Tag Archives: nrh

Patient to Patient: How to Be a Best Friend for Life

 

Kevin with his axillapilla® and Brain BFFLBag®

My name is Kevin Bojarski and as anyone that knows roughly what this website is about, I am a pretty lucky guy. I will back up and try to give you a quick story about why I am here. Over 2 years ago I suffered an AVM (Arterial Venous Malformation) rupture. I just graduated college and started working at my first job and things were moving great. One day after work, I decided to go to the gym. I don’t really remember what happened that day, or the next 30 days after that, but I have learned stories after the fact. The story is that at the gym I started getting a massive headache and went into the locker room and went into a stall. A guy came in and asked me if I was OK. My response was just a bunch of gibberish jumbles. The man knew something was wrong so he went and got me help and really saved my life. End scene. Like I said, I have no clue what actually happened next and I am pretty sure that was a good thing. The only thing I slightly recall for the next one-month stretch of time while at the hospital/rehab center were just quick bursts, a few seconds of precious times that I actually remember.

One of the moments that I recall vividly was one at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington D.C. At this instant, I specifically remember getting a colorful bag given to me from another TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) survivor and all of the goodies inside from my new Neuro/Brain BFFL Bag (the fluffy heart size axillapilla and a lip balm were, and still are, the ones I use from the bag all of the time). There were a bunch of other things inside that were used to help me in the early stages of my recovery. There were also tools that were in there for the caregivers as well. I wrote on the white board communicator, used the pill container, and I enjoyed the pictures, books and games,. You name it! That bag was essential at that time in my life and still is to this day!

When I received that bag I distinctly recall a man giving it to me. I do not know what his name was or even a rough outline of his face. What I do remember though was a phrase that he said out loud when he was there with me: “you’re going to get better.” I remember that phrase and tell myself that each and every day. Others that are on this journey with me get it, from patients that had this years before me and others that had it more recent know what it is like. The struggle is tedious. The problems and issues we face seem never-ending. But like the man who gave me my favorite lip balm told me, and I still tell myself routinely: you are going to get better. I promise.

Thank you BFFL for your support, encouragement, guidance and the bag!

– Kevin