As this year draws to an end we must take a moment to look back and reflect on our setbacks and accomplishments for the year. For Ray this reflection is more on a daily basis as he works to overcome his limitations as he moves throughout each day. Recovery is still occurring to make this struggle less problematic. There are good days and bad days but what has remained a constant is Ray’s awesome determination for continued recovery along with a positive attitude. A good sense of humor has also helped greatly to this end. Attitude above all is essential to seizing opportunities in every day.
Apparent signs of recovery for Ray are the absence of the ataxia that inflicted him for so long and improvements in his ability to read. While the Holmesian tremor is still present it only appears to be an issue with the finite skills such as eating, shaving, typing, etc. Ray’s eyesight is also not fully restored but with fewer tremors it has been possible for him to focus more clearly allowing for some reading to occur. Memory recall and speech clarity have also improved over this past year.
Recovery options for Ray are still open with nothing immediate scheduled. Financial assistance from the VA to participate in the day program at Brooks Rehabilitation is ongoing. Consult with neurology / neurosurgery outside of the VA is also in the works with an appointment lined up in March. It is unclear at this time what options may be recommended but we are hopeful some benefit will come from this outside resource. Time has been an incredible medicine for Ray’s recovery but there may still be other options available for him to reach further recovery potential.
Volunteer and motivational work for Ray is still being sought. Options available to Ray are limited due to his location and abilities. Ray’s passion to help others remains strong and we anticipate he will go on to find some activities where he can give back to the community. The drive to go back to medical school is also persistent and now that Ray is able to read again he has been spending a lot of time reviewing his old course material and notes. At any rate Ray’s journey is far from over with a future yet unknown.
Thanks to all that continue to follow Ray on his new life journey.
In our fast-paced lives it’s often difficult to slow down and consider life from the perspective of another with far more troubles than our own. Hard to believe that 3 years have gone by from when Ray was involved in a serious car accident that left him with a severe traumatic brain injury. Life for Ray has forever been changed to a new path filled with many new struggles. Perseverance would be a perfect way to describe Ray now and the progress he has made.
Adjustment to the limitations from his injury continue for Ray despite the multitude of medication and doctor visits. Any task requiring use of fine motor skills such as tying shoes, shaving or combing hair can be a significant challenge for Ray given the persistence of his Holmes tremor. While some recovery has been made over the years to ease the tremor it remains a major point of contention in regaining more control in his life.
The realization that more is needed to continue on a path of recovery is now apparent to Ray. Through his own self-reflection and motivation to overcome his injury Ray has committed himself to participating in a brain injury treatment day program offered through Brooks Rehabilitation. Coordination on starting the new recovery program are in the works with this possibly starting as early as next month. Now that Ray has accepted more is needed to recover other than time and medication it is hopeful that more progress is yet to come.
For those that may not know Ray well, his determination to do more with his life becomes evident when interacting with him. His drive to help others in whatever way that he can is still a major focus. “Follow your dreams” is often a saying that Ray will use to others in helping to motivate in the pursuit of self happiness. Even with being faced with major limitations, Ray offers encouragement to others giving us admiration for his efforts.
In the months ahead it will be important to keep Ray busy and focused on his continued recovery. At times staying positive through all the struggles can be tough for him to accept. We need to help remind Ray of his courage through the years in overcoming his injury when he is struggling. He has come a long way on his new life journey and with help he will have a long ways yet to go.