Every brain injury is different, but there are usually certain phases that are common. For instance, patients often go through a period of confusion where they can be aggressive, rude, and inappropriate. Neil certainly gets confused, but I've never seen him more polite. He tells the nurse, "thank you," as she gives him a whole slew of humongous pills to swallow. When his speech therapist asks him questions about school and family to get him talking, he turns the questions around and asks about what she studied in school. He's very cooperative with all his therapists. One of them, on returning from a week-long vacation, told her colleagues the only patient she couldn't wait to get back to was Neil.
Neil's kind and thoughtful nature has made it easy for us to care for him (even though the time and distance involved is really tough.) He's a delight to be around. Apparently, this is a problem for us because, we've been doing too much for him. One of our goals right now is for him to be independent. I was surprised the other day when his occupational therapist told me how well he could put on his own shoes and socks. Oops! Guess I don't need to be kneeling on the floor doing that for him anymore. It's hard to stand back and watch him struggle with opening his milk carton, but if that's what we need to do to help him heal, we're on board. Maybe it would be a little easier for us to hold back if we taught him to bite and swear a bit... Don't worry, looks like Neil can only be Neil--thank goodness!