Never did I think…never ever

Never did I think that I would start writing a blog in search for strength and hope. More than anything, to help me accept this new reality. I had often thought about writing a blog on more frivolous and mundane subjects. A travel journal or a recipe blog perhaps. But never did I think I would find the need to write about and share our nightmarish reality.

On the 3rd of May, 2015, my husband and I met with an accident. A real bad one. The kind you think happens in movies, or you read about in the news. The kind that happens to others. But not you. Never you. But it happened to us. Life threw us a nasty curveball. And I am trying very hard to accept this new reality.

We had decided to take a break on a sunny Sunday evening, heading towards the Kettle Morraine State Park via a quiet Wisconsin countryside. It was the three of us at our happiest; Jitish and his two babies (his motorcycle and I).

A 19 year old girl changed our lives forever. Irreparably and irrevocably. She decided against yielding at a stop sign. One unassuming little stop sign on a fourway street. A very important stop sign. The Impact was swift and severe. I remember every gut wrenching and painful second of the accident. From the moment I felt the impact, getting thrown off the bike, hitting the road hard to hearing the blades of the Medflight take him to the University of Wisconsin-Madison hospital.

He suffered an acute traumatic brain injury. Cracked his skull in multiple places. A Diffuse axonal injury, the most common and devastating types of brain injury. Severe damage to the frontal lobe, and left and right temporals. Everything from movement, motor function, speech, memory, motivation, to personality. Everything that makes him, him. Big giant whoop.

It has been 88 days. I am trying to not mourn these 88 days. Instead,  I am searching for strength and courage to face this reality. Strength and courage to advocate for him and fight to get him back a 100 percent. But I am far from strong. I need him to be strong. I cry on cue. He makes me strong. “It’s your turn to be strong”, everyone keeps telling me. “Be strong for him”.

I’m trying. But I break down quite often. Banks, insurance agents, lawyers, disability providers and family keep me busy. We have been hopping from one hotel to another for three months. That keeps us all in a constant state of disarray. There is a lot to keep my mind from imploding. But nights still come. And I stay awake wondering ‘why’. Why did this happen? Why us? Why him?

I am slowly losing it. Counsellors, doctors, case managers, family and friends suggest I find an outlet. Not just the mirror in the bathroom. But a real outlet. And so, I write.

I have been noting down everything from day 0. From Bills, insurance processes, disability, FMLA requirements, civil court lawyers, probate court lawyers, medicines and processes that he undergoes. In addition to the meteor that has struck us, we are nor American citizens. We are on work permits in the country. Making Medicare and other benefits impossible for us. But we have to take it. Take the cards we are dealt and show life what we are made of.

I hope that writing doesn’t just help me, but also helps someone out there living a similar reality. I pray no one has to deal with this. But if life plays a joke on you too, then I hope what I am learning helps you find strength.

My best.

37 Comments Add yours

  1. Radhakrishna says:

    Life throws a challenge at those selected few, who, it thinks can fight through it. Im extremely sorry about what you two had to go through. Life on the otherside of this blindcurve is going to be very very adorable. Stay strong and fight it out. You guys are in my prayers.

    Like

    1. Soumya Nair says:

      Thank you, Radhakrishna. I surely hope the challenge doesn’t continue despite how strong we battle it out. I am hoping there is a kind eye somewhere that appreciates weakness and sheds a positive light on us soon. I thank you for your prayers, we need them. A lot.

      Like

  2. Anand says:

    I came here when, my friend had posted this on his facebook wall. Every day I will spare a thought and pray for your both well being. May all the good forces of nature and humanity be with you at this time.

    Like

    1. Soumya Nair says:

      Thank you, Anand. Your kind words and prayers push us through another day. I am running low on steam and strength. I hope there is a bright day soon.

      Like

  3. Swetha Anbarasan says:

    Stay strong and brave and don’t give up… Keep doing what you are doing. . You will be in my prayers. Time will heal things.

