Happy Thanksgiving! Today seems like a good day to revisit out story. Ours is not a normal story. It’s not the typical wedding and happily ever after story, on that everyone will agree. It’s not the typical traumatic brain injury story (at least not as imagined by most) because he was never in a coma, or a rehab center. We’re an anomaly through and through, and more often than that we find ourselves talking about how lucky we are.
Each time I prepare to write a post I have to pray that it comes across with all the gratitude and love that we have for this year. We certainly never expected to count ourselves lucky for these experiences but we can’t deny being unbelievably lucky as far as brain injuries go.
We are so lucky. We just happen to have a fantastic behavioural optometrist in our family that reached out to us when we were feeling abandoned and has already helped us understand and hope for a better year. He and his wife are lovely and we’ve had the chance to enjoy getting to know them better, a relationship I doubt would have flourished without this injury simply due to the distance.
I am so lucky. Despite my husband having multiple bleeds in his brain he came home with me. Despite being off work and lost friendships and skills he is a kind man. I speak to other spouses and am reminded of how really truly lucky I am that I get glimpses of the man I love every day. He doesn’t yell at me, or abuse me, he participates in his rehab and never shies away from trying something new to get better.
And now we have to count ourselves lucky that the Criminal Injury Compensation Board has set a date for a hearing. This one is harder to feel lucky about. A chance to relieve the worst experience in our life and have a numerical value assigned to our suffering? Not even in my top 100 things I wanted to experience in my life.
A few months ago I read the Ontario Ombudsman’s report on CICB and convinced myself it would be years before we even dealt with this process and frankly that was an easier solution than preparing to plead our case and ask for charity. It’s been hours of paperwork (so kind to someone with a TBI!) and with the maximum that can be paid out ($30 000.00) we would at most break even for the first 8 months of life with TBI.
So we’re working on mindset in our house lately and remembering how lucky it would be to have any extra money to put towards the debt we’ve accumulated while trying to find treatments. I tell myself every day that the amount they assign us won’t play a part in validating our experiences or inducing guilt for where we’re at. It’s still a big lofty goal that I’m struggling with but we remain undeniably lucky.