TBI Talk –
By Richard Radecki, Sr. (Grandpa)
I asked my grandson, Ryan, if I could write some articles for his website, my thoughts being the many hours, days, and months I spent with Ryan during his hospitalization and aftercare. I feel my observations, experiences, and overall education could not only aid in helping the TBI sufferer, but family and loved ones as well.
First, what I hope Ryan and his website accomplish: I remember one statement I heard from many sources. “Most of the gains regarding brain function will happen in the first year to year-and-a-half. After that, progress is slow.” This statement turned out to be pretty accurate.
So what do you do when progress slows down, and you want to get more of your life back, be more self-sufficient?
I would like to start my answer by telling a story of (I feel) great success about the blind. I was walking with my wife in front of Lincoln Center NYC, where Broadway, Columbus Avenue, and W. 65th St intersect. We watched as a blind man, with a cane, crossed multiple streets, first from west to east, and then north, then entered a subway station, going down the stairs by himself. But when I thought about it, I realized that he was actually NOT unassisted.
Someone invented the walking cane for blind people. Then instructors trained them in the use of the cane. Over time, sidewalks, traffic lights, buildings, stairways, subway stations, and intersections were specially designed to accommodate the blind person’s disability. Although you cannot give them back their sight, you can make effective use of their other abilities to help them function independently.
By the same token, you can’t repair the damaged parts of the brain from TBI, but you can invent other ways to accomplish everyday tasks. It is tedious and slow trying to do it by yourself. So wouldn’t it be nice to have a website to visit, where you can share ideas, problem-solve, hear success stories, and most of all give a voice to the tens of thousands of TBI sufferers and their families?
In the future you will be hearing from people who have TBI and have used the skills they have to create careers and positive additions to their lives.
As I wrote earlier, I will write articles on how we got through it with Ryan, and what kinds of things gave us the most positive results.
Let’s break through that 1½ year wall!