Aaron Carlson's Journal
Written Sep 3, 2012 10:05pm by Sue BartzAaron’s been busy moving on with his life. We celebrated his high school graduation with family and friends at his graduation open house on June 10, 2012. He’s worked at Wal-mart this summer part-time, as well as helping Greg with some granite jobs. He purchased a used car in July so that he can travel to work and school. This past Monday he started college at St. Cloud State University. He’s currently taking pre-calculus math, an English writing class, a computer class, and he’s playing something called “The Rack” for the Husky Sports Band. The Rack is some sort of big percussion instrument with lots of different sounds on it, and he’s hoping to mount his keyboard on it as well once they build a support for it. Aaron says it’s a lot of work pulling it onto the field and back, especially since the weather has been so warm lately. He’s sticking to 12 credits this first semester to see how it goes. Between work and classes and band practice or performances, he was pretty tired by Friday!
I’ve been thinking for awhile now that it was time to move forward. I’m planning on ordering a book from Caring Bridge from his site entries, so that Aaron can look back on the last year should he want to and to re-read all the wonderful messages of love and support some day…but we don’t plan on continuing to update here. Aaron doesn’t feel the need to – and this was his story and a way inform others about his recovery when he could not. He just wants to live his life now, and to be like everyone else. It’s time to concentrate on all of the things Aaron can and will do. We’ve tried over the past year to make our entries positive, while still allowing people to see Aaron’s struggles and then his growth and his accomplishments. Everyone has challenges to overcome in their lifetime, and this is just one of Aaron’s. I’ve always felt that if you focus on what you don’t have, what you wish was different, or what you feel that you’ve lost…that is where your energy goes. It’s sometimes the easiest thing to do, but it doesn’t make you feel any better or uplift anyone else.
Things are still challenging for Aaron in some ways, but I have no doubt he will succeed in whatever he chooses to do. I know he is grateful for the chance to do them. We hope that he continues to improve and that he knows what a gift he’s been given. And what a gift he is to us. Thank you to everyone for supporting Aaron throughout his recovery. Sue
“There are blessings every day… find them…create them…treasure them.”
Written Jun 3, 2012 6:37pm by Sue BartzToday is June 3rd. One year ago today is the day that Aaron was in the car accident that almost took his life. So much has happened in the last year that it seems like a lifetime ago.
I remember endless days at the hospital – listening to the medical staff use terminology that became very familiar to us. When your child is injured or seriously ill, you quickly learn all about something that meant little to you before…in our case “Traumatic Brain Injury” or TBI. The first day or two we just prayed that he would make it. Then it was more waiting and watching. One of the rating scales they used was called “The Rancho Los Amigos Scale of Cognitive Functioning”, and the scale runs from Level 1 (coma) to 8 (appropriate cognition and behavior). It sounds complicated but it’s just an evaluation tool to help follow the progress up the scale as they recover. Aaron was a Level 1 with a severe TBI when he was admitted – and that scale was a scary unknown for me. No one could predict with any accuracy of where on that scale his recovery would end up. And as I looked at it many times, I thought anything other than a level 8 would have been very hard to deal with. But we couldn’t do anything except watch him heal, and pray that we could deal with the outcome.
Aaron left North Memorial eight weeks later – amazingly an 8 on that rating scale, but with much healing yet to do. Aaron had a month of outpatient therapies, and then started school in the fall with his class. He’s had had a great senior year at Maple Lake High School. His good friends stuck by him and treated him just the same as they always had, even though he was different in some ways. The entire staff at MLHS supported Aaron in countless ways too, as well as outside vocational / rehabilitation agencies.
Aaron graduated on Friday, June 1st along with the senior class of 2012 at MLHS. We are very proud of his hard work and determination throughout this past year, even though the challenges have been many. He is now also employed part-time at Wal-Mart in Buffalo, and is registered for fall classes at St. Cloud State University. Aaron never lets any limitations get him down for long – he just strives to be as successful as he can in what he does. I’ve been thinking over this past year while gathering photos and articles together for his graduation open house next weekend. It would be easy to wonder what Aaron’s successes may have been had the accident not happened – would he have finished a year of college already doing PSEO classes? Would he have an easier time with difficult school work? Would he be more independent and would he have been able to do more with his friends all year? Yes, all of those things. But would Aaron appreciate life as much, and would he have the maturity and compassion for others that he does now? Would he have realized how many people really do love and care about him? And would he have learned that sometimes things happen that you don’t plan on, and you have to just regroup and then keep moving forward? No, I don’t believe he would have. Those are things you learn through adversity.
Congratulations on your graduation, Aaron, and for all your hard work this year. We are all very proud of who you are, and who you have yet to be. We love you very much!
“Your journey has molded you for the greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don't think that you've lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time.” ~Asha Tyson
Thank you to everyone who has prayed, visited, supported and wished Aaron well this past year. Sue
Written May 21, 2012 10:53am by Sue BartzHere is the link to Aaron's interview with KARE 11: :)