Last weekend, I traveled to Colorado to see Ben. Jim and I try to visit at least once a month. Medically, Ben has had a few set backs. Behaviors surface occasionally that need care, intervention and sometimes medication adjustments. He had just come out of a period of struggle and things were much better. I have learned through this journey with Ben that God will provide the road, the answers and peace. The director of the home where Ben lives honestly likes him. She feels his sense of humor and personality add much to lives of the other people in the home. She feels like Ben is worth it. This may sound sad, but Jim and I have been fighting this battle for Ben alone for so long, to have someone fighting along side of us is such a relief and a blessing. And....of course God is on our side. Jim and I no longer panic when the wheels seem to fall off the wagon. Either God will fix the wheels or we find out that the wagon rolls just fine without wheels.
Ben and I took long drives. We ran errands and went shopping. He loves eating out and enjoyed a chicken fried steak at Salt Grass steakhouse. Sunday morning church was restful and full of joy. Ben loves conversation and he is fun.
One highlight of our visit was a very important FaceTime call with one of the brilliant young neurosurgeons instrumental in saving Ben's life. Dr. George Al Shamy was a neurosurgery resident at Ben Taub General hospital when Ben was admitted through the trauma center immediately after his accident. When Ben left Ben Taub, 7 weeks after the accident, he was only minimally responsive, and the prognosis for his recovery was guarded at best. Physicians involved in the acute care of a patient often are not kept in the loop as the patient moves toward recovery. I have kept in touch with Dr. Al Shamy with reports of Ben's progress over the last 2 1/2 years. He has finished residency and is now a practicing neurosurgeon in the Houston area. I wanted him to know that Ben was doing SO much more than expected. I have been blessed with Dr. Al Shamy's friendship and kind heart. Ben thanked Dr. Al Shamy for saving his life during the FaceTime call. Dr. Al Shamy told Ben, " God saved your life. I was just along for the ride." This doctor is an unbelievable person. Thanking God for his presence in our lives.
I am so happy to report that Freefall to Faith, the devotional published using Ben's story, is being used at Ben Taub Hospital. The pastor who ministers to Ben Taub's intensive care units sent an email last week to tell me that he is using the book as an essential part of a project involving pastors and spiritual care. He is giving it to families and patients in addition to pastors. As readers move through Ben's story in the devotional, I am hearing that it is helping others. This is my dream. There is a new story that makes me smile every week. It is such a joy and I am touched by each experience. Praising God! 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.