I arrived at the hospital to pick up Ben very early Monday morning. It was a new beginning, a new day. The van from the new neurorecovery center was waiting. Ben and I climbed into the back seat behind the driver and attendant and began the long drive ahead of us. It was a miracle that Ben had even been approved by insurance for the treatment center. Ben's new neuropsychologist said the exact words the Humana doctor needed to hear in order to give Ben this chance.
Jim's cousin, Elizabeth met the neuropsychologist "by chance" at a urban service project organized by their church. I snapped Ben's picture in the car as we pulled out of the hospital driveway and compared it to a similar picture from our first car outing taken at the beginning of April. Ben's smile is better. His eyes are more aware and focused. He is happy. The 3 1/2 weeks in the hospital have been impossibly difficult, but as God was working on where Ben should go, Ben's alertness and cognitive abilities have improved markedly. I believe we are on the right road.
After the long drive, we pulled into the rehabilitation facility. The physical layout was similar to Touchstone, where Ben had preciously received treatment. I was looking for reasons to rest in the decision to leave Ben here, far away from home. As we were walking to Ben's room, I saw constant one on one therapy being given to many residents at each and every sitting area and table in the main room. This place means business. A physical therapy gym is 2 doors down from Ben's room. Ben is going to be working hard here. It may be a better fit for Ben's stage of recovery than Touchstone and it most likely would not have happened without the struggle that we had just lived through. Even though this facility is far from home, we have friends and family who are close by. Ben will have lots of visitors in between our weekend trips to see him. I feel very good about the decision to send Ben there. Because insurance has only approved 2 weeks for his initial stay, we are praying for improvements in Ben's level of function that will allow him to be there for a long stay.
Ben still has huge gaps in his memory, especially with events since the accident one year ago. I asked Ben what had happened to him that necessitated staying in hospitals for so long. Ben said, "A few decisions that I made put me in a separate place." This is absolutely true. Ben's life was not heading to good places at the time of the accident one year ago. Even with the cognitive deficits, I believe that this accident was necessary in Ben's life and that he will be in a better place in the end. It is fun to see his personality returning. Yesterday he called me at work and asked, "So what did you do all day today, Mom?" He sounded like my Ben. I asked him how it was going at his new place. He answered, "I like it here after I met everyone. I like it that you are proud of me". I AM proud of you Ben. My joy is overflowing. God's mercy and grace is overwhelming. He didn't forget us. He keeps His promises. It WILL be good.
The purpose of this blog is to show how faith, my professional training and a healthy sense of humor taught me and continues to teach me that Jesus Christ is always in control. I am a fellow learner as this journey for my child unfolds. My wish is that Ben's legacy gives others hope where there seems to be none. It is also my desire that the information I have assimilated with my medical mind and filtered through a mother's heart gives practical ways to deal with this ever-changing chronic disease. Finally, for the many friends and family members who continue to follow Ben's life change after the injury, the story continues.