Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pieces of the puzzle...where are they all?

So many people have stopped me, texted me, emailed me, called me to ask how Malone is. It's so hard to describe something that is so hard to understand.  God gave me the visual in this picture of a puzzle that you put together but there are pieces that have fallen under the table and you can't find them.  You can still see the big picture on the puzzle and what it is supposed to be but it's not complete.  That's how Malone's brain is right now.  There are pieces missing.  As I've said in a previous post counting, telling time, spelling, etc.  All missing pieces.  But some pieces there.

Two short stories that tell the ironies:  Last night riding in the car he was surprised when I turned my high beams on and said "whoa those are bright, where did those come from?  How did you do that?"  But earlier when I thought he had on basketball shorts with the number 26 on them and he says "Mom, you know you can't have the number 26 as a basketball number."

All I can think is that this is fascinating.  I just wish I wasn't studying it in my own child's brain!  

So we are searching under the table for the missing pieces and we are believing God to show them to us.  Sweet Melissa posted this verse this morning "I'll stay with you, I'll protect you wherever you go, and I'll bring you back to this very ground. I'll stick with you until I've done everything I promised you."  Genesis 28:15

We believe God in this promises to bring back the ground that has been lost for Malone.  But as Malone and I talked about, in God's time.  And God's time is not our time.  So until then, we will be here...

Looking for puzzle pieces.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day after Day

Men will try to rule the world You made
But we know power is Yours alone to give and take
A day will come when every knee will bow
And every tongue confess that You are Lord both now and forever

Day after day our God is reigning
He's never shaken
My hope is in the Lord
Time after time our God is faithful
Trustworthy Savior
My hope is in the Lord

The fear of man and what they plan will fade

When we know you alone are God of everyday
Like the flowers man will rise and fall
But you are everlasting never-ending God eternal

Let the songs of adoration rise
Our God is reigning up on high
He's worthy to receive the praise and the glory

I guess I didn't think this would be day after day.  I thought it would be a few days and then back to normal.  I think other people thought that too.  Most people.  People in the medical world and out of the medical world.   Concussion.  That's all. Headaches for a few days and he'll be alright. Ok...yeah. That'll be good.  That I can handle.  I didn't realize how shaken my boy's brain had been.

He kept saying he doesn't like school.  It's confusing and hard.  I wanted to get frustrated with him because I couldn't figure it out.  But then today his speech therapist popped in my office after his session to ask me how he learned to read the first time.  Huh? (the first time?)  So here goes...

He's having trouble reading.
He's having trouble counting.  He can get to 12.  You have to feed him 13 and then he can go to 19 and then you have to feed him 20.  and so on.
He can't tell you the months of the year.
He can't tell time.
He's got some double vision.
His neck is extremely tight.
He's got damage. Brain damage.  Not saying it's permanent.  But it's more than I've ever had and he is struggling.  A LOT. and I'm struggling as his mom.

He and I talked about it this afternoon.  He knows he has work to do.  I told him I can only imagine what he is dealing with.  Only begin to try to imagine his struggle.  But this we know...

Day after day he will do therapy and homework from therapy.
Day after day our God is reigning, He's never shaken, trustworthy savior, Our hope is in the Lord.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

There is a Hope...

Psalm 33:20
We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield

"There is a hope no matter what happens.  There is a God who's always the same.  Hope does not depend on only what is seen.  Hope is found believing in His name.  There is a hope for all of life's changes and there is a God who's overcome all.  You can stand on the promise Jesus never fails, even if the world should fall."

As Malone and I rode home from the State Championship in Montgomery yesterday where his team had been defeated this song came into my head from long ago.  It's a song from a group called Truth that was very popular when I was in high school.  I haven't heard it or sung it in years! It is true that the words we hide in our hearts come back to us; good and bad. (but that's another post for a different day)

It so spoke to my heart because we do have hope for all of this and more.  No matter what the final outcome is.  Jesus has overcome ALL...not some of it or most of it...but ALL of it.  And change IS what this is. God has given me the words that "He just had a different plan for our boy than we thought".  That really is what this path is and what God is teaching me is to open my hands and let go. A sweet friend asked me yesterday if I'm "just freaking out" and I said "I have my moments but I know that God is all over this and has been from the start and Malone needs me to point him to that hope."

So where we are is OT, PT and speech therapy three times a week for now.  Know that if you see him you may have no idea that there is anything going on.  He laughs and has fun with his brothers and sisters.  There are some memories he has no problems with and some he has absolutely no recollection at all.   We looked at pictures last night and some he was sure of and some he said "when was that?" He is ok in comfortable surroundings.  He is going to try to go to school some on days he doesn't have therapy just for some sense of normalcy.  He still gets tired very easily and bright light and loud noises are harder on him than usual. He shared with me that he wants to be normal.  It killed him not to be able to contribute to the game yesterday.  He knows this is hard for people to understand, especially some of the kids at school. We know that stress of any kind is not good for the healing process.

We are not sure what will and what won't come back.  We want it all to come back.  Every bit of it.  But above all...that God be glorified.

