Climbing Every Mountain — Mark FitzGerald
July 11, 2001, while leading a group of climbers on a glacier in the Bavarian Alps, I slid down the glacier about 35 feet and then through the air 10 feet, before landing on my back. The first climber to get to me reported that I had lost consciousness. I was on the mountain over 4 hours waiting for the rescue team. While laying on the snow another climber stayed with me to keep me awake and warm. I ended up with compression fractures of L2 and L3, hypothermia and was later diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury.
I’ve tried many types of treatments, drugs, therapies, and psychiatric models to arrive at the point where I am now, mostly that I know what is beneficial for my mind and body. I am vigilant about reducing the amount and intensity of my triggers. Even today I asked a retail clerk to talk a little slower and she did. I asked also if she could turn down the music, and she did. Because I spoke up and she was accommodating I can guarantee she will have my repeat business. I owe a big thanks to my family and friends that have been very supportive. Especially my rock awesome wife. It’s a challenging life but God is good and my faith in Him has increased
Meeting with folks from We’re Moving Forward is encouraging in a couple different ways.
I can liken it to when we lived overseas (Germany, Italy and especially Japan) and we would meet people from the States. There was a camaraderie felt just because we were from the same country. We had a commonality that brought about a closeness not usually experienced in any other way. It’s similar being around others who have experienced a brain injury. There is a camaraderie among WMF. It’s not a pity party or victimization feeling. It’s an encouraging, do-the-best-you-can at the moment atmosphere. And that means a lot. Thank you very much. Mark FitzGerald