Slowly But Surely: An Update

I’m so touched that many of my blogging family has asked how my healing is going. May I just say it means the world to me? While the recovery continues to be slow, I am certainly seeing improvements daily. The other day my oldest told me I’ve shocked her by how fast I’m walking!👍😆 (Great news because my quadriceps were starting to atrophy.) Since my legs are so much stronger I’m even able to stand up and take a shower which is a huge deal for me. Seriously, until you can’t take a shower the fact that you can deserves a celebration. So thankful for showers! The muscles on my arms and legs continue to get back to normal but the skin on my legs is thick and tough like leather…..very strange. That may be a result of the neuropathy but I’m not sure. 🤔

My nervous system is getting better as well but my body still gripes if I overdo. I’m absolutely amazed at how consistent my broken brain is…..it is very honest with it’s limitations which require respect.

Sadly, my ears continue to be an issue due to 5 weeks of 100-200 decibels of nerve-raking noise. I’m wearing earplugs at all times which is helping but my Dr. says my brain is unable to turn down the volume. It may require more healing time for this issue to settle itself.

God continues to be faithful. In all of the weakness, pain, fatigue, and uncertainty He continues to heal the broken places in me only He truly understands. He has drawn near unto me and comforts me with His Spirit at every instance and every moment of need. He always sends angels in the forms of friends at just that perfect moment to pray for and with me.

My walk through recovery seems long at times and I struggle to be patient. Not only do I struggle but my husband, kids, and even my dog are weary of it all. I honestly feel bad for them. My husband has taken on extra tasks that I can no longer do and he’s just worn out. I thank the Lord that he is strong and for God’s strength in him every day but the poor guy needs a break.

I’m going to leave you with a quote by Lee Woodruff wife of TV anchor Bob Woodruff from ABC news who suffered a horrible TBI while reporting in Afganistan in 2006. Here’s what she says about patience and TBI recovery:

Having a TBI, or being connected to someone who has suffered one, is an exercise in extreme patience. The slow process of recovery makes “watching paint dry” feel like the speed of light. Yes, it’s that slow.

Much love,

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 🙌