A recent report from my neurologist, an expert in traumatic brain injury, states his "optimistic estimation" is that I should start seeing a "significant decline in my functional capacity within five to ten years." So here I am at exactly the beginning of year number five! I won't pretend this doesn't frighten me, but I can't let this ominous prediction control me. God has already blessed me with a recovery that has far exceeded what was thought to be medically possible or what was predicted. I'm going to choose to believe this can and will continue.
Five years ago today was a day I can't remember but one I will never forget. I was off from work that morning, so I decided to run into town and grab a few things at the local hardware store. I never made it home. I was hit by a truck that failed to stop at a flashing red light, resulting in my truck, and head, striking a concrete utility pole. I miraculously survived the crash but the impact of my head on the pole resulted in a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).
It was roughly two weeks later that I started to "wake up" and began asking questions about what had happened, where I was, why I was there, etc.. They told me I was in a near-fatal car accident and had suffered a brain injury. For some reason, this really didn't strike me as that big of a deal.
I knew my recovery was going to take awhile, but I was still confident I could make a "complete" one, and that was my goal, even though my doctors repeatedly stressed to me and my wife this was improbable. From the very beginning, even before I knew what was going on, my doctors kept referring to this "new normal" that all TBI survivors must find following their injury, but I didn't think this applied to me.
I had never been more wrong. I tried and I tried to get my "old normal" back," but the efforts were futile. I finally gave up and decided that I would need to accept this proverbial "new normal." The only problem was, I had no idea what this meant. Then something amazing started happening in my life. When I stopped working so hard to find this "new normal" myself, God started revealing me what it was and where to find it.
So, here I am five years later and my life looks nothing like it used to. I can no longer practice medicine. My family and I have moved to Franklin, TN. I am blogging, writing a book, and just recently started embarking on an attempt at public speaking. If someone would have told me these things five years ago, there is no way I would have believed them.
When I stop and think about all that has taken place over the last five years, I believe more than ever, that even when it doesn't seem like it, God is in control. He can redeem anything. God transforms an apparent defeat into victory, loss into gain. He can take what is unexpected and unplanned and turn it into just what we need.