Yesterday I met Benjamin at his new neurorecovery center in Oklahoma. It was a great day. Ben and I went through the admission process together with smiles on our faces. After 7 months in a Colorado medical hospital with little or no outside activity, Ben was excited and happy. He was driven there by car and he enjoyed every moment of being on the road. The events leading up to this unexpected chance at recovery are miraculous and many. Ben had been rejected by every discharge option for care in the entire state of Colorado. As a family, we were not in a good place. Confinement to a general hospital room was causing psychiatric and medical problems and we were powerless to move forward with Ben's care in any way. It was a place of waiting and if you have read any of my blogposts in the past....waiting is not what I do well. Exodus 14:14 says "The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest." Moses tells this to the Israelites when the Egyptians are bearing down on them by the Red Sea. God fights for his people. I believe the sequence of events leading up to this recover opportunity is a sign of God fighting for Ben when there seemed to be little hope.
Ben had a case manager at the Colorado hospital who was unrelenting in her pursuit of a therapeutic environment to help restore the function Ben has lost, while retaining grace and optimism. Her optimism and incredible heart was a gift to me. As days turned to months, she never gave up. The staff at the same Colorado hospital was understanding and nonjudgemental. Many of them went far beyond their defined roles to enrich Ben's world. Teddi, a brain injury expert who has advised and supported Ben from the beginning, gave support and advice regarding this discharge plan. It would not have happened without her. The neurorecovery facility in Oklahoma has both behavioral and traumatic brain injury (TBI) support. It is a perfect fit. In the past, mental health facilities have turned Ben down because of the TBI. TBI treatment facilities have turned Ben down because of behavioral issues. This facility has a reputation for positively affecting the lives of even the most difficult patients and it prides itself on rising to the challenge. The daily fees in a facility of this type are high. Ben is fully funded here for 3 months. A way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (Psalm 43:19)
I wrote this prayer for Ben on the airplane this morning.
Bless my son and heal him. Lead us through the wilderness. We are desperate to see the other side. Place a stay on all thoughts, words, and deed that are in the way of Ben returning to a productive and fulfilling life. A life filled with you, Lord. I pray for wisdom, discernment and grace for every therapist, doctor, nurse or care worker involved in Ben's care. Open doors for Ben to have a perfect place to live and work when it is time for him to leave Oklahoma. Please give our family peace and rest in this place, Lord, and help us to keep our eyes lifted above pain and circumstance to rest on the One who holds all of us in the palm of his hand. None of this is a surprise to God. He is able and will work all to the good, according to His word and His promise. 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.