Friday, September 3, 2010

I'm In Love with my Caregiver

Good Friday to all. TGIF.
I haven't been able to write too much this week because I've had a lot of physical pain. I underwent many therapies to get rid of the pain. It's working, the pain is slowly going away. I'm good though, pain slows me down but it doesn't stop me. We'll keep moving forward.
It was back in 1996 when I met the girl that later became my wife. We met at a McDonald's in colloege. From the moment I saw her I knew that she was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. A few days after I met her I told her that I was going to make her fall in love with me. Roxana was a hard catch. She really was a challenge. Perseverance and my prince charming skills (LOL) made her fall in love with this handsome guy (LOL).
Let me share a funny story that Roxana found out years after we were dating. On our first date we were going to go to the movies with this group of friends we had in common. Well the time to go to the movies came and nobody else showed up but Roxana and I. The truth it was that there was never a group. "Pretty Smart" ha!!! Well after that first date we started going out more often as well as we would see each other on campus in between classes. Roxana is very attached to her parents, so I knew that if I wanted to be successful on our relationship I had to make her parent fall in love with me too. So, I took on the challenge. I would respectfully pick her up at the house and abide by the house rules. I would wait to say hello to her parents before doing anything else. I never was one of those that rolls in with a car and expect her to come and get in the car without me getting out of it. I was on a tight budget since I was a student. I did the simple things of a gentleman to make he fall in love with me. I would open the door to the car to her, when walking on a side walk she was always inside opposite to the roads, and I would do what would make her happy. It was hard work to make her fall for me, but I worked for it and succeeded. We dated for 4 years until we got married in 2000.
Roxana had great aspirations in life. Since we got married Roxana never felt the pressure of house roles or work. At home if laundry has to be done, he ever wants to do it does it. Same with cleaning and cooking. I never demanded anything from her. I wanted for her to feel at ease with everything. I don't like her to feel stressed for anything. Today we still do it that way. After we got married she was able to finish he MS in epidemiology and today she's completing her PhD in interdisciplinary health sciences. She is such a successful and smart person. I am very proud of her.
Our relationship as a couple is wonderful and it's like wine, it gets better as time passes. After the brain injury we have encounter some bumps on the road. Our married life was affected by the abrupt change as well as my individual life. We had a strong relationship and that is what allowed us to quickly adapt to the change. Also, Roxana was very knowledgeable on brain injuries. Her knowledge was a key element in adapting and understanding the injury. We are best friends first. We have been like this from the beginning. Now with the brain injury I promised her that I will make her fall in love with me everyday. I can't remember somethings. Sometimes I had do something special for her and since I don't remember I do it again. She loves it. I remind her everyday how much I love her. Without her there is no way I would get thru this. She's has a special gift, and a skill that nobody had, she can give 1,000 kisses per minute (lol). I love her so much.
She upholds our wedding vows, especially "in sickness and health". After my brain injury I have never felt that she stopped loving me. She still as caring, loving, friend, and tender as day 1. I am blessed to have an angel as a wife. I know she gets frustrated after the BI. It is totally acceptable and normal because I'm not the same person. I feel it. But thru communication, knowledge about the condition, and love we have been able to overcome the difficulties.
To all you couples I tell you, be friends first. Communicate with each other. To the caregiver I say, please don't take anything personal. Many times we don't realize what we have done until after the fact. It hurts but if you show that you took it personal it hurts more, and it becomes overwhelming to us. I'm not saying to tolerate all. Use a smart way to communicate so none of the two parts gets hurt. Reach a happy medium. As a BI survivor I can say that it feels like we are little kids so everything is retraining. Many couple base their relationship on sex. This will set you up for failure. Sexual performance and desire is greatly affected by a brain injury. It will force us to put it on second place. This has the potential to create deep injuries in the relationship. What helps? "Knowledge" and "Communication". I will talk about my experience with this topic at a later day on a different article.
My marriage is stronger than ever. Talk, learn and understand. You will see it makes a difference. Trust me on this!
Have a great Labor Day Weekend.


  1. My hubby Alan fell in love with me the same way. He said he saw this huge long ball of wavy hair from behind, underneath which was a girl in a Donkey Jacket and Steel Toe Cap Boots, and just fell in love. He spent two years working out how to get me. He tricked me by asking me to go to the pub with him as this girl he did not like was 'not getting the message' and he didn't want to hurt her. I came home liking him. He always came into the house to collect me, and on time. He knew I wouldn't wait for someone who could not be bothered to turn up on time. He has always opened car doors and always carried the bags etc.. When I walk into a supermarket and get spaced and go blank, he just grabs my hand and takes over. When I'm in pain, which is pretty much most of the time, he knows before I do. When I get snappy due to pain, he knows it is the pain talking, and ignores it. He will tell me to go lie down and get me a pain killer. We love each other more today than ever. When people ask him how he feels about what has happened and that he lost the wife he married. He just says that he got two for the price of one, the second is different but just as lovely. He didn't have an ordinary wife in the first place, he had one who loved to strip down a bike engine, build a trike, create a garden, decorate and build walls and paths. So I was never normal!! I am very lucky! But, so is he!

  2. How fortunate you both are. What wonderful support for you in your recovery! I would imagine it makes you even more motivated. Thanks for sharing!

    For the pain, have you tried acupuncture? It is amazingly effective with almost all kinds of pain. I did not have a lot of pain, but it has been a large part of my recovery.

  3. I have a story for you. I was married at the time of my BI. After 10 years I divorced him. I met Buster at the gym and we became best friends. After a few years we moved in together and then married. It will be 15 years next month. Now HE KNOW WHAT HE WAS GETTING!!! God bless him.

  4. Thanks for sharing that beautiful story. To still be in love after 14 years is amazing these days. To be in love after struggles such as yours, is a blessing you know? :)

  5. This will definitely help the people in care giving profession understand and adjust to their patients. Caregivers should be knowledgeable and skillful too.