APHASIA IS A BITCH, MY RECOVERY FROM TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY….
The adventure began with an unconventional trip crossing the Andes Mountains in Peru South America on a November morning in 1972. The decisions that my "Peruvian brother", Dick and I made to cross the mountains have changed my life forever. What started out as a harmless and exciting trip, took away from me the life that I once knew. I was young and carefree and open to experiencing life. Dick and I were headed to the West coast of Peru for the weekend, to check out the city of Mollendo. I was looking forward to seeing the girls in their skimpy bathing suits, the beaches, and the beer. We were driving in an old green beat up pick-up truck when the accident occurred.
My memory has been adversely affected by my car accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury. I am continually seeking someone in the medical community knowledgeable about traumatic brain injury, Aphasia, and specifically in the area of short term memory loss. Probably one of the biggest surprises for me was how little the medical community seems to know about the brain. My quest has been to find someone to help me improve my short term memory, and by doing so, improving my quality of life. I have discovered in my "quest" that unless one's specialty is in rehabilitation or neurology, most physicians are not knowledgeable enough about Aphasia that they would speak about its complexities. This has turned out to be my passion.
Since I have suffered from brain trauma resulting in a deficiency with my short term memory I continue to seek out research being done in this area. (Since my accident in 1972, at the age of 21,"My Quest" began). Admittedly, the medical community is more knowledgeable today about the brain than they were in 1972; however, in the area of short term memory, not so much. I was hopeful that the government might be doing more research involving brain injuries because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. What I have found in my "quest” is that the word Aphasia, is a fairly general term, almost a catch all. Often when a patient has any type of injury to the brain they are labeled 'Aphasic'.
I would define an Aphasic as someone who has had some type of trauma to the brain, which affects the person's speech. Other parts of the brain are often affected, and the magnitude and severity are unique to the individual. It may include some type of paralysis. It will affect the person's ability to communicate. This will cause frustration often played out in some signs of violence. (An example of this could be displayed by the patient throwing objects.) The person's personality and even attitudes will be changed. The patient is often impatient, having to relearn so many things. The patient who has suffered a traumatic brain injury will be changed. He has lost his confidence, and even some self-respect in many cases. He was possibly very independent at one time, but during his recovery, he becomes dependent on others for almost everything. Regaining these life learned skills will be cumbersome! The brain is a very complex organ, which helps to explain, why no two head injuries are alike. The area of the brain affected and the severity of the affected area is individual. Hence, the title of this paper.
CHAPTER ONE - DePERE WISCONSIN
The second semester of my sophomore year at St. Norbert College located in DE Pere, Wisconsin started like any other semester. However, it was just a short time after the semester began and I had already lost interest in the classes that I was taking. I was unclear as to what I wanted to study, and very unsure what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was inquisitive, and looking!
I had a buddy, Mike that lived in a different dorm than me. He was living with a couple of foreign students, one from India and the other from Africa. He was living in a suite and he was looking for another roommate to share this Cultural Experience. Again, I was looking for something different, so I moved into their suite in Victor McCormick Residence Hall. (Another influence that played a part in my decision to go to Peru).
I worked part-time for the college as a night watchman in one of the women's dormitories. My job was to protect all the voluptuous women living there from intruders or mishaps. It was in 'Dorm Three', and the "house mother" was Krissy Karpinen. Krissey had previously graduated from St. Norbert's and now was teaching in a nearby grammar school. She loved her new job and had a million stories to share. When she was not teaching, she was in the dorm trying to set an example for the underclassmen. She took her job seriously! She was Very unique, and full of life. As for me, I liked Krissey, and I enjoyed working "with" her.
One evening in February 1972 as I sat at my desk, close to the front door protecting the women living there from any harm, one of the residents came down to speak with me and keep me company. Her name was Debbie White. I knew Debbie, although not as well as I knew other participants in the "Peru group from 1971". Debbie had recently returned from St. Norbert's Peru program. We spoke of our likes and dislikes with Saint Norbert's. I also mentioned to Debbie that I was considering joining one my best friend's, Don Svitak, and transferring to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. I told Debbie that I wanted more out of my four year college experience than I felt St. Norbert's could afford me. Debbie saw my discontentment and from there, the "process" began.
Debbie questioned me about considering going to Peru. My response to her was something like: "Why the hell would I want to go to Peru"? I knew other students in the 1971 Peru group better than I knew Debbie. However, unlike Debbie, they questioned me briefly about Peru, but they let me get away with my response of "Why the hell would I want to go to Peru". Debbie did not! It was "funny" that Debbie was questioning me about going to Peru. It was funny to me because I knew many of the people that were in her group to Peru. I spoke with many of them when they returned. They All mentioned to me how miserable Debbie was in Peru. Debbie also admitted to me that her experiences in Peru were less than perfect. Debbie went on to explain about her many regrets in regards to her Peruvian experience. She said, "Craig, if you transfer to Colorado with your friend, it will not be all that different."
Debbie talked continuously about what a wonderful experience Peru was and how she regretted not taking advantage at all it had to offer. We spoke about Peru for hours. She answered all my questions and convinced me that the Peru Program had my name all over it! "Craig," she said, "I blew it. Don't make the same mistake." Sooo, I went home after work and tried to sleep. I was unable to sleep very well, because I could not stop thinking about the Peru program.
CHAPTER TWO - TRAVELING ABROAD
The idea of living abroad always intrigued me. A close friend of mine was attending The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He was involved in a study abroad program that the University offered. A group of students from the University of Notre Dame and a group of students from St. Mary's of Notre Dame were involved in this program studying in France and living with French families. This program was a two semester program.
There was also a well-known program from Loyola University in Chicago. To be involved in this program students transferred to Loyola, typically for a semester or a year, and joined their study abroad program. The students involved in this program lived together in dorms, took classes, and had the experience of living in the city of Rome, Italy. The University offered various trips around Europe, or one might organize their own trips to points of interest. I knew quite a few people who had been involved in this program over the years, and I had heard nothing but positive comments about this program.
The fact that the St. Norbert College Peru Program offered the participants the incredible opportunity to live with Peruvian families seemed to me to offer the experience of a lifetime. Arrangements had been made with several members of the faculty offering a variety of classes in the areas of Education, Sociology and Political Science, all relevant with living in Peru.
