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Beyond adversity

A Love Story:

His Calm Nature is My Strength!

By Jodi Shaw (Guest Author)

My husband is the most wonderful person I know, not despite his disabilities, but because of his disabilities.

Life with “Corky” isn’t everything that my family and friends think it is though. “Living with a family member who has suffered a TBI is kinda like living with Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hide.”~ unknown And, oh how true that is.

In fact, some days Corey is so sweet, charming, fun-loving, caring, attentive, well-balanced, mushy, romantic, and the “funnest” (as Jake puts it) person to ever be around.

When Corey wakes up we never know who we will meet. We don’t know if that person will stay with us throughout the day, or leave us part way through, forgetting in an instant just how much fun they were having. TBI’s are complex and for the person’s living with them is equally complex.

After four years of marriage, I am still learning when to bite my tongue so hard I taste copper, to keep from saying something I know he will only forget later. I am learning to show patience without talking down to him.save money, shop local, Canada Coupon Coupon Company

It’s downright hard sometimes. Most of the time I’m left feeling very alone, while living with my best friend, lover and partner, always wondering “Is today going to be a good day or a bad day in the life of Corky?” Because whatever type of day he is going to have, affects my day, and the day of our children. That is the hardest part to accept.
On a good day for Corey remembers things, not when I want, but he will remember. Time has no real limit where Corey is concerned. If I send him to the store, I don’t start worrying until the two hour mark or so, as forgetting where he was going, what he was getting is a part of the process. He will return and smile, telling me he forgot what he was to get, but then remembered and had to go back. Or that he ran into a friend and lost track of time.

A good day in the life Corky is filled with tons of laughter, and silliness. Corey does voice impression, and he often uses them to make us all giggle. He is light hearted, caring with the kids, attentive towards me.
Tomorrow could be a bad day.

What is a bad day?
A bad is entirely something different. To some it could be seen as abusive, mean, stupid, and just plain ridiculous where everyone may question why on earth I married him, knowing about his TBI. At times he can be difficult, argumentative, negative and so forth. But they don’t know. They don’t realize. Many of Corey’s characteristics, attitudes, reactions, and lack of emotions, (as with many TBI survivors) aren’t his fault. His brain is damaged.

Unless you have suffered a TBI yourself, you can’t even begin to understand what it is like to look normal to the world around you, and suffer the stares, the opinions and reactions of people who don’t see your disabilities because you don’t wear them on the outside.

A bad day with Corky means he will make at least five trips to the store because he gets the wrong thing, forgets where to go, and doesn’t remember he could call and ask.

A bad day in the life of Corky gets up, feeling angry, upset about something, but due to his inability to connect with his feelings at times, and he has no idea why. We have two children, Trace and Jake. He gets frustrated with Trace for not listening, or angry with Jake for something Jake did two days ago, but he thinks happened today. Or he tells me something I said nearly a week ago, and then feeling defensive and angry because I correct him.

Corky’s experiences feelings of frustration when his brain doesn’t cooperate with what he wants his mind to remember. And the person hardest on Corey is Corey himself.

“I’m a bad father sometimes. I yell at the kids for things that didn’t happen. I can’t work cause of my disability and I hate it! I can’t provide for my family. I forgot our anniversary. I forgot my kid’s birthdays. I forgot my own bloody birthday! Sometimes I feel so lost.” says Corky

At least 1.5 million people a year sustain a TBI from some type of physical trauma, the highest percentage being car accidents as in the case with Corky. At 18 years old, he was going to school to obtain a Bachelors degree in Physical Education, majoring in sports medicine, when one day, a noise on his bike causes him to look down, and BAM! No more Corey. Many families go through the trauma with their loved ones, and the heartache of losing someone who survives a TBI is heartbreaking.

I will never forget what my mother in-law told me how hard things were for Corey, not being able to remember his friends from school, teachers he had, sports he’d played. She said that when he awoke from his coma, that she had to bury him in her mind. He was no longer the boy she had given birth to, loved and cherished.

