Sunday, January 15, 2012

The New Plan in a New Year

Sixteen Days ago, I saw the white light.  The one that I thought people made up.  It isn't made up, it exists.  It is bright and warm and peaceful.  I was there.  I later learned that my heart rate was in the 20's, my blood pressure 30/13.  I shouldn't have been there, I made a mistake.  But I survived to tell the tale.  My best friend in the whole world told me the other day, that I have been given a second chance, and all be darned if she is going to let me take it for granted!
So here I am.  I spent some time in CCU.  I spent some time getting tests, and getting help.  We learned that I am in fact not "above average" anymore.  Don't get me wrong, I wasn't born smart, that is my son Isaac.  I was born with above average drive.  I have spent my life trying to beat the odds.  Trying to break the cycle.  Trying to go farther in my life than family members of my past.  And in all honesty, I did a pretty good job.  I studied like crazy, I took serious notes, I did everything in my power to make it.
And I did make it!  I had a fantastic job in the NHL.  More CEO and company owner contacts than I knew what to do with.  Then I married my soul mate.  The most handsome man I have ever laid eyes on. I gained two beautiful daughters, and everyone knows how badly I always wanted a little girl ( I got 2)!
Then when it was time for me not to work so much, I got another great job as the Director of Sponsorship at the Nashville Chamber of Commerce.  Many times I heard "things just fall into your lap".  Which isn't true.  I am a firm believer in Success = Opportunity + Preparation, and I have always done everything I could to be prepared.  And with that, I will discontinue focusing on the past.
What I learned last week is that I am indeed suffering from a Traumatic Brain Injury, due to concussions.  What that means is that the "roads" in my brain don't work very well.  And the "roads" to my memory is currently out of order.  I took hours worth of tests to get these results.  They didn't surprise me at all.  But what they did do, is let me loved ones know that I am not making this up.  It is an honest to goodness condition that can progress to EOA (which I also won't be talking about anymore until further results come in). For now, what we know for sure is that I am about as smart as a lower level high school graduate.  If only I could stop paying my student loans now and pretend I didn't go to college for a million years! Regardless, there is some good news and that is what this blog will focus on in the future...
There is a type of occupational therapy for my brain at Vanderbilt.  The goal is to open up the "roads" to my memory and hopefully reduce the number of speed bumps on my cognitive processing "roads".  Currently the speed bumps are doing a great job of slowing down my processing, but that's not the life I want to live!
With some prompting from my best friend, Karlee, and  a lot of support from my husband, I am planning to kick some butt in my brain classes!  She reminded me that people haven't loved my because of my degrees, but for who I am, and I need to find that person again!  I am going to learn to love who I am, no matter how I do on tests and no matter how smart I used to be.  I plan to be the person who progresses so well in brain class, that doctors have to say "results not typical" when I take part in their studies :)
I won't pretend that I am not scared.  I am.  But a little fear never killed anyone.  I am ready to regain as much of my memory as God sees fit.  I also plan to be the best mom, wife and friend that I can be.  This is a journey I call life, and I plan to do my best every single day with this second chance that I have been given, for I am truly grateful!