My two greatest hits are on my neck. Oddly, both remind me of God. I wrote previously about one. The other began with a woman doing her lipstick in her rear view mirror as her car sailed blithely into the back of my tinny Samurai.
Several bulging neck discs made their debut that day. The pain level was acceptable (sort of). However, if more trauma were to occur, I was told, I could end up paralyzed. Not acceptable. So a discectomy was scheduled.
The day before surgery, I was laid on a tiltable table and my spine was injected with glow-in-the-dark goo in order to create a scenic map of My Spine, USA. I was fine with that. Of course, I was on Valium, so I’d have been fine with them cutting my toes off and selling…
You’re at a dinner party. You look over a sea of faces and you realize you don’t know a soul. As you hear snippets of conversations, you realize some of these people are from different parts of the country—even the world. You see young people dressed casually and others dressed in business garb. Some are sipping drinks while others are absent-mindedly crunching on ice. There’s a young African-American man with the most intriguing dreadlocks you’ve ever seen sitting on one side of you. To the other side is a businessman from Chicago making it known that he has no use for children—in fact, he views them as the enemy. Startling, rich, wacky and diverse, all these conversations are happening. If you’d just jump in, think about the opportunities there to touch base with people you may not necessarily meet on your average day. Continue reading →
All I wanted from our server was for him to tell us what the specials were, to make a few recommendations, and then bring us our food, quickly and hotly (is that a word?). Instead, he seemed offended at everything, recommended nothing—except that we go somewhere else—and then brought us the wrong food, slowly and coldly. When I complained, he said he’d had it with my attitude. Ahem, my attitude?
A few months later, I told our new roommate my “waiter from hell” story, thinking it might serve as an icebreaker. It didn’t. Dave paid his rent on time, did his dishes, and respected the house rules. In return, all he asked was to not be probed with churlish personal questions like, “Hello.”
When someone is moody I have to know why. It’s probably equal parts snoopiness and compassion, but whatever it is I keep at it. So I kept at Dave…
August 1983 The cool air and the long rays of morning sun greeted the three of us as we traveled the long driveway. It took everything in me not to start crying.
“Today’s a great day!” I said, with too much pep in my voice. I wanted to make sure I told him all he needed to know for this special day. “You’ll meet new people and it’ll be terrific!”
We continued to walk, hand in hand as we always had in the past. He stopped, looked up into my eye, and with a sober voice, “It is a great day, right, Mommy?”
Little Sis skipped along singing Great day, It’s gonna be a great day … She had no idea the somberness of this moment. But how could she? How could she know what it felt like to lose a baby into an Unknown World?
Here’s an honest and inside look at healing from a brain injury. It can happen to anyone. It can take longer to heal for some than others. The question is a good one: how long is a piece of string. LizMollyOldershaw shares some of her experiences. Check it out. Thanks, Liz, for sharing in such a transparent way.
Anyone that has suffered any form of brain injury will understand how frustrating it is when you get asked one particular question.
“So, are you fully recovered now then?”
You may as well be asking, “How long is a piece of string?”
I know that I have banged on about the trials and tribulations that go hand in hand with living with a brain injury, but I just wanted to tell you about the difficulties that come when trying to explain to someone just what it is like once you are almost back to your ‘old self’.
There was a documentary on the BBC the other day that should have been my favourite show on the planet. Having my two loves intertwined together on one screen at the same time should have been extraordinary; Louis Theroux (need I say more) and brain injuries. What could be better?
I published this post a year ago, but have been moved by the support Rick Franzo offers as well as receives. He has been consistent with his mantra “A warrior never lets another warrior walk alone–ever!” for as long as I’ve known him. Check out his book, How Horseshoes Saved my Life: A Tale of Two Brain Tumors. ###
It’s terrible to feel alone. And there’s probably no other time when a person feels more alone as when they’re dealing with a life-altering illness. Be someone’s hero. Reach out to them. You don’t need to have answers. That’s not what they want from you. They have doctors for answers. They might want to have someone to just stay close.Continue reading →
Two confessions: I don’t read in Psalms much and this week I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with anger. These two don’t have too awful much to do with each other but God has used both to help me grasp the new reality (or I guess re-grasp the old reality) that I have cancer. I have that poison running free in my body right now. I have disease eating away at my insides as we speak. And that makes me angry. I think it would make a lot more sense to feel angry the first time around and maybe accept it more the second time, but with the news last week that my cancer has recurred and is now taking my liver hostage, I have struggled a lot with anger. This feeling is a bit foreign to me and it actually was alarming just how much of it I was fostering. The…