Corey was somebody else.

Corey had to relearn the simple tasks that we all take for granted, like eating, reading, writing, walking and speaking. He doesn’t remember anything that happened before the accident. All his friends, family members, memories from his childhood are all wiped out.
Corey has done his rehab over the years – life skills, anger management, independent living, physio-therapy, cognitive relearning and more.

But if you meet him, you will remember him. He uses humor as a way to be resourceful when he can’t comprehend his own emotions. In many ways I envy him.

Many of us would kill to have no baggage to carry with us. Baggage is the memory of events, so Corky seldom has baggage. In some ways his disability is actually a gift.

Either way, it doesn’t really matter. Good days or bad days, I don’t really care. Bottom line, I love him. And how could I not? Loving him makes me happy. He makes me want to be a better woman, teaching me a lot about myself.

His calm nature is my strength. He is my best friend. He treats me with respect, and loves his family, working hard to keep things together. And he is strong, even through his weaknesses, because he is humbled by them rather than complaining.

It doesn’t depend on what your brain remembers, but more what your heart doesn’t forget. That is what makes my husband so special. And no matter what happens through the years, what his brain does to hinder him in recalling those wonderful memories we build upon as the years pass us by with those we are fortunate enough to love.

One thing is for certain-even if Corey forgets. I will be here to help him remember.

The time it took you to read this article, someone just sustained a traumatic brain injury. Take the time to help, recognize the problem and talk about it more.

My husband is the most wonderful person I know, not despite his disabilities, but because of his disabilities.

Life with “Corky” isn’t everything that my family and friends think it is though. “Living with a family member who has suffered a TBI is kinda like living with Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hide.”~ unknown And, oh how true that is.

In fact, some days Corey is so sweet, charming, fun-loving, caring, attentive, well-balanced, mushy, romantic, and the “funnest” (as Jake puts it) person to ever be around.

When Corey wakes up we never know who we will meet. We don’t know if that person will stay with us throughout the day, or leave us part way through, forgetting in an instant just how much fun they were having. TBI’s are complex and for the person’s living with them is equally complex.

After four years of marriage, I am still learning when to bite my tongue so hard I taste copper, to keep from saying something I know he will only forget later. I am learning to show patience without talking down to him.

It’s downright hard sometimes. Most of the time I’m left feeling very alone, while living with my best friend, lover and partner, always wondering “Is today going to be a good day or a bad day in the life of Corky?” Because whatever type of day he is going to have, affects my day, and the day of our children. That is the hardest part to accept.
On a good day for Corey remembers things, not when I want, but he will remember. Time has no real limit where Corey is concerned. If I send him to the store, I don’t start worrying until the two hour mark or so, as forgetting where he was going, what he was getting is a part of the process. He will return and smile, telling me he forgot what he was to get, but then remembered and had to go back. Or that he ran into a friend and lost track of time.

A good day in the life Corky is filled with tons of laughter, and silliness. Corey does voice impression, and he often uses them to make us all giggle. He is light hearted, caring with the kids, attentive towards me.
Tomorrow could be a bad day.

What is a bad day?
A bad is entirely something different. To some it could be seen as abusive, mean, stupid, and just plain ridiculous where everyone may question why on earth I married him, knowing about his TBI. At times he can be difficult, argumentative, negative and so forth. But they don’t know. They don’t realize. Many of Corey’s characteristics, attitudes, reactions, and lack of emotions, (as with many TBI survivors) aren’t his fault. His brain is damaged.

Unless you have suffered a TBI yourself, you can’t even begin to understand what it is like to look normal to the world around you, and suffer the stares, the opinions and reactions of people who don’t see your disabilities because you don’t wear them on the outside.

A bad day with Corky means he will make at least five trips to the store because he gets the wrong thing, forgets where to go, and doesn’t remember he could call and ask.

