In the past year, Caroline’s life has been a huge rollercoaster. When a car trunk was slammed on the back of her head, Caroline was not acting the herself. She started displaying some odd behaviors that she now advises other to look out for. If you fall asleep on a lawn chair for hours in the middle of a party, then something might be wrong. If you flood the house while taking a shower, then something might be wrong. And if you start eating cake with your hands, then something might be wrong. It took a few days for Caroline’s family to realize these strange behaviors may be a sign of a brain injury.
When Caroline came to SPARCC, she was wearing giant sunglasses even in dark rooms and was talking so slow it was hard to follow in conversation. She had painful headaches, couldn’t read, and her balance was all over the place. It was impossible for her to keep up with her new PhD program.
A few weeks later, she was making progress, but slowly. She brought up the idea of her still going on her planned trip to Harry Potter World. She explained her plan of how she was going to control her symptoms in the loud and stimulating theme park. Although hesitant, Dr. Mo decided to let her go, knowing that Caroline would be careful. Little did we know, Caroline’s boyfriend had plans of his own. In front of the Hogwarts castle, he got down on one knee and asked Caroline to marry him. Her response, “Aww hell yeah”, was a little out of character, but got the point across.
They had a beautiful backyard, concussion friendly wedding. There was chill music, legos, and puzzles. It might not have been the exact wedding that they had imagined, but it was a perfect celebration for two self proclaimed nerds.
This experience has changed Caroline’s professional life as well. She is already working towards her PhD in school psychology and education leadership. After everything she has gone through, she hopes to help others with similar experiences. Caroline’s fight against disability discrimation inspired her to one day open an alternative school for children with disabilities who need help advocating for themselves.
It has been an amazing journey over the last year with Caroline. We have been able to enjoy so many wonderful milestones with her and share in her excitement. Thank you Caroline for always bringing joy to the clinic.