On this journey I have encountered a lot of people. Some that helped us move forward, some that will never “get it”, and then those that are just ignorant.
When Isabella’s Acquired Brain Injury happened, I was naive as to how the world would treat her. I remember the first rude woman I encountered in a hospital hallway – she yelled at me to control my child because Isabella was completely freaking out. What the woman didn’t know was that Isabella was experiencing sensory overload and anxiety – it was not pretty. At the time, I was caught off-guard by the woman’s reaction so I didn’t say anything.
Two weeks ago, Isabella and I ran into yet another ignorant person. This time it was at the hospital where Isabella receives therapy. The woman made some really rude remarks to Isabella, and I promptly told her what I thought. The amazing thing was that after I had my moment, I realized how much I have grown on this journey. This time, I was able to brush off the situation (once I calmed down) because the vast majority of people that I have met on this journey are kind and caring. I also reminded myself that every person and experience, whether good or bad, has shaped our journey. So this is my attempt at thanking those people:
- Thank you to the doctors who didn’t think Isabella would make it through the night, that she wouldn’t walk or talk, that I should settle and be happy that she just survived. These doctors helped me to follow my instinct and to never settle for my child. If Isabella was not going to give up, neither was I. I also thank these doctors because I learned to seek out different medical opinions which lead me to better doctors that I felt could help Isabella reach the next level in recovery.
- Thank you to the therapists that told me they couldn’t “fix a brain injury” and who refused to help Isabella move forward with recovery. It is because of these therapists that I sought out the ones we currently have. I have a greater appreciation for the therapists who have gone above and beyond to not only keep Isabella safe but to help her continue on her journey to recovery.
- Thank you to the public school system that refused to meet my child’s needs. This refusal pushed me to homeschool Isabella which has been one of the best decisions I have made on this journey. Isabella has learned more through homeschool than she ever would have in the public school.
- Thank you to the family and friends that walked away from our lives because I chose to always put my child first. Yes it sucks to miss out on everything but Isabella has and always will be my first priority. These family and friends caused me to appreciate the few that have never walked out and continue to be there even if I am never able to join or participate in the events of their life. I also thank these family and friends because it forced me to seek out others who are on this journey.
- Thank you to the strangers who have gone out of your way to be rude or nasty. It is because of you that I appreciate the kindness found in most people. We have been so blessed by strangers that we have never met. People who have gone out of their way to help us on this journey.
After almost 4 years on this journey, the fact that I can now thank these people, is a weight lifted. It is also personal growth. I hope to continue to see the positive in negative experiences even if it takes a while. I hope that others can too.
“In life you will meet two kinds of people. Ones who build you up, and Ones who tear you down. But in the end, you will thank them both.” unknown.
Guest Blogger, Kristin Olliney-Apruzzese, is the mother of 8-year-old Isabella, who suffered sudden acute encephalitis when she was just 4. Kristin’s bi-monthly blog, Mommy of a Miracle, talks about the trials and joys of raising a brain injury survivor.
Legal Statement: The information contained in this blog does not reflect the specific views of BIA-MA. This blog is published for informational purposes only. BIA-MA is not providing medical, legal or other professional advice with its publication.