A bad day in the life of Corky gets up, feeling angry, upset about something, but due to his inability to connect with his feelings at times, and he has no idea why. We have two children, Trace and Jake. He gets frustrated with Trace for not listening, or angry with Jake for something Jake did two days ago, but he thinks happened today. Or he tells me something I said nearly a week ago, and then feeling defensive and angry because I correct him.

Corky’s experiences feelings of frustration when his brain doesn’t cooperate with what he wants his mind to remember. And the person hardest on Corey is Corey himself.

“I’m a bad father sometimes. I yell at the kids for things that didn’t happen. I can’t work cause of my disability and I hate it! I can’t provide for my family. I forgot our anniversary. I forgot my kid’s birthdays. I forgot my own bloody birthday! Sometimes I feel so lost.” says Corky

At least 1.5 million people a year sustain a TBI from some type of physical trauma, the highest percentage being car accidents as in the case with Corky. At 18 years old, he was going to school to obtain a Bachelors degree in Physical Education, majoring in sports medicine, when one day, a noise on his bike causes him to look down, and BAM! No more Corey. Many families go through the trauma with their loved ones, and the heartache of losing someone who survives a TBI is heartbreaking.

I will never forget what my mother in-law told me how hard things were for Corey, not being able to remember his friends from school, teachers he had, sports he’d played. She said that when he awoke from his coma, that she had to bury him in her mind. He was no longer the boy she had given birth to, loved and cherished.

Corey was somebody else.

Corey had to relearn the simple tasks that we all take for granted, like eating, reading, writing, walking and speaking. He doesn’t remember anything that happened before the accident. All his friends, family members, memories from his childhood are all wiped out.
Corey has done his rehab over the years – life skills, anger management, independent living, physio-therapy, cognitive relearning and more.

But if you meet him, you will remember him. He uses humor as a way to be resourceful when he can’t comprehend his own emotions. In many ways I envy him.

Many of us would kill to have no baggage to carry with us. Baggage is the memory of events, so Corky seldom has baggage. In some ways his disability is actually a gift.

Either way, it doesn’t really matter. Good days or bad days, I don’t really care. Bottom line, I love him. And how could I not? Loving him makes me happy. He makes me want to be a better woman, teaching me a lot about myself.

His calm nature is my strength. He is my best friend. He treats me with respect, and loves his family, working hard to keep things together. And he is strong, even through his weaknesses, because he is humbled by them rather than complaining.

It doesn’t depend on what your brain remembers, but more what your heart doesn’t forget. That is what makes my husband so special. And no matter what happens through the years, what his brain does to hinder him in recalling those wonderful memories we build upon as the years pass us by with those we are fortunate enough to love.

One thing is for certain-even if Corey forgets. I will be here to help him remember.

The time it took you to read this article, someone just sustained a traumatic brain injury. Take the time to help, recognize the problem and talk about it more.

My husband is the most wonderful person I know, not despite his disabilities, but because of his disabilities.

Life with “Corky” isn’t everything that my family and friends think it is though. “Living with a family member who has suffered a TBI is kinda like living with Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hide.”~ unknown And, oh how true that is.

In fact, some days Corey is so sweet, charming, fun-loving, caring, attentive, well-balanced, mushy, romantic, and the “funnest” (as Jake puts it) person to ever be around.

When Corey wakes up we never know who we will meet. We don’t know if that person will stay with us throughout the day, or leave us part way through, forgetting in an instant just how much fun they were having. TBI’s are complex and for the person’s living with them is equally complex.

After four years of marriage, I am still learning when to bite my tongue so hard I taste copper, to keep from saying something I know he will only forget later. I am learning to show patience without talking down to him.

It’s downright hard sometimes. Most of the time I’m left feeling very alone, while living with my best friend, lover and partner, always wondering “Is today going to be a good day or a bad day in the life of Corky?” Because whatever type of day he is going to have, affects my day, and the day of our children. That is the hardest part to accept.
On a good day for Corey remembers things, not when I want, but he will remember. Time has no real limit where Corey is concerned. If I send him to the store, I don’t start worrying until the two hour mark or so, as forgetting where he was going, what he was getting is a part of the process. He will return and smile, telling me he forgot what he was to get, but then remembered and had to go back. Or that he ran into a friend and lost track of time.

