Brain Injury Caregiver: Mike Part One
As a brain injury caregiver, there is nothing like the love of a good woman. For Mike, that has certainly proven to be the case. I first met Mike’s wife, a brain injury caregiver, at a support group meeting at Clearview Treatment Center in Wisconsin. She, as a brain injury caregiver, was there with about 20 other people to listen to our http://tbivoices.com presentation and as soon as the program was over, she came up to us and wanted to volunteer her husband’s story for this initiative. There is nothing unusual about that. What was unusual was there her husband was still a patient at Clearview, upstairs on the rehab floor. She was very motivated, as a brain injury caregiver, for us to meet her husband.
Mike’s Wife As a Brain Injury Caregiver Wants to Share Their Story
I accepted her invitation as Mike’s brain injury caregiver, to meet her husband, but was a bit unsure whether interviewing someone who was still in rehab was quite right for our project. When I met Mike, I was even less sure whether he was an appropriate interview subject because he was still profoundly impaired and had a difficult time communicating. However, Mike’s wife, as his brain injury caregiver, was so committed to telling his story, we set up the interview. By the time we worked out the logistics of interviewing someone still in a rehabilitation unit, Mike’s recovery had progressed to the point that he was a good interview. As expected, his wife was wonderful interview.
While confused about it the first time we met, by the time of our interview, Mike had been able to piece together what had happened to him. He explains further:
I remember going down to the corner bar, going in there and having a couple of beers.
Now you do remember that in your own memory not from what other people have told you?
There was a time you thought you got hurt from a chainsaw right?
When did you realize that that isn’t how you got hurt?
(Because the injuries) didn’t match to a chainsaw blade.
What day of the week did you get hurt?
I believe it was a Saturday.
Was it Labor Day weekend?
His wife. Mike’s brain injury caregiver provides detail of what happened:
On September 1, 2010 he came home from work, he had gone to work the night before and came home in the afternoon. It was nice out, and we planted some shrubs and he got some corn. We were going to go camping. It was Labor Day weekend, and he was busy around the yard and I left to go to an appointment I had at approximately 5:30 p.m.
I went to my appointment and I was left my appointment about 20 after 7 and I got a message that he had been in an accident. I said ‘how could he be in an accident, you know, he was home from work and everything”. Then they said they had to call the Eagle 3, the med flight and, and take him to Green Bay and I just kind of flipped out. I’m like ‘what?’
So I asked where did it happen and he had gone down to the local bar which is about a half mile away and he had a couple beers there and he had his two beers, gave away his free coupon ticket. He said he had to go, somebody must have bought him a beer and he said no I gotta go, wife’s going to be home, we have to eat supper.
The next thing I know is I got the message that he was in an accident and they found him upside down on his four-wheeler outside of the bar.
He was lying on the ground and his four-wheeler was upside down on him. Nobody has an idea (who hit him) or how long he was out there.
Did anybody ever do any investigation as to what happened in the accident?
Nobody seemed to know. I did hear of things that a car had pulled in there and hit him, but you know, I, I really, I don’t know. There was no camera surveillance there but there was a business across the street. I, myself went over there to see if they had surveillance and they didn’t.
How far from the bar was he?
He only was about, I don’t know, maybe 40 feet. It wasn’t very far for him to get going and turn over and it’s a big machine. It’s a 650 and it’s heavy duty and I don’t, nobody really seems to know. I did, yes, talk to a couple people and they said as long, if I couldn’t prove that it was injury on their part, that they caused it, there was nothing that we could do.
Wow! It’s shockingly frightening to think how quickly our lives can change from what was our normal to what is now our “new normal.” It’s a blessing for Mike that his wife has decided to remain by his side, and he should make sure he remembers that.
I sustained my TBI more than 22 years ago and was blessed to have parents who were willing to look after me through thick and thin. Recently I have been fortunate to get a job with the Brain Injury Association of Tennessee where our mission is to ensure hope and support by providing brain injury prevention, awareness, education, and advocacy to brain injury survivors and their families.
For more information, please visit our website at http://braininjurytn.org.
I know there’s more to this story……..