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EP 6: The Long Road to Recovery After A Serious Car Accident (Part 2)

The recovery process following a serious car accident can be overwhelming and slow. Depending on the injuries you suffer, it could be years before you see improvement.

Today’s guests, Daniel and Sarah, are living that experience right now. The married couple were only a block from their home when a distracted driver ran a red light and practically hit them head-on. As you can imagine, the injuries were very serious.

We spent some time discussing those injuries and the exhausting recovery process they’ve endured, but we want to flip the conversation to one of a positive nature. As you’ll hear in part two, Daniel and Sarah remain incredibly positive despite everything they’ve been through and continue to find reasons to be grateful each day.

If you ever lack motivation or feel depressed about your situation, we hope this conversation will help give you inspiration to find strength and joy in your life.

Here is some of what we’ll cover in this episode:
0:00 – Intro
2:25 – Recognizing people love you
3:35 – Finding gratitude in a difficult situation
7:04 – Sources of strength
12:35 – Songs they find motivation from
17:00 – Giving yourself time to start the comeback
20:23 – Setbacks they’ve struggled with

You can call 833-SPEAKS-4U to contact the show.

Welcome to the catastrophic comeback podcast with American Injury Lawyer Clark speaks, helping you find hope, purpose and joy after a catastrophic injury. Okay, welcome back, we're continuing our conversation with Dan and with Sarah. And Dan just mentioned that we're, this conversation isn't as evolved or devolved into a relationship, coaching session. And but I think that here's what I'm taking away from, from what your from what you have described is that you guys been through this really unexpected, disruptive, catastrophic thing that has changed your lives, physically, emotionally, financially. And this caused you to have to deviate from this plan that you'd put together and built over time, and you had gone back in it's kind of set you back, you've dealt with medical and emotional challenges. And yet you have found a way to the things that came in the first set, first segment of our conversation were that you had found relationships with other people that were real and solid and dependable, that you had prioritized your needs, so that you would be secure on a long term basis, and done the things that you had to do and identify the people socially and professionally, that we're going to be able to help you survive. It also is clear that, even in spite of this, and this is I think the something that I think is probably the most interesting thing about your story is that throughout all that you guys have really have this phenomenal relationship. And you have this great time together even in difficult circumstances. And in addition, the other thing that I think that's interesting about it is you recognize it, and you're and you have gratitude, through the through this difficult journey, based on the fact that you guys have each other. And so I think that's, that's kind of what I'm putting together from our conversation is first, is that a fair characterization?

I would, I would say yes. And I would say, for those who you know, are, I want to make it all about people who are really for those who are, are single, you know, older, younger, for those who are single, too, you have to remember the people around you that that love you. Because there are people that love you. And you don't need to have a relationship like a emote, like you don't I'm saying I'm a dating or like a husband

or wife or boyfriend and the, you know, a friend, it can be an aunt and uncle and parent of sibling, your pets,

your pets, that's a great point. Yes, and just keeping, keeping things in order as best as you as you can, while taking care of the most important things like we've one thing to I'll have to say is we've had to move with moving you know, throw away things like sell clothes, all that type of stuff, because there just wasn't room or time, you got to make sure you got you know, your pets, your people that's you can replace those other things, get rid of them. And when you're out of better place, take them back. Get them back what.

So and then the second thing that I think that's interesting, I mean, that, that the second question that I had for you, in addition to is that a fair characterization is how do you find gratitude in a difficult situation? How do you find ways to be thankful and appreciative for what you have, even when so much has been taken away from you?

Think for me, it's just doing the things that we enjoy and just laughing about things because a few seconds more it could have been fatal. So I I look at it more like even just a silly argument that we have. I'm almost thankful for the argument because I might not have had the argument if it had gone any worse. Obviously, I like the laughter part more than the argument part. But that's how I always focus on it, like, borderline got lucky by a few seconds. And you can't take that for granted. You know, you just got to enjoy everything that comes your way. Even the even the really bad things that we deal with the fact that we're together makes it worth it.