A good day in the life Corky is filled with tons of laughter, and silliness. Corey does voice impression, and he often uses them to make us all giggle. He is light hearted, caring with the kids, attentive towards me.
Tomorrow could be a bad day.

What is a bad day?
A bad is entirely something different. To some it could be seen as abusive, mean, stupid, and just plain ridiculous where everyone may question why on earth I married him, knowing about his TBI. At times he can be difficult, argumentative, negative and so forth. But they don’t know. They don’t realize. Many of Corey’s characteristics, attitudes, reactions, and lack of emotions, (as with many TBI survivors) aren’t his fault. His brain is damaged.

Unless you have suffered a TBI yourself, you can’t even begin to understand what it is like to look normal to the world around you, and suffer the stares, the opinions and reactions of people who don’t see your disabilities because you don’t wear them on the outside.

A bad day with Corky means he will make at least five trips to the store because he gets the wrong thing, forgets where to go, and doesn’t remember he could call and ask.

A bad day in the life of Corky gets up, feeling angry, upset about something, but due to his inability to connect with his feelings at times, and he has no idea why. We have two children, Trace and Jake. He gets frustrated with Trace for not listening, or angry with Jake for something Jake did two days ago, but he thinks happened today. Or he tells me something I said nearly a week ago, and then feeling defensive and angry because I correct him.

Corky’s experiences feelings of frustration when his brain doesn’t cooperate with what he wants his mind to remember. And the person hardest on Corey is Corey himself.

“I’m a bad father sometimes. I yell at the kids for things that didn’t happen. I can’t work cause of my disability and I hate it! I can’t provide for my family. I forgot our anniversary. I forgot my kid’s birthdays. I forgot my own bloody birthday! Sometimes I feel so lost.” says Corky

At least 1.5 million people a year sustain a TBI from some type of physical trauma, the highest percentage being car accidents as in the case with Corky. At 18 years old, he was going to school to obtain a Bachelors degree in Physical Education, majoring in sports medicine, when one day, a noise on his bike causes him to look down, and BAM! No more Corey. Many families go through the trauma with their loved ones, and the heartache of losing someone who survives a TBI is heartbreaking.

I will never forget what my mother in-law told me how hard things were for Corey, not being able to remember his friends from school, teachers he had, sports he’d played. She said that when he awoke from his coma, that she had to bury him in her mind. He was no longer the boy she had given birth to, loved and cherished.

Corey was somebody else.

Corey had to relearn the simple tasks that we all take for granted, like eating, reading, writing, walking and speaking. He doesn’t remember anything that happened before the accident. All his friends, family members, memories from his childhood are all wiped out.
Corey has done his rehab over the years – life skills, anger management, independent living, physio-therapy, cognitive relearning and more.

But if you meet him, you will remember him. He uses humor as a way to be resourceful when he can’t comprehend his own emotions. In many ways I envy him.

Many of us would kill to have no baggage to carry with us. Baggage is the memory of events, so Corky seldom has baggage. In some ways his disability is actually a gift.

Either way, it doesn’t really matter. Good days or bad days, I don’t really care. Bottom line, I love him. And how could I not? Loving him makes me happy. He makes me want to be a better woman, teaching me a lot about myself.

His calm nature is my strength. He is my best friend. He treats me with respect, and loves his family, working hard to keep things together. And he is strong, even through his weaknesses, because he is humbled by them rather than complaining.

It doesn’t depend on what your brain remembers, but more what your heart doesn’t forget. That is what makes my husband so special. And no matter what happens through the years, what his brain does to hinder him in recalling those wonderful memories we build upon as the years pass us by with those we are fortunate enough to love.

One thing is for certain-even if Corey forgets. I will be here to help him remember.

The time it took you to read this article, someone just sustained a traumatic brain injury. Take the time to help, recognize the problem and talk about it more.