Chapter 3 - February 18, 2011

When I got to Helen Hayes, the rehabilitation hospital, they slotted me as traumatic brain injury. There was an entire wing for TBI patients. The cool thing was it was kind of like surfing, you might recognize people, but you never knew what they did before they got hurt. I had breakfast with a judge, and FBI agent, a banker, and a housewife, a black panther, a drug addict. We all had one thing in common. We were pretty fucked up. Heh. The other thing we all had in common, I don't care who they were, but everyone cried. It's important to try and stay positive. To think of one thing a day to stay positive, no matter how small. Make it your mantra for the day.
Another way to stay happy for me was to see my friends and relatives. I miss coming home and seeing my daughter. Those small simple things will get you through hell. Become good friends with your social director, the person in charge of your case file. They will help you with your case.
There are several levels of rehab. There's acute, which is right after intensive care. And then there's sub-acute which is sort of like a glorified nursing home. As far as I could see, they offered little re-hab for TBI patients. I was lucky enough to be able to move in with my parents. I would suggest moving in with your family over a sub-acute unit. Some people might not be that lucky.
Rehabilitation is so important. The minute they show up in your face, take advantage and do what they say. My rehab started the minute I woke up in intensive care. They got to work right after my operation. Just listen to what they say and do what they say to do. It's well worth it. You have to remember, each person and each case is different and unique. You have to treat each individual as his own entity. No one is the same. No outcome is the same. The doctors don't even know your outcome. They can just make their best educated guess. Therefore, the future lies in your own hands.
Have a destination, or a place you want to end up. How you want to be is up to you. Visualize how you are going to be. Make up your own destiny. I don't want to sound too funky, but it's my opinion after seeing people come and go. If you give up, there's no hope.
I saw people just give up, and you may as well just have put them in the trash. Never give up.