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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday's New York Times Science News

I can really relate to the lead article in today's paper. The timeliness of the article is in response to the one year anniversary of the tragic event in Tucson in which Gabby Giffords, a US Congresswoman, was brain-injured after being shot in the head. The subject is the effect on the marriages of partners where one has survived a brain injury and counseling techniques that are being designed to help the marriages survive. Here are some quotes from the article:
"While people may technically be married, the quality of their relationship has been seriously diminished."
"...teach uninjured spouses to forge a relationship with a profoundly changed person--and help the injured spouses to accept that they are changed people."
"...he 'flat-lined' emotionally and he suffers from depression, anxiety and a lack of motivation."
"...makes erratic decisions.." "..a lot fewer interests"
"Strangers and friends do not understand the...socially inappropriate behavior."
"Even relatives ..struggle not to take outbursts or remarks personally."
"My life is sitting in the living room quietly while my husband just sleeps."
"Guilt is the tie binding many people to a dependent stranger."
"...she couldn't say she had never contemplated leaving."
"We'll have a whole day where he's just fine."
"...caregivers ultimately received a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder."
At every stage mentioned in the process of dealing with a brain-injured spouse, I would have gladly settled for their lives--only for the progression of Alzheimer's disease to stop. I gave up looking to restore my husband to where he was, I accepted him, cajoled him, enjoyed the 'just like the old Bob' moments, but they are very sparse now and soon will be gone.

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