    Reagrds
    Swetha

    Like

    1. Soumya Nair says:

      Thank you, Swetha. I hope it doesn’t need too much time. Time demands a lot of patience and resolve, that is in shortfall right now.

      Like

  4. Bhavana Reddy ! says:

    I cannot imagine what you are going through and, I hope and pray he gets better.
    Write to your hearts content, write about every small detail of your life if you want to. Because writing sometimes keeps us sane. Much love to you.

    Like

    1. Soumya Nair says:

      Thank you, Bhavana. I have been away from posting for a while. Too many changes to have had to keep up with. I am coming back to it now. Keeps me grounded.

      Like

  5. Shobitha Sundararajan says:

    I know that whatever anyone says will not even be close to giving you the comfort you need and I don’t want to say ‘Hold on to your strength, this will pass’. I can feel your pain and agony. I will give a part of myself to fight with you, if I could. All I want you to know is that whenever you want to talk, I can listen. It only matters that you guys have each other and you are going to make it. I don’t know how but you will.

    Tons of love,
    Shobitha

    Like

    1. Soumya Nair says:

      Shobitha, I am not sure how to get through this myself. Unfortunately, life never prepares you for a situation like this. It just hurls the adversity at you and watches silently to see if you can keep your head above water. I am trying to float. Not very well. I draw strength from everyone; strength that I am lacking. I hope one day he can take over. And I can kick back my shoes, smile and relax.

      Like

  6. Korek says:

    True love and stregnth of one’s character is revealed in situations such. You are doing an amazing job, just keep holding onto that inner strength. My prayers are with you.

    Like

    1. Soumya Nair says:

      Thank you for your kindness, Korek.

      Like

  7. Priyanka Jena says:

    Dear Soumya,

    I send love and strength to you and Jitesh. Your story wrenches my heart and maybe i can feel just fraction of your pain but i have knowledge of of how large your fight is. The strength you are looking for is inside you, u have it in you girl!

    This is a very unfortunate and god knows an extremely trying period of your lives. But with like all things this shall pass too but the life ahead will be different. Your first step is to accept with open arms what is given. Make peace with it and dont ask the question why. The moment you do this truly, your way through it will appear.. i promise. Every person’s journey here is different and so is their purpose. When you are ready try and delve into your spiritual side. There you will find the peace and strength you are looking for. Because it is not outside it is inside. Everything happens for reason -the most cliche line is actually true. It happens to teach us .. some hard lessons some easy lessons. Growth comes through a passage of pain always.. Use the pain for your strength .. i will pray you ..may the universe bless you with its energising love.

    Like

    1. Soumya Nair says:

      Hi Priyanka, It has been so long since we spoke. I am sad that it is under these circumstances. I have been refraining from thinking of our past, how life was until the 3rd of May. I see him now, proud that he has made it out alive, But shocked that he is not the same. At least not yet. I am holding our memories shut, in a box, waiting to be opened again. Until then, I have to look ahead, not compare him now versus him before. Push for better. Whatever that may be.

      Like

  8. Tejashree says:

    You are a strong girl. I can imagine your plight. It’s okay to be weak sometimes. May God give you strength. You both will always be in my prayers. I want to suggest one more thing of you believe in strength of prayer. There is a website named The intention experiment. On this site people post the reason for prayer and people all over the world pray together and give positive intentions

    Like

    1. Soumya Nair says:

      Hi Tejashree,
      I admire the concept of the Intention Experiment. I would get involved as soon as it is back up and running. I have blessed to have people from all over the world; family, friends, colleagues, and stranger lending us their thoughts and prayers.
      Thank you.

      Like

  9. dhrubaam says:

    There’s no justification for why this happened to you, to him , or to anyone. Life is so random. I am so sorry, love. I can only imagine what you must be going through. I guess, this is a good time to repeat and rethink the phrase: what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. I am sending good vibes your way. ❤

    Like

    1. Soumya Nair says:

      Thank you, Dhrubaam. We surely made it out alive. We need to now survive and hopefully live our lives soon. I hope this is just a stop in a bad town and we can be on our merry way soon.

