Monday, March 15, 2010

2000 - Part 2: Scrambled Brain

May 2, 2000 -- After the accident mentioned in Part 1, my son was admitted to University Hospital, and he was in Surgical/Trauma Intensive Care for 3 days. The first 2 days were really scary. He didn't recognize me, and he didn't know the answers to the simple questions the staff would ask when they were with him. He once told me that I wasn't his mother. I asked him who was, and he pointed to the male nurse who'd been working with him.

He was beligerent and disoriented.

My daughter finally came to the hospital to see him. She was clutching a CD player and a Queen CD. We got permission to set up the CD player and had the music playing softly when we left that evening. The next morning when I arrived, the music could be heard in the hall! The staff enjoyed the music so much that they turned it up. And my son was 1000% better. He was responsive and could carry on a simple conversation.

I was so grateful to God, my daughter, and Queen!!!

The hospital was one of the best he could have gone to. University is a teaching hospital, so every time a doctor visited him, he had at least 2 students in various phases of education with him, consulting and conferring. After a week, my son was discharged from the hospital and admitted to a full-time rehab facility -- Warm Springs. Warm Springs was a fantastic facility. The only bad thing was he had a roommate that screamed all hours of the day and night. His head trauma was much worse than my son's, and they had big groups of visitors all the time. After a couple of days, he moved, and my son could rest, relax, and start healing.

The accident caused a mild case of palsey. Half of his face didn't move, so when he smiled only half his face smiled. The other side drooped. It was really scary. I prayed he'd recover. He was at Warm Springs full time for 2 weeks, then he came home and went to rehab every day for a few hours. The bus took him in the morning, and I picked him up every afternoon. That lasted for a month. He recovered quickly.

During this emergency, hospital, and rehab, my daughter and I were graduating -- I from college, and she from high school. I cancelled our graduation party because we didn't know what was going to happen. My ex brought our son to our graduations. The photo of him at my graduation in a wheel chair, gaunt, wearing a suit that was too big, and smiling with half his face breaks my heart every time I see it.

The physical recovery was one thing. The mental was another altogether. If you've ever had to deal with a head injury, you know what we went through. The personality, thinking, memory problems are scary, unpredictable, and difficult to deal with at times. In addition to the hospital, and rehab, we had to deal with his high school. They forced me to bring him to school to take his end of the year tests. It's probably no surprise that he failed them miserably. I was so upset and angry that they wouldn't wait for him to recover before making him take those tests. He didn't have a chance to study, he couldn't have remembered if he did study, and he was in no shape to take tests that soon after the accident, but one lady was uncaring, and she made the rules.

He went to night school for the next year and got his GED shortly after. Life has been tough on him since, and he's trying to keep a stiff upper lip. His memory is almost back 100%, his brain functions 100%, and he has a great sense of humor, quick wit, and he's very creative.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home