Friday, December 17, 2010
A funny thing is, I did not know how out of focus things were until I started wearing my glasses. It was amazing how clear things became.
As it has been nearly 2-1/2 years since I sustained my TBI, I have begun realizing something: as my brain has healed quite a bit, it is interesting how much "clearer" my brain is now, compared to when I began my recovery. I used to think things were going quite well, actually I am finding I thought things were much clearer, though I was pretty much in a fog.
I guess it would be described like this: FOGGY: back in the early days of recovery, things were foggy. Growing up in the Seattle area, we had fog a lot. That can be nasty stuff. HAZY: Then things began to make more sense, I could understand more things, I could begin to interact better. CLEARER: Now things are clearer. I recognize my so-called "vision" is not a 100%, but it is clearer. I am processing and making decisions better, I am thinking through things more, and I recognize some of my deficits better (though that is an area still needing improving.)
Just as my vision improved with my glasses, my brain is adapting and adjusting to the new normal we are working with. I am grateful for the continued process God has me going through.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
On December 9 in the devotional book "Streams in the Desert" there was an entry that included something about Fanny Crosby, it said: "Joy sometimes needs pain to give it birth. Fanny Crosby could never have written her beautiful hymn, "I shall see Him face-to-face," were it not for the fact that she had never looked upon the green fields nor the evening sunset nor the kindly twinkle in her mother's eye. It was the loss of her own vision that helped her to gain her remarkable spiritual discernment."
Since sustaining my brain injury and other physical challenges I have, I have wondered, what is next? Recently I have concluded in my heart and mind that I am suppose to work with brain injury survivors and caregivers. I have come to understand that there is a great need in this area. There are thousands of us survivors who walk around with limited resources, helps, and support.
I would have never learned this, nor be a good candidate to serve in this area, if I had not walked through my own brain injury. To recognize that this is where I want to serve, to help bring exposure, and maybe even finances to is huge and has given me a renewed sense of purpose and mission.
Will I ask God about this when I see Him face-to-face? I'm not sure, but I have a feeling that when I do see Him and reach for the list of questions in my back pocket, that my questions won't matter as much -- they may even be gone. When I am in His perfect presence, my guess is that things will make a lot more sense.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
The problems did not have to be enormous to have struggles with problem solving, so when I congratulate myself these days on some of the problems I've solved, they can seem kind of silly to me. But they are not silly for me, they are signs of progress. I solved a problem with my shower curtain liner the other day. I solved a problem with my car's windshield wiper today. I solved some challenges as I attempted to make some Christmas cookies these past couple of days. A friend of mine helped to be the answer to one of my problems.
It is challenging at times to not be able to comprehend how serious my brain injury was, because that hinders me in appreciating the healing and strides that have been made. As I recognize problems that I solve, I have begun to congratulate myself; to give myself credit. Others may not understand and that is okay, but God and I do.
Sometimes my problem solving is recognizing I cannot do it and need to ask for help. Yes, that can be humbling, but people are more willing to help then we are to ask.
Problems will be with us always and to be able to work through those things are a tremendous gift.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Over the past couple of years I have been learning more about hope. My hope is not based in my circumstances, but in a perfect, loving God.
What am I hoping for this Christmas? To continue to grow in my relationship with Jesus; to have a wonderful celebration with my siblings and family; that my heart would be filled with love, peace, joy, and thanksgiving.
May your heart be filled with hope this Christmas season. Yes, God loves us deeply and completely. Sometimes our circumstances may say to us "how can God love me?" The truth and reality is that He does love us.
Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Yesterday I witnessed a beautiful picture. A friend was mowing a portion of his lawn in the front yard of his home and he had his young grandson with him.
As he was walking and pushing the lawn mower with one hand, he was holding the hand of his grandson who was walking next to him.
It was a sweet picture of love, trust, and friendship. Plus the lawn was getting mowed! This man does a tremendous job in caring for his yard. It must have been even more fulfilling to do this with his grandson at his side.
God is holding our hand. He is with us, as we are walking through times of hardship, pruning, and transforming. He does not leave us, He remains with us.
The joy that must be found in God's heart to be with His child. Joy that is not found just in walking with us through the "mowing of our souls" times, but walking with us day by day, moment by moment.
The joy that was displayed by the grandson, may it be found in us as well. As we walk hand in hand with our Abba Father.
Monday, November 8, 2010
It was near the same spot just over two years ago that a friend and I were both hit by a car. We both sustained serious, life-threatening injuries.
As I drove by I was so grateful to see life and beauty, not just a place where tragedy struck. the drive caused me to praise and thank God for the life He has continued to give my friend Kathy and me.