And I would say yes, definitely. Just the fact of, you know, the fact that you're that you're waking up and you're and you're moving on to the next day, things like sitting sitting on the or just looking up at the sky, you know, seeing things like that. And knowing, like, like, for me, I hit me, I was like, I've never even been pulled over. Like, I'm a great driver and everybody, you know, it's not it's not your fault and like, but if I, but if I hold on just another moment, but it's still it's not my fault, I had to take a long time to accept that. And then to recognize that, you know, it really wasn't my fault. And I just the things, I guess the things I look forward, do you have your pets, your family, I have a sister who's younger than me. And just a lot of what's helped me is continuing on for those around even when I felt like why am I here? What What was the what's the point, you know, you still get up every day, because you're gonna keep moving forward, you have to keep moving, or you have to keep getting up, if it's gonna move forward and think about the ones that you the ones that you love, and the things that you do enjoy, and getting those things. But be be like, defiant, you know, like, if you're, you know, when you're angry with the world, or you're angry, that thing's going on, do something about it, you know, if you can, don't stop until you can get to the point where you need to be where you're safe, comfortable, happy. And don't ever don't ever stop initiative. Bye by yourself, do the same thing as well.

We're gonna sit down,

I was gonna say just never quit until you've exhausted any and all opportunities. And the more you're hunting, the more you're going down all of your resources, more resources pop up, you're gonna walk into a lot of debt and on the way, but you can't let that bother you. Because there's more half that you have to go to, you can never stop. That's tenacity. You know, that's what you got to be?

Well, so it sounds like funding, sources of strength and sources of motivation is an important part of this. You guys have mentioned your relationships, your relationships with family, friends, relationships with each other. And then using whatever kind of tools, internal or otherwise, in order to find motivation and strength, whether it's, you know, kind of psyching yourself up making yourself angry, being defiant, saying, you know, fake it till you make it that sort of thing. What other sources of strength are there the things that occur to me that you've mentioned, relatively frequently during our conversation. One is pets and two is music are those are those sorts of sources of strength for you. And for example, later in the show, we'll have if we, in this in this series, we'll have we've already had an art therapist, we'll have a, you know, a music person, if I can find somebody to talk about music therapy and how that might be finished beneficial, we'll find we had a Tet therapist lined up, I'm not sure if that's going to if that person has had some scheduling difficulties, so I gotta find somebody else. But I want to find other sources of strength that people might be able to use to help them get the motivation and strength that they need to get through these types of situations. What are some of the things that you guys have used as in addition to what you've already described, pets, music, other things that might be have been helpful to you. Um,

so I like to play a lot of video games, it's always been something that I've always just poured a lot of hours into my entire life. I'm sure it's annoying for Sarah, but it's something that's always helped me. I just just to lose yourself in that type of environment. Kind of like, like refresh and get your mind off of something like the worst things that are going on just for a little bit. I also we also have friends we have like big game nights where we will play different board games, we will order food or we even have people make a lot of food and it's a wonderful time we have Dungeons and Dragons night like once a month. It's just it's just a good time to relax for even just that one afternoon that one day and not have to think about real life for a little bit. So that's probably the easiest thing for me. We also watch a lot of movies movies really helped us a lot to or at least they helped me significantly because you can watch even the more like fake movies, the ones that obviously couldn't never happen ever. You could still grab something out of there's a lot of symbolism, a lot of that and you can find that meaning and apply it to your own life. And I think that also really helps And the situations, like you said, music is wonderful, I would 100% Recommend music for anyone in this type of situation, all kinds of genres to even a genre you may not like right now, like it might speak to an emotion that you're feeling. And you can't release that feeling until you hear something like that. And even if you don't really like the song, maybe the emotion that it derives out of you is beneficial. So I would highly recommend that art. I'm terrible at drawing, but I even sitting down and attempting to do a color book, it will just take your mind off of things for just a little bit, you're focusing your attention on something more enjoyable, relaxing, does help significantly.

I would say yes, I agree. 100% with that, and like, even things that you don't like right now, or you're not sure if you're gonna like and things are very different for people I know. And with certain things, you just want to make sure you don't get too you know, extreme into it, because then things can start where you're just overwhelmed. But you know, cooking, exercising, yoga, me like Dan said music arts going, Yeah, gardening, going out and doing that. Just picking up an instrument, if you have one and playing, you know, doing whatever with it, I play a harmonica, just sit out there and play the blues. And, and I one thing too I enjoy, like, since I can't get out of the house too much. One thing that helps me is just, you know, taking care of the animals, taking care of the house, it's nice when you have you know, your your, your safe space, your home, you know, this is your nice place. I don't necessarily, unfortunately feel that way about this house. So that's a that's a bummer. But um, that's definitely helpful when you do have that and trying to push that help along. And one thing that's been like Clint Yeah, cleaning, I really enjoy like cleaning and scheduling and putting things forward. The idea of like, even though, you can make the difficult things more fun, like, when you're dealing dealing with, like, analytical things, when you think about, okay, well, this is going to help me get here, here. And I enjoy that type of stuff. So things that can be helpful and things that are just for fun. And sometimes too. It's ideal, you need to just vegetate sit on the porch and stare at the sky and stars sit on the floor and, you know, have some music on and you're just sitting there in in the silence, you know. So

it sounds like it's more about making a conscious decision to find the joy in life than it in being intentional about finding joy than it is necessarily about your particular circumstances. And so let me ask you this. Okay, so you guys have mentioned movies, songs, games, pets, those kinds of things. Can you give me give me, you know, an inspirational song from this time in your life that you found that you connected with a movie that you that you enjoy that got helped get you through something, a video game that you'd like to play? Some other kind of activity that we that might be of benefit to somebody else?

