Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I Want to be Somebody

“I want to be somebody”… is one phrase that sums up my thoughts regarding my purpose in life following my injury. I have found my need. As the Community Relations Ambassador to Meridian Neuroscience I was able to put the family of a survivor of a traumatic brain injury at ease as they start the beginning stages of a recovery from a devastating brain injury. I helped to ensure that they understood that recovery is not a black or white issue. Recovery is gradual and it takes an extremely long time. I think it is important to convey that recovery may not be 100%. The objective should be to achieve the best recovery possible.

I take comfort in knowing that I have a different level of credibility than the team of physicians and specialists that are caring for patients. While the prognosis of a DAI (diffuse axonal injury) is horrifying; the family took comfort in knowing that my thoughts and advice came from personal experience. I was able to put their minds at ease by ensuring that they understood that their relative was not in pain. I told them that the pain was felt by them and not by their relative.

I feel my story of surviving this injury is coming full circle. Earlier in my recovery, I longed for the day that I could put this injury far from my consciousness. I can recognize that it is a sign of self fulfillment and growth that I was able to look at my recovery as an asset. Life and recovery is a work in progress. It was a sign of evolution for me to relate to my recovery as a positive.

It is enlightening for me to observe that while I graduated college with honors, what really makes me unique is my recovery from a DAI injury. While I was happy that I graduated with honors, there are many other graduates who achieved the same thing. This injury has given me a niche. Certainly, not a niche I would have chosen, but none the less it is here and I am living it. The look on the faces of that family that I comforted last week was a look of gratitude. I know they were happy to have somebody cast a ray of light onto the devastation that their family was enduring.

To know that my experience had a positive impact on the family meant that I am where I need to be. Helping to put their minds at ease was beyond fulfilling for me. Giving can grant far more pleasure than receiving. I could not have been happier with my first patient contact. It was an incredible experience to know that my experience possessed such a great value to the family. I questioned myself, regarding what I said to the family and if I was helpful to them. Thankfully the email that I received from the family completely put my anxieties at rest.


2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing Noelle. Not only are where you need to be, you are exactly where you are supposed to be.

    We all are exactly where we are supposed to be. The key to this understanding is acceptance. I returned to my "regular" job this week after being home for the last seven and a half months recovering from brain tumor surgery. I'm not 100% but I'm grateful to be able to type, comperhend what someone is telling me, speak, walk, breathe and everything else my brain allows me to do today.

    Best to you.

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  2. Soberwriter,

    First and foremost I have to apologize for not getting back to you sooner. I love your attitude! You exemplify my similar attitude in that every day that we are able to live a meaningful life is a fantastic gift. I commend your state of mind and thank you so much for your response.
    Best Always!
    ~Noelle

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