This is our hope!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Eyes to see into Jars of Clay

2 Corinthians 4:7

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

It's what we all are - jars of clay. Not fancy china or crystal vases but jars, full of the treasure of what God has written in each of us. I am trying so hard to be patient as I wait on the Lord to heal my child.  I thought I was a patient person.  I am patient with children and older people.  I'm patient with brownies in the oven and waiting in line or for a table at a restaurant.  I'm even patient in traffic.  The problem with this is that my child is a jar of clay and clay isn't see through so I really can't see what is going on in there.  I can't tell what the trouble is or the time line for healing.  Moms are supposed to know these things.  Supposed to be able to fix it for their kids. This is one of those things that I can't fix or make better.

We went to start rehab today at RehabWorks.  They are all so amazingly supportive and loving and knowledgeable.  Lucy is Malone's OT and Carol is his Speech Therapist.  They did some testing and what was immediately apparent to me is that this is bigger than I thought.  There are things he is missing like how many months in a year and how many days in a week.  He was having trouble with "does it take longer to put on a hat or tie your shoes?"  Several friends have texted since we got back and asked how it went and I had to be honest and say "overwhelming".  They will work with him 3 times a week and are going to add in precious Tina due to his dizziness. What Theresa explained to me is that brain injuries are so misunderstood because there is no diagnostic test (x-ray) that can show all the damage sometimes.  We feel wonderful about the care and plan that will happen because of RehabWorks but I think it just really really smacked me in the face today with the reality of all this.

I am holding here:  God is great!  He loves Malone more than I can (even though in my humanness I can not truly get my mind around that fact).  and this...
"There is love that came for us
Humbled to a sinner's cross you broke my shame and sinfulness you rose again victorious
Faithfulness none can deny through the storm and through the fire there is truth that sets me free Jesus Christ who lives in me
You are stronger you are stronger
Sin is broken you have saved me it is written Christ is risen Jesus you are Lord of all
No beginning and no end You're my hope and my defense you came to seek and save the lost you paid it all upon the cross
So let your name be lifted higher
Be lifted higher be lifted higher"

Jesus is stronger than all of this...I am not.  I will fix my eyes like flint on Him...even when I don't feel like it for He can see into the jar of clay at the treasure that is there...the treasure that is Malone...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Things I want to remember...

Seems a very funny title considering "remembering" is the base thing that Malone is struggling with at this point.  I want to journal this journey for him so that he can look back and give God the praise and see how extremely far God has and will bring him. So for the 2 or 3 of you that actually read this I apologize in advance for the ramblings that may occur here.  As some of you have remarked, "I didn't know you had a blog!" That was by design.

With respect to Malone I want to remember some of the funny/humorous stuff:
     Him asking Jack "what's a biscuit" on the Saturday after the accident
     Simms trying to convince him that "for some reason you just always like to clean my room"
     Chris Garner giving him explicit instructions on how to behave during the National Anthem in a slow calculated voice (trying to be helpful)
     Malone texted me after about two days that "there's an orange cat at the door" (it's our cat)

I know there are more. These just stand out for me.

There are also the incredible ways that the Lord has provided for us.  There really were amazing people with him that night when none of his parents were present.  The family at Lee-Scott stepped in and and "owned" him as theirs.  I'm especially thankful for Pam and Michael O'Brien who brought Malone to EAMC and Mike and Tina Rabren who brought Simms.  Ashley Mann gave me the courage to speak up on Malone's behalf. The staff on PEDs at EAMC were incredibly compassionate and loving in a way that told me "we got this" but "it's ok that you feel a bit scared and overwhelmed."  We were given the pediatrician on call that night who we had never met - Dr. Richard Glaze.  Once again, God provided there.  Dr. Glaze has been amazing.

Last evening I spoke with Dr. Glaze and while we spoke of Malone's slow progress, his main question was "How are you doing? I know this has to be tearing you up."  God knows what we all need.

We are continuing to be blessed by God in so many ways and our prayer is to give Him the glory during and after...

      ...honestly...praying for the after to get here

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

This journey

We are on a journey that we didn't expect at all. As the song says, "we are all just one phone call from our knees."  Two weeks ago I got a call as I was driving down 280 returning from my uncle's funeral that I needed to meet some incredibly compassionate wonderful people in the ER.  They had my oldest and were taking him there.  He had been playing varsity basketball and taken an elbow to the forehead and consequently the floor to the back of his head.  We spent that night in the hospital.  The nurses on PEDS could not have been more fabulous.  He was very out of it. He knew I belonged to him but could not tell you my first name.  He did not recognize his coach.  He did not recognize my mom.
He's had a headache pretty much ever since.  We've been to UAB to a neuropsychologist and to the pediatrician here.  Everyone says "this is a journey".  Everyone says "no one knows how long it is going to take."
He still has headaches.  He still has confusion.  He doesn't talk a whole lot.  He's trying to go to school but so far two classes is the maximum he can do.
This is really hard.  Harder than I thought it would be.  Harder truthfully than I want it to be.
I want my boy back.  I want his imitations of people and mimicking of characters.  I want him teasing his brothers and sisters.  I want him to ask "What's for (breakfast, lunch, dinner)?" as soon as the previous meal is over.  I want him to be able to drive.  I want him to complain about homework.  I want to tell him to get off the computer. I want to tell him to go to bed.
But we have to wait.  And somehow wait some more.
God knows how long.  God did not doze off on us.  He did not accidently look away.  He was not texting and not paying attention at the time.  He knew.  As Max Lucado says "He authors all itineraries.  He knows what is best.  No struggle will come your way apart from his purpose, presence, and permission."
Such comforting words in this season...on this journey.