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.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

It has been over a month since my last post. I have been waiting for a moment of respite in Ben's story before bringing everyone up to date on his journey. There has been little respite, however. So begins my post.... with the good and the bad. Ben has been in Colorado for  a little over a month. Ben moved into a place designated as a home environment with a day programs on site for young adult traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients. Although there are cuts to therapeutic living environments for TBI patients everywhere, Colorado is better than Texas. The option seemed perfect and was definitely an answer to prayer.

After one week, however, it was clear that anxious behaviors were surfacing at an alarming rate. Ben's struggles with frustration tolerance and ability to function in an environment with less structure made it difficult for Ben to stay in the home we had chosen. This emotional instability resulted in a 3 week hospitalization to stabilized Ben's medication.  About 2 weeks ago Ben returned to the original home with a much improved demeanor. He was ready to move into a better life. Although the home where Ben resides is occupied by attendants and professionals familiar with troublesome behavior, Ben has again been asked to leave because of brief flurries of verbal aggression that still occur when he is frustrated. Today Ben has had no trouble at all. He is handling more and more of his daily life activities. He is very social and has a huge list of new goals. He wants to go to school. He wants a job. Many good things are still happening.

The emotional instability is much improved since arriving in Colorado and Ben is very aware of what he needs to do to move ahead in life. The damaged areas in his brain are where behavioral inhibition is initiated. He has to relearn judgement and how to control himself when angry. He is moving ahead in this area. Lately he may start to say something inappropriate, then stop himself and add, "No, I'm not going to be that way."Unfortunately the progress is not enough for this assisted living facility to allow him to stay. 

So, here we are again, in the same place.....looking for what Ben needs for living and recovery. I am VERY tired of this place. I have shed WAY too many tears in this place. It's way too easy to fall into the habit of doubt and fear that all of our hopes will end in failure. Today I was reading a lesson written by Anne Graham Lotz entitled "Resting In the Will of God." According to this lesson we are all in "a designated place" in our lives, placed there by God. She uses the story of the child, Samuel, in 1 Samuel 1:1-3:21 as an example. After years of not being able to conceive, Samuel's mother, Hannah, petitions the priest, Eli, for a child. Scripture says Hannah was "in distress of soul, praying to the Lord and weeping bitterly." (Me too). When Hannah gives birth to a son, she gives him to the Lord as she has promised. Samuel grows up in the place he needed to be in order to prepare for what God wanted him to do. It was God's will that Samuel grow up dedicated to the Lord. Hannah's desperation led to the dedication of Samuel and his preparation for God's purpose.

This is the designated place for Ben right now and it is the designated place for us. Colorado has blessed us with more opportunity to move forward. I believe that Ben's story is accomplishing something in this place that I may not ever understand this side of heaven. God is lining things up as I write this. I just have no idea where it is going. I have had wonderful new Colorado friends and professionals take time to help us. Better yet, to encourage us.  They have refreshed me with kindness and understanding. The solution is coming. It will be good. Hope is confident expectation.