Oh, you got it. Yeah.

I mean, our favorite band of all time is Allison chains. They're a little bit darker. It's not necessarily the most uplifting music but for us, it releases that emotion. It gets out those negative emotions because it makes it seem like someone else understands what we're going through and having that voice speak to you in such a way. That is understanding he's talking about heartache and pain and stuff like that is really cathartic. So that's something I would say I would also say my other my other favorite band is tune they have a lot of really strange bizarre music but they also have a lot of uplifting music and they have music where it talks about just always going the one of the big phrases with that band is called spiral out because you just go endlessly until it never ends, but the spiral never does. And so you always just keep pressing forward. All this pain is an illusion is another one because your body your spirit right now, currently is what's most important. So everything else that's happening is kind of a mess because you're experiencing life and that life right now is what's most important. Movies, others like a billion movies, so many movies. We really like horror movies, they don't really necessarily are the best for uplifting type of stuff. But we like watching movies enough to where we like to talk about like, how did they did the CG Yeah, or how they did the practical effects. So we kind of dissect the movies a lot more. And that makes it more enjoyable for us, because we do watch them some movies. And then when it comes to like games or anything, it's anything that can get people together and just have a good time. Some people play games very casually, and those are great to see people who play them a lot more competitively. And if you're this type of people, then that's also really fun to do as well. So I can't necessarily name a game there's too much of a variety of them just like movies, but music, I would definitely say Allison chains if you want to have someone cathartically speaking to you in a way that makes you understand that he understood pain that you're going through as well. But any any type of music that speaks to you in whatever way Don't ever go out of your way and listen to ALS and change because I recommend that it recommended and

agree with that I would say go out of your way but that's Allison chains they love than 311 They're a rock reggae band. So you know, that's kind of the other side of things and they sing about you know, fun things but also you know, pushing forward there's a song called Beyond the gray sky that's about a friend you know that they lost and just moving forward beyond that. And with like Allison chains there's not shell everybody knows that one. Don't follow shaman, you those are my those were our favorites. Very powerful. And then the the other music I love is honky pomp and square dance and music and sad stuff from the 30s. So I listened to a lot of Johnny Cash old Hank Williams, my favorites. Western song is Lost Highway by old Hank Williams. It's a very somber, just sad, sad, somber, sad, and it takes you it takes to a different time period and a different lifestyle too. And

so I can I can relate to both of those suggestions. How long after, is it important, after something catastrophic, to give yourself some time and space, just to just to be and just to live and just to breathe before you start this sort of rebuilding tenacity, putting your life back together kind of grind? Or is it just like, boom, we got to go right now. As soon as you're conscious and able to start working and building you go.

Personally, I think that is different for everyone. I know some people are going to need that, that break. I would still recommend, though, that you give yourself maybe a week, don't don't let it get too far without doing anything. Because now you're only making it harder for yourself. I know for us, basically, after I got out of the hospital and had to spend the evening alone by myself where my wife was in the hospital the next day, even while I was concussed. Even with my wife in the hospital, still under a coma, I was already in action doing something I might have been a lot slower doing it. Because I was concussed and didn't really know what I was doing. But I started basically immediately even with Sarah, like, other than the her time in the hospital when she was like, really not in a good place in the hospital. But once we got her home, it was maybe a day or two, maybe three before she started trying to really well, we need to start planning this, I want to look at the finances, we have to look we got to look long term. So that's what helped us a lot. That's just how we are as people, but I would always say you have to listen to yourself. If you think you need a break, take the break. Period, don't ask other people. If you feel like you desperately need that time for yourself, then take it I would just caution taking too much time without getting back on the horse and addressing the issue at hand. You don't want to let it get out of hand when you were unaware of it.

