**This is a repost from my AUTHOR BLOG**
After more than a month of struggling with my concussion recovery, I've finally figured out what I am.
I'm a one year old with burned hands.
Just over 6 years ago, while I still had my day care in UT, I received a
phone call from one of my day care moms. "What do you do about burns?"
The conversation evolved. Her sweet little girl, who I tended from her
first weeks of life, had put both hands on the hot barbecue grill while
Dad was cooking outside. Both of her hands suffered second and in some
places third degree burns. They took her to the local hospital where her
hands were treated and then tightly bound.
The next time I saw her with her mummified hands, it was all I could do
to keep from crying. I love that little girl so much. She stole a piece
of my heart and has carried it around with her all this time. But back
then, we had practical issues to figure out.
Remember I tended her every day. She was just over a year old, an early
walker, and fiercely, FIERCELY independent. She wouldn't let me hold the
bottle for her. She figured out how to do it herself. She wouldn't let
me feed her. She had to do it herself, or she'd really get testy.
Mind you, there are certain things you just can't explain to a one year
old. Like how she should relax and let people do things for her while
I wasn't long before her parents took her to the children's hospital
where they were given proper care instructions for letting her hands
heal. That involved changing the dressing at least three times a day.
When I had her, I did it twice a day and her parents did the rest. We
were in this together--doing everything we could to help her heal. (I
want to add here that she did heal with almost zero scarring and full
use of both hands)
It took weeks. She adapted to her new reality and dealt with it as best she could--but she was still a baby and did too much.
And now we're back to me and my "post concussion syndrome." I've
struggled with my new reality, tried to keep doing regular things, and
tried to adapt to my new limitations.
In doing so I've learned that one year old baby was not the only
fiercely independent girl in the equation. My injuries aren't visible,
and you can't see them, and I know that makes it harder for people to be
patient about them.
Still, for all intents and purposes, I am a one year old child with burned hands.