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The Caregiver's Journey

TRANSCRIPT

ALAN
Mr. and Mrs. Mahoney, welcome.

SCOTT
Oh, you can call us Scott and Gillian.

ALAN
Scott and Gillian. Thank you so much for coming. Please take a seat.

GILLIAN
Thank you for meeting with us. We’re not really sure how this is supposed to go.

ALAN
Of course. What you’re going through, what your son, Reid, is going through… it’s a difficult time with a lot of uncertainties. There are a lot of things still up in the air. And that’s what I’m here for. I’ll be guiding you on your journey as caregivers.

SCOTT and GILLIAN
Thank you.

ALAN
Caregiving really is a journey. It’s with a specific destination. Your destination is Reid’s recovery. It may take weeks, it may take months, it might even take years. Since every TBI is different, we can’t know how long recovery will take or how things will look months down the road. It’s possible Reid may need help with certain things for the rest of his life.

SCOTT
We understand.

ALAN
But no matter how long this journey takes, there are steps along the way that will help you move towards that destination. My job is to navigate with you those steps.

GILLIAN
And we’re truly grateful. Thank you.

ALAN
Good. Let’s talk about what it means to be a caregiver. Many healthcare providers and specialists who work with patients with TBI understand that caregivers like you are incredibly important in helping patients recover from their injuries. You know Reid better than anyone else. You know things about your son that the doctors and the therapists, they simply don’t know. A lot of times you’ll need to be Reid’s voice. You’ll be the one speaking on his behalf, especially during this time when he’s unable to speak for himself.

SCOTT
We’ve already done a little bit of that.

ALAN
Sure. As Reid’s caregivers, you’ll need to actively follow his treatment plan so you can help guide Reid through every step of the process. You’re responsible for making sure that he gets the level of care that he needs. Now all of this means you’re probably going to find yourself playing a lot of different roles. Advocate, case manager, benefits coordinator, healthcare provider, likely a few more. Is everything making sense so far?

SCOTT 
Yes. 

GILLIAN
So far.

ALAN
Okay. I know at this point, you may be feeling overwhelmed, angry, scared. Maybe you feel alone or already worn out by these new roles. These feelings are absolutely normal. So it will help to learn as much as you can about traumatic brain injury, so you can understand what’s happening with Reid. I also want to make sure that you’re taking good care of yourselves and each other, and that you never ever lose hope along this journey okay? We’re going to talk about these things over the course of our meetings. Would that be all right?

GILLIAN
Yes. Thank you.