And you don't want to let yourself get so you know so low you know mentally make sure that you get you know help you need if you're feeling at risk you know of yourself or somebody else you know doing harm but like like Daniel said, it has to be whatever whatever works for you and you might have to be malleable like sometimes Okay, well this this is how I typically do things but it's not really working out but yeah, so we were very much alike you know get right back and move forward. That's how I am because I don't like to have anything like build up and like Dan saying you know if you if you do do a break, you know for too long, that can build up and then it's going to be even hard to get started. But it is understandable to to have those breaks because you do need those. And some people you know have a big break and undo the work they break through the work sometimes you need them in between, like while you're you know, everybody's got something different Um, but you definitely do not want to, you don't want to put yourself in a situation where you're so overwhelmed, of course, that it's making things worse. But you absolutely do also do not want to let it get to a situation where, oh, well now it's just so big I can write, I don't even want to, I don't even want to mess with it, because it's so big now.

So were there times during this process of recovery of healing of, of coming back, where you felt like, there was a setback. And then so it sounds like that there was physical setbacks, for sure. With seizures and other types of injuries in the recovery process. But it also sounds like you guys, you know, very quickly, sort of, at least emotionally got up, shook the dirt off, and started taking steps towards, you know, your goals of rebuilding your situation. Were there times when you had, like, emotionally there was you had a setback where you're just like, I don't know if I can do this. And you if you did feel like giving up? Or was it always you always had the inner confidence, the inner drive to get through it and get over it and get get back to where you wanted to be.

I've got I've had a lot of times, where I talk negatively where I've gotten better over time, but where I talk, like, why am I why am I even here? Why am I bothering like what, you know, that sort of thing. But not, and see and feeling that way, but still getting up and doing what I have to do. If you've gotten to a point where you still you can't get up anymore. You definitely want to seek help. But But yeah, you have to be willing to take some pain, some some things that are going to come back, you know, and bite you. Like, you know, the loss of job opportunities, losses of jobs. Having you know, missing out on opportunities, leaving things are missing things that you really, really love, having to make difficult choices, selling, you know, moving all those different things. Financial, you have to be careful your financial aspects, and now you have a bunch more appointments. So it's all a very hard thing to just manage. But But yeah, you definitely. You've got to do that. You got to get up and keep going. You have to?

Yeah, I would, I would agree. I would say that. I mean, there's always going to be times, especially when something big like this happens that you're going to hit that point where you're just like, why even bother? What's the point of it all. But the point is, is you can't get there are other people that rely on you that you need to be there for them. So I would almost never considered never, like stopping ever. Even when I get those moments, it's okay to feel like I really is it's totally normal and totally natural. There will be more setbacks. Almost never do things go exactly planned immediately. But that comes down to just acceptance. I think a lot of people in these types of situations struggle with accepting that this happened, that things aren't going well anymore. It's a lot from people, especially when you didn't have a problem with it, like growing up or in your child if you haven't faced the problem to this magnitude. But acceptance and patience because things will go wrong. It's not going to fix itself overnight. You have to have those two things are probably the most important things for myself personally, during this whole ordeal. I do accept what happened. It's not just me, but with Sarah as well. I had to accept that we had to, you know, move from North Carolina back to Pittsburgh that we threw away. Basically everything that we were starting to build there to rebuild again in a place that we didn't particularly care to be in again. But didn't any of that bother me? Yeah, it sucks, was awful. But I look at the long term, the picture of it all the patients. We needed to get Sarah more help. So we moved back to Pittsburgh so that I can get people our families heard from him so we can get more people behind us. There's a lot more opportunities for different hospitals. So if something was to go wrong again, there's a lot of hospitals in this area. It's a very big area for that type of stuff. So it just was the smart decision. So that's why we did it. And then the patients have been I'm willing to go through more headache, more problems, to see the end to go all the way, you know, to ride the spiral to the set earlier. And

I do want to say to just the importance of it, I know Dan and I have talked a lot about our relationship and her elders, like wanting to be there for others as well. But it's also important to, to mention, you know, for anyone, for people who are by themselves, or for anyone in general of any age, that you have value as yourself too. So it can be helpful, you know, when you're because you're gonna feel like danza like that, like, why am I even doing anything anymore? You have to sit there, even if it's like writing stuff down, you do have value, you have importance, you have a reason to move forward, always. So it can be helpful to write those things down. Like I said, definitely see therapy. But remember to not to not ever lose that value for yourself, it might go down really low, but you have to build it back up, you can't lose that completely. Or there's you're gonna have even worse of a time.

