March is TBI Awareness Month. The picture of a brain was a difficult puzzle given to us at the Cr3ative Expressions Support Group meeting to help us focus. It stumped me, but Rachel, my daughter who sustained a brain injury, was the first to finish hers in the group and then worked on my unfinished puzzle at home as pictured here in less than one minute. GO FIGURE!?
This post features a poem written and recited by me for the Cr3ative Expressions TBI Support Group.
TBI and Us (or IN ALL THINGS) Page 1
by Virginia Cradlebaugh
The Fourteenth of July, Two-thousand-one,
Was a perfect summer’s day.
Dad, Mom and Rachel, our quaint family,
Drove the car Medina’s way.
It certainly wasn’t our desire,
Nor was it God’s plan or will,
To end up in a ditch, rammed by a car,
By one who had almost killed.
Dear Dad was knocked out and sustained whiplash,
The wreck crushed Mom’s vertebrae.
Rachel unresponsive, had been thrown ’bout,
In earnest I bowed and prayed.
Just passing through, A father and son came,
It wasn’t a coincidence.
The son was a doctor and brought his bag,
Just right for her circumstance.
Shallow she breathed and blood flowed from her ear,
From a sleep she might not wake.
On pins and needles I hovered nearby
Continued to pray for her sake.
The father spoke to me with words of peace,
“My son will guard her with care.”
I watched the Life-flight take Rachel upward
My heart heavy with despair.
I know you see this, you know everything,
“What gives?”, my query to Him.
In a clear, audible voice I discerned,
A verse that should be a hymn.
And we know that IN ALL THINGS God works for
the good of those who love him,
Who have been called according to His purpose.”
Not once, but twice I heard this.
Romans Eight: Twenty-eight I’ll not forget,
No more questions would I implore.
IN All THINGS had arranged for the best place,
that Rachel’s care could afford.
I knew that Jesus held her close to his heart
Carried in His arms as a lamb.
For three days I battled in prayer prostrate,
The outcome was in God’s hands.
The Lord gave to me a gift of faith,
Great peace in my heart remained.
IN ALL THINGS the doctors came with the news,
The pressure too much for her brain.
A last ditch effort was made to save her,
An operation on her skull.
In deep freeze the bone was carefully placed,
Till the swelling came to null.
ICU struggled hard to bring her through,
Tweaking meds both day and night.
Two weeks later came her fifteenth birthday,
ICU joined the delight.
The next day by ambulance we left Metro,
To a Rehab on the hill,
The intensive, extensive care she needed,
IN ALL THINGS, this was God’s will.
From a vegetative state she made progress,
As a young babe would learn new things.
The trache and g-tube removed paved the way,
To swallow, eat, and dress; what blessings!
Her drawn up limbs placed in casts to straighten,
Walking remained a hurdle.
Staff pressed her on with many therapies,
At times it seemed slow as a turtle.
For months I longed to hear Rachel’s sweet voice,
She spoke to her nurse the name Tex.
God is good, she remembers and does speak,
It was more than I could expect.
The next week she recited the Lord’s prayer,
Her faith in God had remained.
She quoted Psalms Twenty-three, I welled with tears,
And friends from church did the same.
Discharged before Christmas she returned home,
OUT-PATIENT Care was her need.
Edwin Shaw, Children’s, next Akron General.
Her favorite was PT.
From wheelchair to walker, then a gait belt,
But without a cane she’d move.
Fifteen years recovering a TBI,
It was God who helped her improve.
Midway through this long TBI journey,
Dad underwent neck surgery.
For two weeks he felt much better, UNTIL,
A blood clot sent him to Glory.
Each year in Autumn we grieve his absence,
Support and prayer bring us through.
There’s a void in our life which only he filled,
One day we’ll all meet, it’s true.
In mysterious ways our God does work,
In wonders and miracles too.
IN ALL THINGS, challenges are for our good,
To God all glory is due.
I’m sure there are struggles we too have shared,
relating to a TBI
Care giving, therapies, doctors, and falls,
IN ALL THINGS on God rely.