TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Posts tagged ‘Marty Salo’

Caregivers SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . Marleen Salo

SPEAK OUT! – Marleen Salo

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Marleen Salo with her son, Marty Salo (TBI Survivor) and her husband, Al Salo.

Marleen Salo with her son, Marty Salo (TBI Survivor) and her husband, Al Salo.

 

 

1. What is your name? (last name optional)

Marleen Salo (Marty’s Mom)

2. Where do you live? (city and/or state and/or country)     Email? (optional)

Lutz, Florida, USA      marleensalogm@gmail.com

3. What caused your survivor’s TBI?

A car hit my son while he was crossing a street on his bicycle.

4. On what date did you begin care for your TBI survivor? Are you the main caregiver? How old were you when you began care?

April 1982     36 years old

5. Were you caring for anyone else at that time? (e.g., children, parents, etc.)

No

6. Were you employed at the time of your survivor’s TBI? If so, were you able to continue working?

I was employed as a Registered Nurse. I took several weeks off and then returned to work per advice from professional friends.

7. Did you have any help? If so, what kind and for how long?

My husband (Marty’s father) and I were co-caregivers. Physical therapists, school tutors, and friends assisted at intervals.

8. When did your support of the survivor begin? (e.g., immediately – in hospital, when survivor returned home, etc.)

Upon Marty’s discharge from the hospital

9. Was your survivor in a coma? If so, what did you do at that time?

He was in a coma for 7 1/2 weeks. We stayed with him for long hours at the hospital. We went home to sleep, bathe, eat, etc.

We brought him home in semi-coma. We fed him, bathed him, and helped him do exercises in bed. He was bedridden for the first few weeks at home. He then used a wheelchair. Eventually he walked with assistance; then he walked unsupported. By fall, he was able to walk into classroom at a private school, with lots of school support.

10. Did your survivor have rehab? If so, what kind of rehab? (i.e., In-patient and/or Out-patient and Occupational, Physical, Speech, and/or Other) How long was the rehab? Where were you when this was happening?

Doctors told us to place him into a nursing home. His pediatrician advised us to set up a “hospital bed” at home and have the physical therapist make home visits. There was no In-patient rehab.

11. What problems or disabilities of your TBI survivor required your care, if any?

Feeding, bathing, moving from bed to chair, exercises to legs and feet

12. How has your life changed since you became a caregiver? Is it better? Is it worse?

It’s hard to answer. I learned that it is possible to come through such trauma stronger and more aware of the precious entity that is life. I learned how many people come around in support at times of crisis.

Worse, in that I worried more about every aspect of Marty’s life. Worse, when I saw him struggle in daily activities and when he had to prove himself over and over in every grade level of school. Heartaches, when he could not achieve a goal.

13. What do you miss the most from pre-TBI life?

I miss the freedom from guilt that I could prevent such pain. I miss Marty’s carefree independence with other kids his age.

14. What do you enjoy most in post-TBI life?

I like that all of us place more value in day-to-day experiences. We also feel a closeness for having survived as a family.

15. What do you like least about TBI?

Marty’s physical deficits – driving, etc.

16. Has anything helped you to accept your survivor’s TBI?

Internet TBI support sources

Friends’ acceptance

17. Has your survivor’s injury affected your home life and relationships and, if so, how?

We have been a cohesive family. Some marriages dissolve with such stress, but our lives came together.

18. Has your social life been altered or changed and, if so, how?

Vacations were put on hold for a few years. Now our social life is good.

19. What are your plans? What do you expect/hope to be doing ten years from now?

I hope to spend summers in the mountains and winters in Florida. I want to continue to be in a close relationship with Marty and his wife, Fran.

20. What advice would you offer other TBI survivor caregivers? Do you have any other comments that you would like to add?

Don’t give up.

Appreciate the small increments of change.

Marty & Fran Salo

Marty Salo (TBI Survivor) with his wife, Fran

Find external support, such as on the Internet or from other families.

Know there is something in you that does not exist until you pass through pain and suffering.  It is then you understand.


Thank you, Marleen, for taking part in this interview. I hope that your experience will offer some hope, comfort, and inspiration to my readers.

(Disclaimer: The views or opinions in this post are solely that of the interviewee.)

 

If you would like to be a part of the SPEAK OUT! project, please go to TBI Caregiver Interview Questionnaire for a copy of the questions and the release form.

