I was still feeling a little down int he dumps after contacting all of the people who had helped me in the initial phase of my accident , and the worker’s in the local store were getting used to see me walking into the store for things that I didn’t need primarily the Snack Pack, but I knew in my heart that this kind of an attitude was not going to allow me to move forward with my recovery and eventual return to work. My wife had told me a story about a family in Pittsburgh when she was there that had a loved one pass away and the family was in the main lobby with every other other person when the notification was given to them. She came up with a great idea that I thought we could pursue at our local hospital and hope that it would take off at other UPMC facilities. We decided that we would call it the Comfort Room. This could be a room within the facility where the families of patients in critical condition could be given a key card by a staff member that would give them access to a special room that would have maybe a coffee pot, a television, a small refrigerator where a family could put a few things in, and some comfortable furniture where 1 or more families could congregate and possibly talk to one another and comfort each other during their time of need. We set up a meeting with the CEO of our local facility for 2 reasons. First off I wanted to tell him how great his staff did taking care of me to make sure that the care that I got was so good that I am in the place where I am sitting now. Secondly, I wanted to talk to him about this comfort room. I had run the idea past my neighbor first. He is a deacon at the Catholic church and is clergy at the facility. He thought that it was an awesome idea and told us that we should pursue it. He thought that it could help the families out during a very hard time in their lives while their loved one was in treatment. The meeting went well, but was met with a little bit of resistance because of possible costs and space. Since that meeting the facility has had 3 CEO’s. It is hard to get a ball rolling when the ball keeps losing its air every time it begins to move. We have not given up on this room, and I am recruiting other people to help me approach this Comfort Room. I do not think that any human being is more important than another, but I do think that some situations are more dire than others. The newest CEO has been there long enough now that I think as soon as I have a couple of more people on board with the idea, I will set up another meeting. My TBI ( traumatic brain injury ) is going to help others if I have anything to do with it. I also started to think about our troops returning from the War in Afghanistan and Iraq War and started to wonder if there was a way that i could help those with head injuries as well. I am a combat veteran and I was diagnosed with PTSD ( post traumatic stress disorder ) from both the war and from my employment as a firefighter. I am willing to talk to anyone who may feel they need help from someone who was there or someone who just wants someone to listen to them. I am not a Dr., I won’t have all the answers for anyone, but I can share my experience and give them maybe a small ray of hope that things can hopefully get better with a little bit of positive attitude. There are way too many troops that are taking their own lives and this is being linked to TBI. Can I make that number go down? I can’t, and I know that, but if I can help one person or one family deal with this terrible time in their life then I feel like I will have accomplished my goal. God allowed me to live through this injury for a reason, and I am going to go to the end of the Earth to show him that I have not taken it for granted. I am willing to get in my vehicle and drive to where I am asked to complete this task. I don’t want anything in return except for maybe a smile or a thank you for being there and sharing my story.
I know first hand that this road is a very bumpy one and one that can drag you into the ditch as soon as you take your eye off of the goals. The nice thing is that things you used to take for granted disappear. I have never looked at the sky, a tree, a flower, or even a bee in that flower the same since my recovery. Everything that happens right in front of your eyes happens for a reason, but it was something that I did not see until this TBI. It is actually quite refreshing some days to just sit in the woods or on the porch and take a look around for as long as you want and just appreciate everything that you are looking at. I know that this may sound cliche to some people, but I believe that it is only the ones who have never stopped to just look around that feel this way. I was recently with my brother driving down the road and saw a beaver dam near the road. For the first time in my life I didn’t see the beaver dam, I saw the logs, the branches, the smaller twigs, and the mud that the beaver used and worked on for countless hours to make that dam. Eventually the waterfowl will use that dam for food and maybe nesting to birth their own,and the fish will use it as their home. It is a great cycle that I really enjoy. I guess what I am trying to say in this blog is that no matter what life throws at you and when you think your glass is always half empty instead of half full, just remember that you still have the same amount of water. My Fall to Life is looking a little better again today.
I want to close this post by simply saying that if anyone who reads this has any questions that they would like to ask me, feel free. I have nothing to hide and will answer everything I can the best that I can. I know that my chronology is getting off course a little bit and I can get off topic once in a while, please bear with me. This is the first time that I have ever blogged and I have a lot to share.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and The Family (laveldanaylor.wordpress.com)
- Military suicide, brain injury may be linked (thenewstribune.com)
- Military Suicides, Psychological Symptoms, Linked To Traumatic Brain Injuries (medicaldaily.com)