Scott and I were going to Oceanside, CA. to go to the boat. I asked him if he wanted to stop in San Diego and get something to eat and walk around a little before we go to the boat. We had our dog, “Mocha” a four year old chocolate lab with us and it would be nice to walk around with her after a six hour drive. I had not been in the area were ended up in years. probably since our daughter Taylor was 4 or 5. I knew the basic lay of the land but not exact directions or specific roads to take to the coast or food. Scott took a right off the main road. He had seen a sign that said “beaches” and pointed this way, I did not see the sign and I really only knew that we just kept on the main road to the beach area and where I knew. The direction we were heading I vaguely knew and we were both tired –mostly Scott since I napped on the way here and he had been driving since 5am.
Prior to Scott’s head injury, Scott and I would embark into unknown areas all the time when traveling trying to find a new unique place to eat or explore. But this was different for Scott; this was an unfamiliar journey creating anxiety for him that I was not aware of at the time. It was not so much of not having a plan but the “unexpected results” that concerned him in the new area. What could concern him? As a nurse I learned that the more we could prepare a patient by giving them information the more we could decrease their anxiety of the “unknown.” How could I not see that same pattern or need for Scott? I even wrote my master’s thesis on preparation of preoperative patients and how it decreases their anxiety. Wow, I am missing the obvious—it is just that Scott looks normal, sounds normal, acts normal but he has NOTHING NORMAL to rely on to reduce anxiety–no memory. How can I not see this and help him? I am going to be more aware that he needs that simple “here’s what to expect” talk when we are doing new things