Questions about brain injury--and response
In another thread, a member posted this concerning Courtney Dye's recovery--and there have been similar posts in this vein:
I know the poster was probably trying to be sweet and funny, but comments like this are inappropriate. I have had brain surgery twice and have a fair amount of experience with both friends and family suffering from coma and brain injury. From what I understand, Courtney experienced diffuse axonal injury, commonly known as "shaken baby syndrome," where the whiplash effect of a sudden rebound shears the long axons of the brain's neurons, the "stems" that help transmit impulses from one braincell to another--allowing for thought, movement, etc.--throughout the brain. The true extent of such an injury can be very hard to measure, and nerve regrowth can be glacially slow, though miracles can and do happen.
While you are probably catching up on years of little sleep with your hard schedule, you're making me go broke in candles. I've had to switch to the longer burning ones. Not that it's a problem. But I'm just letting you know that we think you've had enough sleep now and we think that you should think about coming back to us all. Just letting you know...
It is enormously encouraging that Courtney as come as far as she has, and I truly believe the outpouring of support and prayers has much to do with this. To sit by the side of someone you love going through this kind of recovery is a special minute-by-minute hell all its own. You cherish and are hyperalert to the smallest sign of improvement--an extra eye movement, the flicker of a response to stimuli. There are wonderful days of progress, followed by seemingly endless plateaus. Life as you know it changes completely, revolving around an endless cycle of rehab, injections, tests, procedures, hospital routines, the threat of infection, the joy and hope and anxiety of every change. It can be agonizing, and I have tremendous respect for the grace, patience and courage of Jason, Lendon, and the rest of Courtney's entourage in their ordeal.
So, I would caution that those who want Courtney "back down centerline" and feel that enough time has passed, and that "it's time to wake up" be sensitive to the reality of the situation, and understand that such comments, no matter how well intentioned, don't take into account the gravity of her injuries and the necessary patience and understanding--which her family and close friends have in spades--that are the true marks of unconditional, long-term love and support.