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Thank you so much for love, concern and prayers on their behalf.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hearings Scheduled

Previously I had mentioned that there would be a hearing on November 28 to determine if Chuck would get a new trial.  That hearing has been moved to December 3.

There's also a parole board hearing scheduled for November 29 in Beaver.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Emotional Integrity

I'm not sure if I've explained this before, so if I have, forgive me.

The human brain has two emotion control centers, one in each hemisphere.  They work together in helping to regulate your emotional integrity.    In Mark's brain, he only has one that is operational due to the damage and removal of brain tissue.  In other words, his emotional integrity is severely hampered.  When presented with a stressful situation, he is almost incapable of controlling his emotions.  For Mark, this means his heart starts racing, his breathing becomes shallow and rapid, and he ends up vomiting.  Lately it seems to come on very quickly.  He can feel it start, he panics thinking he's going to have a seizure, vomits, and then starts crying uncontrollably.  Once he can finally get the crying under control, he then can't talk about it because he'll start crying again.  These "episodes" have been more frequent as of late.  It's extremely frustrating for him as he feels completely out of control.  At first, he didn't understand what was going on.  He thought these feelings were a precursor to having a seizure.  But as he further explained his symptoms to me, I talked to his doctor and he called the episodes a panic attack brought on by some stressful event.  Sometimes the event might only be a thought, or conversation with someone, or a worry about something.

As if the symptom described above aren't enough, the only thing that can calm him down and help him get things under control is a slow release sedative like Valium.  And that makes him very sleepy.  Almost like being drunk.  His speech is slurred and he stumbles around.  You would think he would just lay down and go to sleep, but he doesn't.  And that makes it not just HIS problem, but MY problem.  I chuckle as I type that because when has ANY of this only been HIS problem?  Anyway, it can really drain us of at least a couple of days.  It's really hard.  And he doesn't realize how hard it is for me.  He doesn't understand how his problems are also my problems.  He has a hard time thinking outside of himself.  And that can be extremely frustrating and taxing for me.

When he takes that medication he doesn't remember anything.  He doesn't know that it's like taking care of a drunk.  He doesn't know that he has missed HOURS of his day.  One night he got up at 8:45 and Madison and I were working on homework at the table and he wanted to know why she was late for school.  We had to explain to him that it was dark outside, which meant it was night, and he had only been asleep for the day.  Yesterday he didn't realize that it was Saturday and couldn't remember if he had been to the movie on Friday or Saturday.

The main reason I've decided to start blogging again is because so many people have said things to me like, "He's recovered so well and I can't even tell that anything happened!"  Well, that's not entirely true.  YES, he has recovered well.  But he still suffers a lot of deficits.  And no one is going to know that except me because I'm the one that lives with him.  No one else knows about these episodes, the days that go by that he sleeps, the nights that go by that he DOESN'T sleep.  He is not back to his old self.  He never will be.   This is the new Mark with all of his nuances, ticks and issues.  And we're still trying to get used to him.

Friday, November 2, 2012

I Hate TBI

I hate TBI.  I hate what it's done to my family.  I hate that we have to deal with it EVERYDAY.  I hate what it has stolen from Mark.  I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.

That being said, I am profoundly grateful for the extent of Mark's recovery.  Most people that see him now can't believe how well he's doing.  People that don't know him don't actually know that he has a brain injury until he tells them.  Those are great blessings.

But I am married to him.  No one knows how difficult some days really are.  For him and for me.  My patience is tried often and his love for me only grows stronger.  There are more good days than bad days, but when the bad days hit....they're bad.  That's when I have my breakdown and realize that I'm not "over" all of this.  I've still not fully "accepted" our new life.  I cry and want my old life back.  I don't like our new "normal".  I guess I'm still in mourning.  I don't know when I'm going to be able to talk about it without crying.  Just yesterday Mark was in my office and we were talking about some of his visitors in the hospital and I started crying.  We don't talk about it everyday, or even every week.  But if the subject comes up, the emotions start, the feelings churn and I'm back by his hospital bed on those dark nights.  It can almost be unbearable at times.

So while I love my husband more than life and am grateful for his preserved life and recovery...TBI sucks.  This whole experience sucks.

