Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The one where we get some good news...

I haven't blogged much in the past few months and there are a variety of reasons for that. We've had some health issues at our house and to be honest, it sapped my energy. In many ways, we are still feeling the effects of Mike's accident even after nine months. He was back on the job so quickly that many folks, including us, forget that it was such a serious accident. To say it has changed our family would be putting it mildly. A lot of good has come out it, but there are the bad things too. Mike has had more sinus infections and then the stay in the hospital last month. This is hard on a guy who got sick once a year (maybe) before this and hardly ever slowed down for it. But eventually we started noticing other changes in him as well. He seemed to be having lots of trouble with his short term memory. He got frustrated very easily. And then got frustrated that he was frustrated. For those of you who don't know him well, Mike was one of the most laid back guys on the planet. As one young man we know put it a couple of years ago, "Mike's so slow to anger, that if he yells at you, you better believe you f**ded up bad!"

And while he still manages to contain the frustration and not yell at people, it's simmering on the inside. He also tires much more easily and doesn't seem to enjoy things (even hunting) as much. We were both a little worried. So we went to see a neuropsychologist in Springfield. And after an hour long interview, Mike spent the next 5 hours being put through a series of tests designed to test mental functioning. Then we waited two weeks for results. I was nervous about the results. Yesterday we went back to her office. Most of the tests Mike aced. Especially the problem solving one. Which isn't surprising. Solving problems is a big part of his job. But there were some short term memory issues. The doctor's diagnosis was Prolonged Post Concussive Syndrome. Which means Mike had a mild traumatic brain injury from the accident. The symptoms showed up late and are staying late. Probably the stress of work exacerbates them. The good news is they'll go away on their own. He doesn't need any treatment except patience and his brain will heal itself.

I don't know if you can imagine what a relief this was. It's not a tumor. It's not Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It's not a worse brain injury. It's not permanent. Things will be fine. She gave us some tips on how he can help himself remember things. She gave us tips on things I can do to help him. She told him he absolutely has to give himself down time occasionally to de-stress and rest. She said even the frustration is a symptom and it will go back to normal. She completely concurred that him skipping this vacation is the right thing to do since he'd only stress more about all the things he wasn't getting done. And she told us we were a great couple who communicated better than most people she knew. (Score us!) And then she wished us well.

And so I try to remember to be patient because this too shall pass. And some day the accident will be completely behind us. I only hope we don't forget the lessons we learned.

Conversation earlier today:

Me: We never got a bill from the hospital for your stay last month.

Mike: Are you going to call them about it?

Me: Are you kidding? And remind them about it? Um. No. I'm just going to assume that we had enough frequent flyer miles built up with them that this trip was free.

Enjoy your day today readers. Each one is a gift.


  1. That is good news!! Hopefully he's back to "normal" sooner rather than later. :)

  2. Oh my, good luck with all that. Patience is one of the first things to go when your memory takes a whacking. And there's fear involved. I hope the good prognosis relieves some anxiety around there.

  3. Time and patience...I hope you & Mike find both and his healing can be completed!

  4. I am lifting my voice to the praises! I know that helps relieve Mike greatly (helping the stress too, right???).

    I, too, was once VERY healthy never sick. Now? Autoimmune disorder, menopause, sinus infections every month. UGGGGh..I could just scream. My poor family taking all my abuse because I feel bad.

    But I LOVED your last post and rejoicing on the little things, and the not so bad things. There are soooo many.


    Like not getting a hospital bill. Woot!

  5. I want frequent hospital miles, too! LoL XD

    I am glad that Mike is going to be alright. I am glad that things are looking up for your family. Always in my thoughts!

  6. Wonderful news! Everything happens for a reason. I believe that when bad things happen, something good will come out from it. Glad that Mike is doing well. One day, the healing will be complete and you can put it all behind you. Take it easy.

  7. Gosh you guys are an enviable couple. I mean ... collectively your family has been put through the wringer this past year ... between nearly fatal accidents, Lu's illness and subsequent surgery, your surgeries ... lawd! I honestly don't know how you do it ... scratch that, I do know how you do it - you do it as a unit, and you are so much stronger for it.

    I am thrilled to hear that Mike is on his way to a full recovery.

    You have a wonderful day, too.

  8. Not only do they need to give you frequent flyer miles, they just need to put your name on a room there somewhere reserved for you guys. You are an amazing and resilient family and I'm glad things weren't as bad as they could have been and it's just temporary. Keeping you in our prayers.