CHAPTER THREE - THE PROCESS
The next morning after a relatively sleepless night, I took a shower and I began "the process". I went in search for one, for any, of the professors, involved with the Peru program. I spoke with Professor Calnin, who would be hosting the Peru group in its third year of existence. I apologized that I was causing a "fuss"! The extensive study program had already completed two of its eight weeks. I tried to explain why I wanted to go to Peru, and what an asset to the group that I thought that I could be. He listened to me very intently, asking me questions. I surprised myself at how quickly and enthusiastic I had become at the thought of this exciting new adventure. Professor Calnin told me that he would call together the other professors involved with the program and consider my request. I was beyond excited!
I called home and spoke with my parents. My father's first question was, "How much is this going to cost me?" A fair question - after all, there were six children to care for, and money at home was tight. I carefully explained to my father that this program was the same price as attending St. Norbert's. I went on to explain that this also included a summer school session, which would put me ahead academically, and fulfill my language requirement. I explained to Dad that it was all good, and that I would not be asking him for any additional money.
However, I still had to wait to hear the response of the professors in charge. I was more than a little concerned that I might be rejected, because I had never studied Spanish, and the eight week preparation for the adventure was already two weeks in progress. However, the program had been advertised as a "Living, Learning, and Teaching Experience". I hoped and prayed!
The four professors involved with the program had a meeting to discuss my request. They decided that they would accept me into the program, qualifying that I would have to work hard to catch up with the preparatory classes. I knew that I would have to work hard, especially to learn Spanish, and I was psyched.
My prayer was answered!
I realized how lucky I was that they granted my request, and I was determined not to let my professors down or to disappoint them in any way. So, the Honors Lounge in Boyle Hall became like a new residence for me. The Honors Lounge was located in Boyle Hall, one of the main original structures on campus. It somehow became the study place for students and professors involved in the Peru Program. I studied very hard! Other students in the program helped me with my Spanish, and camaraderie with the Peru group began. We became "The Saint Norbert College Peru Program 1972". I was excited! Our classes terminated on March 15th, giving the students a few days at home. Our departure from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport was to be at 12:15 p.m. on Sunday, March 19th.
Professor Calnin, who taught both Spanish and German, was in charge of "The Saint Norbert College Peru Program of 1972". His wife, a Professor of German, along with their four sons and thirteen students, would make up "The Saint Norbert College Peru Program of 1972". The students in the group were an eclectic bunch: Charmaine was a Spanish major; Wolfgang, Val and Betty were Music majors; Nancy was a French major; Kazuco, a Language major; Pat a Business major; Maureen (Mini), Mary Kay (Mouse), and Kathy (B) were Education majors; Steve, an English major; Robert, a Sociology major; and Chris and I were Communications Arts majors. The level of Spanish fluency varied tremendously as well. The common bond we shared was the desire for Adventure! Again, the program was advertised as "A Living, Learning, Teaching Experience in Arequipa, Peru, S.A." We were all psyched!!
The decision to go to Peru was not a difficult one for me to make. I had been involved in other programs that were also related to working with people in difficult situations. My senior year of high school I was involved in a program called CALM. Every Thursday after school, a group of students made up of Brother Rice High School men and Mother McAuley women from the adjoining High School were all bused into the inner-city where we helped a group of students, tutoring them after school with their reading.
During my senior year of high school, over Christmas break, a small group consisting of about ten students, and one 'brother' volunteered to partake in a mission to help deliver food to the poor in a town in the Appalachian Mountains. In Lancaster, Kentucky, we helped with the tedious job of mailing out newsletters to parishes throughout the United States asking for help for these destitute people of Appalachia. These people depended on these contributions for survival. We also packed and delivered boxes of food that had been donated to these needy families. It was difficult for me to believe that we had people living in this type of poverty in the United States of America.
I had a group of friends studying at The University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana. I decided to go down to Champaign for a day to say good-bye to my friends before leaving for nine months to Peru, South America. Since completing the preparatory program for Peru, every time I mentioned to people that I was going to Peru, the question was always, Peru where? I found this to be very funny! However, this became increasingly funny when I did learn from my friends in Champaign that there was indeed a Peru, Illinois. It was a small town located in Central Illinois.
On one of my last nights in Chicago before departing for Peru, I drove up to the North side, to the Evanston area. I visited my dear friend M. J. in the hospital, and said good-bye! M. J. was dying from Cancer! It would be the last time that I would see her!
The short time that existed after completing our courses for Peru, and the few days we had left before leaving for Peru flew by. It might have had a little to do with the Energy and the Excitement!
CHAPTER FOUR – THE ADVENTURE BEGINS
Well, the day came! On Sunday, the 19th of March, 1972, my parents drove me to Chicago's O'Hare Airport to meet the Peru group. We boarded our Delta jet which flew us to Miami. We landed in Miami around 4:00 pm. We waited nervously for our 6:00 pm departure on Pan American Airways to Caracas, Venezuela. I believe that we all were both nervous and excited.
NEXT STOP, OUR FIRST SPANISH SPEAKING COUNTRY!
We arrived into Caracas at about 9:00 pm. I remember hearing an announcement at the airport. I was thinking, "OK, who is "the smart ass that was speaking Spanish". Reality was sinking in!
Caracas was a large cosmopolitan city. There was a lot to see and do; after all, Caracas was the capital of Venezuela. We had studied about the cities that we would stop at and visit on our way to Peru. There were many spots of interest in this amazing city. I believe that we were overwhelmed after a couple of days in Caracas. We decided that it would be exciting to take the cable car over the mountains, and to visit The Caribbean Sea. We were excited both about the cable ride over the mountains and the chance to swim in the Caribbean. It was a nice diversion from Caracas, and a welcome change of pace. Most of us were from the Midwest, and we would learn from this adventure the danger of the sun. The sun was much stronger here than what we were used to. Some of us were lighter skinned than others. Some of us spent much too much time in the sun. A couple of people in the group were sick from their over exposure to the sun! Some of the group really suffered from sunburn. After four nights in Venezuela, we continued the journey.
Next stop Bogota, Colombia. This was a large city also; however, it lacked the charm that I enjoyed in Caracas. We were only in Bogota two days, which was probably enough. Some of the group was still suffering from the Caribbean sun. We checked out some museums and other spots of interest.
On to Quito, Ecuador! I remember Quito as The bargain. After Bogota, and especially Caracas, Quito was extremely inexpensive. As we continued our adventure heading further South into South America, we saw more of what we were expecting. We were expecting poor living conditions, with many people selling their wares in the street, and many people begging for food, money, anything. This became more apparent as we continued south.