Here is an interesting article.  If they had interviewed me, I would have said the same thing.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Welcome Back

I apologize I have fallen out of the blog world for a while.  There has been a lot going on since the sentencing.  I will try and fill you in as I go along now that I'm back.  One thing you might want to note is that on November 28 there will be a hearing to determine if Chuck will get a new trial.  His mother is the driving force behind this as she thinks he didn't get a fair trial.  She says that I lied, his attorneys were not good, and she even quotes my feelings on this blog.  The same judge will preside at this hearing and make the decision that day.  She is currently going over everything, including written arguments from the new defense attorney, the trial records, and she will hear oral arguments at the hearing.  But I won't wait that long to fill you in on our lives since the trial.  Check back often.  I'm going to visit regularly.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


We were both pretty nervous about what we wanted to say to the judge, so we met with the prosecutor the morning of sentencing.  I was concerned about what Mark had prepared.  Because of his brain injury, he struggles with social cues and seeing outside of himself.  He was desperate for the judge to understand that HE didn't borrow the trailer from Chuck and that the damage was minimal.  He wanted her to understand that he almost lost his life over a $100 repair.  Both the prosecutor and I tried to explain to him that all of that was covered in the trial and didn't need to be addressed at the sentencing.  He couldn't remember most of what was said at the trial, so he and I went over it SEVERAL times before he prepared his remarks.  But once he got up to speak, he didn't know what to say.  He started talking about the trailer and the judge stopped him and told him that all of that was taken care of in the trial.  He said, "Ok, I'm sorry.  I don't really know what I'm supposed to say."  She said he could say what he feels and he said, "I want him to go to prison."  Then he sat down.  I had anticipated that it was going to happen like that, so I prepared my remarks as the voice for my family.  The voice for Mark.

Just before our hearing started, the prosecutor was doing a sentencing hearing for a man who has sexually molested his 13-year-old daughter.  She was seated on a pew two rows in front of us.  Before the judge gave her sentencing, she spoke directly to this young woman.  She talked to her about choices, and how none of this was her fault.  This was the result of the choices her father made.  Nothing she did could save him from going to prison because that is the consequence of HIS choices.  When I approached the podium to speak, all I could think about was what the judge had said to that girl.  And how it was EXACTLY what I had prepared to read in my two-page statement.  But I couldn't read it.

I told the judge that this case was not about a trailer.  It was about a choice made by Chuck to allow his anger to control his actions.  Chuck had several OTHER choices he could have made, but he CHOSE to assault his brother.  I told her that just one week before the sentencing when Mark had gone to his parents house to talk to his Dad, that Chuck wasn't there and had seen Mark in the neighborhood and came back to the house and was yelling at Mark and flipping him off.  Chuck called the police and so Mark had to stay there until they arrived so he could explain himself.  The officer that spoke to him said that he was familiar with the case and that it would be best if Mark would call before he came down to his parents' home as it was now Chuck's residence, as well.  I told her that as Chuck stood there and apologized for "his part" in all of this, that his actions speak differently.  Someone that is truly penitent doesn't flip off and yell at the person they've wronged.  I told her how our life is now.  How Mark's life is now.  I quoted from the scriptures where it says that mercy cannot rob justice, because God would cease to be God.  My closing words were, "Chuck was out of jail just two hours after Mark got out of surgery.  He has served 14 hours.  Only fourteen hours.  My husband has a LIFE sentence.  Please do not let mercy rob justice and send Chuck to prison."

The judge said that this was one of the most difficult trials she's had to oversee.  She said that after reading all of the letters from various people in the family and now having presided over this trial that this family was broken long before this assault.  She then told Chuck that this case IS about choices.  And he made, by his own admission, a choice to hit his brother because he was "tired of it."  She then sentenced him to 1-15 years in prison.

We were relieved.  Not happy, not ecstatic, not joyous.  Relieved.  The judge does the sentencing, but it's the parole board that decides how long he actually serves.  The earliest he would be able to leave prison is May 11, 2013.  There will be an administrative hearing in November that will determine when his first parole hearing will be.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pray for Us

We are preparing as best we can for tomorrow's sentencing hearing.  Just when I think I'm ready, the other side says something, writes something, or does something, that throws me off kilter.  I have written, edited, rewritten, deleted, edited some more, and I think my "speech" is finally ready.  Actually, I don't want to call it a speech.  Because it's not.  It's my thoughts, feelings, emotions, pain and sorrow that I'm sharing with the court.  I don't know that I'm adequately prepared or that I've even included everything I really want to say, but it will be done and over for me.  I will have "had my day in court" and it will be over.  From here, I don't care one whit what they do.  They are forever out of our lives and the peace and healing can begin.  If you are unable to make it, I would ask for your prayers.  Especially for Mark, as he has to let his family go.  Thank you again for all of your love and support.  I'll post something tomorrow so you aren't left in the dark.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The End is Near!

One week from today it will officially all be over. Well...the legal end of it anyway. For us it will really NEVER be completely over, as we live with the devastating aftermath everyday. But it will be the beginning of the healing process. I thought the trial would help us to start, and maybe to a certain degree it did. But I recognize now that this is going to take a while. Forgiveness does not come so easily for me as it does Mark. Perhaps that's because it's his family that did this to him, and so he's more inclined to forgive. He also doesn't remember any of it, so he doesn't carry with him all of the darkness, pain, sorrow and heartache. I can also see how they continue to injure him with their words and actions. He is not fully aware of a lot of this because of his brain injury. But it speaks loudly and clearly to me. I look forward to posting next week. It truly will be a new beginning for the Davis Family. Please join us.....