I want to take a moment to say THANK YOU for all of the assistance that produced an amazing Christmas for our children. It was truly a wonderful day and my kids were blessed to be surrounded by family and friends the entire day.
As I expected, it was a difficult day for me emotionally, but I was able to vicariously live through my children’s excitement. I have experienced a few moments of total devastation and Christmas afternoon was one of those for me. I am so lucky to be surrounded by the people I am and have to say that Glen’s brother Mike has been very instrumental in helping me get through those moments. I am blessed to have him and his wife, Michelle, here for me at anytime I need them. The kids are also lucky to have them and in a classic Uncle Mike moment they showed up at the front door with a 6 foot stocking!!! Despite my sadness it was a wonderful day.
Day 1 at the Shepherd Center. As I knew, I am not going to the Shepherd Center main location because I am considered a part of the outpatient program. Therefore I attend the Shepherd Pathways program which is located in Decatur, GA. My first day was certainly a draining one both emotionally and physically. Part of this is because I saw that there are so many people out there who need this high level of therapy in their life.
I will be receiving 1 hour each of Physical, Occupational, and Speech therapy 3 days a week for an undetermined length of time. Today was kind of an assessment day to get a starting point. In physical therapy, she did a lot of strength and balance tests and was very blown away by my progress given the charts she received from the hospital. It was definitely encouraging.
Occupational therapy, which concentrates on regaining the ability to perform functional activities was much more draining for me. Draining because I am now faced with not only relearning how to do things like dress my children, but taking over for responsibilities that were Glen’s on a daily basis. Me being a teacher, I was always gone in the morning before the children were awake, making Glen the one that dressed and fed them each morning and took them to school It is these realizations that always overwhelm me when they appear. I was likewise encouraged by the idea that they would be helping me learn how to become strong enough to do all of these necessary things.
Last was Speech therapy. Most people are surprised by my need for speech therapy (as was I) until I understood that I suffered a serious traumatic brain injury. Today I learned that a huge concentration in speech therapy is for the executive functions of my brain. Executive functions occur in the frontal lobes and includes such things as problem solving, planning, verbal reasoning, and memory. These executive functions are compromised following brain injury that involves the frontal lobe. Today was spent talking about how my injury has affected these areas. And although to most people I appear to look healthy and strong, I am suffering from some major cognitive shortcomings given the brain injuries I sustained. I again was so encouraged by the idea of regaining control over some of the things that are so mentally challenging for me right now like planning and making decisions.
I overall feel so enlightened about how the Shepherd program will aid in my healing process. And although it exhausted me today, I am now certain of its necessity and look forward to the day when I will not need it any more.