Traumatic Brain Injury- what we know 22 months later

Looking back, it’s probably best that we didn’t know what was coming. No one really wants to know that life is about to become difficult — very difficult.

But now with the benefit of time passed, I realise that the good doctors really were doing the best they could. Who are we to question, there is no time and purpose to the questions. They are just barriers to forward progress. Life is challenging enough.

We were all so innocent during that first year after Rich’s injury. We believed we were working so hard on his rehab and giving the injury time to heal while waiting for life to return to normal. Life did return to normal, but it’s the new TBI normal.

There was so much we just didn’t know during year one post-injury and still don’t know today. I’m almost grateful for what we didn’t know. It’s taken 22 months for the severity of Richies TBI to become clear. Early on, well-respected doctors — doctors doing the best they could in this strange and so often unpredictable land of traumatic brain injury — gave all sorts of predictions. From good recovery to loss of some function which can often be regained with intense therapy. Never, ever was he going to be the one that was left with no movement or voice. Surely that can’t really happen. That’s not living……That’s crazy…… How could that even be part of our conversation…..

Well, say no more.
All we do know now, is the unpredictability of TBI and its mammoth recovery and that living life in the moment is the only reality and the real key to being okay with all this. In the moment, there is no fear of an uncertain future. In the moment, there is no regret for choices that could have been made differently. There is safety, security, and peace to be found in this moment.
Sadly though for Richie, there is not that same peace. How can there be???

31 July 2014

Well as you can see from Pippa’s post yesterday, it’s been a more than usually hard few days for Rich. These rougher patches come out of the blue just when we think we have cleared another hurdle. They are a cruel reminder again of Richies hard reality.
I was walking on the mountain yesterday in the late afternoon with a darling school friend from 40 years ago. It had been a particularly torrid day and she asked me how I saw Richies situation.
Sadly my response was
” He is in a jail without walls – free within that jail to do anything he desires, but instead he is a prisoner in his own body. Unable to move or communicate enough to enjoy any freedom. He is locked in to his own jail and then on many days he is tortured by crippling headaches, chest congestion and coughing, discomfort from the increased tone that brain injury brings, and all to which he is absolutely helpless to act upon without the constant vigilance and care from one of his devoted team.”
Richie, that independent, free spirited adventurer who was always striving to experience more from life and who loved to be outside doing something physical, never asking help from anyone, now locked in to that same amazing body which he used with such ease and had such respect for. A mammoth ask of any young man.
May God keep his light shining on our boy, may you all keep him in your prayers and thoughts and may this friggin traumatic brain injury monster just relent now and allow Rich some real healing and respite.
He has been nothing short of AMAZING. Gracious, patient and forever pushing to heal. He needs a good break to come from somewhere now. We continue to pray and wait for the miracle.
The break in his days that he does does get however comes from all the love and support of you, his friends and supporters. Your contact and caring are his reminder that there is still some light in his jail without walls and hopefully keeps him striving to get back to enjoying the life he had with you all.
Thanks everyone for being there for us all. You are all amazing.

Richie update

Hey Team Rich.
Sorry for the lack of news lately.Rich is very happy with the plaster of Paris off and we are on a mission to get him strapped into that tilt table and upright.

Unfortunately, he has been having a run of headaches and hard days this week, and it on these days that the hard reality hits him, and us again. These things happen and all we can do is support him and hope that he gets some respite. It’s over 18 months since Rich’s accident and the harsh reality is, with an aggressive brain stem injury like Rich has, we are only barely off the start line.
Thank you for your constant love and support to our loyal, loving Team Rich across the globe.

As always, please come visit Rich – without doubt he would love to see and hear from you. If you’d like to send him a specific message in the meantime or even just say hi, you can either comment below or inbox this page and we will read it to him. xxx

Onwards and Upwards

Was going through the photos of Rich today and it was a great reminder of how much better he is 20 months later. He is strong and focused and has regained the 23 kg that he lost in 1 month!! This took me back to ICU IN Dubai and oh boy!! Am I glad that those days are over. Onwards and upwards.

Sunman for Rich AWARDS evening

A big thank you to all the participants and organizes for the Sunman event. I appreciate all your love and support. You are all an inspiration to me. I am on my way to getting back on my bike. All my love Rich