TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Thoughts from a Caregiver Mom

by

Heather Sivori Floyd

presented

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 

Girl Blogger cartoon_picture_of_girl_writingThere is nothing sweeter or more rewarding in life than spending time and helping those with special challenges.

I do not like the word “disability,” so I use “special challenges.” Why define people by what they are or are not capable of? While some days my heart hurts from my knowing the challenges that TJ (now 13) will face in life, my heart is actually very full from my spending the time with him that I do.

Heather Sivori Floyd 1

Heather Sivori Floyd – Caregiver

As I tucked TJ in the other night, I just sat there in a moment of silence and reflected back on everything we have been through. He has an innocence about him now. But I was overcome with a moment of sadness thinking about all that was ripped from TJ at such a young age (7 years old) and the special challenges that he will be faced with in adulthood.

I try not to think like that, but sometimes a parent does. I would say that it is quite normal. The burden a parent carries when advocating for his or her child with special challenges will at times take your breath away. You constantly question if you are doing the right thing or if you could be doing more. You realize that, even into adulthood, your child’s ability to have a voice is gone. You will forever be your child’s voice. You accept that, and you do what you have to do to make that voice heard – even if it means roaring.

TJ Floyd Survivor 021116

TJ – Brain Injury Survivor

Over the years, people have told me not to worry about the future. But it is never a possibility. I know my mom-friends in a similar position will understand this. When in a position like this, you have to think about it. It’s really not an option. You are the sole caregiver, and if you do not make a plan for the future, no one else will. Also many programs to help children like TJ as an adult have a mile-long waiting list (meaning years).

TJ Floyd Survivor 021216

TJ – Brain Injury Survivor

Being TJ’s sole caregiver has been challenging and exhausting but, at the same time, very rewarding. I have learned so much about myself and my desire to help others. I have learned from TJ about the human spirit and not giving in. He amazes me daily. Yes, things are very elementary for TJ now. His day consists of food, cartoons, therapy, etc. – very basic needs. In-depth conversation has never been a possibility with my son since his brain injury so mercilessly ripped away his dignity and his ability for independence. The list goes on. But that doesn’t mean we give up. TJ certainly has not.

With love and persistence, TJ has defied the odds. After all, 60-80% of patients typically do not survive an acute subdural hematoma, even with surgery. TJ did. He continues to defy the odds and what we were told would be our “new normal.”

Heather Sivori Floys TJ 4

Heather Sivori Floyd, caregiver for her son, TJ

I am often asked how I do it. (It is a general question, and it is the most-asked question from many family members and friends over the years.) I just do it. You do not have a choice. Many times your heart hurts like no other, but you keep going because you are it for them. There is no one else. You learn to draw on inner strength. You learn to keep it together because you can’t afford to break down.

In my case, I learned from my son how to love life and still laugh. TJ does daily. If he can, then so can I. It doesn’t make the special challenges any easier or the decisions to be made any

Heather Sivori Floyd & TJ

Heather Sivori Floyd and her son, TJ

less hurtful. What it does is fill your heart with an overwhelming love. I am honored to know a person like TJ in my life. He is the definition of courage, strength, hope, and love. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: He is my hero. To overcome daily adversity with a smile on his face makes him downright amazing. No matter where he ends up intellectually, TJ will always be pretty amazing to me.

 

Thank you, Heather Sivori Floyd.

Disclaimer:
Any views and opinions of the Guest Blogger are purely his/her own.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of Heather Sivori Floyd)

As I say after each post: Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Commentanim0014-1_e0-1 below this post.

Feel free to follow my blog. Click on “Follow” on the upper right sidebar.

If you like my blog, share it (intact) with your friends. It’s easy! Click the “Share” buttons below.

If you don’t like my blog, “Share” it (intact) with your enemies. I don’t care!

Feel free to “Like” my post.

Comments on: "SPEAK OUT! Guest Blogger Heather Sivori Floyd . . . . . Thoughts from a Caregiver Mom" (2)

  1. Tony curtis said:

    Hi Heather i myself am a carer for my wife who has had a brain hemorrhage twice and two strokes and she is paralized on the left side which was in2011 and I can feel the same as you it is very hard at times but u carry on xx

    Like

    • Tony,
      Thanks for commenting on Heather’s Guest Blog piece. Caregivers are a special breed. It’s a hard job that is usually unexpected, but we stand up to it. I hope you and your wife are doing as well as you can.

      Donna O’Donnell Figurski
      survivingtraumaticbraininjury.com
      donnaodonnellfigurski.com

      Like

Leave a Reply to donnaodonnellfigurski Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tag Cloud

Brain Injury Blog With Free TBI Information

Brain Injury Blog and Helpful Articles

Montclair Write Group

Writing Support Group

Brain Injury Support Group of Duluth-Extension

Brain Injury Information and SUPPORT

Women Worldwide

Women around the world share their incredible stories

Brain Aneurysm Global Insight

Brain Aneurysm, cerebral hemorrhaging, hemorrhage stroke

Maybe Crazy Help

Helping others understand mental health in a unique way

catherinelanser.wordpress.com/

Creative Nonfiction, Memoir, and the Brain

One TBI Wife's Journey

TBI Wife's Support

Karen DeBonis

Memoir and creative nonfiction

Surviving TBI

Learning how to survive with spouse's TBI

BQB Publishing

Tomorrow's Best Sellers Today

Knit Neutrality

Knit (Verb) | 'nit : to join together

Ten Thousand Days

The long and winding journey after loss

Wordcrafter9's Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Tripambitions

It contains the world best places and things.

Jumbledbrain

Discover - Empower - Thrive

%d bloggers like this: