The Lucky One

The universe is always there to remind us that we’ve got it pretty darn good. I had about 25 minutes of self-pity when I was not feeling so fabulous early this week, but I snapped out of it, recognizing that as a young woman with a roof over my head, ample food to eat, and a loving family, I am luckier than a considerable amount of our world’s population. I can read and write this post now, and that’s remarkable.

One of those moments hit me again recently, as I have become a resource for those who are suffering from head injury and its complications. Friends and acquaintances (who have become friends) have reached out to me in an attempt to make some sense of the mysteries that are head injury and Post-Concussive Syndrome. I share my story and my experiences the best I can so that they can do with them what they choose to. However, one particular girl who called me rocked my world. This girl has been in seven car accidents, was dropped on her head as a baby, had a television fall on her head, fell down two flights of stairs before the age of two, had a dresser fall on her—the list goes on. She has had considerable trouble with her cognitive development, as you can imagine—reading is limited, her emotions sometimes get the best of her, and she frequently loses her train of thought. But somehow she pushed her way through to finish high school and is incredibly intuitive with animals. The animals seem to flock to her, and she is a favorite of the penguins at the New England Aquarium, where she works. I am in awe.

One of the things that really stuck with me was a comment she made that she has been to countless doctors, and each being great at telling her what is wrong and prescribing a medication, but they cannot offer her any guidance towards healing. They have no answer. On a smaller scale, I understood this notion after having spent a year with no cognitive activity and two years recovering to full ability.

I saw an article again today that reminded me that doctors and researchers are working diligently to get better at diagnosing. Yes, we know what to call it. But what are we doing to help those that are going through it now? That’s the hard part, right? And we tend to take the easy way out.

I feel so profoundly that there is a way to heal from this condition, and I am building a team now to help me share the message. The body, more than anything else, is fighting for its own perfect state of health. One of my team members is my grandfather. He died after complications from a severe head injury. Now, he is always with me.

As part of a presentation in January that discussed Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, I heard the discussion of the symptoms and felt the chills go up and down my arms. I related with the entire list—debilitating paranoia, anger, sadness, headaches, fear, insomnia, visual problems, ringing in my ears. Some never break free of those chains. How come I was able to? Why do I get to sit here, type at the computer free of pain, and accept the darkness of the night when for that dark period of time I feared the sunset? Every night I would wake up on the hour, afraid that I was going to look outside and see someone coming into my house. Now, I am completely free of those feelings. I fly on airplanes without breaking a sweat. Why am I one of the lucky ones?

There is no doubt in my mind that my commitment to cleaning up my diet, meditation, reiki, and other natural means helped to shift this condition. Now, I have more energy than I have ever had (even as a collegiate athlete), I walk outside every day, and I breathe in the sweet, sweet gratitude that is a crisp March day with the promise of a brilliant Spring.

There is a burning desire in the pit of my heart to guide others along this path. The frustration I feel is not in vain. My journey is so premature, but as my wise friend shared with me today, the process is unfolding perfectly. Trust.

You may not yet see the end, but I promise it’s marvelous.

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Please reach out to me if you have a story to share.

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