These three words are so valuable not only in Pilates, but also in everyday life. As I mentioned before, I believe the Pilates method is not just a form of exercise—it’s a lifestyle.

In my previous post, I wrote about Jon’s first two weeks of recovery in the ICU after the accident. In the third week, Jon was moved to a step-down neuro unit. Every night as I left the hospital, I asked the nurses to please call me—no matter the time of day—if Jon woke up, made a noise, opened his eyes or did anything. Reflecting on that time now, I realize I can never express how grateful I am for the team of doctors, nurses and staff at Wake Med. Not only did they save my husband’s life, but were also very respectful and patient with me throughout our stay. Obviously, this was not the first time they had dealt with an injury like Jon’s, and still, the nurses agreed to call if there was any change, when in reality they knew it would be a long time before anything would happen.

 

 

It’s been 13 weeks since the car accident, and both Jon and Laura are getting stronger and stronger each day.

I now understand that they were gently helping me grasp the idea that recovery would be long and slow. Even so, during that time, I envisioned him waking up from the coma, walking, talking and acting like himself just like they portray in the movies. Little did I know that it would be months before real consciousness would occur. Practice, Patience, Persistence.

After three weeks, Jon was moved to an inpatient rehab center while still in a coma. At that point, he was in the Emerging Consciousness Program. I had a meeting with the doctors upon admittance, and learned that Jon would immediately begin therapy six days a week in an effort to stimulate the brain and encourage consciousness. Now was time to lean on the three P’s of Pilates.

PRACTICE what I knew was right: unconditional love, caregiving, prayer and presence. During our marriage, we both practiced commitment to our professions more so than to one another—something that’s commonplace in today’s culture. We loved each other, but life often got in the way. Now our life had stopped, and the world faded away. All that really mattered was my husband. My focus in life narrowed to that one cause.

PATIENCE in heart, mind and soul. Patience is at the core of brain injury recovery. Intellectually, I understand that fact, but often my heart and soul take over, and my expectations increase. Many times, I ask the nurses and doctors to give me a prognosis, and they always gently explain that time will tell. Out of all organs in the body, the brain is slowest to heal and understood the least. Plus, each person responds differently to brain injury. Even though I have heard this information over and over, I’m constantly having to remind myself of the importance of remaining patient on the good and bad days, during the happy and sad times, and when emotional highs and lows occur.

PERSISTANCE in caregiving. Caring for a brain-injured individual is very difficult. Right now, Jon is totally dependent. He has wonderful doctors, nurses and therapists caring for him, but I know him best. I know his mannerisms, likes, dislikes, and when he is happy or sad. Since he can’t speak for himself, I have to be his strongest advocate. I have learned to follow my gut. If I believe something isn’t right, I continue to ask questions until I get an answer. Jon’s future is on the line, and I will remain a persistent advocate for him now and in the future.

We are now in the 13th week of Jon’s recovery, and both of us are getting stronger every day. Even though this blog focuses on how I have used the 3 P’s of Pilates in my life since the accident, Jon is a much better example. His devotion to healing is amazing and his determination admirable. Each and every day, he exemplifies Practice, Patience and Persistence. For this reason, I believe Jon will successfully accomplish his goal of total recovery.

“Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor.” —Joseph Pilates


 

 

Laura Browning Grant is the owner of Laurabpilates, LLC, in Raleigh, NC. She is recognized as a Lolita San Miguel Disciple Educator and PMA®-CPT. She received her degree in sport management from North Carolina State University and has shared her passion for the Pilates method for more 15 years, teaching to clients and instructors through workshops, continuing-education classes and teacher-training courses.

June 15, 2017 at 4:01 pm
Category: Articles, Pilates Blog
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