My Struggle through life By Jamie Young Hi I`m Jamie.I have experienced a lot tragedies in my life and they have made me stronger.I am real lucky to be here to type this but even just to be breathing.WOW its even hard to think about it.I plan to walk you through some of the events of my life.I am sharing this with the hopes that someone else will enjoy it and find support. 1983 My first life threatening accident was in 1983.I had worked a long day and stopped at my coke dealers house to get something to perk me up! I ran out and wanted more. I was driving downRT3A. I must have fallen asleep cause all I remember is waking up and seeing trees.I Knew I was going to crash so I put my arms over my head and got down in the fetal position.What happened was,I hit a fire hydrant on a chuch lawn,was thrown out of the car through the drivers door glass.I woke up in front of a statue of Jesus Christ. I tried to get in my car and move it. It wouldent move.Then the police came and drove me home.Iwalked up three flights of stairs to my apartment,changed my clothes and pulled my shirt over my head.I asked my wife to take me to the hospital,because my neck was hurting me. I arrived at south shore hospital and said”my neck hurts”.The doctors and nurses rushed around to examine me.Turns out my neck was broken.I had two self tapping surgical steel bolts holding an 80 pound weight, making sure my head didn`t move.That hurt!!The next day I was fitted for a halo or walking cast.I spent one month in the hospital getting physical theropy.My wife,at the time,took me home and was my care giver for the next two months,until the halo came off. Then I was fitted for a Philadelphia collar.I had that for three months. Then I got back to work,back to life. 1998 Tragedy number two struck in 1998.I went through a real nasty divorce.I had to get a divorce because wife was unfaithful to me.This was okay,because I had grown apart from her anyway.She wanted to be with someone else so I said”you want the life style change you move out”. She did for a short time. Her mother got involved and told her to move back to the house. So she did and made my life miserable,so I had to leave.Which was okay,because I liked getting away from her, but it was the kids I hated to leave. I knew my son and she didn`t always get along real well.So,I asked my son if he wanted to live with me.He did. I told my my lawyer,at the time”I don`t care what I have to pay her her in child support,I just want physical custody of my son”! I got it,but it did cost me a lot.It was worth every penny! Today I am divorced and have physical custody of my eighteen year old son and visitation with my two girls.I recently had a meeting with my lawyer and her lawyer to disuss modifying the divorce decree because of financial troubles. 2002 In April of 2002,I was involved in a motorcycle accident.I broke my hip and suffered a brain injury.After all I have been through,this is the hardest thing I have ever had to come back from. I was an inpatient at three different hospitals;brigham and womens,The Greenery,and Braintree rehab.I was in a coma for approximately two months.I don`t remember coming out of it.I have been in outpatient theropy sinse the fall of 2002 and continue through today. Living with a brain injury is difficult.You have to get used to not being able to do things when you want to.You have to get used to being confused a lot. You have to understand that can`t do things as quickly as you could before.Simple tasks become big projects.You have to understand that people treat you differently;they don`t know whether to help you with whatever your doing or just to let you do it yourself.For instance ,if I was walking out with a cup of coffee,they don`t know if they should help me or just let me do it.Which sometimes,I don`t know either! Another thing is my balance.Some days are better than others.I have to remember that I used to be in a wheelchair and now I am getting better with a cane.Small progress is hard for me to see and except.I do have to be careful when I am in my room,bathroom,or kitchen,because there are sharp things.If I fell I could really hurt myself and I don`t want to go back to the hospital. My balance is getting better as time goes on.There is that word again……time Let me try to explain to you what is going on or not going on in my brain.lets say that there are roads from my brain to all the parts of my body.Roads that messages travel on telling my body what to do. After my accident,those roads have become filled with potholes,making those messages impassable.So my brain has to find a new road.My brain has to rewire itself.I find this very difficult to do. I have already learned things once and now I have to relearn them.And I will learn them better than before the accident. I have received a lot of help. From friends,family,and theropists,doctors and nurses.I think that is everybody!I just want to say a couple of things about the people that have cared for and supported me.They may say they are just doing their job,but they do it with such dedication is unreal. While at the greenery in N.Andover, I had two theropists, Laurie and Ray.They were both responsible for my trasfer to Braintree hospital.I will never forget what you both did for me.I wouldn`t be doing as well as I am now if it wasn`t for the both of you. At Braintree hospital ,while inpatient,I had two theropists that were very good to me.Dan,my physical theropist,and Becky,my occupational theropist.Dan you are going to be a major reason why I will walk again.Becky,for some reason ,I just worked real well with you. Then,I was dischargrd to live at my mothers house(with my mother as care giver),but I still went to Braintree hospital for outpatient therapy.I don`t remember a lot about Braintree outpatient but,I do remember my speech therapist Elain.She took a lot of extra time with me and I needed it.And my case manager Robin was a big help to me too. She made me understand,which was hard for me back then,that going to the Plymouth clinic for therapy was the next step. I was ready to start driving and throwing in windshields.I didn`t realize how badly I was hurt. I thought I would be going back to work from Braintree,not needing more therapy! Then I started going to Braintree rehab`s Plymouth satellite.They had a cognitive to help get me on my own again.What can I say;it just wouldn`t be enough.These therapists are truly special .I could go there feeling real down on myself and I would leave with so much confidence. I will really miss them.My occupational therapist Lynn really did a good job with me.Maureen and Lance my physical therapists,thank you so much. My family has been real supportive to me.When I was to be discharged from the hospital there were two choices.I could either go to an extended care facility(nursing home) or have a care giver at home (my mother).And thank god,the later happened.Today,I do live at home with my mother and my brother. Thank you both for taking me in. I have to say something about my girlfriend,Michelle.I must be the luckiest guy in the world,not just for being alive,but for having`re the one who has been there from the start,listening to me and all my problems and working as my memory.Thank you for showing me what love really is because,I didn`t know. I love you with all my heart and look forward to spending the rest of my life with you. My kids have been a big part of this too. Lissa, when I was in my coma and you used to tell your mother to drive you to the hospital,and you used to hold my hand and talk to me.It means a lot to me. Brianne you are always there for me.Thank you for helping me relearn some of the things I used to enjoy before. Ken,you`re the best son,and friend anybody could have.You have really become my best friend. Barbs and Bill are good friends of mine.You have been there with me from the start.And Barbara next door,thank you.Jan, you have no idea how happy I am that you are back in my life.You really make me happy;) To all the doctors and nurses,I say I say thank you.If I have missed anyone let me know. Oh! Angie;I love you.Kala Allison and Ally,you have all been very special. Therapy in Plymouth is coming to an end and I am starting a new program called ship(statewide head injury program).It will be hard to leave Plymouth,for I have made a lot of friends and progressed really far. They have a support group in Plymouth that I will continue to go to every month.Thank you all very much. My Speech therapist Cara not only are you responsible learning and remembering to use my strategies,but also for helping me with my home page.Cara there is one thing I won`t forget that is all the help I got from you.