There have been several times in the previous articles that I’ve mentioned having a support staff and what that means. With TBI, you need support even if you don’t know it.
When my accident first happened I had no idea the kind of help I would need. To be honest, I didn’t want any help. I could pull myself up by my own bootstraps! Plus we should remember that in my own mind, there was nothing wrong with me. In the early stages the only thing I knew was that I very quickly lost everything. As strange as it sounds, I couldn’t figure out the reason why.
The first thing is to get the right doctors in your corner. If you have suffered a head injury, see a doctor immediately. Should that doctor not seem to want to help or doesn’t take it that seriously, do not be afraid to get a second opinion. TBI is life changing, and the longer you wait the worse the damage that can be. If you feel you cannot communicate your injuries clearly, take a friend or family member with you to make sure you are taken care of.
I’ve mentioned this before, but have that “bad guy” in your corner. I understand everyone’s situation is different, and you may not have family members near you.
If you feel alone or if it’s just you in your corner, check in your local area for support groups and non-profit organizations that help TBI survivors. I understand how you could feel alone, but you’re not alone. There are programs and people that want to help. Back to the “bad guy”… this is so important. Why do I say that? Thank you for asking. You need that one person to tell the truth. To say, “Hey your not okay”, “You need your meds,” “Have you been doing your therapy like the doctor said.” Those kinds of things are never fun to hear! (Believe me, I know.) However, with TBI, you need someone to keep you accountable with your recovery. Also, make sure that the person or group of people helping you realize this is not a short recovery but that it could be a life long journey of ups, downs, adjustments, changes, and struggles.
Now to the good part you. You also need someone to encourage you and congratulate you on small victories. Strange as it sounds that could be the same person who is your “bad guy”. You need to define what those victory’s are. For example, it could be as tiny as waking up in the morning instead early afternoon. It could be going for a week without skipping meds. It could be regaining a skill you lost.
Finding good help is hard to find these days! So, it is with finding support. You need to find people that work well with you. That could family, friends, or a support group. It will take time and it will probably change here and there, but it can be done.
Also never leave out faith. As a Christian, I have to meditate on God’s Word. The popular saying, “ He will never leave nor forsake you.” I know God never left me. I have no idea why I suffered what I did, but I can tell without a doubt he was there every step of the way. Believe me I have questions, but so did Job (book of the Bible). In the end, he never knew why he suffered what he did, but he did not loose faith in God. I recommend reading his story. It’s near the middle of the Old Testament of the Bible. Remember God says, “Come to me all ye that are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Since I’ve been discussing support teams let me briefly introduce my team. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. (With these individuals, I am just referencing help during my recovery, there is so much more each person has invested in my life)
First person on my list is Susan Beth McCallum. My mom has done so much to for me. She was the one that would ask me, “Did you take your medicine?” J But she has done her best to be my mother first and put our family first. She is a very Godly woman, which has come to play in making sure my morals stayed in tack as much as was possible. With the TBI I suffered one area that was severely damaged was discretion. So, she kept me accountable and on track.
Second would be my father Robert McCallum Jr., who has been kind enough to author some articles for my blog. During my recovery, he worked three full time jobs to keep us afloat. That included real estate, Private School administrator, and youth pastor. Even suffered two heart attacks for his troubles. He also did a ton of research and behind the scenes work to make sure I was taken care of, plus so much more!
One person that came on the scene long after my therapy days, but has to put up with me now is my wife Amanda McCallum. While she came into the situation without understanding, she has done everything she can to understand my injury. Plus, she puts up with more then most women could. She works hard for our family and is a wonderful mother.
These are just a few of the people that have been my “support staff”. There are many others and I wish I had space to thank all of them!
So, wrapping this up make sure to have people in your corner, even if you have to hunt them down! I promise there are people out there that willing to help. Enjoy your Fourth of July weekend!