The colors of hope

The following post was written on February 25th just two days before my husband’s brain tumor was discovered. I’m just now able to publish it.

Raising awareness of many illnesses that are diagnosed is a crucial part of helping to bring hope to a community. We use colors of the spectrum to show how we support and acknowledge the cause of awareness which brings so much comfort to those who suffer. I have two brave friends who have bravely fought the scary color pink. Many more, myself included, struggle to heal with the vibrant TBI color green. I know a few beautiful ladies who battle purple which waves bravely as it fights chronic illnesses. My very own grandmother wore the purple hues of lupus for many years. But there is a new color I see now. A color I too am currently aware of as blending into the fabric of my days. It was the color of my favorite oversized BUM Equipment sweatshirt I wore as a teen. The color of my husband’s favorite polo he wore to church almost every Lord’s Day. The color of sunrises, and sunsets that give each day’s start and end rays of hope. The color of the kingly butterfly which soars into the sky every summer to keep our heads and eyes looking up. Today God is giving me hope as I wear this color. And today I’m wearing….

The color orange.

Friends, after 4 MRI tests, I have been diagnosed with a significant case of relapsing-remitting MS. The amazing MS specialist believes I’ve been suffering from it for over 5 years now, along with the difficulties of post-concussion syndrome. I’m so thankful that God heard my cries for help and answers. It’s a tough diagnosis but at least we know the core of what’s been wrong and why my health issues are worsening. Because I went so long undiagnosed or treated my MS has progressed to RRMS which has effected my ability to walk and my vision. Please pray for my family as we have a lot to think about and process as we carry on in our journey together.

I woke up a few mornings ago with these verses on my heart. Romans 8:28, Proverbs 3:5-6, Jeremiah 29:11. God is so good.

I love you all.

Viv 🦋

My Brain Injury Roller Coaster Ride: Damaging Effects Of Noise 🎢

March is brain injury awareness month. Fitting because this past March my TBI took a critical turn for the worse leaving me unable to walk very well, weak, and in more pain than my body was accustomed to.

My downward spiral actually began with the stress I had thrown at me last fall when my life got put back into the instability of job loss.

With the stress and worry of where would our money come from, I chose to play mommy martyr and carelessly went off my blood sugar supplements (chromium) and muscle strengthening potassium in order to save money. Bad idea….

In mid-February our neighbor decided to clear a large amount of acreage directly across the street from our house and for 5 weeks planted a massive chipper about 50 yards from my front door. The noise was so loud that at times it shook the house.

My nervous system became overloaded and my brain went berserk. The hypothalamus gland is located right where my injury is. This section of the brain regulates blood sugar. I could not get it under control. For weeks my body woke me up at night every two hours, sweating, heart racing, and crying out for food.

I then became unable to sleep.

Psalm 119:73a, “Thy hands have made me and fashioned me…”

Looking back I should have tried to go stay with a relative but by the time I was in trouble, I was way too weak to leave the house.

When we got my blood sugar stable my brain was so confused as to how to function it continued to keep me awake thinking I still needed to eat. I couldn’t recover because my nervous system (now in a dangerous overloaded mode) kept me awake sometimes for 2 days at a time and couldn’t calm down.

Brain injury is no picnic!

Because of the damage to my 10th cranial nerve, the vagus nerve, which is a parasympathetic nerve, my mouth had stopped producing saliva which made eating extremely difficult along with an upset stomach from the noise. This was hard because I needed to eat to stabilize my blood sugar but with a dry mouth I just couldn’t. Finally, once I started eating and sleeping again my body was able to begin to heal.

That’s when my legs went.

Unfortunately, my legs took a beating from the ordeal which caused my peripheral nervous system (branches out from the spine or CNS) to become damaged. The issues from my blood sugar instability was certainly a contributor to the nerve damage. My Dr. has said it may take 6-12 months for the nerves in my legs to heal. That prognosis feels like bad news but it’s not really because at least I will heal right?

My husband has found a new temp job and seems to like it well enough. We pray the company hires him on soon so he can receive good pay and health benefits.

God is still in control.

So, that sums up my “upheaval in March” as I now refer to it as and as I wait for my legs to heal I’m reminded that God only sends us trials in love. This ordeal I do believe was sent to test me. Am I going to give up? Or am I going to continue to trust the God I love knowing He is good no matter what happens to my life? I’m in His care and He will make perfect all those things which concern me (Psalm 138:8). He sees the future. I refuse to believe my decline was a random act of chance. God’s sovereign hand allowed every detail of my set back for a reason. He knows my lot. He knows what I need spiritually and physically. He’s in control of my health, and finances. He is to be trusted.

TBI is like a roller coaster ride with ups that creak along slowly, peaking for just a short time, then crashing down so fast all you can do is trust in God as you hang on and scream….weeeee!

The comfort of it is that Jesus is sitting alongside of you in that roller coaster car and you’re never ever alone. 🎢

Much love,

Viv 🙌