Sunday, June 24, 2012

Oh, my head!

I see that my last post was on April 16, 2012.  That was just six days before my accident -- literally, it seems, the end of the world as I once knew it -- happened.  If you are "friends" with me on Facebook, then you already know what happened.  If not, well, then, I guess here goes.

The human brain is an amazing creation.  And, yes, we are CREATED beings - we did not evolve out of primordial goo in a thick pea soup of electrons and neurons.  We were created by a heavenly Father who is still extremely interested and loving towards His creation.  Even the ones who shake their fist at Him.  The brain is an extremely complex organ, surrounded by cushioning fluid and protected by a hard skull.  Some of our skulls are harder than others, but that is a story for another time.

When the skull is hit by something - let's just say a hard hit baseball, like a line drive foul ball, shall we? - going approximately 80 - 90 mph off an aluminium bat - there is an instant reaction.  The scalp is instantly split along the seams of the baseball.  The baseball bounces off, not even bloody because it bounced off the skull as if it hit concrete (in fact, witnesses said it sounded like it hit concrete.) The skull is either dented or crushed (thankfully, mine is just dented), the head snaps back, suffering a whiplash effect, and the brain inside is shaken like grey jello.  If fluid backs up into cavities in your skull, between the bone and the brain, then your equilibrium is affected, causing balance problems and motion sickness.  Also, the hearing can be affected, and tinnitus often results.  (Tinnitus is a ringing or swishing sound in your head; can be constant or intermittent, and can drive a person nearly crazy.)  If the person is really unlucky, then the baseball can cut an artery, causing massive amounts of bleeding.

That is what happened to me on April 22nd.  I'm told I drifted in and out of consciousness.  All I remember is closing my eyes because the sun was way too bright.  I know that I was blessed to have a critical care nurse and a family nurse practitioner there on the scene immediately, or I could have bled to death.  The ambulance certainly took their time - so I've heard - and I guess they just figured someone had a little bump from a fly ball.  I didn't realize until I was told that I was sitting in a pool of blood, or that Albert, my sweet canine companion, was covered in blood.

I just remember being extremely thankful.  Thankful that I didn't lose an eye, or that my facial bone structure hadn't been crushed.  Thankful that sweet, caring and capable nurses were there, tending to my wounds, holding my hands, keeping me afloat.  Thankful that my God is a great and powerful God and that His plans for me will not be sidetracked by a foul ball.  God is bigger than a baseball.

I've been asked "why did this happen to you?", like I'm a person who deserves better treatment or something.  My reply is "why not me?".  Why not?  Why shouldn't I suffer pain - sometimes terrible pain? Why shouldn't I be reduced to nothing?  In my weakness, God is made strong.  This injury has stripped away the facade of Judy, the self-sufficient person who is always in control - sometimes, too much control.  It's now very basic - will I be able to sleep with the noise in my head?  If I sleep, will I wake up with a headache?  If I don't wake up with the headache, how much time will I have (productive time) before it slams into my head like a freight train?

There is no "concussion pill" or "concussion shot".  There is nothing that will make it go away, except time.  And a grade 3 concussion can take a very, very long time to heal.  So I put aside my typical witty, brilliant self and totally rely on God.  Is that where He wanted me to be?  Did He allow this to happen (and yes, He did), in order to slow me down?  To keep my eyes fixed on Him - the author and finisher of my faith?  Is this a thorn in my side - a distraction - that will try to steal my joy?  For we forget that happiness is based upon circumstances, but joy is based upon our relationship with God.  And in my present circumstances, I get pretty unhappy, I'll admit.  But I'm learning to cope.  Learning that I need to rest for an hour or so each day. Learning that I cannot go to the movies because of motion sickness and aversion to noise.  Learning that I can't sit through an entire praise and worship set at church because of the same reason.  But today, I was able to sit through most of it!! and was able to lift my voice in song and in praise to my Creator, the One who holds me in the palm of His hand.  For I am the apple of His eye, His very treasured possession.

So friends, if you see me and I look a little drawn or have a little frown on my face, it's not because I'm mad or upset.  I'm either hurting or it's hard for me to concentrate because of the din in my head.  But God has given me grace enough to work - to minister to my clients and their precious children.  God is giving me the grace for each day.  Each step.  Each breath.  A little at a time.  All while He lavishes me in His love, grace and goodness.  He has not forgotten me.  He just needed me to lean on Him a little harder, meditate on Him a little longer, be just a little more thankful to Him each day.  I could have been killed or significantly mentally impaired, but I was spared.  Obviously, there is a purpose and a reason for my being here.  I am prayerful that I will show God's great love and mercy towards all, for it His desire that all should be drawn to Him.

A baseball is a beautiful thing.  The seams are all sewn in a uniform manner - each baseball is the same, yet different.  Inside the baseball is a wad of string with a hard core, covered in leather.  Some are valuable because they have a famous player's signature on them.  Some are valuable because of the event they were used in - like the World Series or the All-Star game.  The one that hit me is valuable because it revealed God's great love and mercy towards me.  Sure wish I had that ball......