CHAPTER FIVE – MY "HOME" FOR THE NEXT NINE MONTHS
We arrived into Lima, Peru on March the twenty-ninth, nineteen hundred seventy two at 11:00 am. We were careful in gathering our luggage and other belongings. We boarded the bus for a Long adventure to Arequipa. Most of the trip was uneventful, because a good deal of the drive to Arequipa was in the dark. We departed from Lima around 1:00 pm, next stop Arequipa. Half of the drive would be in the light and we had the opportunity to check out the countryside of Peru. We had studied about the arid mountain ranges of Peru. We also studied the poor demographics, and the desolate people living in these small communities, high in the Andes, truly isolated from the rest of the world. As the bus drove into Arequipa, we were both Frightened and Excited! This was to be our home for the next nine months. We knew that Arequipa was Peru's second largest city in 1972. We had studied that there were basically three classes in Peru, and the largest class was that of the poor,"Los Pobres". We witnessed many "villages" on our way to Arequipa, all of them appearing to be very poor. I do not believe that all the studying that we did before we left the states could really prepare us for "this visual reality" of Arequipa. No one said it, but I am sure that there were thoughts in the group, like, what did I get myself into?
We arrived at the house of the family Carceras. Mrs. Carceras (La Sentra Carceras) was in charge of securing families with whom we would live during our nine months Peruvian Experience. We were assigned to our families before leaving from the college. The previous group helped with the matching up the students to the families. The family with whom I was to live decided that they wanted more money, and were dropped from the program. A family that hosted a member of the 1971 group did not request a student this time, because a relative was to be coming to live with them. Conditions had changed, and the family contacted Sra. Carceras requesting another student. SOO, this ended up being the family with whom I would live for the next nine months.
I still vividly remember when a man that appeared to be in his sixties and his son that looked around twenty came to "claim" me. The son, Dick, had long hair, and a pair of light blue 'short' flares. I remember it being a very scary moment! Here I am in Arequipa, Peru about to move in with a Peruvian family for nine months. It was an especially frightful moment; here I was, after six weeks of Spanish. Was I crazy or what?
Ricardo Yanez, husband, father, and mentor would be my "father" for my next nine months. I liked him immediately; he turned out to be kind, warm and loving. Tula would be my "mother". She was kind, her job was to care for her children and run the house. She would constantly be cleaning the house, doing laundry, and preparing fresh meals. She was warm and loving also. My "brother's" name was Ricardo, like his father's, however, he was called Dick. He was a year younger than me. Maggie, my younger "sister" was eighteen. They were both students at Saint Augustine University (La Universidad de San Augustine). Last, but not least was Petty, she was my youngest (sister). She was seventeen, in high school, a sweetie, but not driven by her studies. I cannot forget Nati, she was our maid. Dunbar was the dog. I had a great family; I could not have been placed with a better family!
Living with this family would be a wonderful experience. They were all warm and loving. I learned from the beginning that they were open-hearted and very expressive. People kissed each other, often, all the time. In the beginning this was awkward for me. However, I did learn to enjoy the physicality of the people. I do not remember any men in my life, ever showing me signs of affection, especially my father. Every time that you left or returned to the house, you would seek out all the members in the house, and kiss each other on the cheek. The men and women alike. People would come over to the house, friends of my parents, brother, or sisters, and you always greet each other with a kiss on the cheek, and when they departed, this source of affection was repeated.
Again, our group was made up of thirteen students. Arequipa was the second largest city in Peru, at that time. We each lived with a Peruvian family, and lived in different areas of the city. I lived very close to Mary Kay, about a half a block away, and Roberto, a block away. I lived the farthest away from Beccy (Betty), who lived about thirty minutes away by taxi, forty minutes away by collectivo, of fifty minutes by bus. A collectivo was an old car or mini bus that had a route, like a bus, but was a little more comfortable than a bus. It cost a fraction more than a bus. In terms of American money, I will the use the distance from my home in Fecia to the downtown area, the Plaza de Armas. To take a taxi was about a twenty minute ride, at the cost of about two American dollars; of course a lot of this depended on the time of the day, which affected the amount of traffic. A collectivo would take about thirty minutes, at the cost of about four cents, and a bus ride took about forty five minutes, at the cost of less than a penny, with student I.D. cards. God forbid that I would forget my student I.D. and have to pay the full fare of about a penny and a half.
I lived in a village called Fecia, very close to 'el cementerio', which was an important reference when taking a taxi! Mary Kay, Roberto, and I all lived in Fecia. Robert and I became fairly close during our Peruvian experience. Mary Kay and Steve became an "item" while in Peru, and they spend most of their time together. I did spend time with my Peruvian brother, Dick; however, our interests were very different. He enjoyed hanging out with his younger friends that were involved in a small musical group. Although Dick and I were only one year apart, we did not share many things in common. We liked each other fine, but just did not have a tremendous amount in common. They were very family orientated, and oblivious to the world around them. I found my peers to be immature, and at the same time I am laughing because I am not all that mature myself. Certainly, a good amount of 'extra' things that we did cost money; they did not have disposable income to afford these same things.
CHAPTER SIX – THE ACCIDENT
However, on a summer weekend in November, Dick and I made plans to go to the coast. I was anxious to check out the beaches on the West coast of Peru. I also thought Dick and I would have a chance to spend some time together. On Friday, The third of November 1972, Dick and I began, our 'trip' to Mollendo. Mollendo was a beach town on the other side of the mountains from Arequipa, on The Pacific Ocean. At sunrise, or there bouts we began our trek. We had a glass of juice and some rolls and we were on our way! We took a bus which took us outside the city, as far as the city buses went to the West; it dropped us off at the foot of the Andes. We then began hitch-hiking. We were picked up rather quickly! The driver was very kind, and happened to be a police officer. This first ride took up into The Andes Mountains, until we arrived at a split in the road. He was headed north, so we exited his car.
There were a few 'stores' and a restaurant. We met someone at the restaurant that was traveling to Mollendo. Dick mentioned to the gentleman that we also were going to Mollendo to visit relatives, and that we were looking for a ride. The guy offered us a ride. I remember that my "brother" entered the car first, as his Spanish was better than mine, to converse with the driver. It was a small truck, and I sat at the passenger front window.
My Peruvian "brother", Dick and I were on "The Pan Americana highway Sur" between Arequipa and the coast, just beyond the village of "San Jose". We were involved in a two car head on collision at 7:00am on Friday, November 3, 1972. Dick saw the oncoming car crossover into our lane. I was reading the newspaper and did not see this. Upon impact I was thrown from the car, and went immediately into a coma. Dick and the driver saw the oncoming car, bracing themselves for the imminent impact. The accident happened very quickly! Dick and the driver were also injured; however, because they saw the upcoming accident, they were able to brace themselves. Dick and the driver were both hurt, but their injuries were not life threatening. One man was killed in the other car.
