People ask me if I will ever write about my husband and his daily living with a TBI.
Honestly, I am not ready to put all of that out there just yet.
Some days it feels like the accident has just happened, and other days it’s business as usual.
Friends and family that come over only see a fraction of what each day is like for him (as well as what it’s like for the rest of us).
SO…What does life with a TBI look like?
Take Thursday for example.
I had to get the him up for his appointment for labs that needed to be drawn. It takes about an hour for him to be fully awake and mentally ready to get out of bed.
He walks with a limp now, but decided to opt out of using his cane for the day since we weren’t going to be gone very long.
(At least that was the plan!)
With the doctor’s appointment all done I then remember I need to get him something to wear for a wedding that is coming up, so off to Kohl’s we go!
Being disabled, he has a handicap placard, so I pull in to the very first spot. I am so thankful though, that he did not notice the look of “disapproval” on a man’s face.
That fella was trying with all his might to look and see if we had the tag for the window and THEN who was “handicap”.
My heart sank as I looked over at my sweet husband who was slowly making his way to the entrance.
Soon we found ourselves wandering around in the men’s department. Terry was trying to find khakis and a navy blazer.
Now he needs a shirt, so we mosey on over to the clearance section, both of us looking at different racks.
We turn around at the same time and ask each other (simultaneously), “What about this one?”
The two of us busted out laughing! We were both holding up the same shirt!
Other shoppers looked at us like we had lost our minds over a piece of clothing.
What they don’t know is that over the past three years, Terry and I have learned to laugh over even the tiniest thing. We HAVE to find humor in everyday somewhere!
It’s how he copes and manages life with his brain injury a lot of the time.
At this point we decide we had already been there this long, so we might as well walk around some more.
We decide to look for some shoes that are easy for him to slip off and on because he has difficulty bending over to put shoes on and tie them.
He finds a pair, so while he stands up, holding on to the shoe display, I am on the ground slipping his shoe and sock off.
After a few tries we found the perfect pair!
Terry desperately wanted to put his own shoes and socks back on (being in public and all), but that just isn’t feasible.
I softly tell him to let me put the shoes and socks back on and he did, choking back tears.
To go from big, strong and capable to needing me 24/7 has been quite the change for him…and me.
A few minutes later he found some shirts for ME to try on so I did.
THEN he found some pants for me , so I tried those on too.
After about 20 minutes of me being disgusted with the reflection in the dressing room mirror, I walk out and Terry looks at me, panicking, and asks, “Where is the buggy??”
To which I replied that HE had the buggy.
We go back and forth for a hot minute, and all of a sudden his eyes got real big!
He said, “Oh wait…I DID have the buggy!”
I am frantically looking where I knew he had been, and see our lone buggy, at the end of a clothes rack RIGHT BY THE AISLE, with my purse still covered up by his clothes.
He was so upset and almost in tears.
I told him it was okay, no worries, and he proceeds to tell me it was my fault for trusting him with the buggy!
I was laughing so hard and told Terry it was time to go to which he agreed.
We had one more stop before we went home, so needless to say that when we DID make it home, my husband was worn out. We had only been gone for less than 5 hours, but for him it is the equivalent of about 8-10.
These days it takes longer for his brain to process things, whether its physical, mental, emotional, etc…which in turn means he gets worn out faster.
For anyone that knew my Terry before the accident, they would know that he was like a freight train…full speed ahead!
Big, loud, fast and strong.
These days he is still big ( and at times loud), but instead of fast and strong, he moves at a much slower pace and physical strength has left him to an extent.
He can piddle around in the yard for a few hours, but then have to stay in bed for two days to regain strength and let his pain subside, at least somewhat.
Never in a million years did we ever imagine our lives being like this at 38.
About a month ago, I heard someone make a comment about a situation with their own spouse that broke my heart. They said, “I didn’t sign up for this.”
I had no words.
Because in my mind, I DID sign up for this…
When I told my husband, “For better or worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part”, I meant it.
So, when my husband comes home almost in tears because someone gave him a nasty look for parking where he does, or he didn’t understand why people stare at him and make rude comments, then I just hug him tight.
I reassure him that they simply didn’t know the situation and are just going by what they simply SEE.
There are days that my husband voices to me that he can’t go on like this anymore. I help him focus on how far he HAS come and that he CAN go on.
Every day that God wakes him up is another day that he has been given.
Each day now is a blessing. I’m talking one of those “exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond” blessings… those Ephesians 3:20 blessings.
I know he is tired but God is not done with him yet. His story is not over.
I believe it is just now being written.