After all these years of asking for prayers to help Abbie move her body, I am coming to you tonight to ask you to join us in praying that she will hold very, very still. On Thursday morning we are going to do the brain imaging, and we are going to do it without sedating her.
I had a nice conversation with the radiologist this afternoon, who started by saying, “I see you’ve been doing some reading..a LOT of reading!” I guess it’s a little wierd for a mom to be asking about a brain imaging technique that they are not yet using as a clinical tool, it is limited to research at this point. I suppose that is my reward for reading “Scientific American” instead of “People” on the airplane.
The doctor said the Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) will take about 8 minutes, and that it is very, very loud. This shoots down Plan A, which was to wear Abbie out and hope she slept through it. We are also hoping to do a follow-on MRI, which would take another 25 minutes or so. I am fervently praying we can accomplish this so that we can get some good, clear images.
“I’m not sure what we’ll do with these images at this point,” was one comment the doctor made. I didn’t voice my ultimate goal. To me, these are a marker, a beginning point. I am hoping that a year or two down the road we can do another set, and that they will give radiological proof that a brain can regenerate, even many years after injury. I pray, pray, pray that one day Abbie’s story will be in Scientific American in the midst of an article about “New Views on Brain Injury Recovery.” Wouldn’t that be awesome?
She continues to show us every day, without pictures, that her brain is indeed healing. Late last week Genevieve and I were working with her on the massage table. If we would hold her wrists to help support the weight of her arms, she would raise them all the way over her head by herself. She was grinning, while we were in tears. This new move speaks to improvements in her tone, range of motion, independent movement, and trust in her body.
The vog has been keeping us indoors more lately. (For folks not in Hawaii, that’s not a typo, “vog” looks like fog, or actually smog, and is produced by the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island, which has been very active lately). When it got really bad late last week, it made Abbie sick for a couple of days. That’s another prayer request…pray for those tradewinds to blow!
We are creeping up to May 3rd yet again. And, yet again I am approaching it the same way I always have, as if the day is going to slip by and it won’t seem different from any other day. It hasn’t really worked out that way in the past, but I am hoping, given how things are going, that this will be the year of victory over grief on that day.
I wrote to my dear friend Sue (Luke’s mom) tonight that we are approaching our “graduation day.” We have just about completed our four years of undergraduate work in independent studies, with a focus on nursing, physical/occupation/speech therapy, anatomy, physiology, and integrative medicine…with a minor in stubborn faith and irrational hope. I have noticed that the upper level classes of the past year or so have been more challenging, and the book work and research is certainly more intense…but, I also feel the gratification of having overcome, having persevered, and having grown immensely. Not for free, no scholarships granted, and I certainly didn’t apply for this program, but an education for which I am profoundly thankful.
Bless you all for going on this ride with us….here’s to exciting days ahead! To God be the glory!!