And you will always have someone you may not even think about them off the top of your head, but you will always have someone rooting for you. And if you can't think of someone that I hope anyone who does watch this, I'm rooting for you. Yes, absolutely. Because just having that alone speaks volumes. Sometimes just having that one person mean like you can do it, dude. Yes, I believe in you.

Well, that is fantastic. Well, guys, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you for for being with us. And for the things that you said I think they'll be helpful to people who are going through similar things. I wish we use some way to prevent people from going through these same things, but I don't think that there is. So the only thing that we can do is try to try to go into their rooms and give them valuable information that will help them through that process. And I think this is exactly that type of thing that can help people through difficult sort of situations. So thank you so much for joining us and thank you for being here.

Transcript

Welcome to the catastrophic comeback podcast with American Injury Lawyer Clark speaks, helping you find hope, purpose and joy after a catastrophic injury. Okay, welcome back, we're continuing our conversation with Dan and with Sarah. And Dan just mentioned that we're, this conversation isn't as evolved or devolved into a relationship, coaching session. And but I think that here's what I'm taking away from, from what your from what you have described is that you guys been through this really unexpected, disruptive, catastrophic thing that has changed your lives, physically, emotionally, financially. And this caused you to have to deviate from this plan that you'd put together and built over time, and you had gone back in it's kind of set you back, you've dealt with medical and emotional challenges. And yet you have found a way to the things that came in the first set, first segment of our conversation were that you had found relationships with other people that were real and solid and dependable, that you had prioritized your needs, so that you would be secure on a long term basis, and done the things that you had to do and identify the people socially and professionally, that we're going to be able to help you survive. It also is clear that, even in spite of this, and this is I think the something that I think is probably the most interesting thing about your story is that throughout all that you guys have really have this phenomenal relationship. And you have this great time together even in difficult circumstances. And in addition, the other thing that I think that's interesting about it is you recognize it, and you're and you have gratitude, through the through this difficult journey, based on the fact that you guys have each other. And so I think that's, that's kind of what I'm putting together from our conversation is first, is that a fair characterization?

I would, I would say yes. And I would say, for those who you know, are, I want to make it all about people who are really for those who are, are single, you know, older, younger, for those who are single, too, you have to remember the people around you that that love you. Because there are people that love you. And you don't need to have a relationship like a emote, like you don't I'm saying I'm a dating or like a husband

or wife or boyfriend and the, you know, a friend, it can be an aunt and uncle and parent of sibling, your pets,

your pets, that's a great point. Yes, and just keeping, keeping things in order as best as you as you can, while taking care of the most important things like we've one thing to I'll have to say is we've had to move with moving you know, throw away things like sell clothes, all that type of stuff, because there just wasn't room or time, you got to make sure you got you know, your pets, your people that's you can replace those other things, get rid of them. And when you're out of better place, take them back. Get them back what.

So and then the second thing that I think that's interesting, I mean, that, that the second question that I had for you, in addition to is that a fair characterization is how do you find gratitude in a difficult situation? How do you find ways to be thankful and appreciative for what you have, even when so much has been taken away from you?

Think for me, it's just doing the things that we enjoy and just laughing about things because a few seconds more it could have been fatal. So I I look at it more like even just a silly argument that we have. I'm almost thankful for the argument because I might not have had the argument if it had gone any worse. Obviously, I like the laughter part more than the argument part. But that's how I always focus on it, like, borderline got lucky by a few seconds. And you can't take that for granted. You know, you just got to enjoy everything that comes your way. Even the even the really bad things that we deal with the fact that we're together makes it worth it.

And I would say yes, definitely. Just the fact of, you know, the fact that you're that you're waking up and you're and you're moving on to the next day, things like sitting sitting on the or just looking up at the sky, you know, seeing things like that. And knowing, like, like, for me, I hit me, I was like, I've never even been pulled over. Like, I'm a great driver and everybody, you know, it's not it's not your fault and like, but if I, but if I hold on just another moment, but it's still it's not my fault, I had to take a long time to accept that. And then to recognize that, you know, it really wasn't my fault. And I just the things, I guess the things I look forward, do you have your pets, your family, I have a sister who's younger than me. And just a lot of what's helped me is continuing on for those around even when I felt like why am I here? What What was the what's the point, you know, you still get up every day, because you're gonna keep moving forward, you have to keep moving, or you have to keep getting up, if it's gonna move forward and think about the ones that you the ones that you love, and the things that you do enjoy, and getting those things. But be be like, defiant, you know, like, if you're, you know, when you're angry with the world, or you're angry, that thing's going on, do something about it, you know, if you can, don't stop until you can get to the point where you need to be where you're safe, comfortable, happy. And don't ever don't ever stop initiative. Bye by yourself, do the same thing as well.

