It has been almost five years since Isabella got sick with encephalitis. On this journey I have found that you need two types of friends to survive. You need a friend who “gets it” and a “me too” friend.
My best friend is the one who “gets it”. Ironically I had only known her a few months when Isabella got sick. I wasn’t sure our friendship would survive because it was so new. Yet she was the one who has helped me the most. She was the one going to my house and cooking for Isabella (who has multiple food allergies) while we were inpatient in the hospital. She has helped with errands as well. Most importantly though she gets it. We have laughed, cried, worried and celebrated each milestone or setback. I truly can’t imagine getting through the last five years without her.
The other kind of friend that you need on this journey is the “me too” friend. Someone who also has a child with a brain injury. This kind of friend maybe someone you meet in a support group, hospital or online. There is something powerful about the words “me too”. It is the sense that you are not alone. These friends can provide insight into therapies and treatments. They also understand the heartache that goes along with being a parent to a child with a brain injury. They too know how in an instant life completely changed. They share similar hopes, dreams and fears.
This journey changes you and therefore it changes who your friends are as well. When friends get it and can relate it makes this journey a little less lonely. I am blessed to have the friends that I have.
“The most unexpected friendships last the longest” unknown
Guest Blogger, Kristin Olliney-Apruzzese, is the mother of 9-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. Copyright 2015 BIA-MA.