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Discussion in 'Caregivers' started by BJ62, Dec 19, 2003.

  1. BJ62

    BJ62 New Member

    Hi there I have been reading for quite a while, and thought I would just let others know a bit about myself amd family. We/I (I always say 'I' for some reaon!), have 3 kids ages 17, 19 and 21. The youngest (17) is the only girl, fifteen years ago (she was 2 and 2 weeks) my daughter almosy drowned. I was at work and my husband was just coming home to relieve the care provider, when they looked around neither of them could find my daughter. After searching the house they checked outside and went up and down the street, finally the next door neighbour yelled and they all went into his backyard. He had been working on his roof and had left the gate open to go in and out, she was found floating under the solar blanket in the pool.
    All of this information is what has either been told to me by investigators, or I have read it in the discovery statements taken after the I wasn't there. Ironically out of all of the people that gathered at that pool I would have been the only one to know how to do CPR, alas they did pull her out but waited until the ambulance got there for anything to be done with her. Long story short (a bit) they called me at work to meet them at the hospital, I knew there was something truly wrong. I arrived to be taken into a small room filled with people my husband puking into a pail, a seemed to take forever for them to tell me what had happened. They transfered her to a Neurological University Hospital, where she remained in critical condition for almost 2 weeks in a drug induced coma. I have never written all of this down and I can see that if I do I'll write a book. The good news is that she lived, albeit when she came out of the coma she was a vegetable. They told us she would never walk, talk or eat orally for the rest of her life...they suggested institutionalizing her.

    Well hey...that didn't happen. We brought her home two months post accident, please keep in mind I also had a 4 and 6 year old to raise and be there for as well. I had her on baby food in less than a week (good bye G-tube), and after a month (with my family doc's blessing) I started to wean her off of the mind altering 15 meds she was on (valium, ant-convulsants, sleep medication..) As time wore on I started seeing her be able to focus for short periods, before she couldn't make eye contact at all.I did major O/T and P/T with her, she went from stiff as a board, to a total noodle and then had to build up muscle again because of the atrophy. What I have written didn't happen quickly, it was probably a span of about 5 years. I never gave up...sometimes I cried...sometimes I wanted to.
    There is so much more in between but I think I have said enough to bring you up to today. She's 17 now (soooo 17!), she talks like anyone else and sings like there is no tomorrow (with a mother like me you either talk or spend your life listening!). She can eat anything the rest of us can, drinks from a glass and tells her brothers to 'shut up playboys' at the dinner table. She can crawl and walk with a walker, and pushes her own wheelchair...and is med free. She's in a life skills program at school knows her colours and her numbers, and helps in the office either rolling coins or delivering envelopes to classes.
    It has been and will continue to be a challenge, but when I think of the fact of what she might not have become if we had institutionalized her..I cry. However I don't judge people who do it, this is not for the faint of heart. It has taken me almost 17 years to change my dreams for her, but I'm sure she will live everyone of them. Her name is Brittany Tabitha....and she is very loved :)
  2. tom-r

    tom-r New Member

    I think that you are to be commended for the commitment on your part to do what you have done. That was quite a mouthful, being in the situation that I find myself in now and the last 6 years, I think that I understand a little what it took on your part to do the job that you have taken on.

    It is a tough job and sometimes unappreciated one at that, but it is the love that we have for our family members, and the love that we recieve from them( although it takes awhile to get back to us) that makes our days bareable. Good luck Tom
  3. BJ62

    BJ62 New Member

    Many thanks for your kind words folks, it's nice to know someone took the time to read all of that! Looking back I sometimes wonder where the strength came from, but it has been worth every second of every hour. To those whom are caring for a loved one may your hearts stay strong, for at times it is not an easy task. However I believe the love that we spread in this world will come back to us ten fold, at least it has for me :)