8 Nonreligious Reasons a Church Can Aid in Recovery

July 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Rehab and Recovery

The best conversations between my wife and I occur on Sunday afternoon.  This past Sunday, we had a long conversation about the purpose of life.  On its face, such a conversation might seem totally ordinary.  It is not.

Two years ago, my wife suffered unexpected tragedy.  The trauma included stroke, cardiac arrest, and traumatic brain injury.  The prognosis for such a trauma did not include walking, talking, or rational thought.  We were told that we’d be lucky to make it out of the ICU alive.

I guess she was one of the lucky ones.  Not only did she leave the ICU… she kept going until she made it all the way home.  Hospital living just wasn’t for her, so she worked tirelessly to strengthen herself enough to live safely in her own home.

Life will never be the same as it once was.  A trip to a store, restaurant, or friend’s home must now be weighed against the potential obstacles.  Our family includes three kids, so our activities must be entertaining for the kids AND accessible for the adults.  What would once have been a night out to a restaurant is now a take-out meal eaten in the dining room. Read more

Phone Usage Opens New Doors in Recovery

June 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Rehab and Recovery

Jess and I were among the last people to join the cell phone revolution. We always figured that we could leave the phone at home and just trust that things would work out the way we had planned them. We took our first plunge with prepaid phones and eventually graduated to regular phones with minimal function. Only recently did we graduate to phones with a keypad and camera. The phone became something more than way to talk to people. It became a way to share thoughts and memories instantly.

The purpose of upgrading to smartphones was to be able to take and share pictures of our new baby, because everybody knows that a regular camera just isn’t cool enough for this task. About two weeks prior to the due date we went to the wireless store. I wasn’t interested in learning about new phone functions, so I argued for keeping our low-functioning flip phones. Jessica wanted a more vibrant experience, and she sought out smartphones that would take and share great pics of our new little bundle of joy. As so often happens in a marriage, the wife was right and got her way. Read more

The Purpose of Occupational Therapy

March 25, 2012 by  
Filed under Rehab and Recovery

If the purpose of rehabilitation is broken down into a single statement, it would be the following

“To regain the maximum amount of functional ability.”

In other words, its purpose is to allow a patient the ability to perform as many tasks as possible.  For someone who has never dealt with a therapy patient, it may be hard to imagine the frustration of   Read more

You Are Appreciated

September 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Rehab and Recovery

Have you ever put a lot of effort into a surprise for someone?  Have you ever so much time making someone’s day better that you couldn’t wait to see their reaction? Did their reaction contain less excitement than you expected?  For a full-time caretaker, that reaction may be one that you could face each and every day…

As the primary caretaker for a loved one, you already know that even daily events can be a lot of work.  Once upon a time, you had what seemed like an adequate amount of free time.  You had the luxury of being relaxed as you watched you participated in your activities, spent time on your hobbies and watched your TV shows.  Even with all the responsibilities you did have at the time, life often seemed like it was moving forward.  Each day you had the opportunity to get things done and feel proud of what you had accomplished.  But that was once upon a time, and now each day represents another challenge as you try to maintain your life as closely to normal as possible.  The amount of time spent managing medications, making meals, transporting to appointments and events, and cleaning everything up for your loved one has robbed you of the possibility of ever attaining the feeling of satisfaction for your own personal accomplishments. Read more

Good Foot to Heaven, Bad Foot to Hell

December 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Rehab and Recovery

There comes a time in life when the knees and legs lose some of their reliability.  Typically this occurs late in life as bones, muscles, and body start to weaken.  Stairs become a nuisance that just doesn’t go away.  They eventually grow into one of the biggest single obstacles in life.  Eventually, stairs are removed from the daily routine by casting aside the two story house in favor of a patio home or retirement village.

For most of us, the anxiety that accompanies a trip on the stairs is something that has never entered our mind.  Most people go through life without ever considering limitations in mobility.  Those of us that are fully healthy never even think about placing a call to a restaurant or theater to see if the place is handicap accessible.  Before traumatic brain injury, Jessica never gave a second thought to conquering any flight of stairs. Read more