Dick and I were taken to the Hospital General, by the Peruvian "State Patrol". Professor Calnin did not have a phone, and I am certain that Dick was in a panic, as to what action he should take. He decided to call "El Club Internacional", where some of my friends were known to hang out. He called the club and was fortunate to locate Steve Joyce, a member of my group. Dick told Steve of the accident! Steve told Dick that he would take a taxi to Mr. Calnin's home and meet him at the hospital.
CHAPTER SEVEN – THE HOSPITAL "GENERAL" EXPERIENCE
Steve took a taxi to Mr. Calnin's home arriving at 1:00pm, reporting that I had been involved in a serious car accident, and that I was reported to be in critical condition. (The following detailed notes, I have taken from the journal that Mr. Calnin kept during my stay in Hospital General). Mr. Calnin immediately contacted our group doctor, Dr. Jesus A. G. Fernandez and requested that he meet him at the hospital as soon as possible. Mr. Calnin arrived at the at hospital at 1:30. I was unconscious, and my condition was assessed as grave. Two doctors had already administered CPR. Dr. Fernandez advised the doctors to immediately locate the well-known Neurosurgeon, Dr. Otto Campano. (Dr. Campano had recently returned to Arequipa since graduating from the prestigious, John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.) Mr. Calnin accompanied by Dr. Fernandez drove across town and fortunately located Dr. Campano at his residence. He agreed to proceed immediately to the hospital.
At 2:00 they arrived back at the hospital. After witnessing the difficulty I was having breathing, it was decided that I should be transferred from the fourth floor to the clinic on the first floor. (The "clinic" here corresponded to our "intensive care unit") Remember, that we are in Peru; things are different 'here'. At 2:00 Dr. Campano requested permission from the floor surgeon to examine me; however, he cannot be located. Finally at 2:50 the surgeon was located and signs permission. Preliminary diagnosis indicated severe cerebral contusion resulting in a concussion, fractured jaw and ribs. He decided to initiate the rather extensive process to have patient released from the fourth floor, in order to have a private room and constant care. At 3:55 documentation was completed and Drs. Fernandez and Campano accompany stretcher to clinic. At 4:10 Medication is prescribed for reduction of cerebral inflammation and swelling.
At 4:30, a registered nurse was needed. Mr. Calnin called Sister Bernardus, an American R.N. in Arequipa that had been working in Peru for the past eleven years. At 5:00 my condition deteriorated. Both doctors decided to call for a medical consultation of six doctors to examine and corroborate the medical evidence. At 5:30 Sister Bernardus arrived and found my condition to be so alarming that she suggests that Mr. Calnin speak with Dr. Fernandez to request an immediate consultation of all doctors involved (other neurologists and surgeons, including those taking blood tests, etc.). He also asked Dr. Fernandez to bring up the question as to the feasibility of having me flown home in the attendance of a nurse or doctor. (It was decided that I was too critical and that they were doubtful that I was capable of making the journey back to the states). Mr. Calnin wanted to have a definite answer ready when he planned to call my parents later on in the evening, just in case that question should arise during the call.
At 6:30 Medical consultation concluded that I had a severe cerebral concussion, and suggested a Tracheotomy as soon as the radiography's are completed. At 7:00 all in attendance were alarmed over the difficulty I am having breathing. Doctors take emergency measures! Mr. Calnin then requested that one of the students call a priest to administer the Last Rites, and Mr. Calnin departed for the Centro Telefonicos to place a long distance phone call to my parents. It was very crowded and a delay of one hour expected. Mr. Calnin then went to the residence of Dr. Pepper, to use his phone. He finally got the call through at 9:00 pm. My mother was home alone. (My father worked nights)! He attempted to tone down the degree of seriousness, promising to call back the following day to speak with my father.
At 10:00 pm. Mr. Calnin returned to the hospital to find a slight improvement. Dr. Campano and the nurse were changing the intravenous feeding from the arm to the leg, this was done because the veins in my arms were collapsing, and it was easier to secure a vein in my leg. At 11:00 Mr. Calnin set up a schedule requiring two students to be in attendance, around the clock, in order to purchase drugs as they were needed. (All medical supplies are purchased here on a cash basis, as prescriptions are written out, a member of the family or acquaintance must drive into the city to purchase drugs from a pharmacy.) The end of a long frustrating day for all involved!
Saturday, November fourth at 2:00 am. My lashing out had subsided. (Several times I had broken the bonds, while having difficulty breathing) Mr. Calnin drove home for the evening. At 5:00 am Mr. Calnin returned to the hospital, to find no significant change. I was still in a coma! At 9:00 am. Body fluid tests give reason for hope and encouragement. At 11:30 a.m. Calnin called my parents again. My father informed Mr. Calnin that he has made arrangements to fly to Arequipa. Mr. Calnin promised to call back at 6:00 pm. At 12:20 he calls Dr. King at both St. Norbert's and his residence. Contact could not be made, so he decided to call Mr. Phelan (the professor in charge of the 1971 Peru group) and give him a brief account as to what has happened so far. At 12:30 Guardia Civil (Civil Guard) arrived at the hospital and requested interviews in order to reconstruct the gravity of the accident. Mr. Calnin requested the legal services of one of the outstanding lawyers here in Arequipa, Dr. Humbero Nunez Borja Jr. to find not only answers but the witnesses themselves.
At 2:30 pm Sr. Ricardo Yanez (my Peruvian father) came to the office of Nunez Borja, to make a statement about the accident. He stated that his son Dick was sitting next to me when the accident occurred. According to Sr. Yanez, his son Dick allegedley saw the oncoming car cross over into their lane of traffic, I was reading a newspaper at the time, and therefore unaware of what was about to happen.
At 6:00 pm Mr. Calnin called to my parents in Evergreen Park, Illinois. My parents and Sister Barbara had tickets to arrive in Lima the next morning at 8:00 am. They were delayed in Lima until 12:40 pm. My father requested assistance in attempting to provide a more rapid connection to Arequipa. Mr. Calnin called Doug Rose, the U.S. consular representative in Arequipa. Doug Rose called his good acquaintance five times before he is able to speak with his boss (comparable to our Chamber of Commerce) to give all assistance possible.
At 9:00 pm Drs. Fernandez and Campano cancelled the planned Tracheotomy due to the progress I had made.
