This is definitely a family affair! With gratitude to our family and friends who stand/stood by during this complex injury. Families and friends spend endless days fighting the system. They take on their own financial burdens as many take a leave of absence from employment. They become exhausted running back and forth to visits.
Families retrieve countless telephone messages to the survivor’s debt collectors where no one cares. Their own life is put on hold as their own issues go unresolved. Frequently they physically move a “Single” survivor out of an apartment because they may be evicted.
They realize that financial institutions are not empathic to their situations. They notice excess fees accumulate onto “Survivors” financial burden: Late payments, over-drafts of automatic payments, and any previous financial commitments the survivor had suddenly becomes their problems.
These same family and friends struggle with insurmountable paperwork issues for survivor health insurance, disability insurance, social security, worker’s compensation, and legal issues. Paperwork is endless and frustrating … and only part of the emotional turmoil a family endures.
Survivors need others intervening on their behalf and watch over all their affairs and their health. No one understands how complex brain injuries are until they travel this journey for both the family and survivor. The family will be fighting a system that seems to be working at least temporarily, but it’s an uphill battle! Always keep HOPE alive!
This is also an emotional, physical, spiritual, and financial drain on those directly involved with the survivor. There should be concern about their health status, as they are depleting their own resources to care for another. They need time off. They need sleep. They need nutrition. They need exercise. They need to become selfish for their own survival.
They never should be overlooked for all their dedication, compassion, care, love and support for the traumatic brain injured survivor. Their health and well-being may become jeopardized because the sheer exhaustion this injury weighs on the family and loved-ones.
They need to conserve energy … and that seems impossible in the first several months following their loved-one’s TBI. Often, visiting can be impossible for various reasons, but yet an intricate part to advocating. Take turns if possible. If that’s not possible, just take the day off to recover for yourself. All of this takes a toll and adds to mental and physical fatigue for family, friends and survivor.
Sleep is vital to the healing brain. Sleep is also vital to loved ones so they don’t compromise their health. Most would never want another to have poor health over their situation!
- Need to take care of their own health
- May or may not take family leave from employment
- Endless days of fighting the system
- Running back and forth to visits
- Taking over financial situations
- Responding to telephone messages to debt collectors where no one cares
- Put their own life on hold as their own issues go unresolved
- May need to move a “Single” survivor out of an apartment because they may be evicted
- Find out that financial institutions are not empathic to their situations
- Excess fees accumulate onto “Survivors” financial burden: Late payments, over-drafts of automatic payments
- Survivor health insurance, disability insurance, social security, worker’s compensation, legal
- Paperwork is endless and frustrating … and only part of the emotional turmoil a family endures
- Credit Repair and Smart Spending: Five Things You Should Buy (lexingtonlaw.com)
- A step-by-step approach to triumphing over brain injuries (stltoday.com)
March 8, 2013 at 7:50 am
This is absolutely true. As a sole caregiver in several different situations, and a joint-caregiver in a few other situations, I can definitely concur – there are so many aspects to caregiving. And with TBI it becomes even more frustrating and taxing, because the system is definitely not set up to accommodate or empathize with us, and there don’t seem to be any “rote” ways of dealing with things. With other sorts of disability, such as a diagnosis of a known medical ailment which is well-documented and where the “path” is well-trod by others come before, it is one thing. But TBI is a whole different story.
And yes, we/they do need to be selfish for our/their own survival. That is a critical point. And it should come at the top of the list. Because if your own survival is at stake, there’s not much you can do for others.
Great post – thanks for writing this.