Recovering from the Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury

 

Recovering from the Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury: Odair

 

Odair sustained a traumatic brain injury which left him with severe motor, speech and physical impairments. With flower essence therapy, he has improved his communication skills, become more accepting of himself, and has more joy in life.

 

Flower essences to stimulate the desire for change

Learning to live with and accepting the limitations of his body and situation

A more calm demeanor and more communication with others

Expanding his emotional repertoire and improvements in speech and movement

Eleven years ago, Odair, 56 years old, sustained a traumatic brain injury from a firearm accident, which injured motor, speech, his arms and left him paralyzed. He was shot on the right side of his head while working on the plantation - he was a farmer - and stayed in the hospital for 3 months, 50 days in a coma and three brain surgeries.

Odair has been a patient of ACESA –CAPUAVA for four years, where he has had various therapies such as equine therapy, psychology, physiotherapy, speech therapy, hydrotherapy, occupational therapy, music therapy and art, and participates in a classroom of teenage students who are literate, because there are no other students Odair’s age. Odair attends full-time at the facility to do therapy so that his wife can work. He uses diapers, and a wheelchair to get around.

Flower essences to stimulate the desire for change

In the first interview with the therapist, it was reported that Odair did not like being at the facility, and sometimes was moody and aggressive. He participated and was excited only when the activity was of his interest. At first contact, he seemed hardened and embittered; his facial expression already compromised by injury also showed his state of mind. He rebelled against the rules in the classroom; he was uncompromising with friends and therapists, and especially with his wife at home. His body language was rigid and he sometimes mistreated people.

With a flower essence formula that could bring relief and comfort for his emotional pain and anger about the accident (Holly, Bleeding Heart), the goal also was to align his body and soul after the accident (Star of Bethlehem, Arnica, Five-Flower), bring hope (Gorse), trust and faith (Baby Blue Eyes), and warmth and affection (Mariposa Lily).

Odair gradually opened showing that flower essences made an impact on him. We could not have a structured interview because of his difficulty speaking and understanding, but intuitively, I perceived that something was changing for him internally, because after the initial improvement, he had significant worsening of behavior in the eyes of therapists, becoming more elusive and more aggressive, seen by me as the beginning of his free expression of his grievances and revolt for his condition.

Learning to live with and accepting the limitations of his body and situation

I reviewed the formula and included Beech (because he was critical and demanding with his wife), Vine (authoritarian with his wife and therapists), Borage (old grief, the accident was not so recent), Corn (the use of a wheelchair; re-establish contact with the earth, he was a farmer, a man of the field, and this contact was prevented, in addition to having to live with many others at the facility, which was totally unlike his old life), Iris (creativity to find a new role for himself), Pink Monkeyflower + Pretty Face + Dandelion + Manzanita (his facial expression is partially paralyzed, he has spastic movements in his arms, and uses a wheel chair contributed to a lowered image of himself), Larkspur + Cosmos (confused speech) and Tansy (laziness in the classroom as reported by the teacher). I realized the necessity to start working with Odair in regard to his behavior which was preventing him from finding his place in this new space.

Later, I included Yellow Star Tulip (to see his friends’ points of view and realize when he is mistreating them, his therapists and wife), Sunflower (balancing his solar plexus and identity), Morning Glory (the teacher also reported him sleeping in class) and Penstemon (to overcome his physical difficulties).

A more calm demeanor and more communication with others

One of his teachers said: "He is calmer, participating in carrying out the proposed activities. He does not refuse to participate and enjoys being with the group."
His wife said: "After he began taking the flower essence formula, I thought Odair was more communicative with the family, he talks more. Sometimes when he comes home, he is more cheerful. He is asking to go to the bathroom, which he had not previously done. And now he is sleeping well.

His formula included Beech, Holly, Gorse, Vine, Wild Rose (enhance his love of life, to bring him out of apathy), California Pitcher Plant (to reactivate the body's functions), Larkspur (speech), Penstemon, Sage (learn and accept the lessons of life), Sagebrush (leaving behind his old self and to accept new life life), Self-Heal (awakening inside him the will to overcome), Yellow Star Tulip, Quaking Grass (improve relations with the group), Poison Oak (for aggression toward his therapists) and Green Rose (to move him out of his depression and apathy). However, I think the essence that helped him the most throughout this time was Corn. Odair had been a farmer before the accident which left him paralyzed and with great difficulties with speech and coordination. Corn helped him get back in touch with Mother Earth, and brought strength to overcome the difficult process of rehabilitation, which has been only partial.

