Max was a distracted driver who was involved in a very serious
wreck. He was tweeting at the time and rear ended a KDOT snow plow while
driving between 75 to 80 miles an hour. His last tweet was at the exact time
911 was called. My past blog told of how his wreck has altered everyone’s
lives. I would like to tell our current story of what it is like to live with
someone who is addicted to electronics.
Max’s addiction caused him to have a traumatic brain injury
(TBI). Currently it is very hard to look at him knowing what type of future he
could have had and now looking at him knowing he will never be the same. His
mother, Nicole, states, “how do you mourn someone knowing what he could have
had in his life.”
Max came home last September. He was in a wheelchair. Our
friends raised money for us to re-configure our house to accommodate his
disability. This changed the way of life within our household forever.
At first, we had to care for him as if he was an infant. We
had to assist him with his way of life, such as helping him into the shower and
cutting up his solid food so he could swallow. The number of pills that he must
take daily is overwhelming. At times, he can’t remember if he took them or not.
Nicole’s time at the beginning was spent caring for Max and
spending at least 2-3 hours a day on the phone with agencies like Kansas Care.
Since I work full time and Nicole runs the family business, we still must work
for insurance and income. Nicole had to set up care for Max. His therapists are
working with him daily so he can gradually fit back into society. He has
physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and around the clock
monitoring. His therapies are at our home, so we have new people in and out of
our home daily. He sees two phycologists to address his behavior. Re-entering
into society is going to be hard not only for Max, but also our family.
The TBI has altered Max’s life forever. He is very smart,
but he doesn’t know how to get it out of his brain. Max doesn’t realize how bad
his injury is. His brain has to re-wire itself to relearning how to talk,
swallow, walk, go to the bathroom and every day routines. He is walking with a
limp due to having a stroke from the 45-minute extrication from the truck. He
has trouble with the simple daily task - like what food is hot and what food is
cold when cooking.
Nicole is his legal guardian who handles all his needs. If
it wasn’t for Nicole, Max would be in assisted living housing. There are times
that Nicole and I have been so stressed out from his behavior - it is hard for
our household tending to his daily needs. With me traveling 30-plus times a
year and Nicole trying to run a full time catering business, it takes a huge
toll on our family.
When I see someone driving down the road texting or answering
emails on the phone, it makes me wonder if they think it is worth it. Our
family will always tell a story how distracted driving can change not only
Max’s life, but everyone’s lives. Your phone is not worth it - just ask Max.
Mike Weibel is Max’s step-father and is