Sunday, November fifth at 1:30 am I was still traumatized. My breathing improved and Mr. Calnin left the hospital. At 5:30 Mr. Calnin returned to the hospital. Kazuco Ishimitzu, a fellow student, in view of her eagerness and abilities was requested to assist Dr. Campano and his trained nurses for the first nights. It was stated that I was showing somewhat more eye movement; however, I still remained in a comatose state. At 7:00 am one of the empty rooms in the clinic was made available for the arrival of my parents and sister. At 1:30 pm Dr. Santiago Autunis, picked up Mr. Calnin to go to the airport to pick up my family. At 1:50 pm. the plane landed with my parents and sister. Mr. Doug Rose from the U.N. Consul came to meet my family. At 2:00 pm the groups arrived at the hospital, to find me in a stupor. At 8:00 pm Sister Marie Ray, professor of nursing at Santa Marie University (she is a Registered Nurse from the U.S.) came to attend to me during the night.
Monday, November sixth 9:00 am Mr. Calnin arrived at the hospital and finds that I am breathing quite normally, and that I am laying on my side for the first time. At 10:00 am Mr. Calnin calls Dr. King at the College pertaining to handling legal aspects of the accident.
The driver of the car in which I was riding arrived to inform the doctors exactly what happened and to offer any possible assistance. He stated that Dick and I arrived in San Jose in a highway patrol car. He offered Dick and I a ride. He was driving a company car at the time he picked up Dick and I in San Jose. He stated that we had only traveled about two kilometers when the accident occurred. He was traveling the speed limit. Suddenly, the oncoming vehicle crossed over into his path causing him to attempt a last second maneuver to the left. He stated that this quick move saved the lives of all involved. He also stated that bottles of alcohol were located by the police in the other car. He stated that the car he was driving was fully insured. At 8:00pm. Mrs. Calnin arrives at hospital to spend the night with me, along with a nurse in attendance.
Mrs. Calnin returns home at 7:00 am. She states that at times my heart slowed down to 55 counts. Dr. Campano remained with me until 2:30 am and does not think that I will regain consciousness during the day. Dr. Hugo Pepper performs oral surgery to rectify my fractured jaw. Mr. Calnin returns to the hospital at 7:00 pm to find that the doctors have a slight setback. They find swelling in my left leg where the intravenous feeding was taking place. Doctors demand that no visitors be allowed. Only doctors and nurses are allowed in the room.
On November the ninth I opened my eyes for a minute or two. Babinski's signs on the right side. I did not recognize the people around me. On November the 15th I recognized my Peruvian mother and smiled when the nurse came close to me. I also "remember" hearing Beccy say, "Peter, Bernice is coming, and you will have someone to play Bridge with”. Since November the 19th, it was stated that I was recovering progressively and started to recognize all my relatives and friends, but I was still unable to speak (Boca’s Aphasia). On November the 20th I started to indicate with movements from my head and eyes. On November the 23rd I spoke some single words, and my speech and movements of my lips started to progress.
While a patient at The Hospital General I did have what now is called "an out of body experience". I remember "floating" over my body. I "saw" large white billowing clouds 'tempting' me, no, 'Inviting' me, to leave. I resisted, and 'beamed' back into my body. I can still visually remember being above my body, looking down, and seeing my mother, Bernice, on one side of me, and Tula, my Peruvian "mother" on the other side. Mom was wearing a pastel pant suit, and touching me. Tula was on the opposite side of the bed wearing a black and white long garb, and also touching me. (This type of dress is commonly worn in Peru by Catholic woman during times of mourning.)
CHAPTER EIGHT – THE JOURNEY HOME
On November the twenty sixth, I began my journey home. My father, a registered nurse and I were flown from Arequipa to Lima. I needed some attention and I was very fortunate that a nurse was in accompaniment. My mother and sister flew to Lima in the General's jet. Yeah right, again we are in Peru! The General's jet, turned out to be a joke, No big deal! The 'seats' made from netting, not comfortable at all! It appeared like it was used more for transporting things, rather than people. However, Barbara insisted to Mom to keep that a secret, “Mom, we flew in the General's jet that is all you need to say."
In Lima we anxiously awaited for our flight back to the United States. It was a sense of returning to a normalcy that we had once taken for granted. A language and a system that we understood. Hospitals that were clean and well stocked with medicines. No more taxi rides to the pharmacies to purchase medicines! There would be no more 'opportunities' to open the refrigerator in their hospital room, to the scurry of roaches. My family would no longer return to the hospital after a dinner break, to find themselves locked out.
CHAPTER NINE – CHRIST HOSPITAL
An ambulance met our flight in Chicago and transported us to Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois. This hospital was close to my home in Evergreen Park, and my doctor had been advised as to my condition, and my arrival was expected. My doctor immediately threw away the medicines that were sent with me from Peru. However, overall the doctors were impressed with the medical care that I had received in Peru. While a patient at Christ Hospital I remember feeling lost. A "spaced out feeling". I was unable to speak! I was unable to communicate. My right side had been paralyzed, and I had fractured some ribs. It was a painful and frustrating experience!
I received fine medical care during my stay at Christ Hospital, however, I was depressed. Dr. Bryar, my Neurosurgeon, decided that I should be transferred to Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC). He believed that the RIC would be beneficial for me, for their fine reputation in rehabilitation, and also for my attitude and recovery. At RIC, I would witness many patients in much worse condition than myself. I was walking, although I needed to improve my strength. There were many patients not walking at that time, nor ever going to walk again. The hope was that this would improve my attitude, and give me a greater appreciation, and expedite my recovery. I do not remember very much about my stay at Christ Hospital!
CHAPTER TEN – THE REHABILITATION INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO
I was then transferred to The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC). While a patient there I went through extensive Speech, Occupational, and Physical therapies. I remember my therapists’ names, Tracey was my Physical Therapist and Anita Halper was my Speech Therapist. Due to my traumatic brain injury, I basically had to relearn everything. I had No short term memory! When I started to walk or rather wander around the hospital, I was frequently lost and had great difficulty finding my room and bed. The nurses would frequently find me sleeping in some one's bed, other than my own. Years later my mother told me while I was a patient there, that signs were posted around for me, saying, "Craig keep out"! I do remember on one occasion walking outside the hospital in my hospital gown. It was December in Chicago. Was I crazy? Sort of crazy! I did not understand what I was doing. I stepped about two steps outside the hospital, I felt like I was in "The Twilight Zone". I was unsure of what I was doing, but l felt the cold. Almost immediately a hospital staffer saw me and escorted me back into the hospital.
My brother Briant was studying to become a podiatrist, at the Chicago School of Podiatry downtown Chicago. He would frequently come and have lunch with me, at least, that is the story he tells. I only remember small instances as far as my stay there!