Some time later, I added Filaree in order for him to see his situation more broadly, Columbine to discover his talents, and to make new things and give him satisfaction, and Green Rein Orchid because he was a man in middle age, using a wheelchair, needing to reconnect with earth forces. All of these new essences were targeted to support his limitations of movement and the impact on him emotionally.

The essences acted as expected, as reported by the staff:
"He has had great development over the semester; he is more attentive and focused on activities. He is literate and has good understanding of content. He is more participatory and demonstrates his belief in various situations. He is still resistant to rules of behavior in the room. He enjoys being with friends, shows himself involved in dance and capoeira classes, despite the difficulty of mobility." Elizabeth / arts

"Odair shows a greater effort to make himself understood when the listener does not anticipate nor decipher his speech." Flavia / speech therapist

Expanding his emotional repertoire and improvements in speech and movement
 
Odair has shown himself to be insecure and jealous with the presence of a new student. He had a negative attitude to get attention for himself. I added Mimulus and Chicory in his formula, with good results.

I found Odair smiling at the beginning of the new year, greeting me warmly. He managed to integrate well into the group, relaxing and trusting that he would be accepted just the way he is. Now, despite still resisting the rules in the classroom, he does not behave aggressively towards others, but is smiling, and is open to talking with them. Despite not having a class appropriate to his advanced age, he interacts with teenagers, enjoying their company and having fun. Since he previously had a special connection with the land (he worked in the field), and although he is still developing, he has perception of nature, its beauty and importance to humans. He expressed great pleasure in making the community vegetablen garden along with other students. Odair also was stimulated with Iris, Poison Oak, Star Tulip and participated in art workshops in which he loved to participate despite his motor difficulties. His spiritual self was stimulated with Sunflower, Baby Blue Eyes and Star Tulip.

Odair’s formula prepared him for the start of the school year, with the arrival of new students and returning to therapies:

Chestnut Bud, Holly, Star of Bethlehem, Walnut, Mimulus, Baby Blue Eyes, Larkspur, Cosmos, Mariposa Lily, Sunflower, Iris, Sage, Sagebrush, Black Eyed Susan, Echinacea, Pink Monkeyflower, Pretty Face, Manzanita, Dandelion, Madia , Shooting Star, Indian Paintbrush, Penstemon, Star Tulip, Columbine, Lemon, Lewisia, Green Rein Orchid.

A few months later, Odair showed great advances in speech therapy. His therapy was aimed for him to communicate effectively and intelligibly, and the goal was achieved. He was able to express himself in a comprehensible manner, both with his associates and others, and was discharged from speech therapy. He still is encouraged in all other therapies to maintain his involvement, and was praised for good understanding, interacting well with others, and there was a decrease in complaints from others about him. Nevertheless, I will keep in his formula Larkspur and Cosmos, to help anchor the changes. I perceived that Odair’s behavior was more free and relaxed with flower essence therapy treatment. He seems to not need aggressive behavior to defend himself, and appears to be more joyful and peaceful. I have the impression that he could forgive the events in his life and adapt to the consequences brought about by them.

The journey to self-knowledge and self-healing

During these two years of flower essence therapy with Odair, we witnessed his spectacular journey toward self-knowledge and self-healing. In many instances, it seemed that nothing was happening, and because the interview process and tracking of the essences for people with disabilities is difficult, sometimes I doubted the results.  I marveled over how flower essence therapy is accomplished, when we can only rely on intuition, faith, patience and nuances, and less on conversation and concrete materials such as drawings and descriptions of dreams.


 


[ About FES | Online Repertory |Class Offerings | Research & Case Studies | Interviews and Articles]
[ What's New | Publications | Membership | Find a Practitioner | Members' Pages | Home ]

 


P.O. Box 459, Nevada City, CA  95959
800-736-9222 (US & Canada)
tel: 530-265-9163    fax: 530-265-0584

E-mail: mail@flowersociety.org

Copyright © by the Flower Essence Society.
All rights reserved.