In other news

I visited my nephew in the hospital today, for the first time since the day of the accident. Frankly, I kind of wish I hadn’t, because what I saw was very concerning. He looked awful and he didn’t really acknowledge my presence. He was tossing restlessly on the bed, but didn’t move his left arm or leg at all, and his mother said he couldn’t see well on his left side — which may be why he didn’t acknowledge me, since I was sitting on his left side.

The important thing is he’s still alive. He’s incredibly lucky; he’s doing as well as a person can be in his situation. I keep telling myself that. But it was distressing to see him flat on his back and looking so terrible.

I didn’t stay long; a gaggle of his friends showed up and it got pretty crowded. Once he gets out of the hospital they’ll begin rehab.

And Michael and I are going to be getting a new kitten. We already have a much-loved cat, Carmen, but we had been in the process of maybe thinking of getting her a kitty companion for quite awhile. Remember Michael’s friend Ellen who died? Well, Ellen and her husband Ron had gotten a kitten shortly before her accident and now her husband doesn’t want it anymore. He can’t stand to look at it because it reminds him of Ellen. It’s just the kind of cat we were in the market for: it’s female, it’s black (I wanted a black cat because they’re less adoptable than other cats due to the superstition, and Michael wants one because his first-ever cat was black and he has a soft spot for black cats) and it qualifies as a rescue cat because it needs a new home. We’ll get supplies and kitten-proof the house and then collect the kitten in the coming week. Ron has agreed to pay for the last of its shots, and the neutering.

The kitten is ten weeks old. We have decided to call it Aria. Michael wanted a name associated with Ohio State University — Carmen is named after Carmen Ohio, the OSU song — and I suggested Violet, after Violet Meek, the former dean of Ohio State’s Lima campus. Michael didn’t like that name and suggested Brutus, after Brutus Buckeye, the mascot. I said Brutus was completely unacceptable for a female cat. We decided Aria would be a good name, though, because it goes well with Carmen. I mean, Carmen is a song, and an aria is a type of song, so…

When Aria arrives I’m sure I’ll post loads of adorable pictures of her.

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6 thoughts on “In other news

  1. thewhistler77 August 16, 2015 / 11:24 pm

    HAVE HOPE

  2. Cheryl August 17, 2015 / 8:08 am

    I clicked back on the “Michael’s Friend Ellen” and from there, “that one person” link. All I can say is, “wow, some nerve.” You do amazing work for the Missing and someone actually wants to discuss how you dress? People continue to surprise the hell out of me. I’m glad you are who you are. Thank you for all you do.

    Praying for your nephew and Congrats on adopting Aria!

  3. Brian Lockett August 17, 2015 / 6:40 pm

    I hope I ain’t getting on your last nerve talking about your nephew, but that (TBI) is something I have first-hand knowledge of.
    Just try to get him to at least take the therapists’ advice under consideration.
    I wish I’d have listened better, but all I could here back then was “You are now retarded and you will be for the rest of your life.”
    I’m really hard-headed and got mad, so I disregarded 95% of the advice they gave me.

    I was also kind of “blind” (but not due to the TBI) after my wreck. I’ve always had sensitive eyes with bad allergies (certain times of the year). I’ve had SUPER-sensitive eyes since my wreck. “They” (whoever that may be) must have thought that I was driving without my “corrective lenses,” which must have solely meant eyeglasses back in ’97. My contacts were in for over a week before my mom noticed and told them to take them out.

    And please hear me on this, Meaghan…

    The “Kaine” comment Cheryl mentioned got me riled up, but also made me think of something related to my head injury.

    I’ve always been shy, short, pudgy and crazy (“eccentric” is the PC term). Before my wreck, I spent so much of my time/energy trying to hide or deny those traits. Hell, I look just like Mario whenever I decide to grow a mustache. The few current little kids that know who Mario is get a kick out of it.
    It can work for me or it can work against me, but I’ve developed an “I don’t give a [expletive of your choice]” attitude about life.

    That said… If he/she (a stranger) had said rude/hateful crap like that about me TO me, I’d have gone to jail and would still be here. You should ask them for a pic and post it so people can critique them.

    • Meaghan August 17, 2015 / 11:58 pm

      My sister-in-law, my nephew’s mother, is a nurse. I’m sure she’ll be on top of things as far as rehab goes, and won’t let him slack at it. Having medical knowledge must be both a blessing and a curse in situations like this. On the one hand, she knows what’s going on and can interpret for everyone else and stuff. On the other hand, well, she knows what’s going on, so right after the accident she knew just how bad things were. When I visited him at the hospital I spoke to her and said I had thought he would die. She said she had thought this too.

      As far as Kaine goes, well, the internet seems to make a critic out of everyone. People say such horrible things online that they’d never say to a person’s face. I gave the comment the consideration I thought it was due: which is to say, very little.

    • Meaghan August 20, 2015 / 6:59 pm

      He is in rehab now. He walked a few steps yesterday almost unassisted. But he thinks it’s 2010, he’s 18 and my parents are still married.

    • Meaghan December 30, 2016 / 11:15 pm

      I don’t know if you’ll even see this, since it’s been almost a year and a half since your comment, but my nephew committed suicide in January of this year. About 20 months before the accident, he was diagnosed with a benign but incurable rare brain tumor — the kind that keeps growing back and growing back and growing back until it eventually kills you. Median survival time is about 10 or 12 years from diagnosis. His was really big and had probably been growing since he was little. (The average age of diagnosis for this type of tumor is 65.) They had surgery to take it out, and afterward he had seizures and couldn’t work and developed some behavior issues with aggression and being impulsive and stuff. I suppose you’re never really the same after they take a piece of of your brain, plus there was the whole “you’re going to die young” thing.

      Then Nick had the brain injury in the car accident, and after that he was partially paralyzed and for a few months he couldn’t even be home alone for an afternoon because his seizures got worse and more frequent. There was no question of living on his own. It must have really chafed on a young man in his early twenties.

      His behavior problems got much worse, he got really hostile and threatening to everyone, especially his mom for some reason — he called her awful names that I don’t care to write here, told her he hated her, etc. His family was terrified of him; they were honestly afraid he might kill them. His parents were talking about putting him in some kind of residential center (not sure if it was a treatment program or a nursing home or what). Nick didn’t like this idea AT ALL as you might imagine. Over Christmas his girlfriend dumped him.

      Then he shot himself. And when I found out just how bad the situation was, medically speaking and psychologically and socially speaking, I’m not surprised. In fact I’m surprised he didn’t do it sooner. In his last few posts on Facebook, Nick wrote that he was sorry about how he had treated his mom and he really loved her.

      I talked to my psychiatrist about it, told him the whole story, and finished saying, “If anyone earned the right to destroy themselves, it was him.” I think Dr. Bruno agreed with me, although he could hardly say so outright — especially in front of the medical student that was shadowing my appointment that day. Dr. Bruno said there’s very little that psychiatry can do for brain-injured people.

      There’s an axiom that “suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” That’s often true but not in Nick’s case. It’s kind of like the way things were with Robin Williams. Things were not going to get better for him and I’m sure he realized what a problem he was causing for his parents and younger brothers, and he couldn’t help it, his brain was broken and there was no fixing it, and eventually that tumor was going to grow back and kill him.

      When it happened, that night when Dad and I found out (we were together), I kept saying, “This was supposed to happen to me, not him! Everyone always worries about me! I’m supposed to be the one who was going to do this!” And Dad and I went home alone and sat around for awhile and eventually I put on Netflix and we watched a documentary about jellyfish because we didn’t know what to do.

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