Beauty is a much grander picture then tragedy. God does bring good out of bad and hard situations.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Leaving a message for a friend, I told her to call me, but I didn't tell her what it was about. She called the next morning and asked me why I called. I didn't write it down, but I was able to remember the reason for my call. PROGRESS!
Sudoku puzzles have been a fave of mine, but also have been part of my recovery. I completed four different levels of puzzles one morning, easy to hard. PROGRESS!
Crossword puzzles are another brain exercise for me. The other day I re-opened a crossword puzzle book and was able to answer some of the questions I hadn't been able to answer before. PROGRESS!
My car driving (and remembering how to get to places), re-learning to ride my bicycle and seeing continued PROGRESS in that area, and feeling mentally stronger are incredible PROGRESS markers. I thank God for all He has done, as well as the strength and courage that He gives me to keep moving forward.
I am slower in many areas, but I guess that isn't so bad, at least I am moving forward.
>PROGRESS -- PRAISE GOD!
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
- I am part of a trio of people: we've each sustained brain injuries in some capacity, who are beginning a small group this fall at Lakeside Church for brain injury survivors and caregivers.
- I volunteer at Mercy General Hospital in the Acute Rehab Dept. (where I was a patient.) I get to help those who helped me who are now helping other survivors.
- With writing, I want to continue to get the word out about brain injuries and other traumatic injuries to extend hope, love, encouragement, care, and resources.
- I will be volunteering to help local events take place to communicate the reality and needs for brain injury survivors.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
I praise and thank God for all that He has done in me and for me over the past two years. It is not a journey I would have chosen, but it is incredible to know that whatever path He has us on, He is right there with us.
I am grateful for: the healing that has taken place; for the progress in my brain and with my memory; for the love, care, generosity, patience, forgiveness, mercy and so much more from my family and friends; for the opportunity to volunteer at Mercy Gen. Hospital in Sacto. in their Acute Rehab. Dept. (where I was a patient a couple of years ago); to help with PARTY (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth); as well as to be able to live a life that has purpose, meaning, and that I am capable of interacting in.
God has been incredibly good to me. As year two proceeds and I have the opportunity to continue to heal, grow, and interact, I do so with a grateful heart.
Thank you for being a part of the journey.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
- That I am able to memorize Scripture: I Corinthians 13 and Matthew 5:3-10 (I just completed.)
- That I am more aware of my weak areas and beginning to make some adaptations.
- That God is my Heavenly Father.
- That Jesus is always with me and He loves me.
- That I am feeling better and stronger.
- That my brain seems to be healing more.
- That I have incredible support: family, friends, new friends, medical personnel.
- That I am feeling happier and more connected then I have been in quite awhile.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
On Saturday, April 3 I had the opportunity to ride in my first organized ride in over two years -- my first since my accident in June 2008.
My tandem bike riding partner, Tom, and I competed in Party Pardee. This is an organized ride set in Ione that is sponsored by the Sacramento Bike Hikers. Tom and I rode the 110k (65 mile) route. There were 1,200 others who signed up to compete in Party Pardee.
Tom was an incredible lead rider. He communicated well, he is a strong rider, he was aware of taking advantage of the rest stops and re-fueling our bodies with the right type and amount of food. He led our bike well.
The weather was cold, but there wasn’t rain or wind. By the end of the ride, the clouds were parting a bit and the sun was coming out.
It was exciting to be on such a ride again. For me, being there said so much of what God has done on my behalf: healing me physically, healing my brain, giving me the strength I needed, as well as providing someone like Tom to teach and model tandem bike riding to me.
The ride had plenty of rolling hills, as well as some pretty good sized hills. The surrounding countryside was beautiful. There were plenty of horses, cows, and goats grazing as we rode by. At one point a Far Side Cartoon crossed my mind.
It was really cool when other cyclists, who knew us, would yell out our name and cheer us on. The other really cool thing happened at the end of the ride:
As we rode to the gate we needed to enter, there were people lined up, and when they saw us they began to cheer. They were there to celebrate with us. After we got off our bike, then someone brought out the champagne. There was also a cake donated by Babycakes Bakery (in Sacramento): German chocolate (my favorite), as well as nice words written on it and a red bicycle (that was the color of the new bike I was riding when I was hit by the car.)
It was a very cool celebration and I appreciated the thoughts of love, support, and others celebrating too. Many people have walked this journey with me, so I am glad that they got to celebrate too.
In the next day or two I will post some other things that I am celebrating. One of my big lessons on this journey is to celebrate the progress: no matter how "big or small" it may seem to us.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
- Continuing to work on my recovery work, which includes eating better, exercising more, reading, working puzzles such as Sudoku & crosswords, and such;
- To complete the Party Pardee bicycle ride on April 3. I am signed up for the tandem (2 person bike) 100k (65 miles ride);
- To ride a bicycle "solo" again by my 50th birthday;
- To be a better friend.