Dear hearts, so many wonderful things are happening for Jess and I want to update you!
First we want to thank you all again for holding us in your hearts since our lives took an even deeper turn into the miraculous (I didn’t know that was possible!) Our lives are so blessed by your outpouring of love, generosity, and good prayers.
Financial update: the insurance company has now paid the majority of what they owe after the dogged and determined warriorship of my husband Peter, who called on almost a daily basis to insist they pay the practitioners who saved Jess’ life. He has also had to speak with said practitioners almost daily to let them know what was happening since the bills were not being paid. Watching Peter fight for his son has been yet another miracle in this whole experience. Jess has been very worried about the expenses his injury incurred for our family, and despite our assurances that everything would be alright, that pressure has not been helpful towards his or our family’s healing. It is so crazy that a full-time student with a brain injury would be expected to somehow come up with hundreds of thousands of dollars! We know that those of you that contributed to Jess’ medical fund will be pleased to know his expenses will be almost entirely covered due to your generosity. We (and he) cannot thank you enough.
On day 100, we went to Gainesville to see his neuropsychologist, a lovely doctor who has spent many years out west with the indigenous population there (we didn’t know this until we visited him this day, but we knew we liked something about him). The purpose of this meeting was for Jess to undergo a thorough neuro psych evaluation to determine his level of competency after his brain injury. This was prescribed when he was discharged from inpatient rehab into my care 9 days after his injury.
The results look very promising. Overall, Jess’ brain function appears to be in the 96% range, with minor deficiencies in the areas of delayed memory and some short term memory retrieval. What this means is that Jess needs a little more time to retrieve the files in his mind, so rushing or time pressure shuts down his neural processing and he cannot retrieve the information. This is exacerbated if we interrupt him while he is trying to think of a word (interrupting is RUDE anyway, so we shouldn’t be doing it); he needs the open time and space to be allowed to find the files in his mind and when he is successful retrieving them, this builds confidence as well as deepening the groove into those files in the future. Intuitive, right?
Jess is going to take 3 classes at TCC, the local community college (apparently #1 in the nation) this fall while still living with us; this will give him the support he needs as he wades back into the pool, while giving us the peace of mind that he is getting all he needs while transitioning back into his life. He will be allowed more time when he takes tests and such due to his diagnosis, providing yet another an opportunity for him to soften and allow this tremendous rebirth to teach him some larger lessons.
In terms of the damage that could have happened, this diagnosis is a miracle. We have heard of several young men who had the exact same injury as Jess, in the exact same place, and are unable to function or are no longer with us. Our hearts hurt for those families, and we feel extraordinarily blessed that Jess not only remains with us but is intact in mind, body and spirit.
IN other news, the long awaited road trip to his birth place of Tucson is scheduled; we will be leaving August 2 and returning home the 23rd. The purpose of this journey is for Vision Quest for Jess, and maybe for me, too. We both feel that his injury hearkens back to his traumatic birth, and from a shamanic perspective, we have some work to do to retrieve pieces that we left on the ground there. In shamanism, we understand that when a person undergoes trauma, the energy body splinters and there is something called “soul loss”. I have done quite a bit of research, training and personal healing utilizing this principle from the trauma of incest, sexual assault, physical abuse and even attempted murder, and the retrieval of “parts” of self, has saved my life. From a psychological point of view, this can be described as the integration of sub-personalities, such as seen in the Internal Family Systems model of therapy. From a neurological point of view, the brain responds poorly to stress and trauma; trauma actually changes the structure of the brain, and if it goes unhealed, can result in long-term patterning of the neural pathways as well as regulation of the autonomic systems regulated by the brain stem. Trauma does bad things to us, at every level, and yet we can recover. Once again, the old medicine proves out once science catches up.
We will journey and be guided each day as to the healing rituals required, and Jess has agreed that we will post video and writings here on the blog to keep you in the loop for his great adventure. He has become the healer and teacher through his sharing, and I hope you benefit from his offerings.