Monday, October 01, 2007

To the glory of God

10/1/07 Monday
We are both planning on a busy day. Yesterday was both a good and rough day. The rough part was due to partial seizures that effected the physical side. For any new readers I’ll explain. The partial seizures, or petite as some doctors call them, aren’t the kind most think of such as epilepsy. These are where particular parts of the brain become hyperactive, with neurons beginning to fire at an ever increasing pace. One medical paper I read put it well. Imagine a room full of mousetraps, all of them laid tightly together and each one with a ping pong ball on it. Then throw a ping pong ball in the middle. That starts a chain reaction which soon has the entire room in uproar with ping pong balls flying all over. When these happen to me whatever area of the brain it occurs in is the area of my body that is affected.

Yesterday it was primarily on the physical side. I was dizzy and had to keep my hand on something to provide a reference in order to not fall or stumble. At these times the partial paralysis makes itself known. You see, when they taught me how to walk in the hospital they basically taught another part of my brain to operate my right leg and other parts of my right side. They call traumatic brain injuries the hidden illness for many times it is not clearly apparent to the outside observer.

These seizures ebb and wane during their occurrence so I may limp noticeably one moment and not at all a few minutes later. To some it seems like I am faking and this has caused a little gossip or whatever you call it. I suppose judgmentalism would fit. Then there are the times other areas are affected such as my reasoning ability or emotions, the cognitive part of the brain.

The emotional part is hardest on Cherie as I may fly off in anger with a minor provocation. Often cognitive impairments are triggered by outside stimuli. Things such as being in a big store with lots of activity and needing to make decisions on what to buy. This overwhelms my ability to process information and creates the event I call a “slow down”. But it doesn’t always happen, again raising question in some minds.

Now I admit I have a level of paranoia regarding this, generated by the attitudes and experiences I have had since I woke from the coma. Now much of this I realize I cause myself. My lack of social skills, saying inappropriate or not well thought out things in addition to the facial expressions that convey emotions that aren’t there. I had been described as being “Arrogant” based on how I stood and looked in addition to being angry by one of the pastors of a church in Toledo we became members of. That church then asked us in writing to “find another church”. That hurt was deep for both Cherie and I, it was the same pastor that called me arrogant who married us in that church.

I write all this because of my goal to help others understand traumatic brain injuries for the sake of the 1.5 million or so who suffer a TBI every year. I told Cherie that if I was drooling in a wheelchair I would have been better accepted for then the issues would be clearly visible. What a relief, what a blessing it is for us to have found and been accepted by those in our Sunday school class at First Baptist of Midland. There is a fear I have deep inside that something will change. It is not justified but a fear none the less. Kind of like fearing being hit at a stop sign because it had happened before. I am always worried I will say something wrong or cause this. That is one of the reasons I’ll have Cherie review this before I post it on the blog. She is my editor so to speak. Unfortunately I don’t always take her advice, convinced of the rightness of my position. But she is pretty much right in her judgment on this stuff.

I had put a request on the Sunday school group email to borrow a lawnmower with a note that if anyone had an old one they didn’t need, even if it needed repairs, we could use one. Don brought his out (which I broke as you can see it the previous journal entry) Dave had one that had been in storage so he brought it to Sunday school and gave it to us. Then Randy and Judy, told us they had a surprise to give us after class. It is a brand new Toro weed whacker with a heavy brush attachment. He let us know that the entire Sunday school class has chipped in to get it and that there is also a lawnmower that will be coming soon. It is overwhelming for us to be the recipients of such generosity and compassion. A few months ago I posted an essay entitled “Why me” to describe our feelings on these displays of Christian love. The miracle of our life continues. It seems that ever since I woke up from the coma things have been falling into place as if there is an unseen hand guiding it all. Just the miracle of how Cherie and me have had our marriage restored is amazing in itself. But that is only one brick in the wall of this new life I, we are being blessed with. It is as if everything is slowly falling into place of a structure who’s blueprint was drawn up long ago. There have been some exceedingly hard times but I feel that even they will ultimately be used for good, lessons that can be transferred to others, improving their lives. We are truly blessed.

So there is lots I wish to do. As you can probably tell my mind is working well this morning, running a strong eight on the bob scale. Time to get to work


sandyshares said...

let loose of anything negative that ever happened walk only in the "GooD"light

Tricia said...

Oh my gosh, a brand new shiny Toro? That is SO AWESOME. You're gonna have fun with that, huh?

I miss that church.

Tricia said...

And another thing...I love that pic! Those massive thunderheads are one of my favorite things about west Texas. I've taken quite a few pictures like that on my visits home!