      Like

  10. Dear Soumya,

    I felt very sad reading about the accident. I hope you and your husband Jitesh get through these tough times soon. Wishing both of you a speedy recovery.

    Regards,
    Nithya Pari

    Like

    1. Soumya Nair says:

      Thank you, Nithya.

      Like

  11. Saraswati says:

    Hi Sowmya,

    God give tyou the strenght to fight your fears and make you strong to get Jitesh back 100%. Miracles happen and beleive in them. Its ok to be emotional ..only dont dwell in them. God will work wonders and will pray for you everyday. God bless both off you.

    Like

    1. Soumya Nair says:

      Thank you for your kind words and prayers, Saraswati. I hope my strength is all that is needed. I will give it my all. Now is hoping that God thinks that is enough and just gives him back to me.

      Like

  12. Meena Radhakrishnan says:

    Dear Soumya,
    Keep writing…. It will help heal you. And bring clarity. As some of your friends have said, I’m sure you both will emerge from this stronger. Praying for your complete recovery. May God be with you both.
    Meena.

    Like

    1. Soumya Nair says:

      Dear Meena Aunty, Thank you. I am not the person I was. I never will be. I mourn her. She was happy. But I am stronger. I will be stronger. Until he gets back, because he has to. And then I can get that happy girl back again.

      Like

  13. Melissa Mu says:

    Soumya,

    I still remember seeing you guys working out in the park place apt gym. He is a strong man, he will fight for his life for you. Never give up Soumya! For all the love you have for each other. We will pray for you.

    Melissa & David

    Like

    1. Soumya Nair says:

      Thank you, Melissa and David. It feels like yesterday when I think about him. It’s hard to see him this way and harder when I realize what has been taken away. I know he would push, and push again. For the motivation he is lacking now, I will compensate. Here is hoping that is enough.

      Like

  14. navinarjun says:

    Hi Soumya,

    We have never met before but I do know your Father Mr. Nair from our past in AngloEastern during my sailing career.

    I would like to extend my deepest sympathies for all the injuries you and Jitesh have unfortunately suffered and at the same time extend my best wishes for a fast recovery.

    From what I read on your blogs, I can understand the pain and suffering Jitesh, You and entire family is undergoing. To give you hope and to prove the healing power of human body, I want to share with you my story.

    Four years back (on 16th April 2011) I also suffered a massive Car traffic accident in Hongkong. To briefly summarise, while I was driving out of the car park I was hit by an over speeding van on a T-Bone angle. The speed limit on that road was 50km/hr and the guy was almost at 120-150km/hr when he hit me. I was almost stationary during the impact. The impact of the accident was that I had a broken hip, broken right collarbone, fracture of base of skull, damage to urethra, fracture of eye ball, etc.
    After being in Coma, lots of blood loss etc, I was lucky to fight back and post 3 major surgeries (with steel implants in my hip and collar) started my long road to recovery. I must be thankful to God that I did get a second life and though life is still very different for me and my family (my wife and 2 small & amazing kids 5-10year old boy & a girl) than before the accident, I am grateful to experience life again.

    What I want to specifically share is that during those dark days in the hospital (over 4-5 months) I hung on to the words which one of my Doctors told me during my recovery. He use to say that “…whatever it is will pass…9 months down the line this will all be only a nightmare…”. Apparently the Doctor (Dr. Venugopalan- my urologist) had also suffered an accident and it was his voice of experience. These words gave me lot of comfort during those uncertain nights and days.

    Nevertheless here I am 4 years back and though there are long term affects to my body (and my memory capacity)…those dark days are only a nightmare now.

    So Soumya here is what I want to leave you with to hang on to, all through your and Jitesh’s recovery “…whatever it is will pass…9 months down the line this will all be only a nightmare…”. Human body has amazing healing powers and am confident you and Jitesh will come out of it soon.

    Both my Wife (Simrin) and Am here to talk to you if you want to enquire about our fight to recovery.

