I didn't know anyone was still reading this blog, but I should have. When we were new to the TBI world, we searched the internet for everything we could find about real people who were experiencing what we were. We found blogs that described the ICU ordeals and the rehab struggles. We could relate to the survivors and their families and felt comforted in that, but we always wanted to know "where are they now." I'm sorry we dropped the ball for those who found Neil's blog and want to know how he's doing. So, thank you to Mrs. Edwards who asked for more.
Let me fill you in. One of our biggest concerns for Neil has been how to fill his days with meaningful activities and interactions. We have found a wonderful community where we live. We are actively involved in the local Brain Injury Support Group that meets once a month. In addition, Neil benefits from services provided through our county's disability board. We are especially grateful for the HASCI (head and spinal cord injury) drop in group. If you click on the link you'll find a cool video where Neil speaks briefly.
Neil is still working part time at an assisted living facility. This has been monumental in his life. We would all love to see him working more hours, but for now this is enough. We get feedback all the time from the staff and the residents' families that Neil is loved and appreciated there. Follow this link for evidence:
January Employee of the Month
Neil also has a good spiritual community with his church families. He attends the family congregation that Scott and I attend each Sunday in the morning. In the afternoon he goes to church with a congregation specifically provided for young single adults. They have conferences, dances, bonfires, and other opportunities for wholesome social experiences. They have been very welcoming to Neil and understanding of his circumstances.
In June of this year, Neil began having seizures. Even though he is almost nine years out from his car accident, the doctors feel this is related to the original brain injury. It has been a battle over the past several months to figure out the correct medications. Of course we need to end the seizures, but we've found that the medications that work affect his memory and cognitive function. We continue to hope and pray that we will find the right formula and that Neil will adapt to the new treatments.
The picture at the top of this post shows Neil with his djembe. As he has always done, Neil finds new hobbies, interests, books, and shows to be passionate about. His library fills the walls of his bedroom. Currently, we are finding audio books to listen to as we drive back and forth from his various activities and responsibilities. And of course, Neil loves to talk. We spend lots of time in conversation. He is still quite a remarkable young man.