we are weary. maybe it's the lingering summer sunshine. maybe it's the reality of plowing our way through transition. maybe it's facing the five year accidentaversary a few weeks ago. maybe it's the fact that the lawn constantly needs mowing and, at this rate, we may still be mowing at christmastime. maybe we're getting old.
and to be clear, i started this update in july. so the wearyness does not seem to be a passing moment.
here's the main story of this update: the carrick brain center.
(spoiler alert: this is not going to be the most uplifting journal entry you've ever read. you've been warned.)
you likely recall that we have been back from our *great atlanta adventure* (alternative title: the hotlesters rock hotlanta) for over three months now. and really, when i updated after our return, i left out most of the nitty gritty of our adventure.
so here's the deets.
as promised, they are both nitty AnD gritty.
we scheduled with the carrick brain center one week of treatments, as per their suggestion. that meant six days of treatment, three treatments each day, and then regular follow-up care after by way of video, phone, and email.
the first day was mostly diagnostics and treatment planning and then the rest of the week, the treatments focused on building the connections that landon's brain was already able to make. we had a stellar team in place, as you will remember from the journal entry while we were down there
. all was going along beautifully.
until tuesday morning (our second to last day of treatment). it was then that we learned that monday afternoon just after we left, carrick brain center corporate decided this would be a good time to clean house.
we're not talking scrubbing floors and dusting ceiling fans. we mean, --clean house-- (serious emoji face). as in, get rid of people. as in, landon's entire team. oh and also, frederick carrick
himself. (pause) say, whaaaaa? yes. they fired the guy who is considered the father of modern chiropractic neurology.
now in the interest of clarity, corporate didn't use the word "fire." what we were told was something a smidgeon more gentle/vague/unclear than that. something along the lines of corporate re-structuring
. and to be clear, we're still not sure what happened-- it seems like maybe some of landon's team were fired and others walked.
and NoNE of this was even a teensy bit clear at the time, all we knew was that they were GoNE-- dr. duffy, dr. sass, coach
. All GoNE.
what we got was a WHoLE NeW team of doctors. on our second last day of treatment. sometimes a whole new thing is good-- such as in a whole new pint of ben&jerrys, or a whole new pair of pants, or a whole new bunch of dance moves. but what is rarely a good thing is a WHoLE nEw TEaM of DoCTORS right at the end of your treatment. especially if you are, say, nonverbal and severely brain injured. just sayin.
we were wildly unimpressed. we were a mix of angry, confused, powerless, pissed, and feeling punched right in the gut with exhausted on top. we were, in a word, pooped.
and then we met our new team
and to our surprise, they really were *fantastic*. they were kind, respectful, understanding, and quick to dive right in, ensuring we didn't lose any more valuable treatment time. and landon actually connected with them right away.
this did not change that we felt frustrated, but we did feel cared for by our treatment team. we powered through our last day. we were given exercises to take home and instructions for how to send videos back to carrick for the doctors to continue to guide landon's recovery and treatment.
and as quickly as it arrived, the week of intensive treatment in hotlanta was over.
the hotlesters were on a plane to minnesota where highways hold a reasonable number of lanes and the weather wasn't, as les would say, hotter than refried beans.
fast forward a few weeks.
mom taught ben (super pca) the new exercises. landon was becoming a pro at sticking out his tongue. (huZZaH!) dad was happily back to driving on two lane roads with exactly zero gibangus corporate office buildings to be seen. things were humming along.
as instructed, mom sent in videos of landon doing his exercises.
mom sent in a few more videos.
mom emailed to say, um, hi, where's the feedback?
just no response.
mom played like it was 2001 and gave the carrick brain center a telephone call.
at which point she found out that LANdON'S EnTiRE B*TeAM was now also gone.
no, not dead.
the b team.
in summary, there is now not a single soul employed at the carrick brain center that treated landon. or even saw landon.
if you're into face-palming. now would be an appropriate time for it.
if you're into planking, you could also take a moment to plank something. just for a break from this weird, stupid story. also, grab a pickle or a slice of pie on your way back. snacks help.
there were massive amounts of planning and praying that went into preparing to go to atlanta. not only was the cost of treatment huge, but there were also other tremendous costs and challenges involved. and traveling with landon includes even more careful preparation-- from having to call hotels because 'wheelchair accessible' means many different things to many different people to having to haul just the most ginormous amount of care supplies and StUFF.
you know that feeling when you muster up all your energy and your last remaining coherent thoughts and you take a flying leap of faith in the direction of the sunny south? when you pile all your busted up hope and you take a big fatty breath and decide, ok, YeS, we are doing this?
that was hotlanta for the hotlesters.
and then this.
this is where we are.
it's not a nice, heart-warming ending.
but sometimes healing isn't heart-warming.
so here's what's real for us right now. we feel like carrick brain center sucked all the busted and mustered up hope right out of our center. we're having trouble recovering from our leap, struggling to find energy to move on, not sure how to grab onto the next opportunity for healing. and maybe that's why we've been sitting on this for so long.
too much of a downer?
sorry 'bout it.
TBI is a big, crappy downer.
and here's what i'm going to choose right now: to leave it.
leave this sitting in a poop pile of weary.
do you mind sitting here in this with us for a bit?
we promise not to stay here.
there's too much good, too much healing, too much lovely out there to stay here long.
but for now, for this minute,
we're just going to invite you into the weary poop heap.