier for him ....but....they are kids.

And G already feels bad enough about himself.  He already has depression and sadness from all the changes in his life, the things he can not have kids snicker and laugh and not be his friend anymore because he is not the same G....
well, trust me ...if he could avoid himself he probably would too. 

He doesn't blame them.  He doesn't seem angry....he just would rather not be there.  He said his teachers don't understand, they don't care...they don't listen or try to work with him...with 1500 kids in the school and likely each teacher dealing with 200 plus situations EACH, kids going through so many things....he gets it.  "It's understandable" he says.  I say it is another example of how the system fails kids.  Really.Good.Kids.

Bottom line is that the High School agreed that he needed to be out of school and work on credit recovery on-line for the rest of the school year.  So that is where we are at. 

On paper it looks great.  Remember me saying what an awesome student he was....he will take 6 on-line courses in credit recovery (.25 credits each --- simple), do three packets (for .5 credits) with teacher tutoring, and come his senior year have a total of 4.75 credits....1.75 of that is elective.  He really only needs 10 credits to graduate.  He had done such a STELLAR job of getting his education in prior to his accident.  He was headed to having two years of college credits upon graduation, wanted to be a brain surgeon.....and now...we just hope he graduates.  We believe he will.  But it will take everything...every bit of patience and prayer and hope.

And the school really complimented me.  I am doing all the right things, and should write a book, or advocate for parents with kids with many things right.  (So how come it feels so wrong so much of the time?)  They said if anything...from the BEGINNING...I need to back will take TIME to heal....and I am so INTENSE...and so sure that I CAN HEAL my very WILL POWER. 
(Ya...that's not really maybe I should just calm down a little.)

Appointment #2:  the brain clinic.  Did I mention before we have the BEST brain Doc in our state?

Every time we see someone else they refer us to our own Doctor.  He is the best they him.  And we do.  We trusted him enough that we let G play football (conservatively) last year.  And yes....he was hurt again...injury upon injury.  This time when we saw the doctor he STRONGLY more football.  Lucky....we had already determined that. 

G made his own decision not to play...and we  I had a LOT of tears.  He said, "everything happens for a reason, don't worry about it.  we will understand someday."

Another piece to the sorrow.  Something else that he loves...that defined him....taken.  Another loss to grieve.

I get it.

Grieving is usually done in 5 stages:  denial, anger, bargaining, depression....and finally acceptance. 

I guess you could say I am in all of these stages at once.  Some for this, others for that....many things that have happened that have brought grief, and the process of grieving.  It is a healthy process, ...but long....and lonely.

Well, encouraging news from the Brain Doctor that we are doing the right things for healing.  Brain rest is key, removal of the stress of school in the classroom.  Finding pieces of life that are enjoyable, being happy. 

Prescription for watching lots of comedy's ....LAUGH.  Spend time with the people you feel are most positive and supportive.  Be happy....don't much.

Also a couple of medications to help with sleep symptoms and with focus so that while his brain heals and re-wires that it will have the help to do so in the right ways.

I understand better now that the brain memorizes thoughts and feelings.  That when healing it is important to produce happy and healthy reactions and feelings to things.  The sorrow and pressures and the depression of all that has happened are NOT the things we need to focus on.  Those and the circumstances that bring those things on need to be avoided. 

That is REAL BRAIN REST.  So FINALLY we are on a better track to healing.

And the doctor said I was doing a good there is that.  Made me feel like someone sees...and cares about how hard this is.

After a couple of other appointments we felt clearer and calmer about the healing process.

We are on our way.

I will post....and come back to write more, when I have more time to process all that has been happening. 


Wednesday, 9 May 2012

ten minutes

can i just say....that it is really hard to go places on time.
i made an appointment with THE doctor at the Brain Clinic 3 MONTHS ago...
the appointment is ten minutes ten minutes....and we are going to be late.

getting anywhere on time, with a TBI, is nearly IMpossible!

no matter how many times i wake him up.
no matter how many times i plead....
"we need to go"
"one hour...
twenty minutes...
ten minutes"

...we will be late.

apparently three months notice is not enough! be on time.

Friday, 27 April 2012

a sMILEstone!

