Tuesday, February 16, 2010


 Sugar Glider!

I got to meetings for survivors of brain injury. At first glance, this meeting is solely for the brain injured, but it helps out everyone affected. At the beginning of the meeting, people are divided between survivors and caregivers. The caregivers go to a different room, and they share ideas and stories while we survivors are taught coping strategies.

Caregiver, to me sounds like caretaker: someone at the zoo who is educated in the care and survival of a critter far that is in unfamiliar surroundings. We are tamarind monkeys, pandas, or lemurs. Our personalities and habits have changed or are in the process of changing,  so it's a bit of a shock akin to being uprooted from our lives in Indonesia and plopped in Michigan.

G doesn't have a manual entitled "The Care and Feeding of a Brain Injured Heather"... but he is doing a good job with what information he has (and what information I can give him).  He does not pressure me to get better quicker, or to push myself beyond my limits, or to act as though nothing is wrong. It's taken a little trial and error, as I believe most care givers and survivors go through, but he anticipates my needs and I try to make life easier for him. He tells me not to worry about anything (which is hard, given the situation we are in).

He works a lot, then comes home to the peace that is two excited dogs and an attention-starved mTBI survivor. I try to give him space and peace. I pack his lunch and bake him chocolate cookies that are fresh out of the oven when he comes home. I hope that my small contributions somehow make up for what is going on in our life.

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