    With best of Wishes always

    Navin Soni
    +65-8468-5690

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Soumya Nair says:

      Navin, Thank you so much for sharing your story with all of us. You inspire and make me want to keep pushing. Your kindness and prayers give us strength and hope that we will come out of this stronger and smarter. Jitish has an amazing sense of self and drive to succeed. I hope a part of him is awake and aware right now to help him out of this.

      Like

    1. Soumya Nair says:

      Thank you Rose, I truly appreciate it. I hope others draw strength and hope.

      Like

  15. rosepens says:

    Power to you!Stay strong!You are amazing just for choosing to cope with this so beautifully everyday! Anything more is beyond amazing.
    Take care

    Like

    1. Soumya Nair says:

      Rose, I am not sure what is the right thing to do or the right thing to say. I am hoping my experiences, education and childhood has made me strong enough and smart enough to give him the best chance to get past this and heal. Every book I read, or game I buy, or person I speak to has to make me better equipped to dealing with this and giving him the best therapy. I am sure I am making my mistakes, hopefully not big ones that might negatively impact his recovery.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Sandhia McLeod says:

    Hi Soumya

    It was my privilege to meet you and your family at the Rehab. I was and still am amazed at your strength. I don’t know why bad things happen and all the could’ve, should’ve don’t help. I struggle with those thoughts myself. I have thought of you so often since I have returned. You are an amazing person. Lovely Birthday Celebration that day for Jitish!

    Please remember that it is okay sometimes to lean on someone and not be so strong. I think of those few times when we sat and talked and you always seemed so brave. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with me. Please don’t hesitate to call/email me if ever you need a friends’ ear.

    Best Wishes Always..
    Sandhia

    Like

    1. Soumya Nair says:

      Dear Sandhia, I am sorry I missed your call. We have finally come home (to a new home in Middleton, WI). Each month has been a new place, wrought with new challenges. I have met so many wonderfully generous and kind people along the way, that I only hope one day Jitish gets to meet them as well. You are faced with life challenges as well and I admire your respect and love for your parents. I find myself seeking strength a lot when I run out of it. I am scared of falling prey to weakness just yet. There are so many things I have to take care of that it worries me that I would shatter if I give in to my weakness. I will hold on for a while longer. For as long as it takes. Thank you for being so kind to me and finding a friend in you.
      With lots of respect and wishes,
      Soumya

      Like

      1. Sandhia McLeod says:

        Hello Soumya — Its been a while since I wrote but you have been in my thoughts often. Still my eyes fill with tears at your loss, your courage and the struggle that Jitish and both of your families are going through.

        Please let me know how things are going and of Jitish’s progress. I wonder (and used to wonder when we were together at UW Rehab) at your strength that allowed you to smile and to listen to my problems when you were facing so much!

        You are an inspiration to me and to a lot of people. But at the same time, I know that is not what you wanted to be. You just wanted to be able to live your life – doing simple things that make life worth living.

        Please write when you can. Please say hello to your Jitish and parents for me.
        Love, Sandhia

        Like

      2. Soumya Nair says:

        Dear Sandhia,

        I took some time away, and that was a few months. I just want to climb into my hole and stay there for a while to deal with everything. I don’t think I have quite accepted the aftermath in its entirety. I don’t think I want to take it all in to protect the little sanity we have left.

        I found comfort in speaking with you, and knowing you. I found a friend when I thought I wouldn’t find one. Thank you for being there for me. And I am glad I was there for you too. Please consider an open invitation to our home whenever you are in Wisconsin visiting your father (we are now in Middleton). I hope he is doing well. He always was so driven to be independent even then. I wish and pray for his good health.

        Lots of love, Sandhia.

        email me: soumyanair@gmail.com

        Like

  17. Purnima says:

    Dear Soumya,
    Been following your blog ever since…. If you’re struggling right now please know you are not alone. You matter very much to all of us. Don’t give up.. I am praying every day for both of you. All is going to be well very soon. You have come a long way . stay strong as always. Lots of love and huggs.
    Purnima.

    Like

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