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Questions about brain injury--and response

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  • 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:

    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...
    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.

    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.

  • #2
    People are simply trying to let Courtney and her family know that they are thinking of her and really pulling for her. I'm sure her family is acutely aware of how long this recovery may take since they are surrounded by doctors who deal with these injuries frequently. I believe people are sending out the energies that they want her to receive, like the energy of waking up, etc. I understand your point, but I don't think you need to call someone out on their post.

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree with DW - people are trying to show their support and express their feelings. I find the post you cited quite sweet. I think it's very appropriate and any humor reflects appropriate coping. Having been a SICU RN (surgical/trauma ICU), I can see both poositions: some families suffer next to their loved ones and can't get out of their grief. But most families of those trauma patients who are stable but still have a long way to go, find some humor in their new life at the bedside and sometimes even in the things their loved ones do - some would find this grossly inappropriate, but most health care staff do not.

      By the way, how have you heard about this diagnoses? I haven't heard much except the CT results and the fact that Courtney had been bolted. It's not much of my business, but if what you say is true, it changes my outlook on Courtney's prognosis.

      Everyone has their own opinions and own feelings. I can understand that you may not approve of what some others say, especially when you've been in a similar situation, but I don't think trying to censor others is the correct thing to do. Lots of us feel a connection to Courtney and this forum is a healthy and wonderful place for us to express our concern and our grief.

      Comment


      • #4
        GimmeQ's and DWLover, your comments are as valid as MollysMum's comments are. All have value and all will be taken differently and processed differently by each person who reads them.

        No opinions should be made to feel that they are out of line.

        Personally, I appreciate the angle that MollysMum is coming from and thank her for her comments on this topic, as well as others.

        NJR
        Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behaviour does.

        Comment


        • #5
          Molly's Mum EXCELLENT post.. Really puts things in perspective. I remember when my mother was in intestive care intubated recovery from a lung transplant. She was aware of things and was completely aware that the other women who got the other lung was sitting up and recovery, she could see her from across the room. We knew she was upset about it but one of the docs came in and said to my mom, you better start working because Mary already is sitting up and walking around.. This made my mother even more stressed out. My sister ended up chasing this doc down who had about 15 interns and residence with him and gave him a chewing out for saying that to our mother because it just made things worse. I'm sure Courtney's family is taking all the posts in the spirit they are intended including farmgirl's question. I had to laugh because I'm sure Jason felt farmgirl's question was a normal one but have to wonder what he felt about all the nasty responses she got. People want it all jingle jingle yet they had to be nasty and self righteous...ODD

          Although I doubt Jason is reading this forum at this time..
          Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. Dalai Lama

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            But most families of those trauma patients who are stable but still have a long way to go, find some humor in their new life at the bedside and sometimes even in the things their loved ones do - some would find this grossly inappropriate, but most health care staff do not.
            GimmeQ, I absolutely agree with you on this. Humor is an enormously powerful medicine. After my father's severe stroke, and later when my mum was recovering from a life-threatening cerebral hemorrhage suffered during a fall, my family were known as the Black Irish Humor Squad for our jokes and comments.

            But here is the CRITICAL difference--we were on the inside. As members of the immediate family we had the prerogative to joke. Those outside do not. It's a subtle but extraordinarily important distinction. I remember one distant acquaintance, a friend of my mum's, making a comment about my mother's condition when she fell that within our family circle we might well have laughed heartily at. I froze when she said it and I have never felt comfortable with that woman since, though my mum is long gone.

            We cannot possibly know, at any given moment, what emotions the family is experiencing, whether they are in a "humor as medicine" mode or an "absolutely terrified at the randomness of life and our relative lack of control" state. As an RN, I'm sure you're aware, one can seesaw back and forth between the two at lightning speed. I am just saying that we need to be cognizant of this and maintain a respectful dignity. Recounting humorous events from Courtney's life is one thing. But the humor in the current situation is a very delicate thing, and not for those of us on the outside to assume we can cavalierly participate in.

            I don't want to stir up bad feelings by any means. I am touched and encouraged by the tremendous outpouring of support on the part of this community. And I'm sorry if I unfairly singled out that particular poster--it was just a culminating sentiment expressed by many, and on the heels of some fairly vitriolic responses to what I considered an innocent and legitimate question on farmgirl's part, I was moved to put up this post.

            As NJR so eloquently put it, we are all valid, and I deeply appreciate that response.

            Comment


            • #7
              Consider MM, however something might come across to someone else that imho, most folks cope with tragic situations in the best way they can.

              Just as you were "offfended" by remarks someone else made about this difficult situation.....perhaps the comments made reflect that persons' perceptions and "coping strategies" that work for them.....

              Rather than sit in judgement of others (we are ALL guilty of this aren't we????).....I'd rather see folks try to extend the same tolerance, acceptance and compassion for one another that I think most of us feel for Courtney, her family and her friends as they struggle with this tragic and unfortunate situation they find themselves in.

              Many of us didn't know her personally but that doesn't mean there isn't an impact felt......coping is a very individual process just as perceptions, emotions and actions are.......

              A huge challenge for all posters is to seek to avoid the judgement of others regarding this situation..... Sadly this is easier "discussed" than done....just my humble 2 cents.

