Grief

Brain Injury Awareness Month – Alexis Verzal Update (Day 2)

Brain Injury Awareness Month - Alexis Verzal Update (Day 2) www.herviewfromhome.com
Written by Tiffany Verzal

Well Her View From Home Friends, I’m BAAAAAACKKKKK….

It’s been almost two years since I’ve last posted.  Although I’ve written at least 100 posts in my head.  After Abby (2) was born, I just didn’t know where I stood.  I’m now half kid with a brain injury mom and half “typically developing” kid mom.  Everything that defined me for 6 years completely changed.

I have mentally revisited Alexis’s first years way more than what I have wanted to.  To be honest, I was afraid that if I wrote, it would be a blog of contradictions.  But March is Brain Injury awareness month.  I hate awareness months.  But for some reason, yesterday I told 1000 of my closest Facebook friends that I was going to write about Brain Injury every day in March.  Then tonight, I messaged Leslie and said that I would write a blog post every day in March.

So you guys get post #2, which will technically be posted on day 3.  So don’t do the math and just go with it.  Because that’s really what life with a brain injury is all about.

Brain Injury Awareness Month post #2

  1. “Have you ever had a brain injury? Well, I have because my babysitter shook me when I was a baby. Having a brain injury is hard because kids don’t understand me and people knock me over. “He” runs in front of me. But there are good things about having a brain injury. You get to ride in an ambulance for your first time and you get to ride in a helicopter for your first time.” -Alexis Verzal, March 2, 2016: 9:35 pm

90% of things make sense but something is always a little bit off. We walk a fine line everyday trying to correct her to better “fit in” with our society and letting her live her life the way that she is and doing our best to fill in the gaps of what she wants to say to us.

But it’s not just communication. Alexis spends most of her day being re-directed and corrected. How she walks, what she says, how loud she says it, how she reads, how she counts, how she acts, how she eats, how she goes to the bathroom.

She handles it extremely well, but I wonder what impact it has to be essentially “nagged” all day every day, by every one important to you in your life.  Yes, it is all for her well being (and she loves the attention)- but I would be at my own wit’s end if I had to hear 1% of what she hears.

And the truly frustrating thing about brain injury, that piggybacks on all of this, is that we don’t know if she understand or comprehends what it means to be nagged.  When that is all you have ever known in your life, it becomes normal.  I worry that her normal is so skewed it’s hard to tell what is part of the brain injury, and what part is just having to endure a very difficult childhood.

Read more about the terrible day that Alexis was shaken, the results of the trial and the incredible determination and bravery from her parents

About the author

Tiffany Verzal

Tiffany Verzal was raised in rural Nebraska, and now lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with her husband Brandon and daughter Alexis (9) and Abby (2). In 2008, Alexis (then 14-months-old) was the victim of shaken baby syndrome at the hands of her daycare provider in Texas. Alexis suffered severe brain damage and has spent over 2000 hours in rehabilitation since her injury. Tiffany continues to raise awareness for traumatic brain injury, shaken baby syndrome and child abuse. Brandon and Tiffany serve as members on Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital’s Board of Trustees. Brandon is currently the Chairman of the Nebraska Child Abuse Prevention Fund Board.