Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Three Weeks

Three weeks ago right now I got an email from Fred at work with a quick by the way update letting me know what time he would be home from work. He did not mention in his email he was heading out on a bike ride. He doesn't remember even leaving work to go on his bike ride, but I'm assuming he sent that email and went and changed and got on his bike. Obviously everything changed about an hour later, but here we are three weeks later. It is a little strange being home today, trying to have a regular day and not think about that afternoon phone call I got from the ER.

I thought I would try and explain better where Fred is at today, three weeks later. He is walking, talking, reading, writing and carrying on normal conversations. He remembers everyone and can go through the exact steps of how to tend to a newborn as an EMT in an emergency situation (one therapist had him go over this). There are definitely points in the day where he seems completely normal and ready to bring him home, but there are also times that you know his brain still needs time to heal. It is especially hard on me that the part of his brain that was injured is the part that would understand he is still not 100% and he doesn't see when something is difficult for him. I'm glad I am getting a break because as his wife, he's trying to get me on his side to check him out of there, and there's only so many times a day I can have that conversation with him.

He struggles with short term memory loss at times, but for the most part these days he can recall what happened the day before. His response time slows down throughout the day if he is tired or the situation is getting more complicated. The therapists are working with him on things like reading and answering questions while there are conversations going on around him.

Since Fred doesn't think he is injured at all, he doesn't notice when his balance makes him drift off to the right while he is walking. He thinks he could run 3 miles if he had to right now and pass all the field sobriety tests a cop would give a suspected drunk driver (Tom had him try and walk a straight line, and he couldn't do it).

On a normal day, Fred has never been a highly emotive person. Unless he is mad or worked up, he normally talks quietly, but he seems quieter to me. The part of his brain that was injured can make a person seem flat, and even though he seems subdued, he gets excited to see Kalyn and does show some emotion.

I feel like I am betraying Fred by putting this kind of information up there, but I also realize I have left out these kind of details, so people are now confused as to what he can do. He'll probably be mad at me if he ever reads this whole blog someday...


  1. Jenna,
    We don't know each other. I saw this via Rick Callies update on Facebook.

    I just wanted to let you know I know exactly what you are going through. My husband was hit by a car in June 2008 while we were riding down Hermosa Creek Road. We ended up in Denver for three months putting him back together with our last stop being at Craig Rehab to help him learn how to walk again and get therapy for his brain injury.

    My heart goes out to you because when I read your blog I experienced every single emotion I see you write about. You are doing an amazing job. Remember that and what I found is that, in the long run, events like this bring us closer to ourselves and our family and our true friends...more than anything I could have possbily imagined.

    I'll leave you with a quote that helped me...Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is a quiet voice at the end of the day, saying..."I will try again tomorrow." By Mary Anne Radmacher.

    If you need to talk, call me. I know we haven't met but we have lived the same experience.

    Good luck to you.

    Jody S. A. Furtney
    Phone: 970-385-5567

  2. If Fred ever does read the whole blog, he might be angry or embarrassed at first, but his good heart and common sense will help him realize that you did everything out of love for him and a willingness to let those of us care most about him in on the loop. We don't know what we would have done if we only had had the short and infrequent phone calls to rely on. Thanks from the bottom of our hearts.

  3. Jenna,
    I agree with the above comments. You are doing us all a favor by keeping us involved, not just for us, but for your sanity, too, as it all sinks in. I wish I was physically there. Just pat your right shoulder and pretend I'm sitting on it, smiling at you, and hugging you by putting my little arms around your neck. You are an amazingly strong woman. Like the Care Bear stare, everyone is sending you energy to keep going. -Laura