Dr. Gillete was the rehabilitation specialist in charge of my care. She decided to let me go home for a couple days over the Christmas Holidays. When I returned to RIC after the break, she decided that I would be discharged, and sent me home to "wake up" there.
Later, after my discharge from RIC, I returned to the office of my Neurosurgeon, Dr. George Bryar. He was very disappointed with The Rehabilitation Center because of my early release. He felt that I should have been there for a longer period of time, and that I could have still benefited from more therapies. He concluded that as confused as I was, this should have justified a longer stay at RIC. He mentioned that he had considered sending me to Craig Hospital in Denver Colorado, which had a great reputation for Rehabilitation. They felt that I was too confused to be by myself in Colorado! On or about December 26, 1972, I was released to the care of my mother. God bless my mother! My mother had no medical training, yet she was thrown into the position of the caregiver to a twenty-one year old son. She accepted the responsibility of a son who could barely take care of himself. I had a VERY poor short term memory; therefore, I would ask my mother the SAME questions Over and Over. (She was on her way to sainthood)
CHAPTER ELEVEN – THANKS TOMMY
I felt most of my old friends had given up on me! They had figured that the old Craig was gone!
I was tremendously lucky that one of my best friends, Tom was studying Pre Med at The University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana, Illinois. Tom and I have been friends since I was fourteen. He has always been a good person, caring, understanding and smart. Since he was studying medicine he had a much better understanding of what I needed and what could be done to help me. Fortunately, he was home on his winter break. He would drag me out of the house and make me exercise. It was winter in Chicago. It was COLD! I remember Tom taking me over to the high school that we attended where he would make me exercise. He made me walk around the halls and he encouraged me to climb the stairs. That was a difficult task for me at that point in my recovery. He had me moving again! I needed to be pushed, I had become lethargic, disengaged, and depressed.
CHAPTER TWELVE - GOD BLESS BERNICE
After winter break, it was Mom (Bernice) and I once again! Occasionally, mom would recruit a couple of her friends to play Bridge. I loved the game! My mother and her friends were Bridge ADDICTS! She would frequently enlist a couple of her friends to get together and play Bridge. I was very fortunate that these individuals were patient with me, because I was very repetitive. (Later, at a visit with my Neurosurgeon, I remember him commenting that Bridge was a terrific way of improving my short term memory).
Again, we are in Chicago, we are in the middle of winter. It was a challenge to keep me busy, and fight off the boredom, of staying at home "recovering". At least for now, friends, seemed like a thing of the past! Once in a while mom would go to a mall shopping. I would accompany her to the mall, and just walk around for the exercise.
I had always been a people person. I was lonely! I even looked up acquaintances, people that I had not spoken with for years. I was desperate for human interaction; it was encompassing getting to know this new person that had taken over my body. It was a very difficult time for me.
When the weather warmed up, I would walk around the neighborhood, to get some exercise, and to get out of the house. I tried to read, and to keep busy, however, I had a very short attention span, and consequently became bored rather quickly. My poor mother!
I remember the last visit with my neurosurgeon, before returning to College. He told me that I have had a remarkable recovery, and that I really needed to understand and accept that. I was a very fortunate individual! He reminded me that my recovery up to this point had been quite rapid (it did not seem like that to me, at all). He told me that I would continue to improve, but at a much more gradual rate. He tried to warn me that things were not going to be the same and tried to prepare me for the difficulties in front of me. He tried to prepare me for the emotional journey ahead. He suggested that I only take a couple of courses, to make sure that I could handle it, and not to set myself up for failure. We were both concerned about my memory, and to see how well I would do taking classes. I thanked him very much for his help and departed "ready" to start my new life. No one could have prepared me for the emotional journey!! No one!!
CHAPTER THIRTEEN – RETURN TO MY "COMFORT" ZONE
Another step on the journey back! "Welcome" back to St. Norbert College! I needed to reflect back to my life here, before I departed for Peru, and before I was involved in a life changing car accident. I was very comfortable here "before"! I was President of my Sophomore Class! (This post made me a part of the Student Government Association). I was on the College Board of Activities; I was Chairman of the Service Committee! My sophomore year I was chairman of The Freshman Class orientation program. As a result of being tremendously involved, I knew many people, and I felt I had made many friends. That was all before my "traumatic brain injury".
Life was different for me now! People on campus had heard about my accident, and they did not know how to approach me. I likewise was different and was NO longer the self-assured person that I once was, or that I personified. I had a different speech, from recovery from a head injury and relearning speech, a different accent, relearning speech had taken on a Spanish accent, weird, but true. To the average Joe, it appeared that I had taken on an British accent, which was most confusing. I would receive comments, like Craig, you just returned from Peru, not England. The reality was that when I was relearning speech, I was thinking in Spanish, speaking with long o's and short a's, not the Queen's English. And I even had a different body (I had lost about 40 pounds). I was a different person! My memory was still very poor, which made interactions difficult! I was continuously forgetting and repeating things, it was a very difficult time for me. I would make plans with people that I knew and then I would inadvertently forget. After doing this once or twice to people, they were usually, over me. The biggest difference was that I was slow. I no longer had that quick sense of humor, those quick comebacks. These things defined me before a TBI!
My roommate that I had my first year and a half, Tom, went abroad for a year as well. He went on the Loyola trip to Rome! I was hoping that because Tom and I had both these traveling experiences, which we would still have a lot in common. Tom and I moved into a house our senior year, with four of our friends from the dorm. Up to this point I was unsure as to how much I had changed from the Peru experience, and how much I had changed because of a TBI. I now had to face the fact, which I had changed from "the Peruvian Experience", but much more profoundly because of the TBI.
When I returned to St. Norbert's, many of the students with whom I had been close were no longer there. Many had graduated, and there were many new students there. These components only exasperated my return. It was no longer the comfortable place for me that it had been. Chris White, a friend of mine, with whom I had just returned with from Peru, was there to help me. She was very good to me, I am sure that she helped me much more than she knew. I owe her much gratitude, for her friendship and support. (Chris Thanks again!) She was one of the few people with whom I was comfortable. She had the patience of a saint!
I tried to make some sense as to why I was involved in such an horrendous experience. I decided that I was to become a speech therapist, and to help others that were affected by similar adverse consequences. I wanted to work with individuals that have been traumatized by some sort of insult to the brain, via strokes, car accidents, falls, or whatever. I spoke with my advisor! I was already a Communication Arts major. St. Norbert College did not have a program in Speech Therapy. They offered one class involving speech problems, which I would take. I also worked out an independent study course with my advisor. I volunteered at "The Curative Workshop", in Green Bay Wisconsin. I worked under the guidance of the director; I was an assistant, helping people with their individual speech problems. I also did some reading and research on the topic of Aphasia. Having "recovered" from Aphasia, it was an area in which I was very interested.
