Brain Struggles

March 28, 2016

There are days when life feels like it is falling apart, all the pieces I once recognized are slipping through my fingers like the sand at the beach. So many things that were once familiar fade into the distance as I search for something recognizable.

The simple truth that life is not fair I know all too well.  The loss that has occurred in our family alone triples many of those who surround us and as the heartbreak continues we witness Debbie struggling through the life she has been unfairly handed.

It was August of 2013 when they ultimately discovered the brain tumor, a day when time stops and nothing holds reason as a billow of haze flows into your existence. The place where answers began appearing as more difficulties seized control. Where fear rapidly leaked in with hope lingering on the surface, as the volume of our lives screamed to the right.

And then time wondrously does its thing, ticking by in minutes, hours, days, weeks and years, mocking us with its speed then torturing with idleness. Not easily and not quickly but happening all the same. Almost three years have past since this story began and the cascade of procedures, doctors and emotions has been incessant.

There are no upward arrows of recovery, no timetable for discovery, instead a complex pursuit for answers to the questions we don’t know to ask. Complications topple one another, as additional concerns are uncovered while we navigate this unfolding course of TBI.

Each day a blank slate of questions, blindfolded we grasp at hope while seeking the advice of those familiar with our quest. Every exchange creates another distraction on the same path with no finish line in site. Doctors empty with options, as if there is nothing left to try...we press forward.

The night is quiet and I ready for bed as my phone illuminates with her image and I answer my phone with urgency. She is confused again, at the wrong house and asks me to come get her. She needs Joe’s number, “Joe died” I softly say, and the confusion continues, although she is not shocked, instead she is onto the next question.

I ask if she’s confused and it fills her with frustration, so sure of her own stories she will not label it confusion and does not want to hear as others try to explain. Her memories travel back to our childhood where she struggles to grasp the reality of today. A mixture of the past and present tangled together shaping her world as we struggle to bring it in focus.

She begins to cry and I quietly join her, attempting to help her as we reason with where everyone is. “Dad died" I say tenderly, "we cannot go to mom and dads house," but the anger seeps back in and she gives up on our conversation, "I’ll figure it out myself" and the phone is silent.

I stand there numb, tears streaming down my face, as I break a little further for all she is going through, her life, her confusion, and the family we once shared. I collapse for what was, what is and what will never be again. Words catch in my throat and I am unable to rationalize these moments that carry unending confusion to fill her days.

And so the journey continues, the doctors and tests, the questions and confusion and the search to discover what can make her days easier, all our lives better and grasp onto the hope that once guided us through.

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  • March 28, 2016 @ 12:42 PM EDT
    By Kathy Ventura
    The comment by Kathy Henderson says it well. Keep writing!!! We also enjoy reading.
  • March 28, 2016 @ 9:23 AM EDT
    By Kathy henderson
    I thank the lord that you a have beautiful God given talent to write. It lets you explore your emotions. You've all had a ling tough road but know we are all there to support you. Keep calm and write in!!

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