Category: Family of TBI Survivors Written by Family Member
Summary - the cause - the injury - today's quality of life?
Motorcycle accident and suicide attempt. Amazingly good. He has found a special relationship with God and Jesus and never gives up.
Please share your experience at the time you became aware of the injury?
I felt as if I had been hammered from all directions. I was entirely focused on my son. Seeing his
injuries, which were devastating, that the first day was bad. Worse was watching him, not knowing if he would ever wake up again, if I would see 'him' again; if he would regain consciousness. When he did I had no idea what lay ahead. I wish I had, I would have been better. There was no support from the hospital staff once we had left.
Tell about the experience immediately after the injury. Surgery? Coma
He was in a coma for three weeks and had surgery multiple times during that period. I was there every morning when the nurses scoured off his scabs. He had been wearing only a tee-shirt when the accident took place.
Tell us about the hospital stay after the survivor was no longer in a coma
He was confused and in a lot of pain. The nurses had to walk all the way to the other end of Goleta Cottage Hospital for meals, leaving the Intensive Care under staffed so I started bringing in sandwiches every morning.
Tell us about the time in rehabilitation?
Arthur was moved over to rehab at Santa Barbara Institute by ambulance. He was not sure about anything t the time and groggy from drugs. He kept pulling out the feeding tube, which was nerve wracking. When he started the rehab it was frustrating because everything was so hard for him. He went through periods of real anger, lashing out at me and others.
Tell us about coming home!
He was lonely. His friends had abandoned him immediately. The family was angry and I was about the only one who spent time with him. At that point he was in better shape than he is today because he had not yet shot himself through the brain. He had the use of his arms and legs but problems with balance. After he shot himself he had a stint in his head, could not use his arms or legs or hold his head up. It was hard seeing him struggle and knowing he wished he was dead. I was diapering him for quite while, that second time. No one helped. Not once.
Tell us about life ever after AKA today?
Today Arthur is still struggling. Rehabilitation is a joke and talking about the problems does not help. He has tried over and over to find places to fit in and every time he fails. He is 'high functioning' in many ways but with the added disabilities, loss of vision in one eye, partial loss in the other eye, loss of use of the lower left leg, it is tough on him. He was 19 when it happened and growing to manhood through this without a decent male role model has been harsh. My former husband, who adopted him, was the one who persuaded him life was not worth living, resulting in the suicide attempt. His biological father changed his email address so Arthur can't contact him. We found out Craig was behind this. He did not want me to have any resources since he was trying to destroy me. Psychopaths are like that, I found out.
What do you want to tell others going through the same process? Treatments, understandings and actions that made a difference?
Keep looking for solutions. Arthur got out of the wheel chair after a pretty brief series of sessions with Kathy Boisen a great acupuncturist. The improvements have been slow but they continue to happen. I wish his family, friends, teachers, minister, could understand how much a little kindness means.