A few weeks ago I wrote this in regards to our sons head injury:

most people think he is just being a normal teen, thus i am over-reacting to how hard daily stuff is.

thing about head injuries
is you never really know
what to do...daily,

thing about teens...
you never know
what to do...daily,

it has been a year and a half since his classified mild traumatic brain injury, and since we let him play football (i think we brought it on ourselves at this point) he was hurt again, so we have injury upon injury.
(upon injury...upon injury)
....his heartache
....his heartache....

it's just big.

today as I tried to work with him on his eagle project he decided to go meet up with some friends, to skateboard....another un-safe sport that he engages in...mind you he is 17.5 years old...almost 18....and has a "mind" of his own.

I tried not to lose it....his Eagle project becoming mine to finish....(the paperwork is all that is left, he did the rest....a year ago.)

So as I patiently tried to explain that I needed him here with me to do the paperwork, it is NOT my project and really he should be doing it on his own, but I have been allowed to help him get the paperwork filled out, so that he can get it turned in and he can get credit for the work he did...sounds right, right!?

Wrong...! He says to me..."Mom, I don't even remember doing the Eagle Project".

more heartbreak.

"it was last Spring", i remind him.

"ya, well, there is a lot i don't remember."

i tell him I can show him the pictures.
he tells me, "not now". "can i just go, mom, please?"

i let him go.
and i cry inside.

will he ever remember.

i promise to be back with some of the happier moments, because yes, there are happy parts. i just needed to write this, here, in my closet, safe, while i cry...on the inside.

QUICK UPDATE:  a happier moment!!!!....his Eagle Project was approved.  Yay for people who will listen and understand.  Now a few merit badge details, a Board of Review, and his Eagle has become an accomplishment!  Yay Son!!!!

Friday, 30 March 2012

just be yourself....really

i talked with a few doctors this past week about G's healing and the word i get is still patience and time.

...and a LOT of rest.

no rest for the seems to me.

i am weary.

how about a little rest for the worry. i need that.

we have adjusted his school schedule to accommodate the ridiculous headaches that he suffers every day. he usually overcomes the worst of them by noon so an afternoon/evening schedule is best. his counselor at school today told me i should write a book because i really am doing everything as right as anyone could in this situation, he really emphasized that i could be a great resource to other parents suffering this, struggling through it, one day at a time, and certainly more days than i ever imagined.

it could be worse.

he is not looking to addictions, or sleeping day and night with no motivation.

he is still a very social kid, and very successful at his job. makes sense, it's evening work, and he feels happy there. versus school; he feels like the "village idiot" at school. the kid that could have conquered the hierarchy but plundered bottom. it's so depressing.

this change in his schedule should help and we know a little more about what we can do, for now.

on the bright side he took the ACTs and did pretty well. GREAT NEWS considering that it is a full day of stressful testing, which took three days of sleep and severe headache to recover. but he took the test, he accomplished it and he reached a benchmark that will allow him to apply to colleges and actually start at some college level courses. of course, that is a few years out, and some more heal.

one thing that I am thankful for is that he has time....senior year, an LDS mission (which is on his agenda, something he has chosen to be important to him), and then life....and college, and hopefully he will be in a better place, healed and whole, and who HE wants to be.

i think that is the hardest part, when i hear him say that he doesn't remember who he he doesn't know who we expect him to be.

he is different to us...but to him, he is himself.

i think he just needs us to be with him today, who he is now, and quit looking for the old, accept the new G, our G.

my youngest, J-10 years old, said today "mom, when is G going to be G again?"

and then he told me he just worries that something really bad is going to happen to him. i didn't know he was worrying so much about it and it makes me feel bad. in the chaos of trying to work with this healing i have forgotten to notice how it is upturned my other childrens lives and relationships with their brother.

it has changed them all.

i told J to just talk to his brother and ask him when J was beat up at school yesterday...he could ask G what he would do about it. like a little brother to a big brother...because still, that is who they are.

this has been hard for us all. but we are making it harder focusing so much on when G is going to be well....and not just accepting each day, and each moment, as a blessing to live and love and laugh.

we need to do that.

it is still possible: LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE.
corny yes.. but it is what we've got!

side note: i just started this blog and it morphed into a record of healing from my son's TBI (traumatic brain injury). i found some journal entries from the past couple of years, including the accident and those first months of healing, which i am going to add to this record. it is a long and difficult journey and worth noting the process, and the progress.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

explain it to my heart

this is a tough one.
i can't wrap my mind around it,
even the explanations have explanations.
so...could someone just explain it to my heart.
a very good friend who has been dealt this pain, but really so much worse, reminded me this week that "i don't do criticism".

