Tuesday, February 27, 2007

TBI - To Be Inspired

My heart is a little broken tonight. I just finished watching this program on Bob Woodruff's horrific experience and the experiences of soldiers with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). I couldn't help but feel my heart cry. These men and women - with spouses and children - so perfect in their military photos - who are unbelievably changed forever.

I cannot imagine the strength it must require of their families to support them. I cannot imagine the fear of the unknown that their spouses, children, parents and friends face every day. I cannot imagine how frustrating it must be for the patient to have to work so hard to do things they used to do without thinking.

Bob Woodruff is doing very well. It has also been more than a year since his injury, but he has made amazing strides. It is stunning to see his children teaching him words like "belt buckle" and "diamond." I know he must have worked incredibly hard to get to the point he is at now.

It is a well-known fact that I feel deeply and things affect me profoundly. I am not weepy, but there are issues that really just hit me hard. I find it hard to keep myself removed from suffering like that. I place myself in their shoes and just wonder - if that happened in my life - how would I manage - how would I maintain hope? I know that you do what you have to do - I have been through issues in my life and maintained hope when there was little reason to, but I just wish these things didn't have to happen. Right now, my job does not afford me as much opportunity to help those who are suffering as I would like.

I am by no means an activist in a lot of ways; not because I don't care, but because I am sometimes paralyzed by my upset. Does this make sense?

What is the best way to help? How can I best effect change? Who needs to hear my upset over these issues? I struggle with these thoughts and more. Whatever your feelings are about war, no one feels good about the men and women who are injured, maimed, and killed serving and protecting our country.

This will bother me. They highlighted a family whose father/husband had a TBI. They followed him for awhile and in the beginning he was in tough shape. As time progresesed with his rehab, he made amazing progress!!! Unfortunately, he went back to TX (if I remember correctly) and was not set up for his rehabilitation to continue. Due to these "mistakes," he had serious setbacks. When Bob visited him again, you could see the (bad) changes that occurred while he was not in rehab.

So, Bob's family started a fund to help military families with Traumatic Brain Injuries and they link to this site as well for a way to help. I like giving money, but I also like to be able to help in tangible ways. These families are inspiring.

**Before this story, I was going to write about my upcoming girls' weekend to help a good friend celebrate a big birthday (one I have not yet reached - thank goodness! ;)) with a HUGE surprise. She has NO idea we are going away to Hilton Head, NC for the weekend. Her husband will be home taking care of their 19 month old twins while we do girly things and maybe check out the Food & Wine Festival in Charleston. Cross your fingers that a storm which is supposed to bring snow Thursday night (heavier towards dawn? Our flight leaves at 7am!?!?!) heads north so that our plane can take off! :) (If not, I'll make sure to have some knitting.... ;)) Anyway, my weekend took a backseat after Bob's story. I am on a mission (CAOK?) to figure out how I can best help.

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