moving forward

navigating through the life that was and moving into the life that is

Christmas and Day 1 of the Shepherd Center

on December 27, 2011

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.

9 responses to “Christmas and Day 1 of the Shepherd Center

  1. Elice Davey says:

    Sandra, I am amazed by your posts and progress so far. I cannot even fathom what you are going through right now. I think of you daily, and know that things will get easier over time. I am so happy that you have family, both yours and Glen’s, to support you!

  2. Renee says:

    Hi Sandra, Grant and I are rooting for your speedy recovery. Your progress so far has been nothing short of miraculous. *hugs*

  3. Sarah Kiesche says:

    I thought about you a ton this weekend, I am so sorry that you have to experience ask these “firsts” but I readily admire your strength and faith! I am in constant awe I’d your strength both physically and spiritually.

    I have the feeling that you won’t be going to the Shepard Center very long, because you really do kick bootay at everything you do!
    Keep up the good work, and when you are up to it I would live to take you out to lunch!

  4. Caroline Martin says:

    YOU AMAZE ME! Keep it up girl. You are so strong and brave and I am so proud of you. I continue to pray for you and love you and you family so much. Thank you for the updates. xoxoxox God Bless

  5. Uncle Jim says:

    “Amazing” does not begin to describe it, Sandra. To have gone through your injuries and experiences and to be as articulate and comprehensive as you are in your postings is mind boggling. I love you and I am here for you every step of the way

  6. Kristen says:

    Hey Sandra…
    So happy to hear that the kids had a wonderful Christmas day. I thought about you guys. You are doing so well and I know everyone sees how strong you are. I am still so proud of the way you have gone through (and are still going through) this whole thing. You and the kids and the rest of your’s and Glen’s family have stayed in my thoughts and prayers. I know you will do great with your therapies. Hang in there lady, Love ya!! ;o)

  7. I admire your strength and resilience.

  8. Ann Mione Purser says:

    Sandra, Mr. Meeker et al…

    Please know that we all appreciate your posts so much. Even if you don’t receive a bundle of replies, know that many of us check this blog every day to see how things are. Thank you for the time invested. We’re almost rid of this oh-so-tough 2011, and hope that 2012 brings much happier days for everyone. God Bless.

  9. Melissa Spencer says:

    I am so proud of you Sandra. You are so strong and I am amazed by your progress! I hope to see you guys again with the coming new year, and keep up the good work! 🙂

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