On Wednesday, January 27th I got in my car and made the 40 minute drive to Ben Taub Hospital here in Houston. It has been over 2 1/2 years since Ben was hospitalized in the neurosurgical intensive care unit at Ben Taub. I drove the familiar route and parked in the familiar parking garage, taking care to remember the floor my car was parked on. I have lost count how many times I had forgotten where my car was parked in this garage. Today, I was going to remember. As I walked toward the front door of the hospital, passing people from all walks of life, it didn't seem like years had gone by since Ben's injury. Ben Taub cares for the indigent of Harris County in Texas. And because of it's excellent trauma center, it not only cares for the indigent, it also cares for the wealthy and everything in-between. The medical and nursing staff at Ben Taub is dedicated, skilled, brilliant, and overworked. When Ben was in the intensive care unit, an ICU nurse told me about patients that had walked through the doors of that unit to thank the professionals who had cared for them years after their devastating injury. The hope in her voice led me to believe that this didn't happen nearly often enough. Today I was there to tell them about Ben.
On January 8th, I published Ben's story on Amazon as a devotional entitled Freefall to Faith. It is a 21 day guide to replacing paralyzing fear with faith in God's plan, peace, and provision. The book is written using the story of our journey with Ben through his traumatic brain injury, but my hope is that it could help anyone facing life-changing tragedy. The devotional was written because I wanted something to place in the hands of every person facing unexpected, unthinkable loss. As I stepped into the Ben Taub neurosurgical ICU that day, I carried a stack of the books, ready to start doing what I had dreamed of doing....helping Ben's story matter and hopefully making a difference in the lives of others.
The response from the nurses was astounding. Several remembered Ben. They peppered me with questions about how he was doing and asked to see a photo of him. I felt their joy that all their diligent care had made a difference in Ben's life. This is why they work their tails off everyday. I wanted the nurses and staff to see how much it had meant in the life of one young man. The nurses who didn't know Ben, were still astounded and seemed encouraged by Ben's story. The book is dedicated to them and they were touched. Eight books disappeared into the hands of the ICU staff. I left another stack of devotionals for the patients and their loved ones. The ICU chaplain asked for 10 books and told me that he is often asked by families for something to read when he visits patients. I had the opportunity to show him details in several of the entries. There was mention of using it in the support group at BenTaub for head trauma patients. The head of the ICU, Dr. Robertson, took the time to speak with me. I was blessed by her kind heart and appreciation of my visit. The devotional, anecdotally, has information for families about Traumatic Brain Injury deficits and struggles in addition to the faith based message. My prayer is that it helps others early in the course of injury as well as further into the journey.
I drove off hours later into the Houston grid iron traffic with such joy in my heart! God allowed me to participate in HIS plan. Ben is doing well in Colorado, still with struggles, but the Master planner is in control! God is there. God is working. It will be for 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.