My name is Caren. As of the writing of this Introduction in 2014, I am a 41 year old who is married and the mother of 6 children.
On January 4, 2014 I was on my way to pick up our 2 oldest daughters, on a Saturday morning, from a sleepover. I would never arrive.
I was in a horrific head on collision with my then, 5 year old son Austin. I was the driver of a minivan that belonged to my mom. My seatbelt failed/malfunctioned and I was ejected from the passenger side door – over the door frame my body apparently bent in half. I was not ejected through the window or through the windshield. In fact, the windshield though cracked all over – remained intact. Both airbags were deployed and Austin was sitting behind the driver’s seat in his Booster seat. Everything that happened, my very survival and that of my son, the survival of the woman in the other vehicle, was nothing short of miraculous….for all of us.
I do not remember the wreck in any way, shape, or form. The other driver states she has no memory of the wreck. My son remembers numerous details about it, including seeing me ejected, unbuckling himself to find me, face down, and in a pool of blood around my head and body. He escaped unscathed physically – not even seatbelt marks from his carseat – an unexplained miracle and angel blessing for sure.
I incurred numerous orthopedic fractures which included a hairline fracture of my pelvis, broken R wrist, Ribs 2-11 fractured and displaced by 2cm, my spine T 5-10 fractured, my R scapula fractured in more than two places and the rest of my scapula shattered. I sustained numerous bruises, lacerations, and other injuries which included seatbelt marks, a plum sized right eye, and a closed head injury. It would turn out that I would learn that my brain injury was called a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). This title for my ‘new normal” as I called it, was an understatement – by far. My medical injuries and their extent would continue to be discovered, treated, not treated, and are still unfolding as time goes on.
I have been on medical leave from my full-time job for over a year now (a job I ended up losing as they could no longer hold my position and eliminated said position).
All these moments, would, though unknown to me at that time – change every facet of my entire life forever.
If you are looking at this right now then it is meant for you to know to NEVER GIVE UP HOPE…..my acronym for HOPE = Help One Person Excel. I had to have a correlation that was positive for my TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) as I got tired of talking about it and got tired of this “thing” defining my life. So to talk about it, understand it, and come to grips with this “new normal”…I coined TBI to mean “To Be Independent” as this is the struggle and goal to get all this back over time. My Independence, my freedom, my life!