Posted on May 28, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 9 of 20 in the series Jeremiah

Brain Injury Care giver: Jeremiah Part Ten

One of the problems after severe brain injury is that the brain injury care giver role becomes the role of the coach, the parent, the evil therapist role.  This is true especially early in rehab, and especially with spouses. What that means is that the traditional role of wife, lover (or parent) is dramatically shifted, which can cause a disturbing disruption in the joy which formerly bound the relationship.  I discussed with Jeremiah how to tell a survivor (especially one who may still be close to his or her injury) to be nicer to their brain injury care givers.  I asked him: How do you tell the survivor not to lose their cool when they feel like they’re being treated like a child?

You have to try your best to keep it inside of you.  And I know that if I’m talking to whoever it is that I’m talking to, it’s going to be difficult as heck to, to keep all of these things inside of you, because you have so, so much frustrations from so, so many things that is happening to you.  But you have to, have to do your very best to keep it within yourself, not to deflect the person who’s there to help you away from you.  And, and it will be difficult for them, so very much too.

So this is what you (the survivor) have to realize as well –  how difficult it’s going to be for the person who is actually helping you.  Their whole life is going to be changed in a dramatic negative way.  But they’ll also get some very positive things to build your lives together,  because you will see, and hopefully you will succeed in, in your tasks of caregiver and receiver.  You will see a building of a foundation that overwhelms such difficulties as the worst things possible ever imaginable.

And this is what I believe that we have done (looking at his wife).  It’s not at all without difficulties and arguments and such, but it is so with any spouse relationship. But you always must keep in your mind what the caregiver has for feelings for you.

Do you remember a specific time when you got it, that the people who were so hard on you, your brain injury care givers  were doing it out of love and not out of some wrong motivation?

Well I know when (a therapist) was dragging me up the stairs, I didn’t quite get it then but I kind of had an idea that I had – well I knew I had to, had to learn this, but I, I couldn’t think very good then though.  I think internally I, I may have had a good knowledge, or not knowledge, but a good feeling of that there are people that helping me.

I write this on Mother’s Day, 2011.  As this holiday reminds us of what we should know about appreciating our Mothers, so must each survivor be externally reminded to appreciate brain injury care givers. The love and assistance of  brain injury care givers is the key to a positive outcome.  And for all professionals in the field of brain injury, I want to lead the chorus of “Thank You.” Your contribution is appreciated for its greatness, in the face of worst adversity that anyone ever imagined.

Next in Part Eleven – Return to Work

By Attorney Gordon Johnson

About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447