We're gonna sit down,

I was gonna say just never quit until you've exhausted any and all opportunities. And the more you're hunting, the more you're going down all of your resources, more resources pop up, you're gonna walk into a lot of debt and on the way, but you can't let that bother you. Because there's more half that you have to go to, you can never stop. That's tenacity. You know, that's what you got to be?

Well, so it sounds like funding, sources of strength and sources of motivation is an important part of this. You guys have mentioned your relationships, your relationships with family, friends, relationships with each other. And then using whatever kind of tools, internal or otherwise, in order to find motivation and strength, whether it's, you know, kind of psyching yourself up making yourself angry, being defiant, saying, you know, fake it till you make it that sort of thing. What other sources of strength are there the things that occur to me that you've mentioned, relatively frequently during our conversation. One is pets and two is music are those are those sorts of sources of strength for you. And for example, later in the show, we'll have if we, in this in this series, we'll have we've already had an art therapist, we'll have a, you know, a music person, if I can find somebody to talk about music therapy and how that might be finished beneficial, we'll find we had a Tet therapist lined up, I'm not sure if that's going to if that person has had some scheduling difficulties, so I gotta find somebody else. But I want to find other sources of strength that people might be able to use to help them get the motivation and strength that they need to get through these types of situations. What are some of the things that you guys have used as in addition to what you've already described, pets, music, other things that might be have been helpful to you. Um,

so I like to play a lot of video games, it's always been something that I've always just poured a lot of hours into my entire life. I'm sure it's annoying for Sarah, but it's something that's always helped me. I just just to lose yourself in that type of environment. Kind of like, like refresh and get your mind off of something like the worst things that are going on just for a little bit. I also we also have friends we have like big game nights where we will play different board games, we will order food or we even have people make a lot of food and it's a wonderful time we have Dungeons and Dragons night like once a month. It's just it's just a good time to relax for even just that one afternoon that one day and not have to think about real life for a little bit. So that's probably the easiest thing for me. We also watch a lot of movies movies really helped us a lot to or at least they helped me significantly because you can watch even the more like fake movies, the ones that obviously couldn't never happen ever. You could still grab something out of there's a lot of symbolism, a lot of that and you can find that meaning and apply it to your own life. And I think that also really helps And the situations, like you said, music is wonderful, I would 100% Recommend music for anyone in this type of situation, all kinds of genres to even a genre you may not like right now, like it might speak to an emotion that you're feeling. And you can't release that feeling until you hear something like that. And even if you don't really like the song, maybe the emotion that it derives out of you is beneficial. So I would highly recommend that art. I'm terrible at drawing, but I even sitting down and attempting to do a color book, it will just take your mind off of things for just a little bit, you're focusing your attention on something more enjoyable, relaxing, does help significantly.

I would say yes, I agree. 100% with that, and like, even things that you don't like right now, or you're not sure if you're gonna like and things are very different for people I know. And with certain things, you just want to make sure you don't get too you know, extreme into it, because then things can start where you're just overwhelmed. But you know, cooking, exercising, yoga, me like Dan said music arts going, Yeah, gardening, going out and doing that. Just picking up an instrument, if you have one and playing, you know, doing whatever with it, I play a harmonica, just sit out there and play the blues. And, and I one thing too I enjoy, like, since I can't get out of the house too much. One thing that helps me is just, you know, taking care of the animals, taking care of the house, it's nice when you have you know, your your, your safe space, your home, you know, this is your nice place. I don't necessarily, unfortunately feel that way about this house. So that's a that's a bummer. But um, that's definitely helpful when you do have that and trying to push that help along. And one thing that's been like Clint Yeah, cleaning, I really enjoy like cleaning and scheduling and putting things forward. The idea of like, even though, you can make the difficult things more fun, like, when you're dealing dealing with, like, analytical things, when you think about, okay, well, this is going to help me get here, here. And I enjoy that type of stuff. So things that can be helpful and things that are just for fun. And sometimes too. It's ideal, you need to just vegetate sit on the porch and stare at the sky and stars sit on the floor and, you know, have some music on and you're just sitting there in in the silence, you know. So

it sounds like it's more about making a conscious decision to find the joy in life than it in being intentional about finding joy than it is necessarily about your particular circumstances. And so let me ask you this. Okay, so you guys have mentioned movies, songs, games, pets, those kinds of things. Can you give me give me, you know, an inspirational song from this time in your life that you found that you connected with a movie that you that you enjoy that got helped get you through something, a video game that you'd like to play? Some other kind of activity that we that might be of benefit to somebody else?