              Comment


              • #8
                I agree with Molly'sM - I think it is grossly inappropriate for strangers to try to make jokes about someone's recovery. Maybe it makes the strangers feel better - about themselves - but its not appropriate in the least. It doesn't matter what outsiders think or want, they should offer kindness and good wishes and leave the jokes to the family.

                I have often thought the comments the OP pointed out, such as "hurry up" and "you've slept long enough" shows appalling insensitivity and selfishness. I don't care what they think they are doing, what they are saying is ignorant and insensitive.

                I don't care why these horse folks do it, and I don't care if its because they are having "difficulty coping", its not my concern why a stranger posts such things on a bulletin board, and it shouldn't be the family's and I think they should be called out for it. The only appropriate sentiments which should be expressed should be kind, sensitive, and respectful of the family and of the fact that you are a stranger. I'm sure you wouldn't walk up to the patient's bed and say that out loud - not knowing her in any way, and not knowing the family. Just because you are anonymous online doesn't mean you should type it and its ok. Its not.
                Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It is really truth when you talk about taking little steps. Years ago, my mother underwent a horrendous surgery and was in a coma for a while. A relative or two was always by her side during visiting hours. You should have seen how happy we were when one day she reached up and scratched her nose.!
                  The virtual "woodshed" seems the only remedy for willful fools .

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    FWIW........

                    ATTITUDE

                    The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than success, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our ATTITUDES.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Mollys Mum - perhaps you should consider the impact on the family of posting confidential information regarding Courtney's medical condition on a public bulletin board.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Silver~Image~Farm View Post
                        ATTITUDE

                        The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than success, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our ATTITUDES.
                        I thought it was going well then it turned on poor farmgirl.
                        Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. Dalai Lama

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          perhaps you should consider the impact on the family of posting confidential information regarding Courtney's medical condition on a public bulletin board.
                          Nothing of what I posted was confidential. I am not privy to nor would I ever violate such strictures. I based my statements on information that was publicly available in the days following Courtney's accident and my interpretations based on my own personal and medical experience.

                          I appreciate your concern.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ridgeback View Post
                            I thought it was going well then it turned on poor farmgirl.
                            Ridgeback......to clarify.....my comments you have quoted were NOT aimed at ANYONE.....however, fwiw, my comments can be relevant for anyone who chooses to make them so.

                            With respect to medical conditions and confidentiality.....certainly there is alot of "emotional" response to this situation BUT...... the specific medical details are morally, ethically, and legally the business of the family and medical staff only........

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yes, I agree with above


                              Ive taken note of several people asking or bringing up things on that thread that are just plain rude.

                              The helmet jokes, the injury questions???


                              What is wrong with us? Its just not sane...


                              Remember, no matter HOW great a recovery, this girls mental and physical is changed FOR LIFE!

                              Have some respect people!
                              ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                              http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Mollys Mum View Post
                                Nothing of what I posted was confidential. I am not privy to nor would I ever violate such strictures. I based my statements on information that was publicly available in the days following Courtney's accident and my interpretations based on my own personal and medical experience.

                                I appreciate your concern.
                                And your medical background in neurology is? This is how rumors get started

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Silver~Image~Farm View Post
                                  ATTITUDE

                                  The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than success, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our ATTITUDES.
                                  Credit should be given to Charles Swindoll

                                  We have all at one time posted something that someone else will find fault with. Unfortunately it is all to easy to be critical
                                  I wasn't always a Smurf
                                  Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
                                  "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                                  The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by NOMIOMI1 View Post
                                    Yes, I agree with above


                                    Ive taken note of several people asking or bringing up things on that thread that are just plain rude.

                                    The helmet jokes, the injury questions???


                                    What is wrong with us? Its just not sane...


                                    Remember, no matter HOW great a recovery, this girls mental and physical is changed FOR LIFE!

                                    Have some respect people!

                                    Got to disagree...although helmet jokes are in poor taste. Courtney is a public figure in the dressage world. Jason is posting on her website and asking people to email their well wishes so I don't thinking people asking questions about the injury is a bad thing and I'm sure not being taken that way by her family and friends. Many of her friends that are at the hosptial are posting about the helmet issue on dover's site.
                                    Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. Dalai Lama

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by ridgeback View Post
                                      Got to disagree...although helmet jokes are in poor taste. Courtney is a public figure in the dressage world. Jason is posting on her website and asking people to email their well wishes so I don't thinking people asking questions about the injury is a bad thing and I'm sure not being taken that way by her family and friends. Many of her friends that are at the hosptial are posting about the helmet issue on dover's site.
                                      As an outsider, its just plain sensative to be... erm... well sensative

                                      THe sense of entitlement because she is a big name in dressage?? I dont get that at all sorry

                                      Ask how she is? Sure! But sayin "Hey! Whats the extent of this or that?" Nope, not buying it, nobody should feel thats their business. If they are a personal friend, then they can ask all that personally

                                      Then the whole shoulda coulda woulda of helmet laments...

                                      Crazed I tell ya crazed
                                      ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                                      http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Type "brain injury" in to Google and all your questions will be answered. That way you don't have to bother others.
                                        ... _. ._ .._. .._

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