Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gabby Giffords - My New Heroine

If you haven’t seen the recent Diane Sawyer interview with Representative Gabby Giffords, I highly recommend it. Here’s a link: http://abcnews.go.com/US/gabby_giffords/humor-determination-key-congresswoman-gabrielle-giffords-recovery/story?id=14944407#.TsLQP2HRaSq
Why do I recommend it? Because this program is the antithesis of a fake “reality” show. In contrast to fake drama, this is about the real drama and challenge and determination she exudes while trying to recover from the reality of being shot in the head.

If yesterday’s blog was all about “Fear of the Unknown” (see 11/14/11 blog posting), Gabby’s real-life situation is all about the “fear of the known”. 

Although in her case, “fear” is the absolute wrong word to use…because she and her husband Mark seem absolutely fearless to me.

To be clear, the program does not sugar-coat the extent of her injuries or the challenges of her recovery.  The early videos of Gabby learning how to “sigh” or “kiss”, let alone talk, speak volumes. 

The videos of rehab sessions with her therapist are especially poignant. When I saw her searching internally for a very simple word – “chair” – and could only say “spoon” instead, I physically winced.

Yet I don’t believe that she will be the same “Gabby” when she reaches her full recovery potential.

What do I mean, “Full recovery potential”? I mean when she maximizes the uses of the mental and physical powers she now has. Much like Jill Bolte-Taylor describes in her book, A Stroke of Insight, brain injuries of this magnitude change you…whether you like it or not, whether you rehab assiduously or hot, whether your doctor is great or not.

I found Ms. Sawyer’s interview, and Gabby and her husband’s determination, to be ridiculously inspirational...and I hope you do, too.

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