Oh, you got it. Yeah.

I mean, our favorite band of all time is Allison chains. They're a little bit darker. It's not necessarily the most uplifting music but for us, it releases that emotion. It gets out those negative emotions because it makes it seem like someone else understands what we're going through and having that voice speak to you in such a way. That is understanding he's talking about heartache and pain and stuff like that is really cathartic. So that's something I would say I would also say my other my other favorite band is tune they have a lot of really strange bizarre music but they also have a lot of uplifting music and they have music where it talks about just always going the one of the big phrases with that band is called spiral out because you just go endlessly until it never ends, but the spiral never does. And so you always just keep pressing forward. All this pain is an illusion is another one because your body your spirit right now, currently is what's most important. So everything else that's happening is kind of a mess because you're experiencing life and that life right now is what's most important. Movies, others like a billion movies, so many movies. We really like horror movies, they don't really necessarily are the best for uplifting type of stuff. But we like watching movies enough to where we like to talk about like, how did they did the CG Yeah, or how they did the practical effects. So we kind of dissect the movies a lot more. And that makes it more enjoyable for us, because we do watch them some movies. And then when it comes to like games or anything, it's anything that can get people together and just have a good time. Some people play games very casually, and those are great to see people who play them a lot more competitively. And if you're this type of people, then that's also really fun to do as well. So I can't necessarily name a game there's too much of a variety of them just like movies, but music, I would definitely say Allison chains if you want to have someone cathartically speaking to you in a way that makes you understand that he understood pain that you're going through as well. But any any type of music that speaks to you in whatever way Don't ever go out of your way and listen to ALS and change because I recommend that it recommended and

agree with that I would say go out of your way but that's Allison chains they love than 311 They're a rock reggae band. So you know, that's kind of the other side of things and they sing about you know, fun things but also you know, pushing forward there's a song called Beyond the gray sky that's about a friend you know that they lost and just moving forward beyond that. And with like Allison chains there's not shell everybody knows that one. Don't follow shaman, you those are my those were our favorites. Very powerful. And then the the other music I love is honky pomp and square dance and music and sad stuff from the 30s. So I listened to a lot of Johnny Cash old Hank Williams, my favorites. Western song is Lost Highway by old Hank Williams. It's a very somber, just sad, sad, somber, sad, and it takes you it takes to a different time period and a different lifestyle too. And

so I can I can relate to both of those suggestions. How long after, is it important, after something catastrophic, to give yourself some time and space, just to just to be and just to live and just to breathe before you start this sort of rebuilding tenacity, putting your life back together kind of grind? Or is it just like, boom, we got to go right now. As soon as you're conscious and able to start working and building you go.

Personally, I think that is different for everyone. I know some people are going to need that, that break. I would still recommend, though, that you give yourself maybe a week, don't don't let it get too far without doing anything. Because now you're only making it harder for yourself. I know for us, basically, after I got out of the hospital and had to spend the evening alone by myself where my wife was in the hospital the next day, even while I was concussed. Even with my wife in the hospital, still under a coma, I was already in action doing something I might have been a lot slower doing it. Because I was concussed and didn't really know what I was doing. But I started basically immediately even with Sarah, like, other than the her time in the hospital when she was like, really not in a good place in the hospital. But once we got her home, it was maybe a day or two, maybe three before she started trying to really well, we need to start planning this, I want to look at the finances, we have to look we got to look long term. So that's what helped us a lot. That's just how we are as people, but I would always say you have to listen to yourself. If you think you need a break, take the break. Period, don't ask other people. If you feel like you desperately need that time for yourself, then take it I would just caution taking too much time without getting back on the horse and addressing the issue at hand. You don't want to let it get out of hand when you were unaware of it.

And you don't want to let yourself get so you know so low you know mentally make sure that you get you know help you need if you're feeling at risk you know of yourself or somebody else you know doing harm but like like Daniel said, it has to be whatever whatever works for you and you might have to be malleable like sometimes Okay, well this this is how I typically do things but it's not really working out but yeah, so we were very much alike you know get right back and move forward. That's how I am because I don't like to have anything like build up and like Dan saying you know if you if you do do a break, you know for too long, that can build up and then it's going to be even hard to get started. But it is understandable to to have those breaks because you do need those. And some people you know have a big break and undo the work they break through the work sometimes you need them in between, like while you're you know, everybody's got something different Um, but you definitely do not want to, you don't want to put yourself in a situation where you're so overwhelmed, of course, that it's making things worse. But you absolutely do also do not want to let it get to a situation where, oh, well now it's just so big I can write, I don't even want to, I don't even want to mess with it, because it's so big now.

