When the accident happened nobody really expected him to live. He was in a coma on life support for a while and stayed in a coma after life support was discontinued. Over a few months he slowly regained ability to blink, then nod, then eat, then move, etc. Now he can talk and walk. He has somewhat of a sense of humour. He seems happy. He cannot socialize. He cannot direct a conversation. He gets fixated on one or two things and repeats that conversation/question numerous times over an hour. His short term memory is so bad he will not remember that he just asked the same question 4 times.
It is a miracle that he is even as well as he is. We/I rejoiced when we realized that he would live and would actually have some aspect of a life. But as time has gone on, I have come to realize and accept that he will only get better to an extent. I am sad for him that he will probably never be able to be independent. He may never regain enough brain function to develop short term memory again and therefore can never be left alone, cannot have full conversations, cannot be fully social. (his long term memory is OK)
I am grieving for him. And I am grieving for me. We had a very special relationship. He had a rough time at life and was always considered the "bad" kid and the scapegoat for everything. He and I got a log really well and he always looked forward to weekends he would spend with me and he "worshiped the ground I walked on". That relationship is gone and will never be recovered. He doesn't seem to remember that we had a special relationship. He doesn't seem capable of having emotion for people or things. He was always a very emotional and sensitive boy before.
I am grieving that he has never has a girlfriend. I am grieving that he will never have a license, something he very much looked forward to turning 16 for and is still fixated on. I am grieving that he may never lose his virginity. I am grieving that he may never have truly close friendships because people (including me) have a hard time seeing him through his disability.
I also think it is affecting the way I raise my DD. My wife was pregnant with her when the accident happened. But since that accident I am paranoid that one of us will get hurt. I am also paranoid that my DD will get injured and be forever changed. I try to force myself to relax and let her be the adventurous 15month old that she is, but I find I am becoming a bit of a helicopter parent and it doesn't feel good. I freak out that my wife trusts drivers to stop for her at a crosswalk. She hits the button and starts to cross the street. I freak out inside that she doesn't wait for all cars to stop before starting across the street. I think it drives my wife crazy. I try to say anything...but sometimes I do. I KNOW that my wife cares for my DD so much and would never do anything to harm her, and so I hate that I do not trust her to be careful enough.
FWIW- My nephew wasn't hit in a crosswalk or anything. He was hit solely by being a stupid reckless teenager. He darted across the street trying to beat traffic, was wearing all black and a car didn't see him and hit him going 90KM / hr. Not the drivers fault (although the driver was speeding) and the driver didn't even see him, so didn't even try to brake.
Have you had any experience with head injuries?
Have any of you learned to relax with your children after tragedy has struck your family?
I know my fears are somewhat irrational, how to I get beyond them and let my kid be a kid?
Thank you for reading if you have gotten this far. I have not yet said any of this stuff aloud and it does help to get it out.