Health & Wellness

Rebuilding With BLK + GRN

By: Dr. Kristian Henderson

On July 1, 2019, I was in a life-threatening car accident in my dream car, a brand new Tesla, with my husband and newborn son. The car hit us, our airbags didn’t deploy, and I immediately lost consciousness. They sent a helicopter to airlift me to the hospital because I wasn’t breathing. They were essentially worried if I would live. They thought maybe the accident killed me and that I wasn’t alive. So the fight began. 

They rushed me to the hospital. The helicopter landed at a shock trauma hospital while my son and husband took an ambulance to another hospital. While I was still unconscious, they removed half of my skull because my brain was swelling so fast. I had suffered a subdural hematoma, which means that my brain was also bleeding too much. They inserted a drain to remove all the extra fluids building on my brain. Ten days after the accident they installed a trach in my throat to ensure that my brain would trigger a breath. They also installed a PEG tube in my belly to feed me, which was basically liquid diet food (Ensure was poured in tubes). During this entire time, I was in a coma.

The neurosurgeon said I had one of the most severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI) that he had ever seen. The doctor prepared my family that I might be in a coma for years. Luckily I was only in the coma for two weeks. Talk about grace. I slowly started to open my eyes, I smiled, and I showed emotions.

I eventually elevated past the capability of a shock trauma hospital and I needed to be transferred. The shock trauma team wanted to discharge me to a nursing home and made this suggestion to my parents. After they looked at my coma scale, my number was too low. The therapist and nurses saw me as a 3 and emerging 4. All of the acute rehabilitation facilities required a 4 on the coma scale to get moved to their centers. Thankfully, with a lot of my parents fighting (that’s where I get it from) they forced them to discharge me to an acute rehabilitation center and not a nursing home.

The rehab facility had therapy every day so I could start getting better. Daily, I had physical therapy to practice walking, occupational therapy to strengthen my hands and arms, speech therapy to practice talking and writing, and recreational therapy for a little bit of fun. And every day I started to get a little better and I started regaining my old self. 

I believed in BLK+ GRN so much I tried to speed up healing with my BLK + GRN products. I did research on foods and ingredients that could help the brain heal. I saw turmeric come up, so I committed to adding more GOLDE to my diet because it was made with turmeric. Every single day I would drink it with non-dairy milk and MCT oil. I also found vitamins needed for brain health on Google, so I took a Movita vitamin daily along with other vitamins to aid in my healing process. Then I had scars everywhere so I used Sore Salve to rub on my scars, which my midwife gave to me. My scars started to fade, which is amazing. I later discovered that the owner was a Black woman, so I immediately added the product to the BLK + GRN marketplace! In addition to adding specific foods and supplements to my diet, I’ve started seeing a physical therapist 3 times a week to aid in the healing process.

One of my biggest fears (after the normal why did this happen to me) was would the I (the “I” that I remember) ever return. My memory is not that good, which is a hard position to be in. And it’s easy (probably easier for others in this situation) to just get mad. Instead of thinking that way, I decided to have a different perspective. I choose to focus on what I can learn, accomplish, and possibly grow.

As I have learned to walk again, I’m being told that I walk fast now, this is feedback I have gotten my entire life. So at first I just kept saying, “this is how I walk,” and I rolled my eyes. But maybe there is something for me to learn. I move through life at 1,000 miles/hour and I do a million things at once, and maybe I can slow down. So I have tried to slow down (although my walking is still fast). I have decided to say thank you more, express myself fully, and maybe even take a nap and get some rest. It has been challenging, yet amazing. Another thing I have learned and plan to incorporate into my life is writing more for memory. Although that has not been my normal, it is my new normal.

I used to ship all of the BLK + GRN orders myself. During the time I was in the hospital, I clearly wasn’t shipping orders. Although my friends and family held me down by packing orders while I was in the hospital, we ran out of stock so some orders were unfulfilled. I want to thank everyone for sticking with BLK + GRN! Thank you for helping us thrive!

2 comments

  1. Wow, this is a testimony to God’s grace and healing! Car accidents are sooo so scary and traumatic. I sure didn’t know this happened but I’m glad you’re ok

  2. I am so happy that you are doing well! I remember the day I heard the news about the accident that you and your family were involved in. My heart sank. You see, I was a new member to the BLK + GRN family. I had recently discovered this amazing online boutique of quality products curated for and made by BLACK PEOPLE! I was ecstatic and told everyone I knew about the brand and the work that you were doing. BLK + GRN became my go to and was actually the first place that introduced me to The Honey Pot brand. I had never met you, and didn’t know you personally, and yet you inspired me. I was and continue to be so proud of you and the labor of love you offer to us. So that day, you and your tribe of close friends and family were lifted in prayer. I was hurt and a little angry. I remember some of my thoughts that day: “why shit like this gotta happen to the folks out here trying?”, “what about the baby?”. I followed the story and read your husband’s letters to the BLK + GRN community informing us, when he could, of your progress. At one point, there was an event hosted in the Baltimore area…a pop up shop of sorts. I went with a friend to support. I remember several of the customers asking the professionals there, “how is she?”, “what can we do to help?”. Fast forward to today, and you are doing more than well! You are an answered prayer to so many and for so many reasons. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Thank you for doing this work. I send love and good vibrations to you and yours always and forever.
    Tanisha

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