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AVM Survivors Network

A little story about something i observed that helps me sometimes


#1

I hope I can convey this properly-This may seem insignificant to some people but to me it is something that has been burned into my mind. About 7 years ago I was standing in a formation watching a purple heart being awarded to a Soldier I worked with. This Soldier had been wounded while deployed in a combat zone. The crowd was very large, the Soldier stood there in front of us all with his spouse and family. I cant remember who awarded him and what the people had to say. But I remember one powerful, simple gesture his spouse did. The Soldier was standing there and his nose started to run. It was a large amount of snot starting to build and hang from his nose. He didn’t know he couldn’t feel it or control it. His wife queued in on it and immediately wiped it without hesitation. The look on her face was nothing but pride for her husband. She wasn’t tearing up, she didn’t panic, she just simply and effortlessly produced a tissue and wiped her husbands nose as he stood there. she was accurate with her hand as if she had done it plenty of times. She finished and put the tissue away with precision backed by confidence in practice.
Her husband had suffered a head wound. He was still recovering from the trauma. He was able to walk and stand. His memory was affected by the trauma and he had a look in his eyes that was distant . He had received his wound some months earlier. I cant remember how long it had been but it felt like it was a significant amount of time between wound and award. He had been recovering since, all the while his wife was with him. I could only imagine the worries and thoughts going through her head during this recovery time for them. From the initial phone call from someone telling her the news of the incident to this moment. But she was with him. Standing there beside him having gone through everything and still preparing to go through more. The uncertainty that lay ahead with the nightmare that was in the past. Her dedication to her husband and her character was summed up to me in that simple gesture. That comforting gesture that said I am here for you. In front of all these people, you are my focus, I am here for you. It echoed to me when my wife had her first bleed. Remembering this has helped me get through some of those periods of when I felt hopeless with our situation. I still remember this today while we are on our journey with the second. I hope this can help someone else.


#2

Thank you for that story. I haven’t gone through anything yet but I do know the day will come and I to will have to ignore looks from strangers and let my family help me through a tuff time.


#3

Michael,

You’re absolutely right. The character that spouses and parents of AVMers develop or steel themselves to hold is very strong. I am sure it is harder for close relatives and carers of AVMers than for the patients themselves… at least psychologically.

I met a man called Craig last weekend, with his wife and daughter. I have no doubt at all, though I didn’t ask either of them, but that his wife has been incredibly strong, keeping everything she can still moving at home, at work and at school and to a great is still keeping it all going.

I take my hat off to you and all of the other carers. It’s a long, slow, tough job but I reckon you’ve learnt a lot and you’re doing some great things.

Very best regards

Richard


#4

Hey Richard, his wife definately made an impact without having to say a single word to me. I think these situations are incredibley difficult for both. I can see the concern on my wife with the frustration of it and the fear of everything going on and its brutal. She lives it. I cant imagine how it feels for her. All i can do is try to prepare or react. Everyone who has had this in their life has been forced to deal with an extrordinary event. It is amazing what has been asked of people on here to endure. My hat is off back to you and the survivors.


#5

I haven’t had a bleed. I’ve still only just got my toes wet in this. It is the people who’ve survived a bleed who are the real survivors, and their husbands, wives, mums and dads, carers and children.

Keep up the great work!

Richard