Rebuilding your dreams after your child’s brain injury:
My grandson choked on a grape at 1 ½ years old at his San Jose daycare facility. He was without oxygen for up to 20 minutes – so you can imagine all that is encompassed within that short statement.
When your world is turned upside down, it takes some time to cope with what’s happened, what’s changed in your life and the life of your child. If your child survives, you wake up thinking about the new day, and you go to bed wondering about your family and child’s future life.
Because we are all different in expectations and lifestyles, we handle a crisis differently. No matter the outcome, something will change after a choking incident – our brain cells start to die and change within 4 minutes of oxygen deprivation.
Some parents need to be alone to process what has happened. Some parents need to be with others, to talk, and to be consoled with prayer and/or hopeful stories. There are professionals, social workers, and support groups to talk to and network with when you’re ready to reach out.
There will be a grieving – no way around that. Grief is a natural part of this process of loss and change in our life. If you believe in prayer and meditation, it can help you through this difficult transition.
There will be hard days ahead. There will be difficult decisions to make. There will be changes that have to happen in everyone’s best interests. Trust your instincts, and get professional help if needed.
If your child has survived, believing in yourself and your child’s will to live will be good medicine. Never lose hope – things change daily in our world, and there is always the possibility for a brighter outcome, no matter how small.
Having been down this road almost eight years ago, we have learned to celebrate the small, and sometimes minute, improvements that we observe. The first sound of laughter after the incident, coma, and first few months of “rebirth” still rings in our ears and memories. Not to be forgotten, and always to be grateful.
Never say never, and don’t give up hope for brighter days for you, your child, and your family.
Peace, love, and healing.