THE NEW CHALLENGE
My escape from dealing with people was to dive into my studies. I had a goal now, I wanted to be a speech therapist, and help others which have had TBI's as well. My grades up to this had been alright, but I knew that I would have to study hard to raise my grade point average if I hoped to be accepted into a graduate program, to become a Speech Pathologist. I studied hard; I spent a lot of time in the library. After all I finally had a goal, which was very exciting.
However, I had a very difficult time remembering the materials that I read and studied. Lectures were especially difficult for me, because I believe I had what today would be called an auditory short term memory loss. The pathways somewhere between my inner ear and the brain were affected by my traumatic brain injury. I was unable to retrieve much of the information that I heard. I believe that I did hear it, but that it was not stored properly into my short term memory, and therefore, never made it to my long term memory. Consequently, I needed to re-learn everything, not an easy task for a person with a TBI.
Besides the many doctors and therapists that worked with me and helped me to achieve this recovery, there were two people that were especially important. These individuals were my mother, Bernice and close friend Tom. Without their Patience, Love, and support I do not believe I would have been able to accomplish the recovery that I have. There were just too many times that I wanted to give up. I was dealing with a tremendous amount of self-pity. Why me? Why did this happen to me? Prevalent emotions, however not constructive for a person recovering from head trauma. I had worked diligently to remain positive, and to enjoy this daily 'experience'.
I have always had a special relationship with my mother. It is partially because I am the youngest son. A girlfriend of mine in the seventh grade, Lorry, started calling her mother by her first name. I thought that was unusual/special. I loved and respected my mother. I decided to demonstrate this closeness by calling my mother by her first name as well. It did not take very long for Mom to accept that I called her Bernice. Mom started playing Bridge, when I was fourteen and I took an interest in it as well. I still play Bridge with Mom, and I love the game.
When Mr. Calnin called my home from Peru to inform my parents of my car accident, my mother was home alone and answered the phone. Mr. Calnin played down the seriousness and wanted to speak with my father. My father worked nights, and he told Mom that he would call back in the morning and speak with Dad.
My older brother Briant made the flight reservations. He spoke with someone with "political connections" that was to help out with the "situation". The "situation" was that my mother did not have a passport, and it was the weekend and all governmental offices were closed. My father told my mother that she would not be unable to go because they could not afford it! My father also claims that he was told that there was a good chance that I was not going to make it and he did not want my mother to go through that trauma! My mother and father flew to Miami, where my older sister Barbara was living. Barbara met them at the airport. The "political connections" never came through! It is still a mystery how my mother flew to Peru and back without a passport. "My son is dying in Peru, and I am going"! A mother's love for her son could not be denied!! I spoke to my sister, Barbara recently about this, questioning how this was possible for Mom to travel internationally without a passport. Barbara insists that she was dating a Spanish speaking man at that time, or at least that weekend, she believes his name was Juan! He drove Barbara to the airport, where he was able to assist. He spoke Spanish to the airline agent boarding the flight. He explained to her the urgency that a mother had to be allowed the right to fly to Peru to see her dying son. The rest is history!
Occasionally over the years my accident in Peru came up in conversations. When Mom was present during these conversations, she often times stated, "Craig is my miracle son". I always took that as a sign of affection/emotion, never really giving it much attention. I once mentioned that to my brother Briant, who is a doctor. Briant agreed with Mom, and said to me "Craig you are a miracle"! Hearing that from my brother somehow carried more meaning; it was less emotional, and more factual!
LIVING LIFE AFTER A TBI
What started out as a carefree fun weekend, changed my life. I am a different person, now, than I was before my TBI. However, I like the new me. I am a real person! It has been a tremendous learning experience, recovering from a near death experience. It helps one focus on the things that are really important. Regaining one's self-respect was a challenge! Learning who your real friends are and appreciating friendship, a strong reminder not to take friends for granted. Recognizing that going through life, one may have many acquaintances, but really only a handful of friends. I feel that occasionally people are judging me. I also feel that they really do not and could not understand me. I am content with myself, AND, people in glass houses, should not throw stones. None of us are perfect!
I am a kinder, nicer, more caring person now than I was before my trauma. I am more appreciative of life. I am definitely more sensitive! There is hardly a time that I will not recognize a person with an obvious disability that I do not think, “There but for the grace of God, go I". Do not get me wrong, I still have those negative moments, but rarely, I am generally a positive person. I know that I am supposed to be here for some reason, and I try to focus on the positive. I know that people are often times judging me; I understand that is their aura, not mine. Honestly, there are many unkind people out there; I have learned to avoid them!
I would like to take a moment here, to inform everyone, how I truly have searched to improve my life, by checking out many "possibilities' on improving my short term memory, since a traumatic brain injury.
I would check in with my Neurosurgeon, Dr. B periodically. I would call his office when in Chicago on my 'annual' visit. He would typically meet with me, which astounded my friends in the medical community that I have in Chicago. We would meet and I would inquire into the possibility of new research in the area of short term memory. I would call his office when I was visiting Chicago. He was always cordial and would frequently agree to meet with me. Reflecting back, I believe he met me because he had a real empathy for what I was going through.
When I returned to College, I was having problems 'adjusting'. I sought out a psychologist that I knew in the counseling department. He was a gentleman, with whom I had respected and worked with, on The Freshman Orientation Program. Frank helped me very much in my readjustment into the College community, where I was once very comfortable. We also spoke about memory strategies!
In graduate school, at The University of Illinois, I once again sought out help. I often times went to the office of Dean of the department, he would certainly be able to understand and help me with my memory problems! I went to his office several times, before his secretary informed me that he really only met with doctoral candidates and not with students such as myself, working on a Masters. I made enough of a nuisance of myself, that he did finally see me. I was greatly disappointed, it turned out that he was not the 'wizard', and he was unable to grant me the wish that I was 'sure' that he had in his power.
He did refer me to a professor in the department. This professor set up a program for me at the clinic, where several graduate students worked with me on some memory techniques. It was a helpful experience!
A friend of mine in Champaign Urbana was a social worker; I vented my frustration to her, and inquired for some type of guidance. Mary referred me to a woman with a MSW. She helped me through some counseling, but once again, was unable to help me improve my short term memory.
