That first phone call -- the one that starts with "There's been an accident..." -- can strike terror into the heart of any parent, spouse, or loved one. The adrenaline rush that accompanies the terror, though, can spur you into action. There's hardly time for the tears, as you rush to the hospital, listen to the doctors, call family members, and do all of those "emergency" types of things.
From personal experience and from talking with others, it seems that there are four basic phases that most caregivers experience:
- Terror and fear: "There's an emergency..."
- Shock and numbness: "What can you think, when the unthinkable happens?"
- Determination and hope: "Okay, so what do we do to speed the recovery?"
- Settling in for the long haul: "Our patient survived the accident. So how do we survive the recovery?"
If there is a coma involved, we recommend that you visit the Coma Waiting Page. There's a great deal of information and much needed support at the site. Also be sure to look into Coma Arousal Therapy as a means of hastening the reawakening. For other basic TBI info, see the Other Links page of this site.
We all must deal with grief and loss in our own ways -- so we'll not dwell on those subjects here. The balance of this site is dedicated to the Road to Recovery -- and how to survive the trip along that road, for both the patient and the caregiver.