Just a few lines to bring everyone up to date. As I think everyone knows, we are still here in Alabama (where I work), and have Chris with us of course. Chris is physically doing well albeit a little bit heavier than he was before his accident. But he is physically doing well. We keep waiting for neuro-medical breakthroughs to provide a “new hope” for helping Chris regain some function. But until that happens, he’s being well taken care of (his mother is a Saint!), and we keep searching for different things to do to help Chris. We made an “annual checkup” visit to Spain Rehab in Birmingham, AL., where we go for periodic Baclofen pump refills, and much to my disappointment, it was pretty much a wasted trip. I was expecting a bit more comprehensive approach to perhaps some new therapies or alternative treatment protocol suggestions from the Doctor, some news on the nutrition front, but it didn’t happen. They basically said, “yeah, he looks good – anything we can do for you?” I think my expectations were a bit too high going in. I contacted the Shepard Center in Atlanta Georgia, another Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Model System, one of 16 in the country, and although we are not candidates for an in-patient program, they have a pretty comprehensive out-patient program that may also provide Chris with some improvements. I know from experience with my dad having a stroke and severe injury from falling down the basement stairs and hitting his head on a concrete floor, the brain heals in seemingly unusual ways. There is, of course, physiological healing or mending, re-mapping of brain function, neuro plasticity, and other descriptions of types of “mending” that goes on in the brain. I know with my Dad that his lost left-side function, over time, literally came back over night when those neuro connections re-joined and those pathways were re-established. I tell Chris that we’re going to get there but it will take time. He’s a strong lad (man – but he’s still my baby) with a lot of perseverence as well as patience, we’ll get there in the end. It will take time but we’ll get there. I’ll keep everyone posted on events regarding moving toward making the Shepard Center happen and, as always, thanks for your thoughts and support- it keeps us going.
On a quick political note, push your State representatives for expansion of medicaid to allow for the uninsured in your States to obtain health insurance. We, in the United States, are the ONLY western industrialized country in the WORLD that does not provide health care for its people! The scare tactics of politicians about “socialized medicine” (and the boogeyman) are just that, scare tactics to keep you docile and dependent on your representatives! Ever seen one of these tea party rallys on Youtube where a Senior citizen is holding a sign saying, “Keep your Government hands off my Medicare!” It’s so funny it hurts! Obamacare is NOT socialized medicine, the Veterans Administration IS – but you don’t hear anyone calling for the repeal of THAT socialized system do you? Tricare for our military is more socialized than Obamacare and takes up a good size chunk of the defense budget – in excess of $50 Billion dollars a year but you don’t hear anyone calling for the repeal of that social health system! And they just pumped over $17 Billion dolars more into the VA, money that adds to the national debt ($12 Billion of it). The “real VA story” is that it’s not processing disability claims fast enough! You know, the claims for Post Traumatic Stress Dollars! Look, I was there! the number of PTSD claims doesn’t support the numbers that were actually “outside the wire” in harm’s way. The rest of us were on airbases or Forward Operating bases, you know, where you eat steak and lobster (literally) four nights a week (it’s hard NOT to put on weight during a deployment)! One more and I’ll shut up. We pay over a Billion dollars a year for retiring military veterans in disability compensation for “snoring!” Yes, sleep apnea, generally associated with obesity, costs the tax payer over a Billion dollars of scam money a year! Next time you see a disabled veteran license plate (with no handicap marking on the plate), watch the veteran when he gets out of his truck – does he look like he’s handicapped? Probably not! In fact, he’s probably a pilot for United Airlines who has to undergo a full flight physical periodically in order to fly but yet he’s disabled by VA standards. He’s diasabled for the purposes of retirement disability compensation – it puts monthly money in his pocket – but he won’t support paying a dime to a single mother for public assistance or for free lunches for kids! What a world!
Off my soapbox. Thanks, we love you all!