So were there times during this process of recovery of healing of, of coming back, where you felt like, there was a setback. And then so it sounds like that there was physical setbacks, for sure. With seizures and other types of injuries in the recovery process. But it also sounds like you guys, you know, very quickly, sort of, at least emotionally got up, shook the dirt off, and started taking steps towards, you know, your goals of rebuilding your situation. Were there times when you had, like, emotionally there was you had a setback where you're just like, I don't know if I can do this. And you if you did feel like giving up? Or was it always you always had the inner confidence, the inner drive to get through it and get over it and get get back to where you wanted to be.

I've got I've had a lot of times, where I talk negatively where I've gotten better over time, but where I talk, like, why am I why am I even here? Why am I bothering like what, you know, that sort of thing. But not, and see and feeling that way, but still getting up and doing what I have to do. If you've gotten to a point where you still you can't get up anymore. You definitely want to seek help. But But yeah, you have to be willing to take some pain, some some things that are going to come back, you know, and bite you. Like, you know, the loss of job opportunities, losses of jobs. Having you know, missing out on opportunities, leaving things are missing things that you really, really love, having to make difficult choices, selling, you know, moving all those different things. Financial, you have to be careful your financial aspects, and now you have a bunch more appointments. So it's all a very hard thing to just manage. But But yeah, you definitely. You've got to do that. You got to get up and keep going. You have to?

Yeah, I would, I would agree. I would say that. I mean, there's always going to be times, especially when something big like this happens that you're going to hit that point where you're just like, why even bother? What's the point of it all. But the point is, is you can't get there are other people that rely on you that you need to be there for them. So I would almost never considered never, like stopping ever. Even when I get those moments, it's okay to feel like I really is it's totally normal and totally natural. There will be more setbacks. Almost never do things go exactly planned immediately. But that comes down to just acceptance. I think a lot of people in these types of situations struggle with accepting that this happened, that things aren't going well anymore. It's a lot from people, especially when you didn't have a problem with it, like growing up or in your child if you haven't faced the problem to this magnitude. But acceptance and patience because things will go wrong. It's not going to fix itself overnight. You have to have those two things are probably the most important things for myself personally, during this whole ordeal. I do accept what happened. It's not just me, but with Sarah as well. I had to accept that we had to, you know, move from North Carolina back to Pittsburgh that we threw away. Basically everything that we were starting to build there to rebuild again in a place that we didn't particularly care to be in again. But didn't any of that bother me? Yeah, it sucks, was awful. But I look at the long term, the picture of it all the patients. We needed to get Sarah more help. So we moved back to Pittsburgh so that I can get people our families heard from him so we can get more people behind us. There's a lot more opportunities for different hospitals. So if something was to go wrong again, there's a lot of hospitals in this area. It's a very big area for that type of stuff. So it just was the smart decision. So that's why we did it. And then the patients have been I'm willing to go through more headache, more problems, to see the end to go all the way, you know, to ride the spiral to the set earlier. And

I do want to say to just the importance of it, I know Dan and I have talked a lot about our relationship and her elders, like wanting to be there for others as well. But it's also important to, to mention, you know, for anyone, for people who are by themselves, or for anyone in general of any age, that you have value as yourself too. So it can be helpful, you know, when you're because you're gonna feel like danza like that, like, why am I even doing anything anymore? You have to sit there, even if it's like writing stuff down, you do have value, you have importance, you have a reason to move forward, always. So it can be helpful to write those things down. Like I said, definitely see therapy. But remember to not to not ever lose that value for yourself, it might go down really low, but you have to build it back up, you can't lose that completely. Or there's you're gonna have even worse of a time.

And you will always have someone you may not even think about them off the top of your head, but you will always have someone rooting for you. And if you can't think of someone that I hope anyone who does watch this, I'm rooting for you. Yes, absolutely. Because just having that alone speaks volumes. Sometimes just having that one person mean like you can do it, dude. Yes, I believe in you.

Well, that is fantastic. Well, guys, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you for for being with us. And for the things that you said I think they'll be helpful to people who are going through similar things. I wish we use some way to prevent people from going through these same things, but I don't think that there is. So the only thing that we can do is try to try to go into their rooms and give them valuable information that will help them through that process. And I think this is exactly that type of thing that can help people through difficult sort of situations. So thank you so much for joining us and thank you for being here.

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