Update on us 12/5/11

5 Dec

Sorry for the delay in updating.  Honestly, I’m not sure why I haven’t made time.  I could blame it on the time of year or some other excuse, but in all reality you find time for what’s important to you.  I have been trying to focus more on Graham and what he needs, so maybe that’s part of it?  I can assure you we are doing well and continue to remain healthy and content in the Stump home….even when it’s hard.

And hard it HAS been as of late.

Brain injuries are a strange thing all around.  They are hard to explain to people and even harder to understand yourself as the spouse or family member caring and trying to help your loved one through such a difficult thing.  I know several of you reading this also have loved ones with a brain injury…some much worse than Graham, so you understand what I’m saying here.  You understand exactly why I would say they are hard, strange and/or just plain difficult.  You’ve been there, or are there and can relate on so many levels.

I wouldn’t wish a brain injury on my worse enemy and even deeper than that I wouldn’t wish it on the family or spouse who has to go through it.

Graham is doing much the same with perhaps a minor set-back or two lately.  He’s fallen several times at home here, especially outside.  We had some snow already for a bit (and when I say snow, I say about 10 inches), but it’s gone and it wasn’t the snow that tripped him up.  One day he was simply in our barn tack shed, lost his balance and started going down.  He was able to grab onto something to help himself, but it’s sad nonetheless.  He fell outside while feeding the horses and while he’ll come and tell me about it laughing, my throat can’t help but close up and I oftentimes have to look away.  Life for him is just different, life for us is different.

Just as his balance can’t be trusted, his memory also cannot be trusted completely.  We’re learning little tricks and I’m learning how to ask the right questions and do things to help him succeed in his memory.  If I had to grade Graham right now on where he is percentage wise, I would say he’s about 85-88% of what he was before.

That is hard for me to say, but true.  One thing I have not been guilty of throughout this whole thing (even though there are many) is living in a ‘dream-world’ or being unrealistic about Graham and what he is now or what he isn’t.  I see it all, I’ve thought it all and I continue to live in it all, very realistically.

Even a ‘realist’ has a hard time accepting everything, but I believe in perhaps the last month or so I have truly accepted Graham’s healing and life as it is now for us, for him.  It kind of hit me all in one day and I spent it crying, weeping and pouring out my hurt to the Lord. I am so thankful for that 85-88% I have of Graham, there are just days it’s hard to watch him struggle.  In all I think I’ve lost in Graham I am quickly reminded I truly have all the important things I need from him as a husband and dad to our boys.  He may never play the drums like he used to, run like he used to, play sports well, remember certain things, play guitar well again, ride his horse as he once did or dance as only Graham could, but like I said, I have all the truly important things.

He faithfully serves me and our boys daily, loves me faithfully, never turning a stray eye on anyone else.  He loves his Lord and continues to lead our family by example.  He makes me laugh.  He makes me feel so special and important and like I’m the coolest girl around, even with my ugly sweat pants and baggy shirt on all day doing laundry and tending crazy boys.  He even doesn’t mind the weight gain, cravings and occasional crying fits from all three of us (Wyatt, myself and Keith).  Many girls would kill for a guy like Graham…even with the brain injury:0) I am one truly blessed lady!

I also want to express that this ‘accepting’ for me has nothing to do with my faith in the Lord and His abilities to heal Graham completely.  If the Lord wants him 100%, so be it.  In the meantime I have to face reality and life as it is now, and life IS good!

Miracle of the day:

This might be silly, but I am so thankful for this because it has taken a LONG time.  Graham and I are FINALLY learning how to talk through arguments and tough times with a brain injury.  Since being hurt Graham’s temper has been, well, let’s just say, weird and hard for me because he NEVER had one before!  No joke!  We are learning that in all reality there are 3 people in our conversations: Graham, myself, and this third thing known as TBI (traumatic brain injury).  And even though we don’t want him in the conversation, he’s always there.  We are both getting so much better at dealing with it and realizing in those “heated” moments we have to consciously make an effort to work with it.  Many times we actually get laughing as we both know it’s just different and that’s okay, we still love each other so much.  It’s a big deal for us!

Humor of the day:

Watching movies with Graham now is so funny on a couple different levels.  First of all, if it was a movie he’s seen about 2 years before his accident, he doesn’t remember it.  It’s like he’s seeing it for the first time and it’s fun for me because I can trap him into watching something I know he didn’t like before.  I’m so sneaky…and kind of mean, I know.  Secondly, it’s rare that Graham even makes it awake through an entire movie now.  He tries to watch them upstairs claiming that since he’s on a couch and not ‘in bed’ he’ll stay awake.  He’s ‘watching’ a movie as I’m typing this and I can hear his heavy breathing.  Waking him up to get him down into bed is exciting too, he’s so confused and usually goes tripping down the stairs.  I’m left to gasp and try to get him to watch in bed, knowing he’s just going to fall asleep.  I have to pick my battles, just as every wife does, but this is not one of them:0)

Thank you for continuing to pray for us!

2 Responses to “Update on us 12/5/11”

  1. Leigh LoMaglio December 5, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    Thank you Randi, again for you openness and willingness to share. When this journey for you began, I had not even met you yet. I have been uplifted by your journey, and how God has shown himself through it, as I am sure many others have been. I had not had any experience with TBI before. Now, we have a dear friend, who is like a little brother to me, who was in a motorcycle accident, and all your previous writings are becoming real and understood more by me. I hold on to every encouraging word you type and sorrow with you at the difficult things. He had walked far away from the Lord and is still resistant to turning back to him. He is not resistant however to the believers in his life thankfully. So we continue to pray he will find his way back to God. He struggled with depression before and of course now, that is a continued struggle. Anyway, I just wanted you to know that your postings are speaking hope and encouragement into peoples lives. Although, I as sure you know it already..lol! Thanks again! His name is Dean if you should be inclined to pray. God Bless!

  2. Bob Bulmer December 5, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    YOUR UPDATES ARE SO CAPTIVATING RANDI. GREAT TO HEAR ABOUT GRAHAM’S PROGRESS AND IT WAS REALLY WONDERFUL TO SPENT THOSE FEW HOURS TOGETHER WITH YOUR FAMILY IN OCTOBER.

    YOU ARE A VERY SPECIAL FAMILY WITH AN ADDED BLESSING COMING …….. THOUGH PROBABLY NOT AS QUICKLY AS YOU WOULD LIKE. AS YOU HAVE SAID BEFORE, PROGRESS NOW WILL BE SLOWER AND PERHAPS SO SLOW IT WILL BE HARD TO REALLY RECOGNIZE ….. BUT KEEP LOOKING AND WE ALL WILL KEEP PRAYING WITH YOU.

    GLAD TOO THAT YOU GRANDFATHER SEEMS TO BE DOING WELL. YOU ARE ALL ‘FIGHTERS’.

    GOD BLESS
    PAULA AND BOB

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