Monday, November 15, 2010

the big one....

When the brain injury occurs after birth, yet during the developmental years, the adolescent period will still have the usual changes. However, the issues may be somewhat different depending on the level of learning, life experience and cognitive preservation. All adolescents experience some degree of cognitive change as a normal consequence of hormonal changes, such as:

•  poor problem solving and judgment
•  impaired reasoning skills 
•  memory and attention difficulties
•  mood swings
•  disinhibited thought and actions, an inability to judge what is private and what may be appropriate in public settings
•  inability to read social cues from others and poor ability to manage relationships

These common problems may be magnified as a result of brain injury, making management very difficult for parents as well as extended family, teachers and peers whom, for lack of understanding, often choose to distance themselves from the adolescent. 
Barton, B, Tepper, M. Adolescence, Brain Injury, and Sexuality: Promoting Sexual Health. Brain Injury/Professional. 7(1) 18-20, 2010.
Notice the BOLDED italics!? Basically what I have been trying to get people to understand just in general about living with a teen with a TBI... sigh 

So basically I have been blind sided again. I had thought that maybe things were going better for us, then we have had a major smack up the head from the adolescence fairy. Teen issues are bad enough but now we are once again having to decipher if it is just that or a TBI issue. I am so tired both physically AND emotionally just from one child... I have to really struggle some days to find the energy to be there for the rest of the kids. The above article's last paragraph did make me laugh tho... people often choose to distance themselves from the adolescent!? Some days I seriously wish I could!

But then the poem " the Footprints in the Sand"poem comes to mind...

I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets
of footprints in the sand,
one belonging to me
and one to my Lord.

When the last scene of my life shot before me
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
There was only one set of footprints.
I realized that this was at the lowest
and saddest times of my life.
This always bothered me
and I questioned the Lord
about my dilemma.

“Lord, you told me when I decided to follow You,
You would walk and talk with me all the way.
But I'm aware that during the most troublesome
times of my life there is only one set of footprints.
I just don't understand why, when I needed You most,
You leave me.”

He whispered, “My precious child,
I love you and will never leave you
never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints
it was then that I carried you.”

Margaret Fishback Powers

I really feel that kids today are allowed too much freedom for EVERYTHING and that society is making parents feel bad if we don't allow certain 'rights' -- internet,satellite TV, new cars, cell phones,etc -- it is an instant everything society now. And sadly we have allowed our kids some of these but they have always been told that they are a privilege not a right, and they can be gone in an instant.  Kids have everything to readily available to them that they never learn to wait for something. They have a fight with a friend on their cell, words are said and can never be taken back again. They never have to learn to deal with life face on! It is all through typed words on a computer or phone. They never learn inflections in a voice to tell them that their words are hurting someone, or that they read a facial expression to see that they are treading on thin ice!  (climbing off my soap box now...)

 All this comes back to issues with Sam and relationships. We are now 'proud owners' of another cell phone(just in case I ever need to talk to 4people at once☺) , there has been a lock down on TV, internet and iPod usages. We had serious talks this weekend with our son but is he really getting it? OR is he just snowin' us? Are these problems due to hormones or his TBI? Are they down to us or him and his gf? Does he fully comprehend the seriousness of his, hers and their actions? 

I know there is a lot of reading between the lines here but honestly I don't know how to put it all into words, I am scared to even try for fear of saying it wrong and having someone 'read' it wrong and then think the worse of Sam  ... or me for that matter! There is no actual SEX occurring though just all the lead up and ramifications to this lead up that is happening...
I also know that all parents run or will run into sex issues with their kids and there are as many ways to handle it all as their are kids and parents involved ... I also am finding that maybe it is a taboo subject due to all the different ways that the issue is handled. I don't know of too many parents that want to admit to talking to their teen about sex.
I have been on the internet today looking up TBI and teen behaviour (yes that means sex) and there are a lot of interesting things out there -- but the question is... am I looking up the right stuff or do I just leave out the TBI part in the search engine!?  He says he is not ready but then I saw some emails he (and she) had sent and it started to make me wonder... so we confronted him with it and we talked and talked .... and talked .... and yes talked about it this weekend... but did he get it!? I don't think so. I think he said he did so he could get his folks off his back...
SO now the problem has become how and what to say to him so that he will listen and get it. There are a myriad of issues that are all involved here but I can't discuss them all or even want to begin to get into them... but please believe me when I say AARRRGGHHH! These darn oven mitts are making putting puzzle together in the dark a bit harder...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My daddy

You tucked me in, turned out the light
Kept me safe and sound at night
Little girls depend on things like that

Brushed my teeth and combed my hair

Had to drive me everywhere
You were always there when I looked back
~Miley Cyrus "Butterfly fly away" lyrics~

 I find that it never rains but pours...
It has been an unusually good week with Samuel but with my dad not so much.
I have seen him twice this week and both times he was not in good moods.
He was fairly grouchy -- which involves him not only NOT talking to me (which is not a normally big endeavour to begin with) but the look starts and continues for a while (most of the visit). The look is one that says "what the heck is wrong with you!? Get out of my face!" I am being VERY generous here in what I feel the look says to me but I cant even bring myself to type out what I feel he is thinking when he looks at me with this look. He was also in a continual yelling mode... which means he will start with "I love you." that with a fast graduation makes it to "I LOVE YOU!!!!" yelling but the look says anything BUT I love you. He will start this and it can continue for anywhere from one or 2 times to a full out 10-15 minute full scale yell fest.
Then the tremors (some people in the medical profession call them seizures but not really) can start.
Some days visiting with dad is great -- especially if Dennis is there. Dad seems to relate better with him. Dennis and my dad had met maybe half a dozen times after we were married (and about 3 days BEFORE we were married) -- and yet my dad will laugh, sing and talk with Dennis. My dad was at Dennis' wedding but not mine -- sometimes I tease Dennis about his first wife, and hope that she left him money! lol
My dad rarely calls me Jodi -- I am usually some other female from his life, most times a sister, but never my mom - Debbi(whom I look a lot like).
He never calls Hannah Jodi either...(who looks a lot like me when I was her age...)
It is very odd...
The whole thing...
It hurts some days when he doesn't know me or when I tell him something about our past together he will deny it.
But my dad's 'accident' is what helped me (and still does on  daily basis) get  through everything that we have had to do with Sam and with some things I have to deal with with Dennis too.
He is one end of a spectrum and they are at the other end.
My dad was my daddy
He was my biggest fan
He was my greatest friend
He was who I talked to 3x's a week
He would call me during the day to tell me a joke while he was on lunch break at work
We would talk for hours on a Sunday afternoon on the phone
He had huge flaws -- but don't we all
He had big problems -- who doesn't
I know that not all little girls used to think of their dad's as their knights in shining armour but I did
He was a truck driver, so he was away --a lot --  most of the time actually
He may not have been the greatest husband but
He was still my daddy
That darn ambiguous loss thing -- he is here physically but mentally my dad is not there anymore...
I have dreamt about him and talked to him in my dreams but when I wake up I don't remember his voice.
I have tonnes of pictures of him but some days I can't remember what he looked like.
It hurts too that my kids will never get to know my dad's wicked sense of humour, or his generousity, or his sense of fashion, his pride for his family
My kids will never get to ride with papa in a truck or on his motorcycle
They will only ever know him as the papa in the wheelchair that you have to be careful that you tell him what you are doing when you are around him or else he can be startled and start to yell or have a tremor.
He is the guy that you don't just hold his hand or he wants to bite yours.
He is the guy that might know your name today almost always with a bit of prompting
I just miss my dad and after the last few visits I have had with him it just makes me miss him more.