I would often visit friends that I had from College, which lived in Minneapolis/St. Paul. The University of Minnesota was well known for their research department. So, on my visits I would stop by and check in with the professors with whom I had become familiar in the psychology department. They were doing research in the area of memory. The professors there were more than kind to me but they were unable to give me 'the answer'.
In 1976 I moved to Tampa Bay Florida. I tried to take some classes in Speech Pathology; again, I was unable to handle the curriculum, because of memory deficiency. I was befriended by a Dr. Guilford in the Speech and Hearing Department at U.S.F. who taught the class on Aphasia. He understands what I have been through and has remained my friend to this day. Again, I was disappointed with no answers to my memory questions. He did have some students work with me on memory strategies, which were helpful!
I then met Dr. F in St. Petersburg who led me to believe that he could help with my memory. I jumped through the many 'hoops' that he demanded of me, and then he informed me, that he too was unable to help me. Another disappointment! I hope that He enjoyed the game! I did not!
I now have a Neurologist that I really trust and respect, a great man! He has helped me by sending me to the correct places to receive help. A Speech Therapist in the area worked with me on memory strategies. Most importantly, she demanded that I get a daily planner and learn to write things down. This has been invaluable to me! My Neurologist has been honest with me, and I am now able to admit to myself, that The Answer is unknown, at least for now.
In September 2009, while visiting friends in the San Francisco area, I was reading the book "The Brain That Changes Itself" written by Norman Doidge, M.D. Michael Merzenich is mentioned in the book regarding research he had done in the area of adult plasticity. This is an area in which I am extremely interested. Coincidently, I continued to read and discovered that he is a professor at the University of California at San Francisco. Unbelievable, I thought, this must be a sign! I am going to meet the wizard, he does exist! I visited the University and went to various departments looking for Michael Merzenich. I discovered that his research was done in the late eighties, and that he no longer sees patients. Do I need to say a word to describe my disappointment?
Over the years I have spoken with many people in the medical community about aphasia. It always amazed me how little they knew, or how their opinions were very outdated. This was true unless their specialties were dealing with patients with brain trauma. It is a new area of science, receiving more attention now than in the past. This is because of the wars in the East, and working with soldiers returning with head traumas. Also a tremendous amount of research is now being done with the growing numbers of baby boomers dealing with Alzheimer’s. Years ago, when a person had a TBI, and/or Aphasic, little could be done and they quickly labeled, or disregarded as far as making any accomplishments for society. They were pretty much written off. One of my goals and reasons for ‘coming out’, as a ‘recovered ‘Aphasic was to remind people that things have changed, and this specific medical community has made tremendous scientific progress with understanding the brain. With the help of various caring individuals I UNDERSTAND how lucky I am to have had the recovery that I have had. This list has included a few close true friends, a couple professors, Neurologists, several speech therapists, and my Mother. It was only through their help, warmth and understanding that I have progressed to where I am today. I am in tremendous gratitude! Often times people made MY trauma, become their pain, so it was therefore all about them! (People deal with pain differently) And 40 years post trauma, I am still improving. It is at a much slower rate than my initial recovery period; however, at times I surprise myself and others with things that I remember. I have learned, to ACCEPT the FACT that I have short term memory difficulties. Now that I have accepted that reality, I am now able to find ways to improve things. I believe that there are a number of different types of memory. The two most significant being visual and auditory memory. Now I can take action, and the action IS that I MUST write things down to compensate for my ‘auditory memory losses. This must be done in an organized way; THE PLANNER has been tremendously helpful. I could not get along without it!
For years I would write things down, as I understood that was beneficial for me. BUT, for a long time I would write things down, writing on small pieces of paper. I would invariably lose the paper, and remain lost and frustrated. (My mother often teased about ‘my little pieces of paper).
Then at the suggestion of my current Neurologist, I sought the help from a Speech Therapist to help me with strategies to help me with my memory. THE first thing she had me do was to purchase a PLANNER. I cannot tell you what a difference that has made in my life. A planner helps me ORGANIZE my life. I NO longer had to count on ‘remembering’ things ‘on my own’. I now had a VERY helpful ‘tool’. It is great to write down thoughts or ideas that I could come back to look over again at a later date, rather than to just forget the thought or idea.
Since I have had a TBI, multitasking is much more difficult for me now than it was in the past. I must concentrate more on things that I am doing, really pay attention. Even little things that I once took for granted, now require REAL CONCENTRATION…
Besides THE PLANNER, other memory strategies have helped me as well!
When I meet someone for the first time, I know that I must really pay attention to remember their name. I try and make it a visual memory, knowing that my auditory memory is poor. I try and find a similar ‘quality’ with another person that I know, with the same name. Possible a hair color, height, accent that reminds me of someone with the same name. Also I immediately use their name, I repeat their name in the conversation, as often as I can, without making it look foolish or feeling awkward. Remembering names is truly one of the most difficult things, and one of the most embarrassing, as well.
I know that my visual memory is much better than my auditory. Knowing this I try to make my memories into a picture. (If I am traveling, and I need to meet someone back at a spot at a particular time. I intently looked around to find some lasting impressions, street signs, or a unique structures, are examples of this.) ORGANIZATION AND CONSISTENCY are important in my life!
MEMORIES from Others
My sister Barbara was a flight attendant at the time of my accident. She IS a character!! Well upon Barbara meeting my Neurologist in Peru, he was obviously smitten! During her time in Peru Dr. Campano and Barbara went out for dinner, drinks, and spent time together. (Barbara insists she did it for the team.) Meaning that she did for me, to make sure he took good care of me. She also admits that he questioned her about the salaries of physicians in the U.S. He was very interested in the types of salaries physicians were paid in the U.S., in contrast to what he was being paid in Peru. He wanted to work in the states where he would much a much greater salary.
Barbara and my parents were staying in the hospital, in the room next to mine. They had a refrigerator, in their room. Barb recalls the shock/scare that she received each time she opened the door of the refrigerator, only to see the scurry of bugs inside. She freaked out every time!
Barbara also remembers leaving the hospital in the evenings to go out for dinner with my parents. They would return 8:00 pm or so, only to find the hospital to be locked.
If and when The Answer is known, please contact me!! THANKS!!
Sincerely, Craig Moyle’sI would like to thank the MANY people for their PRAYERS, LOVE, and SUPPORT (you know who you are), for bringing me back from the dead! And to my Dear friend, M J, I knocked, but you did not let me in! Thanks! M J, I can still see you riding around campus on your unicycle with that huge infectious smile. YOU MAKE ME LAUGH! THANKS, again!