Sunday, March 25, 2012

Close that Refrigerator Door!

It really is such a sad and lonely world around us. I say this not because of the life I lived but more importantly the life I should have lived. Over my seemingly endless journey of all the brain injury clinics across the state of Texas that was set before me, I took one thing away: you can't give into our cold and lonely world. I have seen and heard things that I wish I never had. After reading this, you may understand why I view this world the way I do.

I really can't forget many of the fellow patients I've met along the way. I am not the only one whose life has taken a drastic, unexpected turn. For some of us in this world there is a little betrayer we call life or better yet fate.  Fate really is like a seductive little mistress, it can have you completely one second, but in the next you won't even know how you got there.  When you take the time to actually think about it, life is all very miscombobulated (you might have to look that one up in the Urban dictionary!). 

Life really is like a never ending staircase, it just keeps going and going and going.  In my travels across the state of Texas, I have come across some very particular and somewhat amusing individuals.  Many of you have asked me to write about the different brain injury rehabilitation facilities I've been in and so that's what I'm doing today.  I'll start by talking about some of the other TBI patients I've come across.  I certainly didn't know this world existed and I bet you didn't either.  These centers are filled with people like me whose lives have been changed forever because of a brain injury.  And in most instances, their entire families' lives are changed forever as well. 

First we have a former Hawaiian Tropic model who was a patient in one city.  She was, well, very pretty in her former life.  Judging by the pictures which donned her wall, she could have been a super model if fate had not stepped in. Fate, that old temptress.  This poor girl would literally holler at all hours of the day just because she was hungry and could never feel full. It was horrid to listen to her screams all day long and night. She couldn't help it though.  She couldn't move at all and her mind was nothing like what it used to be.
At another facility I met a patient who was an awesome football player on the college level. Unfortunately his savage brain injury made him repeat age two.  He might not ever be more than a two year old.  Life can be ever so frigid.  It's like I wanna say, "Hey man, who left the refrigerator door wide open?"

There was another really great looking guy who was trying to help someone one night and ended up getting beat to the point of a traumatic brain injury.  This guy lost everything - his voice, his ability to move - his entire life.  All you can probably imagine or see is the big picture of what people like us have lost.  There are so many aspects of daily living that we've lost, too.  Ya know, the little things you would never think about.  Yes, if you didn't know it yet...fate can be evil.  But you can't let it win. 

Finally there is the lonesome, aspring author and that would be me.  I've lost my voice and my most valued friends, but not my mind and not my undeserving family.  It would seem that what each of us TBI patients prized most, we lost.

Luckily I've learned that sometimes you just have to turn that frown upside down. To give it back just as much as it has been given to you. That's what I've been trying to do every day since I woke from my almost four month long coma. To laugh hysterically right in that little demon's face is a joy that few people have the opportunity to do.  I can't wallow.  In fact, I won't wallow in this ever so frigid world.  Bound and determined is what I am.  And I give credit where credit is due - to God.  So please do me a favor and make my journey a little more worthwhile: count your blessings today - big and small. 

I haven't ever really tried my hand at writing for the public, so I hope this is all good.  And seriously, it really is a bit nippy in here.  "Who left the refrigerator door wide open?" 

Here I am a week or so after
the accident at Hillcrest in the Surgical ICU...
This was in Temple at LTAC
(Long Term Acute Care)...
three or so weeks after the accident.
This was my first week at
Texas Neuro in Austin.
I was moved there on August 16th
(the accident was July 25th).
I was still very much in a coma,
but they would dress me and
have me do "therapy".
Here I am with my mom
in February (almost seven months after)...
This picture was taken at
the Center for Neuro Skills in Irving.
I was flown to Dallas on Feb. 14, 2011...
about seven months after my accident.
I made a lot of progress at CNS.
On November 27, 2011, I was moved
to RIOSA in San Antonio. 
This is me with my dad on the day I left.
I didn't last very long at RIOSA...
it was awful.  I came back to
Waco mid-January.
And here I am today...
(with my cousin Walker)
at Sr. Care of Hewitt.
This is a brief stay (or it was supposed
to be) before my house is ready.
I've come along way, wouldn't you say?
So, I had a horrid brain injury.  I'm making the
best of it.  Shouldn't you with your life? 
Otherwise what have I accomplished?


  1. Keep being strong Travis , the Superman above is with you & in you, you keep trusting in Him and He'll give you the strength you need! I love you buddy!

    Ps I wonder, whats its mean to "to keep the refrigerator door open?"

    1. probably he will b there one day to close it. that is his hope.

  2. Travis, this is awesome. You did a great job writing for the public! I've kept up with you through your mom. Thank you so much for sharing your side of it with us.

  3. Great insight into your side of all that has happened in the past 21 months. You are inspiring. Keep writing. Keep smiling, and close the dang refrigerator! ;)

  4. Your progression is totally awesome ! Keep flying Superman, God's got your back !

  5. Your progression is totally awesome ! Keep flying Superman, God's got your back !