A Time To Heal

About one year ago, I went to an eye specialist because of the extreme light sensitivity and pressure in my eyes. After examining my eyes and conducting numerous tests he concluded they were healthy but I was in need of special lenses for the glare and light sensitivities. He also told me from his experience with brain injury that it would take a “long time” for my brain to heal. He said this with big eyes to add emphasis to his words.

I could only think at that moment, “I hope he’s wrong!” I didn’t get it. I didn’t want to get it.

Who has time to heal nowadays? I certainly don’t. There’s too much to do with four kids, a home to run, and every day life with all it’s constant demands. Having an impatient nature and a type A personality wasn’t helping matters either. Yet….

The brain heals slowly.

I’ve dedicated hours of researching and reading information about brain injury and the time required for it to heal. Most doctors say 12-24 months but did my brain get that memo? Some may take years upon years to heal like Jennifer Barrick who is still healing 10 years after her horrible car wreck. She has made huge progress but still requires lots of TLC and therapy for her injury. Also, Michelle Munt from the UK who is still healing three years after her accident that required airlifting to the Royal London Hospital in England, with a serious injury most people don’t recover from. She still suffers from many symptoms daily.

No two brain injuries are like. Because of the complexity of the human brain and the fine tuning required for the neurons to heal, some will heal faster than others.

It’s seems to me in our fast paced society that we AREN’T accustomed to allowing our bodies time to heal. We want bandaids and quick shots of this or that.

The beauty of God’s word says there is a season and a TIME for every purpose under the sun….later it says A Time To Heal. God wants us to know that He has created us fearfully and wonderfully in His own image. We are His works of art, and His masterpiece. Our bodies are beautifully designed to heal. Healing is a gift to us. God says in His word, there IS a time to heal. Sadly, we don’t want to take the time to heal because we don’t want healing to take time.

Some brain inuries may take decades to heal or even a lifetime. Some may only heal to a point.

I struggle with thoughts like, “Am I going to heal? Will I be back to my old self again? I will never be the same.”

I have to give it over to God constantly. It’s too hard to try to glimpse into my perceived scenarios of the future. I must take one day at a time. When I give my worries over to the Lord, it gives me a sense of peace. I can envision a cardboard sign with each and every fear I feel written on it, sitting at the foot of the cross where Jesus calls me to cast my burdens.

Trusting in God’s perfect timing is my hope.

Psalm 31:15 says; My times are in thy hand..

That verse is so freeing to me because my healing and the time my body needs to heal aren’t up to me, but to God. There are plenty of things I can do to enhance my healing but really, it’s in His hands. He wants me to work at eating right, rest, get loads of sunshine, take my supplements, keep my appointments, etc. But actually, He is the one blessing those means which my body is using to recover. He wants me to trust Him and rest in His perfect timing for my brain to heal.

Will my family and friends be around after I’m healed? Some will. Some have already drifted away. Yet Jesus will be here because He will stay by my side during the process and be faithful to complete in me the good work He’s already begun. I’m trusting as far as timing goes that my times and healing are all in His magnificent and wonderful hands.

Brain Injury and Social Life: Isolation Hurts

I know a beautiful, amazing disabled woman who has been home bound now for a year. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as an infant and suffers from severe pain, chronic fatigue, and legs that don’t work. Her wheelchair is old and tattered but her spirits are up despite the life of isolation her disability brings. Friends flock to her for fellowship constantly and her life is full to the brim of visits, phone calls and constant interaction, yet she can’t leave her home.

I know another equally beautiful woman whose story goes the same in numerous ways yet varies immensely. Her disability is a severe neurological disease that gives her constant seizures, migraines and nervous system dysfunction. On top of that, she suffers from numerous stomach and kidney problems that keep her in horrific pain every day. Lights from the computer screen worsen her seizures greatly so she is cut off from all social media, her main channel of socialization these days. She can’t get out much at all anymore and only sees her husband and dog daily because visits or phone calls literally hurt her head. She knows isolation.

Since healing from a brain injury has cut me off from most of the world, I can now relate to those powerful woman who have touched my life.

My eyes hurt if I’m on my phone or tablet too much. The blue light makes my brain and head hot or feel intense pressure. Phone calls are difficult because my head can not tolerate the noise and if I don’t keep conversations brief, I go into nervous system overload. Church is the hardest. There are so many conversations and they are all simultaneous. The hum of voices plus people engaging me in conversations make it difficult to think. Then, if someone’s talking to me, and someone else comes along and joins in, I get dizzy and tongue tied. I begin to stutter and an alarm goes off in my head that says its time to shut up. It’s hard to be normal when my brain is acting like a sloth and can’t keep up. It’s embarrassing. Because of how hard it is to go to large social gatherings, I’m now tending to shy away from church, events, etc. and await for better days again. There will be better days ahead. Brain injury is isolating. Chronic illness is isolating. How do we cope?

I’m learning, by God’s grace, that He has given me a gift. The gift of alone time with Him. Would I have chosen this road of brain injury to achieve this gift? Probably not. No one wants a brain injury. I didn’t stand in line for it and I certainly never would. Yet, God is faithful. He cares more about my broken spirit than my broken head. I’m not saying He doesn’t care about my injury, He certainly does. What I’m saying is that He cares more about using the horrific things in my life to achieve what He sees as for my ultimate good and for the good of others. He turns a bad event like a car accident causing brain damage into something beautiful like a mother who lives more for God and less for herself and has a strong desire to share Jesus with others. Romans 8:28 says that all things will work together for good to those who love God. Does this mean all our problems will go away and life will only be rainbows and sunshine? No. It means that ultimately, God will work every event out in our lives for some spiritual good in our life or maybe in someone else’s life. His thoughts and our thoughts about life are very different. We can’t see the big picture here but He does and has promised to those who love Him, that all things, even a head injury, will someday be a good thing because we will see that He is good. Someday He will wipe away every tear from our eyes and all this sad business of sickness, injury and pain will vanish into a far and distant memory.

Back to the two women I mentioned before. The first is my beautiful mom, my best friend. The second is my mentor, a pastor’s wife and someone I care about greatly. These two women’s lives have touched others by their love for Jesus, even in their sufferings, even in their isolation. God is working out something enormously beautiful despite the pain. My prayer is that this post offers hope to the isolated one. God sees you, and He cares. You are never ever alone.