Friday, April 18, 2014


In my group of peers, we enjoy playing mind games as much as any group of younger people. The kind of mind games I mean are the ones that have comparison as the core:  My boat is bigger than your boat, my housekeeping is worse than your housekeeping; my mothering style is better than your mothering style; my fashion sense is more clever than your fashion sense; I am a stronger athlete than you are; my team is a meaner machine than your team… and on and on.

My friends and I play “I am more senile than you are.”  :)  We constantly compare our idiot moves which place us in that category, and we laugh like fools over the silliness we find in our behavior. It is fun and it keeps us all humble about our otherwise “great wisdom.”

Recently, though, I have become concerned about my own inabilities to keep up with things. Early on, in entering this period of change, I asked the Lord specifically to help me remember Him if I ever lost cognizance of the present. My Joy in Him is great and I cannot imagine ever not realizing that. That is my most scary thought.

Then, this past fall, something changed for me, big time. Suddenly I was unable to keep up with group discussions such as those that went on in Bible Studies. I dropped all of my study groups and went on an adventure just between me and God. I felt safe there because I was able to follow the threads of thinking and learning.

But then I began to realize that I had so many thoughts in my head that they were beginning to confuse me. I would begin to write them down and then loose track of what I had been aiming to say and I would stop cold. That is why I have not been producing much for my blog.

Then, our ladies Bible Study changed to a new subject and style. The study would involve four of my favorite books and people in the Bible, so I decided to try again. I love preparing for the meetings, BUT I cannot follow the conversation; the discussions. I really can’t. I get so lost that I wonder if they are doing the same study I did. This has been very worrisome.

Then I went to see my doctor about a whole new thing going on with my leg: possible Sciatica. (sigh) I am very concerned about this because I know people who have this problem and it is not pretty; I even took a few moments to consider letting go and being depressed about it. But, frankly, I was too busy for that. Thank God. I am one who can look over the cliff and then walk away in His strength. And being needed in a whole different place helped me tremendously.

So I go to the doctor to see what we can do and I find myself reading an article in Good Housekeeping that is about the effects of brain damage on children: Particularly this women’s son; but also about her discovery of her own childhood brain damage. (!)

It is a well written article that gives some clarity about concussion result brain damage. But it was also a very bright light for me to see what was going on with me:

When Dickens described her childhood fall, Gordon immediately scheduled her for an evaluation. Since TBIs usually can't be seen via medical imaging, the only way to make the diagnosis is to assess a person's cognitive function. So therapists spend hours testing everything from a patient's reasoning ability to her recall of random numbers.

t took several weeks for Dickens to get her results. "As bad as my memory is, I remember every detail of Dr. Gordon telling me I had TBI," she says. "The way I waited with my hands folded in my lap. The six-page report. The weird feeling of Yay! I'm brain-damaged! The waves of sadness for all the years I'd thought I was just a lazy, disorganized, bad person."

At Dr. Gordon's suggestion, Dickens enrolled in a clinical trial in which she received 12 weeks of classes in what she describes as "how to live with a brain injury." The strategies don't make her "normal," she says. "But they make my life 1,000% more manageable, because I know what I need to compensate for."

Among the things she learned is that it is hard for her to take in information just by listening. So now, when she watches TV, she switches on the subtitles. To assist her memory, she uses a reminder app on her phone and alarms for appointments

Note: My damage was not childhood, but it has changed my life.

In the last three years, I have fallen and smacked my head against cement twice, and I fell and slid into a car door last summer. That one really left me loony for a few minutes. These incidents were not as light as I thought. I laughed them off and said I had passed my bone density tests because nothing broke! I have a very hard head!

But now I believe that this is why I cannot function without my timer and alarms on my cell phone combined with sticky notes all over the frame of my computer screen. It is also why I cannot follow the discussions in Bible Studies. Believe it or not, this is a “Hooray” moment for me:

I cannot follow the discussions, but I CAN follow the study and I can still grasp what God is telling me in our times together, studying or just loving on one another! Hallelujah. Amen. This revelation is so freeing that it brings tears to my eyes. And God’s response to this new information and my reaction to it is Psalm 31, particularly verse 9, verses 21 and 22, plus verse 24:

Be merciful to me O Lord, for I am in distress….

Praise be to the Lord, for he showed his wonderful love to me when I was in a besieged city (place.) In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from your sight!” Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.

And I pray for all of you that whatever besieges you on any day of your life, you will find strength in our Lord Jesus Christ and the resurrection that brings life to all of us through the blood He shed on the cross for us. He is Almighty – ALL MIGHTY

And I know in my heart that He will continue to help me share His Love with you through this blog. My heart is full! Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment