Hi Everyone,

I’m hoping this entry doesn’t read in circles. One of the journaling techniques I’ve learned is ‘free writing’. Its purpose is not to censer your thoughts; write as if you were speaking out loud to a friend. Well my friends, you have no idea how valuable your presence has been on this carepage. Although we don’t physically see you every day, you are there. Each time you log on or write to us we know you are with us. I recently shared how I use this page not only for posting Corey’s progress but for the benefits of relating our personal journey. It has created a resource for healing and a lifeline to the continued support we need to take one step forward every day. My mother used to say ‘someone struggling with a major change in their life initially appreciates your love and support but they will need your help more in year 3, 4, 5 and so on’. We are grateful you are still here to help as we start year 4 and I appreciate the opportunity to ‘talk’ to you.

Today I am working on a new presentation for a Brain Injury Conference in November but I am distracted by fear. The Session is directed to caregivers. At the moment, I’m working on answering questions my co-presenter and I created that are forcing me to be honest with myself. Vulnerability is not a comfortable emotion.

My fear of Corey’s challenges within her recovery has been rising, fueled by waning patience and emotional memories and milestones. Yesterday Corey started out confident, happy and excited it was her birthday. By early afternoon her reality caused her change of mood. The medication changes are causing severe fatigue, increased slurred speech and weakness directly affecting her physical progress. She is having trouble standing, walking and speaking. My concerns are compounded by the pressure of Corey showing measurable functional improvement needed for Medicaid to continue coverage for long term therapy; given the fact that they already question how long she’s been receiving it. Fortunately, (and unfortunately) she is gaining some environmental and interpersonal awareness. This awareness is an encouraging sign to her emotional and cognitive healing but it also contributes to her frustration, sadness and anger creating additional challenges.
I am working closely with her specialists but that doesn’t seem to alleviate my anxiety…it’s that patience piece; the ‘matter of time’ piece that keeps rearing it’s ugly head!

The questions posed for caregivers attending our session are not isolated to Brain Injury. We all struggle with the following questions regardless of the life circumstance we are working through. How do we cope? How do we stay positive and hopeful when we feel completely overwhelmed or consumed by fear of what we’re facing?

-Take a minute to be alone (in the shower, the closet or step outside)
-Allow yourself to privately cry, scream or curse out loud
-Call someone in your inner circle to share your honest feelings
…today I called my father…and cried. Then I called my sister…cried again and laughed.
-Reach out to others; it rejuvenates personal strength. It forces you not to isolate.
-Research and Read positive blogs, inspirational and motivational sites.
-Reminder: FEAR = Future Events Aren’t Real
-Reminder: Fear can feel like an insurmountable wall you are trying to climb; each negative thought is a single brick.
-Ask yourself: ‘how do these feelings of fear help me move forward’?
-Ask yourself: ‘what’s the worst thing that could happen’?
-Ask yourself: ‘what can you do today’?
-Make a plan and guess what?…it’s okay if that plan changes!
-Take a break from your challenge and give HOPE to another (Help One Person Excel)
-Change your perspective; write a list of what you’re grateful for TODAY.
-Call or write one person in your life and let them know how important they are to you.
-Tomorrow…get up and do it again…xoxo