The Long Hot Summer

Where does the time go? Wasn’t it only a few weeks ago when we were celebrating the end of the school year? Didn’t we picnic on the 4th?

Then June rolled around, and we attended CAMP TBI (sponsored by the Brain Injury Association of Florida) where we met and mingled with survivors and caregivers. It is one of the few times we do not have to encourage David to take part in activities. The twist this year is that he had a buddy. It was their job to make sure one or the other followed the schedule of events.

The caregivers went to breakout sessions while the survivors were busy. I always come away with information when we attend these events. We met a fellow caregiver who talked about an aspect of traumatic brain injury that I had touched upon in my book, RAISING DAVID AGAIN, but he said that there is a test our neurologist can administer to David that can determine whether he can taste. I hadn’t heard of this, and we talked at length about how this might benefit my son.

During the day-long camp, the caregiver’s could sign up for a massage, manicure, or pedicure. There was also a room set up as a quiet area where books could be taken for the day, or forever—the choice was ours. It was during a quiet time when I met the Director of BIAF, a personable and outgoing young woman named Djenaba Burnes, who invited me to be on a panel at the July CAMP TBI. She and her staff made each of us feel special.

It takes a great deal of effort, preparation, and willing people to put one of these events on, and I can’t imagine the logistics of doing it in multiple cities over several months, but those who attended will tell you how grateful we are that this non-profit organization exists.

So, the takeaway from the weekend is to – take care of the caregiver. Take time for yourself. Pamper yourself if you are able and try to destress on doing a little reading, writing, playing the piano, gardening, paint something, or listen to soothing music.