I thought I would add another post this week since I have been sorely lacking in my communication about Frank and his recovery. I feel for those of you that tune in to check on Frank, and what you read is a bunch of stuff about how I am doing, or how we are doing as a family. Well, if you want information on Frank, today is your lucky day!!
Maybe not if you are Frank of course, he is in the other room, and may be none too happy about me writing an update while he sits a few rooms away from me. Very soon my goal is to have him write his own updates, and then you will hear it directly from him how he thinks he is doing. Just be prepared for a repeat phrase throughout his post.
“I won’t be recovered until I am back at work.”
I am used to that theme, since that has been the goal since the night I arrived at the hospital on January 2, 2012 – to get him back to work. We have spent many months focusing on traditional therapy programming, running and exercise. He works on the computer, runs on the treadmill, and until recently, attending therapy multiple days a week at the Courage Center. Now, we have changed our focus a little bit, and taking a break from the traditional program schedule.
Now that I am home, the focus will be on day to day emotional healing and wellness. This area of recovery is often overlooked, and as the months of grueling therapy schedules went on and on, it became apparent that one thing was missing in Frank’s life – and that was a little bit of fun.
It is hard to have fun when your days consist of getting up, going to therapy, going to the gym, and coming home. Where is the fun in that? I can tell you where it was – nowhere. As the weeks went by, I saw a Frank that wasn’t as happy, or laughing, as he was just a little while ago. When asked what was wrong, he replied with “Nothing, I just want to go back to work.”
When therapy becomes a chore, and not an activity truly engaged in, it is time to take a break. Those of us on Frank’s clinical team agree that regular therapy programming needs a break right now. Time to do some things that still add gains to his recovery, but don’t necessarily look like therapy – balance and agility activities, dates without children, going for walks in the morning, and creating positive social interactions to continue to develop language processing and skills.
Although these may not seem important on the outside, on the inside, they are crucial. Police officers must be able to have incredible social interaction abilities to communicate with many types of people. Ensuring these skills are at their best can only be done with practice – not in a clinical setting, but in real life settings, with real people.
And not just with your wife.
So if you see us out and about this summer, stop and say hello. Ask Frank how he is doing, and don’t ask me. I already know how to skillfully answer lots of questions for him – I have been doing it for months – time for me to step back and stop doing so much, and to start being along for the ride.
I think we are both looking forward to the change.