See, last Fall at the State Football Championship game she
came, with her husband.
Her husband has
a TBI, much worse than ours,
(not to compare, but really)
keeps me in

Anyhow, my son played football this last Fall;
after THE
His first injury was the Winter
We had plenty of doctor
interaction, saw specialists after specialists.
Did the Impact tests, went through all the procedures of return to play
after the concussion.
Our specialists
work with professional Football, Baseball, and Gymnasts…sports of all kinds,
and accident victims, etc.
The right
thing to do with people in recovery is to help them back to the things they
love to do.
Our G loves Football, loves
(cause of accident was an overshot jump,
he fell about 40 feet,
landing on his head.
He was unconscious
and lost some memory.
He was unable to
move his legs.
his ability now
is such a
people LOVE to tell me
that we should put him in a bubble,
allow him to do the things he LOVES again.
if we cared..."if he were our child..."
..."we would..."
Protect him, smother him, and hold him back….
if…IF we were responsible
Well, last Fall I expressed to her that when others feel the
need to ADVISE me on what I SHOULD be doing
I just politely let them know that
we don’t do criticism.
The complaint
department is over yonder…in the garbage can.
Thanks, but no thanks.
I may not
know what I am doing…but I am
doing my best…
and eventually MY BEST will become
So I just keep at it.
The ADVICE I do take is from the professionals who are
They are good at what they do,
and if they don’t know the answers they always let me know just that.
Brains are so tricky, no one can know
Sometimes the answer is just
The advice thus far is that returning to healthy exercise
and sports that G loves will do more for his healing than anything else.
Sleep is key;
if we can’t wake him up to get
to school, let him sleep.
School is the
WORST thing for his healing.
Makes sense
to me…NOW,
but back when we began this process I argued that he just needed to
determine that he was going to be better, to be able, and to be whole.
We are still aiming for all that.
Right now he is NOT better (worse),
he is disABLEd,
and the healing process is full of HOLES.
It is so confusing.
like he has a head trauma,
and I have heart trauma.
I think the key word is TRAuMA.
This whole thing is traumatic.
I just wanted to write a few more things so that I could
reference myself.
Today I sat with his school counselor, after our other
appointment. His school counselor has the
goal of getting him graduated, with stellar recommendations.
He knows our son,
and he knows from a coach’s
standpoint that he will be healed, in time.
In another year he will look back and wonder how he ever endured this
whole experience (me in the office at this point tearing up…because I wonder
sometimes if we will.)
This man has
knowledge from years of being a coach and a school counselor.
He was a rugby coach, a soccer coach, and now
is track and field and an academic counselor (retiring this year).
He knows injuries and he knows G, very well.
Today he told G that he has to realize that
he is not the same. The old G could have
handled the AP and Honors classes that the new G wants to be in.
The new G cannot.
Not that he can’t try… but the goal is to
graduate and the journey forward
does not include the courses that he wants to
take, the courses he would have been able to do,
the old G.
It is such a defining process, and so humiliating for my
See, the brain is like any other part of the body and yet
unlike in every way.
If you were to
sprain an ankle,
you would rest the ankle,
you would not run on it, or do
repetitions of ankle rolls.
You elevate
it, rest it, take iBuprofin
and allow it time to heal.
After a while your ankle is healed.
The brain is likened to that, when a
concussion happens
the brain needs time to heal,
sometimes a very long
And it takes at least a year to see
that the brain is healed,
and longer to know what affects you may have for
If you don’t rest the brain it
takes longer.
School is the ankle
Reading and learning and sitting
through a class may sound easy
but it is no different than trying to run a
marathon on a sprained ankle.
The best
thing for healing a brain
is exercise and sports and doing the things that you
your brain endorphins of happiness are healing.
The stress and degradation of people’s criticism’s
and expectations are not.

G has been running a marathon.
I have been pushing him along.
Today I learned that we need to be patient, ...still.
We need another specialist to advise.
We will listen, and learn, and eventually
heal and understand.
I just wanted to remember some of these things. More later.