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Survivors SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . Marty Salo

SPEAK OUT! – Marty Salo

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

051614 Salo, Marty Photo for Interview

 

 

1. What is your name? (last name optional)

Marty Salo

2. Where do you live? (city and/or state and/or country) Email (optional)

Tampa, FL, USA     msalo@verizon.net

3. When did you have your TBI? At what age?

April 7, 1982      Age 11

4. How did your TBI occur?

Bike/motor vehicle accident

5. When did you (or someone) first realize you had a problem?

Immediately. I was medivacked to Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia

6. What kind of emergency treatment, if any, did you have?
(e.g., surgery,

tracheotomy, G-peg)

I had an intracranial pressure monitor and I assume some other tubes. The divot in my head is still visible after all these years when the hair is cut very short.

7. Were you in a coma? If so, how long?

I was officially in a coma for something like 53 days. I was brought home on Day 49, but I had been in pediatric ICU for 14 days.

8. Did you do rehab? What kind of rehab (i.e., In-patient or Out-patient and Occupational, Physical, Speech, Other)?
How long were you in rehab?

I did most of the recovery at home. I was tutored by a 5th grade teacher over summer, and I progressed through Catholic primary school. I had some speech therapy at public school. I had help from vocational rehabilitation to get training leading to a job.

9. What problems or disabilities, if any, resulted from your TBI?
(e.g., balance, perception, personality, etc.)

Fortunately, I had been brilliant as a child, and much of the brilliance continued. There were memory problems, I guess, as well as balance problems and the need to re-master skills from traumatic amnesia. I read more online. I’ve been excited about the Internet from my days in college – even before then. I had been excited about my Apple 2c with a 300-baud modem, which allowed me to communicate to others through asynchronous communications.

10. How has your life changed? Is it better? Is it worse?

I adapted. I chose easier courses, changed majors at the university, graduated with an undergraduate degree in Religious Studies, and continued to get my Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. There are still situations where I can get overwhelmed, I suppose.

11. What do you miss the most from your pre-TBI life?

I don’t really have much memory of my pre-TBI life. I have only vague, fleeting memories of childhood.

12. What do you enjoy most in your post-TBI life?

I like having fun. I like going to EPCOT and Disney World. I enjoy being around other happy people.

13. What do you like least about your TBI?

I’ve been different from others, but I didn’t really understanding how different from others I was. I just knew that things were not as easy for me. I have adapted by not driving, after an accident at age 19 or so.

14. Has anything helped you to accept your TBI?

My father is in AA. He exposed me to the Serenity Prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

15. Has your injury affected your home life and relationships and, if so, how?

From childhood, there is no comparison. Fortunately, I met a woman who would later become my wife. She has been very beneficial to me and my experiences.

16. Has your social life been altered or changed and, if so, how?

Again, childhood and adulthood are largely incomparable, but I’d venture to say that as a financially minded individual, I don’t spend a lot of money on alcohol or cigarettes. We have a pretty happy life, even if not much time is spent out drinking with fellas, or whatever. Other usual socialization patterns exist.

17. Who is your main caregiver? Do you understand what it takes to be a caregiver?

My mother, then my wife. My wife is not so much of a caregiver as a partner, but she does drive.

18. What are your future plans? What do you expect/hope to be doing ten years from now?

It’d be very nice if I were somehow able to get something going where I work at the VA Hospital – doing something to help others with computers and expanding awareness. But, I’m happy enough continuing to work with computers, getting them ready for issuance to providers.

19. What advice would you offer to other TBI survivors

Keep on progressing. Life gets better if you allow it to get better. Most people probably want to see you succeed. Some bosses might not have patience, but your progress is more important. Do not compare yourself to peers who are doing more than you are. Compare yourself to where you have been. Appreciate what you have overcome to get where you are.

20. Do you have any other comments that you would like to add?

So many things. Realize that you are not alone. Realize that others have had similar journeys. Realize that others probably would like to see you succeed. Your success builds collective good will, and helps people feel better.  http://martysalo.wordpress.com/ is a website I maintain. I have some TBI-related stuff there as well.051614 Salo, Marty Photo 2 for Interview

 

Thank you, Marty, for taking part in this interview. I hope that your experience will offer some hope, comfort, and inspiration to my readers.

(Disclaimer: The views or opinions in this post are solely that of the interviewee.)

 

If you would like to be a part of the SPEAK OUT! project, please go to TBI Survivor Interview Questionnaire for a copy of the questions and the release form.

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